Simplify! I think that will be my mantra for 2018.
Looking back, the current product line that we have including the XR Pickups and all its support electronics, the Nu pickups and all its support electronics including the Nexus, and in addition to all projects, planned and in the pipeline, including Infinity −hardware and software, is just too ambitious and unmanageable given the resources we have. I want to achieve so much, but there is simply no time to do it all in a reasonable amount of time. Those of you who know me know that I am also a full-time C++ consultant and Cycfi Research is a much loved baby that blossomed out of pure passion (or is that obsession?) and love for the guitar, electronics, and music in general, that goes back decades since the 80s.
When we started, it was just the Neo pickups, nothing more. It started to get crazy when we developed and eventually released the XR pickups. When the XR happened, we started losing focus and precious time for doing research and development was slowly consumed by manufacturing and support. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. We have to walk before we can run.
So, in 2018, something has to give way. We will have to focus on only one product: The Nu Capsule. Less is more. Focus on one item, do it really well. I know there’s an untapped market for the Nu capsules, a general purpose, miniature magnetic pickup. And it goes beyond the guitar. A number of Nu users are actually non-guitar players.
What can you expect?
- We will have to cease production of the XR and all its support electronics.
- We will stop selling of the Nu modules as well as the Nexus breakout box and all related components.
- The 13-pin Roland compatible Nu adapter will not be released.
- The Modula pickup will still be developed. Hey, it’s on its way to finalization! But, the Modula will not be available in our online store. Instead, it will be available on pre-order basis, and solely for custom-made guitars. I will have to stop supporting retrofits. I can’t imagine the Modula being installed in a body-mounted Soapbar cavity for example, nor do I wish to support icky mounting contraptions.
Doing so will free up time for us to pursue the Holy Grail: Infinity! It will also open up time for making real music (one thing I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now) and surely demos!
- For Infinity, I am currently developing a reference design for one or two prototype guitars, based on Alpha, our Carbon Fiber guitar. The designs will be available online and freely shared, as usual.
- The Nu will be our staple. It will continually be improved. We are now looking at version-2 of the Nu capsule with vast improvements based on recent developments on the Modula.
- What used to be Nexus and the Nu’s support electronics, in addition to the Modula, will become the Nu-Modula reference design.
- Those interested can build and design their own instruments (not necessarily guitars!)) based on our reference designs. Complete kits based on our reference designs, including all the necessary parts and software, will be available on pre-order basis. We will support basic customizations (those that do not deviate too much from the reference design). I am very open to collaboration with both professional and amateur builders. These will typically be moderate to complex builds, so by necessity, I will have to cater only to serious builders.
- I might actually produce the actual guitars used in the reference designs if there’s sufficient interest.
So, there you go. I hope this new direction will help us attain our goals sooner rather than later. It will still be a journey, we’re not there yet. But I am confident this is a more realistic strategy. It took a while for me to contemplate and finally decide which direction to take and it pains me to leave behind projects that we’ve worked very hard for such as the XR. But it’s the only way to move forward.
The details are not set in stone and I am pretty sure that in the coming months there will be some more changes still. If you have some suggestions (or objections!), feel free to share your thoughts in our forum or leave a comment below.