After a long hiatus, I think the Nu is just about ready. This is the next evolutionary stage of our flagship multichannel pickup. Originally named the Neo, the Nu sports better crosstalk performance using permalloy shields and active crosstalk cancellation, even lower noise with improved discrete preamp design, adjustable curvature (you want the pickup as close as possible to the strings to minimise cross-talk), and better aesthetics, sharing the same aesthetics as the XRs. Most importantly, they sound just as good as the original.
I am incrementally updating the XR Data Sheet. I’ll post updates here every once in a while. Here’s the schematic of the XR preamplifier. The circuit utilises the Toshiba 2SC3324 low noise NPN transistors with an exceptional noise figure of 0.2dB (typical). The preamp configuration is a common emitter amplifier with both emitter feedback and self-biasing collector feedback. The collector feedback ensures that the transistor is always biased in the active region regardless of variations in Beta. The second stage is a simple emitter follower providing current gain and low output impedance.
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I have mixed feelings with the Soapbar ring idea. Many like it, but some don’t. Jon Chang suggested transparent rings for that modern look that fits the XR’s unique look. It’s all about aesthetics. That might work, but why don’t we push a bit harder?
I think the 3D rendering above looks good. This one will be difficult to execute, but might be worth a try. Perhaps it can be done using layered acrylic or maybe resin casting. Clear resin casting gives nice results when done right, but it is very difficult to do right and in quantity. No wonder Q-Tuner no longer builds pickups that way.
I’d still keep the open coils. I like the hackable, modular and customisable nature of the XRs. I like the way the XR pickups can be disassembled down to the preamps and coils.
With the current open-coil XR Quad coil 7 and 8 string design (image right), there’s empty space at the sides when placed in a guitar with a soapbar rout, which is quite common in extended range guitars such as the .strandberg* Boden. One solution is to position the two double coils closer together and add a ring, following the footprint of the soapbar, around the assembly (3D rendering above).
What do you think?
“And of course, I had my problems because so many people weren’t ready to accept it”.
My hero! June 9 would have been his 100th birthday. What a remarkable coincidence that it was also the birthday of our XR pickups!
Of course we all know the Gibson Les Paul, but while everyone else uses the guitar he designed in the 50s, he went on and continued innovating. What you see in this video is not the same 50s mojo we see everywhere. This is Les Paul’s favorite guitar and the one he used since the early 1970s: the Les Paul Recording Model. For Les Paul, it’s the the ultimate recording guitar. It was designed to be plugged directly into a mixing console!
Those are Low Impedance pickups! This guitar, or more specifically the pickups he used here, is the reason why I am going Lo-Z.
Thank you all for your enthusiastic response to the release of our Cycfi XR series pickups! Due to the overwhelming demand we have sold out of the XR 6 and XR 8 pickups (both Dual and Quad) in record time. We still have a limited stock of our XR 7’s as well as support electronics still available. For those desiring sold out items we will be conducting a pre-sale giving those pre-sale customers priority orders for the next production run. We will be making an announcement soon about the commencement of the pre-sale. Thank you again!
We are pleased to announce the official debut release of our Cycfi XR series extended response pickups! The production models consist of 6, 7 and 8 string versions of both our XR dual-coil humbuckers (single width rout) and our XR quad-coil humbuckers (HB width rout). Support electronics for easy solderless installation are now available as well to complete the XR pickup system. The initial production run is limited to 40 pickups and will sell out quickly, so we encourage you to visit https://www.cycfi-research.com/ as soon as possible to ensure you’re among the vanguard adopting this exciting pickup technology.
Please note, we are also now offering á la carte options allowing you to configure systems limited only by your imagination. In addition we are accepting custom orders, broadening the palette of options even further to suit the requirements of unique builds. Contact us for specific details pertaining to your individual needs.
Here’s a customization test case for a bass guitar. I needed to know if it is indeed feasible to provide custom pickups for users with very specific needs.
We do not have a bass guitar pickup (yet), although I’ve had inquiries every now and then. And so, a bass pickup makes sense! The XR has just the right ingredients to make a good bass pickup with its full 20-20 bandwidth. My initial hesitation was headroom. The prototype preamp design was limited to 5v with rail-to-rail Op Amps. We’ve since increased the preamp supply to 9v this time using discrete transistors. So that issue is solved.
My observation is that bass players are typically more forward thinking than us guitar players. In general, guitar players are still stuck in 50s(!) with our relic’d guitars and all that lo-fi accidents we embrace as mojo. Thankfully, that is changing and I see more guitar players now moving forward into the future; especially in the Extended Range Guitar community.