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Meet The Nexus. This small, hacker friendly breakout box connects your multichannel guitar to the outside world using a specialized (LEMO compatible) multi-pin connector for up to 12 channels of audio and 7 channels of analog control voltages for by-wire control of volume, tone, patch or effects. Audio may come from standard mono-pickups or from the Nu multichannel pickup. Analog control voltages are converted to MIDI control messages.
The FPC experiment is a success! This is the first time we tried to use such connectors and they are amazing! The zero insertion force connectors we chose are perfect for the task. The flip-lock is very effective as well. Insert the FPC cable, engage the lock, and the cable will stay in place.
Now we have a complete basic Nu system. Some pictures:
“An extended range guitar of course calls for extended range pickups.”
Here’s Chris Varnon’s gorgeous guitar: an Agile Septor 827, 27″ scale equipped with two 8-string XR quad-coils. He tunes it in all 4ths, with the lowest string as a bass low E. The highest string is D#, a half-step below guitar high E. He says the tuning and the scale works very well together.
“WOW! It is like my guitar was dying before and now it has come back to life with great vigor. Even the lowest strings are so much more distinct. It really is an incredible difference.”
The Cycfi XR series pickups have been very well received and as a result our past manufacturing runs have sold out very quickly. It is our pleasure to announce that we are now able to supply the Cycfi XR’s on a continuous basis to meet the demand of musicians worldwide. The pickups and peripheral components can be found here. This is an exciting time for us and we owe a great deal to our enthusiastic supporters, thank you all!
The Elves are Busy. Here are some pictures.
It’s always like Christmas every time a package from Mouser arrives. Now we have lots of Bourns pots in stock, hopefully enough to last through Christmas.
It’s nice to see our pickups in the academe. Chengxiang Ren and Jeffrey Huang, Cornell University, Electrical and Computer Engineering, used the Cycfi Neo (now Nu) polyphonic pickups in their Master’s project. I’ll try to learn more about this project and these cool people. Their ideas are perfectly aligned with mine.
In this project, we designed a computational guitar that consists of a hexaphonic pickup and a digital signal processor (DSP). As an example application, we implemented a pitch correction algorithm that corrects the pitch of each string in real-time, which enables us to play the guitar “in-tune” when it is not. Our pitch correction algorithm operates in real time on a Texas Instrument DSP board (TI DSK6713) and combines frequency-domain pitch detection and time-domain pitch shifting.
Last time, I hinted at ways to mount the pickups. Surely, a guitar builder will find a zillion ways to mount these modules. I’ve had inquiries, not only from Guitars builders but from Violin and Cello builders too! I bet these builders have cool ideas how to mount these bad boys. Here are some examples. Images convey a lot of information, so here again are some 3D renderings for your perusal. Click the images to zoom in!
Which one do you prefer? Comments and suggestions welcome (in the comments box below or in our FB forum).
The XRs, especially the XR8s and XR6s, are often out of stock. They sell out quickly! So sorry about that My intention is to have a steady stream of XRs. As you know, these are handmade pickups crafted with meticulous attention to detail. We can only manufacture a limited number of these pickups per batch, but we’re trying our best to keep up and produce more.
It’s been crazy though. We also needed to produce support electronics for these. One big stumbling block, and one that we’re still struggling with, is the supply of some parts. One crucial component, the one we use for Volume, Tone and Blend control, the Bourns PDB181-GTR01 25K potentiometer went out of stock and has been out of stock for almost two months now. We couldn’t find them anywhere! Anywhere I look, they will be back in stock by January 1, at the earliest.
I love the solid feel and quality of these pots, and I can’t settle for anything less. In the end, I went for its bigger brother, the PDB241-GTR01 25K. The downside is that we had to redesign a PCB for these. Oh well. I guess these are the things builders deal with all the time.
Cycfi XR pickups are not made with alien technology or special exotic materials to allow them to perform far beyond a normal pickup (although they do perform far beyond a normal pickup). The secret, in fact, behind the Cycfi XR is −nothing.
But it’s a special “nothing.”