Manufacturing Thor: Infinity 1.1

After over a year and a half manufacturing the first batch of Thor, we are now approaching the final stage of production. Based on my best estimates, this final phase will probably take another 2 months, setting the target to around early to mid-August. Goodness, I’ve made incorrect estimates in the past, so I say this with some hesitation. But I have to do it. This can’t be an open-ended project. At any rate, I’m so thrilled to see this project coming to fruition!

This week, I will attempt to port my most recent pitch detection code, building on a successful project from the previous year that developed hardware with 8-channel pitch detection on a 550MHz microcontroller. The tricky part is that the microcontroller chosen for Infinity only runs at 180MHz, less than half the speed. Let’s see how things go. If I fail, I’ll revert to the stable Infinity 1.0 source code.

Some planned features did not make it into the first batch. The project was far too ambitious! There was talk of having per-string sustain switches that would allow you to enable infinite sustain only for specific strings, and there’s actually a prototype for that (picture below).

There’s space allotted for that board beneath the carbon fiber top, and the six illuminated round switches would have protruded to the top. I like the idea a lot. But I am not thrilled with the current implementation. For example, I think it would be nice to use pressure sensitive pads to allow for individual intensity control. I’ll leave this open for future expansion. The infinity MCU board includes a USB connector for future firmware upgrades, as well as two I2C connectors for future connectivity. Infinity is extensible. Even the microcontroller itself is replaceable.

The e-whammy is another feature that did not make the cut. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were forced to exclude this feature. Regrettably, I am unable to devote sufficient time to developing it into a fully robust and refined component.

My goal now is to complete and release the first batch, but leave the design open for future expansion. Look! There’s a lot of space for such upgrades:

Oh, and hey, we’ll have concentric pots. We got rid of the 5-way switch, in exchange for two concentric pots plus one master volume control, for the option with the Nu-multi, XR-Spectra combo, and a concentric pot plus a single pot, and master volume control for the Nu-multi only option.

And finally, we’ll have the Black Chrome option, just like that concentric dome knob above, but also for the bridge, the tuners, and the top and bottom string ferrules.

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10 months ago

The aesthetic on this is just ridiculous. Beautiful guitar

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