Category Archives: Electronics

Chris’ Septor

      Contributed, Cycfi XR, Pickups

“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.”


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XR Series Pickups Now Available On Continuous Basis

      Cycfi XR, Events, Pickups, Release

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!


Computational Hexaphonic Guitar

      Design, DSP, Electronics, Innovation, Nu Series, Pickups

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.

RenHuang-2In 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.

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Nu Update: Mounting the Modules

      Design, Evolution, Nu Series, Pickups

Nu-Multi-AngledLast 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).

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More XRs Coming

      Cycfi XR, Events, Pickups, Workshop

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.

PDB181-GTR_SPLIt’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.


Nu Update: Modular Design

      Design, Evolution, Nu Series, Pickups

How do you mount the Nu modular pickups? You’ve seen the basic Nu capsules before. Mounting these miniature pickups might be tricky. One way involves making a printed circuit base-board where these pickups are soldered into. As I said in the previous post, the problem is that we need a multitude of base-boards for different string spacings, number of strings and skew. That defeats the intent of the modular design.

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Nu Update and Road Map

      Design, Evolution, Nu Series, Pickups

Nu-ActivesThe Nu modular pickup is ready. It’s been ready for quite some time now. The design and implementation is just about perfect, I would say. The next evolutionary step from its predecessor, the Neo, the sound is superb, the clarity and separation is amazing.

So… for those who have been patiently waiting, if you want them now, send us a message. We can arrange for an initial batch for manufacturing. But here’s the thing… At this point, the initial batch will be for uber-tech-savvy builders only. Be warned that this goes way beyond a standard pickup install. A multi-channel system requires an elaborate setup for processing each channel. I will assume that you know what to do with these pickups. If you are a builder with background in electronics, then this is for you. You know how to incorporate these pickups in your design, including mounting, power, audio routing, wiring the multi-pin connectors, and perhaps building a breakout box. All designs (schematics, PCB layout, software, bill of materials, and CAD drawings) will be provided.

But There’s More…

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