Road Map 2024


2023

2022 and 2023 were incredibly busy years for Cycfi Research. It was a period of growth and learning, exploring new ideas and processes. I hardly have time to write my blog anymore, although I try to make time for it as best I can. This is my way of reaching out to you.

We had major setbacks. The global chip shortage immediately following the COVID pandemic was a huge challenge that prompted multiple redesigns to cope with the scarcity of integrated circuits used in the Infinity multichannel sustain system. Apart from that, scaling up the production of the Thor Infinity guitars presented challenges that surpassed our capabilities on multiple fronts. It was a wise decision to produce only a limited batch of 20 guitars. But Thor is unlike any other guitar in the way it is designed, with the use of carbon fiber and unique construction techniques, not to mention the electronics for infinite multichannel sustain. What was supposed to be a 6-month project expanded into a two-year project. There were mistakes. Oh boy, there were plenty of mistakes! I lost a lot of sleep!

Still, we endured and tackled these challenges head-on head-on, and it was all worth it in the end, and it has been truly rewarding. Now we are about to ship the first batch. Finally.

Big Plans for 2024!

Thor, Second Batch

Thor is our flagship product and symbolizes our commitment to craftsmanship and innovation at its best. Thor is a concept guitar based on the design philosophy that brings the guitar into the twenty-first century. 

After we ship the last of the first batch, we will take some time to retool and improve our manufacturing processes. I intend to apply what we’ve learned from manufacturing the first batch and incorporate it into the manufacturing of the second batch. The objective is to significantly shorten the manufacturing time from two years to a few months, as originally anticipated. 

I will provide complete details in a subsequent post, but you can contact us right now if you have any questions. If you’re interested in joining the waiting list for the second batch, please send us a message. Now is a good time to reach out if you want to be included in the list.

Valkyrie!

We may be able to release Valkyrie this year! Valkyrie shares the electronics of Thor, but using traditional guitar building techniques rather than the more expensive carbon fiber construction. Just like Thor Mark-2, an XR-Spectra mono pickup is included for quick connection to traditional effects and amps. See the original post: Valkyrie. I will provide updates in a subsequent post. 

I decided not to release Valkyrie in 2022 because I was not able to realize the desired price point. I see now that that was a mistake. Valkyrie 001 was sold an hour after I announced it was up for grabs for $2500. Up until recently, I was still getting emails asking if it was still available for sale. I suppose it was a steal at that price-point, as it is a complete, magnificently crafted, and fully working Infinity guitar complete with a full Nexus-GK system.

This time, we will follow Thor’s limited production cycle, positioning Valkyrie as a mid-tier offering and Thor as the top-of-the-line offering.

For inquiries, send us a message.

The Stand-Alone Infinity System

I hinted at the possibility of producing these in quantity if there’s sufficient interest. It’s the technology behind Thor. The Nu Multi pickups connect to a microcontroller, which drives actuator coils to maintain a well-balanced, infinite polyphonic sustain across all strings until release. See “The Infinity System.” I noted that we can only release the Infinity Kit as a separate product if there is sufficient interest, with a threshold of at least 50 units. A couple of months after posting that article, I am glad to report that we surpassed that threshold. Something to look forward to in 2024.

I will provide complete details in a subsequent post. Reach out if you want to be included in the waiting list. Send us a message.

Electronic Whammy

Everyone loves the whammy. It is a very effective means for musical expression, and musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Van Halen use it to great effect. There’s a plan to incorporate an electronic whammy bar, instead of the traditional mechanical vibrato. That is the reason why Thor does not have a whammy bar. I have new ideas for a spring-less, totally electronic whammy with no moving parts.

Per-String Sustain Switches

The Infinity system has provisions for per-string on-off switches, with LED indicators for selecting which strings we want to sustain. For example, we can play normal unsustained bass lines while playing sustained melody lines (great for two handed tapping techniques). Moreover, this user interface can be utilized to allow for finer control over per string sustain parameters such as individual sustain levels and drive.

Ascend

Finally, if all goes according to plan, I will now be able to work on Ascend: the software component of the Infinity project. Ascend will make Infinity really shine. This multi-string processing software suite includes:

  1. Ascend PRE (preprocessor)
  2. Ascend VPU (virtual pickups)
  3. Ascend GTE (gate)
  4. Ascend ENV (envelope)
  5. Ascend TGR (timbre gradients)
  6. Ascend SEQ (sequencer)

See this article for details: Ascend… Transcends.


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john
john
1 month ago

Great stuff Joel, congratulations for getting so far in the last couple of years, and all the best for 2024!

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