Nu Capsule v2

The Nu Series Modular Active Pickups are hacker friendly, general purpose pickups that can be used in a variety of applications. These are active pickups utilizing low impedance coils, permalloy ring shields to minimize crosstalk, and an integrated differential, low-power, low-noise preamplifier for each coil. These small pickups are modular and can be used individually or in groups.

The pickups are designed for multichannel processing — one for each string (distortion, EQ, compressor, delay, pan, pitch-shift, etc). Such extensive processing is now possible due to advances in digital signal processing and the proliferation of multi-channel audio interfaces and multi-track audio software.

These modular pickups are not just for guitars. Nus are also successfully utilized in other musical instruments such as the bass guitar, cellos, harps, pianos, xylophones, etc.

Frequency Response

Actual Measured Frequency Response

The Nu Series active polyphonic pickups have a uniform frequency response from 20Hz to 20Khz. The sound is very clean with lots of overtones and crystal clear highs. The low impedance coils give the pickups its characteristic wide bandwidth.

Unlike traditional high-impedance passive pickups, there are no big peaks and dips in the response. Such a wide and flat frequency response gives you the freedom to sculpt the tone using analog or digital filters. The low-impedance pickup imparts very little coloration to the guitar sound. You get whatever tone you want using appropriate tone shaping EQ rather than a fixed, predetermined guitar tone.

Sound Clips

See Sculpting the Tone for details and more sound clips.

Here’s a short clip with a “classical” EQ capture of the Cycfi Nu multichannel pickup mounted on a Fender Stratocaster in the bridge position. The strings are panned from right to left, with the low-E at the right and the high-E at the left.


The Nu capsule is the most basic modular building block which includes the permalloy shielded pickup and integrated preamplifier. The Nu capsule is intended to be PCB mounted and includes a 5-pin 2mm pitch header connector that can be directly soldered to a PCB, or mounted to a corresponding female header.

GND Ground
V+ 5v to 18v supply voltage
(For optimum performance, use a clean, well regulated power source)
Out Preamplifier Output


Coil D.C. Resistance 320-350Ω
Coil Capacitance 54pF
Coil Inductance 12mH
Wire gauge 46AWG
Number of turns 1300
Magnetic Core Neodymium with Iron
Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz (extends beyond 100kHz)
Resonance Frequency 198kHz
Voltage Output (automated; moderate picking)
Baseline Stratocaster (passive): 484mV peak-to-peak
Baseline EMG 81: 720mV peak-to-peak
580-740mV  peak-to-peak
(10.2mm coil spacing, 1mm from string)
49dB: Non optimized
53dB: Active crosstalk cancellation
Output Impedance
Supply Voltage
5v to 18v
Output Voltage Swing Rail-to-Rail
Output Current Drive
17 mA
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