Category Archives: Electronics

Extended Response is Here

      Cycfi XR, Events, Pickups, Release

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 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.

Cycfi XR Custom Bass

      Custom, Cycfi XR, Pickups
XR Custom Bass

XR Custom Bass

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.


      Cycfi XR, Nu Series, Pickups
Cycfi XR paired with a Cycfi Nu!

Cycfi XR paired with a Cycfi Nu

It’s taking shape! That’s a lovely pair in a humbucker width configuration. You already know the XRs, they’ve been the focus of our recent developments, but the other guy has an identity crisis. I hinted at “Cycfi XR Plus”, but people didn’t like it. Charles Richardson comments: “It doesn’t distinguish the product enough from the mono version”. I really love the name Neo, but I need to change the name to avoid any potential trademark conflicts.

So I decided to rename the Neos to simply Nu: the alternative spelling of new. It is the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet and is used as a symbol for the frequency of a wave in physics and other fields. I think it is most appropriate and cool!

You can match a Nu with an XR to get the best of both worlds. You have a monophonic pickup that you can connect to just about any amp, and a cutting-edge multichannel setup. Both pickups have extended 20Hz to 20kHz response.


The Long and Winding Road… ahem Coils

      Cycfi XR, Pickups

The_long_and_winding_roadI’ve been asked many times: What time frame are we looking at until the release? To be very honest, as of now, it’s quite a struggle to give a definite answer, so I’m opting instead not to give any promises. Optimism aside, and notwithstanding the fact that I have high hopes for this project, the reality is, although we are having fun while doing a splendid job at Research and Development, concocting these cool prototypes, it is turning out to be a rough ride when it comes to Production. We are always “almost there”, but not quite getting there yet! There were a few small but devious creatures lurking in the details!

Having said that, if there’s one thing I can say with reasonable certainty, I’d say the coils are just about perfect now! It was such a bumpy ride. We had to redo the first batch of coils at least twice! Here’s the story behind the coils.

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A New Name

      Cycfi XR, Nu Series, Pickups

Cycfi XR Series

We have a new name! We had a fun time thinking of a new name for the Neo Aura. Thank you all for your suggestions. Naming is difficult! Darren Wilson of Decibel Guitars is correct: pretty much every known word has already been trademarked by someone. Hence, we decided to use simple Letters and Numbers like Yamaha DX7 and Roland VG-99.

So, the new names shall be: Cycfi XR for the monophonic pickups (previously named Neo Aura) and Cycfi XR Plus for the multichannel (polyphonic) pickups (previously named Neo). “XR” means “Extended Response”.

If you who are wondering why we need a new name, see my post What’s in a name?.


Spicy Gadgets

      Effects, Electronics, Nu Series, Processing



From our Spicetone friends! 6APPEAL: Polyphonic Overdrive and Breakout Box for Hexaphonic Guitars. We share a common ideal: Hexaphonic processing is the future! “A whole new sonic ground, letting you play complex jazz, fusion, progressive rock or even fingerstyle guitar with distortion, without nasty intermodular rumble”. The only analog hexaphonic distortion available today. I can’t wait to try this out with the new Neos!