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Nu Series v2

The Nu Series Modular Active Pickups are hacker friendly, general purpose pickups that can be used in a variety of applications.


The Nexus-GK is a flexible, and hacker friendly breakout box that connects your multichannel guitar to the outside world.

Iron Man

Meet Iron Man, one of our test guitars. You’ll immediately notice a Neo6 in the bridge position. But what is that thing in the neck position? Can

First batch of Neos shipped

We shipped the first batch of Neos. Yay! To all early adopters, a warm THANK YOU. To those who were left out because the initial

It’s Official: Neo Series Now Available

Easter, April 20, 2014. Today marks the official public release of the Cycfi Neo Series Active Polyphonic Pickups. After a long wait, the Neos are now available! As previously

Here come the Neos!

The first batch of Neos… A few more tests and we’re ready to go! It is a very limited production run, as planned. But it

Multi Pin Cables

Support hardware for the Neo polyphonic pickups requires a suitable cabling system for connecting the multi-channel outputs to an audio interface. In addition to carrying audio signals, it

Transparent Pickup Covers

A friend of mine suggested having transparent pickup covers for the Neo6 pickups. I think it’s a good idea. If there’s interest, we might be able

Hammer Jammer

This simple, yet innovative gadget turns your guitar into something like a clavichord. Amazing idea. Sounds good too. Not bad for $30 gadget. Check it out

Neo Series Active Polyphonic Pickups

Small, Modular Active Polyphonic Pickups. Update: October 18, 2015. The original Neo pickups are now called the Nu. They will be available soon. Check the Blog for updates.

“Sustain” Myth and Science

Question: Which solid body guitar has better sustain, the Fender Stratocaster or the Gibson Les Paul? If you were like me, you’d probably pick the

Lotsa Coils!

We got the initial batch of our custom-designed coils from Chipsen! 1300 turns (0.040mm, AWG 46) 10mH 450Ω D.C. Impedance (Max), 20Hz-20kHz flat frequency response 9mm diameter, 5mm height.

Pre-Production Prototype

Onward Hello! We’ve been busy. It’s been a while, but we are inching slowly, but surely, towards production. Let me present the Six Pack production

On Emulation

My observation is that in general, guitar players are conservative when it comes to guitar sound. I think that is the reason why digital emulations

Spirit C++

Some of you probably know that I am a C++ programmer. I am a consultant at Ciere Consulting. I am a strong advocate of Open

Cycfi Six Pack Hexaphonic Pickup v1.1

Here’s the V1.1 prototype based on the V1.0 design and specification. The version is bumped to 1.1 since there are slight modifications from the original 1.0

Cycfi Six Pack Hexaphonic Pickup v1.0

After countless hours experimenting and iterating over the basic design, I think I’ve reached a point where I have something that am actually finally satisfied

Op Amp Shootout Updated

Our Op Amp Shootout has been updated to reflect recent research and development. The previous favorites are now replaced by better choices and there are

Singles or Doubles?

  Humbuckers Invented independently by Joseph Raymond Butts and Seth Lover, the humbucker pickup “bucks” hum. It is ingeniously designed to passively cancel noise by having two

Let it breathe: Frequency Analysis

The following FFT graphs show the harmonic spectrum of a couple of wave samples taken from: A Fender Stratocaster with the middle pickup A Gibson

New stuff from Digikey

New stuff from Digikey. We ordered a bunch of precision SMD resistors (1% and 0.1% laser-trimmed), a bunch of low-power, low-noise Op Amps, gathered from

Choosing a good Audio Op Amp

Question: What’s a good Op Amp for audio? The answer: depends. There are many factors to consider and there’s no single best answer. There was

Some musings on multi-channel ADC choices

It is rather clear that future belongs to digital sound. However, producing sound by exclusively digital means is a rather boring occupation; wood and brass

The Coils

Balanced Active Pickups By and large, the current state of the electric guitar pickup design has not really changed much since the 50s. We still


A friend asked if there can be a place on the cycfi site where people can submit articles containing idle thoughts and observations. I added

Open Source Hardware

I am a strong advocate of Open Source. I have authored three Open Source C++ libraries, Boost.Spirit, Boost.Fusion and Boost.Phoenix. These libraries are all peer-reviewed,

Six Pack Project

Alpha is a challenging project. But it was well worth it. The innovative use of non-traditional materials such as Carbon Fiber and Bamboo opened up

Wake up call

This thread on “Alternate Matarials” has been a wake up call. I need to be more active with this project. Two years ago, I was


From concept to reality… Presenting the Carbon Fiber-Bamboo Guitar prototype. I still have to write more documentation. I am terribly lagging behind. Anyway, for now,

Neck Dressing

Gorgeous Elegance! It’s been a while. My last post was in November 3. Actually there’s one more unpublished post in December about “Sustain” Myth and

Pearl Inlays

I find the iridescence of Mother of Pearl simply irresistible. The original design as seen in the 3D CAD model had a stainless-steel Cycfi logo.

Compound Radius Fretboard

I am more of a melodic lead player and I play lead more than chords. I prefer slim necks with flatter and low action fretboards

Neck-Thru Construction (part 3)

Wrapping the Neck-Thru This installment concludes the Neck-thru construction series. As a final step, the neck is wrapped in 4 layers of carbon fiber to

Neck-Thru Construction (part 2)

Installing the Truss-Rod Now, we install our new Carbon-Glass Truss Rod. We begin by cutting the truss-rod slot using a router. At the headstock-end of

Neck-Thru Construction (part 1)

Influences I like the basic idea behind the original Steinberger design. The idea is to keep only what’s needed —the bare essentials that define an

Carbon-Glass Truss Rod

A Little Relief Do we need an adjustable truss rod? Unlike wood, carbon fiber is not affected by temperature or humidity. Some guitar builders using

Bamboo Preparation (part 2)

Double Rip Cut Selected Bamboo culms are sliced into straight strips 25 mm wide 1.2 meters long. You would want to choose large diameter culms

Bamboo Preparation (part 1)

It all starts with a nice manufactured plank for the neck-thru middle section made of Bamboo interspersed with multiple layers of Carbon fiber laminated with

Perfect Switching (part 3)

This is the conclusion to the Perfect Switching article. Again, let me warn you that this page assumes you know a little bit of electrical

Perfect Switching (part 2)

This is an installment to last week’s Perfect Switching article. Again, let me warn you that this page assumes you know a little bit of

Perfect Switching (part 1)

I am tired of the same old Fender Strat or Gibson wiring. Go to a music store and chances are, with a very few exceptions,

3D Rendering

Here are a couple of 3D renderings of the CAD model. Solid modeling is fun as soon as you get the hang of it. It


Neck Thru-Neck construction (No body and neck joints) Material: Bamboo-epoxy laminate thru-neck core 3 Layer carbon fiber skin neck bottom 4 Layer carbon fiber head

My First Guitar

Flashback Yeah, that’s me, more than 20 years ago. That’s the first guitar that I built when I was in high school almost 30 years


As always, it all starts with a good design. I can be a hacker. Sometimes I am. But for projects I love most, the perfectionist


I’ve been working on this project on and off. Now, a few months have passed. The last blog entry was written in November. It’s not

Black Steel

Lightweight but stronger than steel, carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) or carbon fiber in short, was once considered a very expensive space age material used