Cycfi Inc., Neo Pickups Coming Out…Soon!

I happen to be one of the few people who have tried out the prototype of Cycfi’s Neo Pickups,¬†and so I have first hand experience of how awesome they really are. With its flat response, Joel (Mr. Cycfi Research himself) and I were talking about sculpting and shaping its sound to whatever we want, only to be limited by the capabilities of a parametric EQ and one’s imagination. I remember saying that one of the most basic things you can do with it is mimic an acoustic guitar. A few days later, we now have this video demonstration:

Notice that this guitar player is assuming a classical guitarist’s seated posture, playing Francisco Tarrega’s “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” on a Fender Strat, but it does not in any way sound like your typical quacking Strat! (I would know how a Strat should sound like because I grew up with one). Matter of fact is that it sounds eerily close to a concert classical guitar. I’ll be first to admit that (having had some classical guitar training) certain nuances like the sustain and attack of the notes would give away that it’s not a classical guitar, the timbre is very close that only classical guitar nuts (like some of the people I know) would be able to tell that it’s not. Perhaps there is some form of bias on my part that I know it’s not a classical guitar (having physically manipulated that guitar), but it would be safe to assume that a casual listener might not be able to figure it out.

This is a point that was proven in a blog post by Roy C (http://royconguitars.blogspot.com/) regarding the Neo Pickups. In this test, there are four clips and the challenge was to try and identify what sort of guitar and/or pickups were used in each clip:

Is it a MIDI guitar, a Martin, a Taylor, a Gibson, EMG 81s? None of the above, folks! It’s just a Fender Strat with Neo Pickups. Heck, the guitar could have been a cheap knockoff and it would have sounded like some of the most expensive guitars in the world with those pickups. I suppose it would be safe to say that what the E-Bow people call “string synthesis” could be easily done with Neo Pickups. Who needs MIDI guitars when you have these, right? And it is very obvious that I am GASsing for one of those that I already envision taking out the EMGs on my ESP LTD and replacing them with these. Without a doubt, I will soon write a composition utilizing these pickups (with the side effect of fulfilling one of my composition requirements at the university, hahaha!).

The Cycfi Neo Pickups target release date will be somewhere around March 2014. For more details, visit http://www.cycfi.com/projects/neo-series/.

The Cycfi Alpha

I recently discovered this one-of-a-kind guitar that’s made out of carbon fiber and bamboo, equipped with DiMarzio pickups, soon-to-be equipped with a unique hexaphonic pickup, and impressive switching options that would provide a wide palette of guitar sounds. Oh, before I forget, did I mention that this is 100% Filipino-made? It is the brainchild of IT consultant, guitarist, and luthier Joel de Guzman:

Cycfi Guitar

It looks pretty, and (based on the recording I checked out) it sounds awesome too. Just go to http://www.cycfi.com/2011/03/finally/ so you can see what this instrument is all about.

If I could have one of these for myself (it’s pretty obvious now that I want one), it will open up more possibilities for future compositions. I could perhaps ask Mr. de Guzman to build me a custom Cycfi guitar (if I have the money for it), maybe a 7-string model with locking tuners and floating bridge or a guitar with MIDI output (something that would help me transcribe GuitarZoom lessons better). Wait a minute. I think I did ask him via email. Unfortunately, the Cycfi guitar is still in the prototype stage (Alpha) so there are no production models out yet. The instrument looks very promising, a form of innovation you rarely witness in this tropical country called the Philippines.

In a matter of months or years, will the Cycfi Guitar be featured in events like the NAMM Show or Musik Messe. I do hope so. In any case, should the time come that the Cycfi Guitar becomes available in the market, I will get my hands on one. After all, it is that sort of instrument that would implant a nagging thought in your head like, “Play me,” or “Check me out!” Therefore, I can say with confidence that this guitar induces GAS!

On a final note, Mr. de Guzman is looking for a luthier he can work with so that he could kick start the production process. If you know of one, please contact him through or drop a note here.