GuitarBuilder's First Modern Hexaphonic Nexus Guitar

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GuitarBuilder
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:14 pm

GuitarBuilder's First Modern Hexaphonic Nexus Guitar

Postby GuitarBuilder » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:27 pm

And here she is in her final glory: my first Nexus guitar!

Featuring a Gotoh Wilkinson tremolo bridge and Schaller strap locks. The tremolo cover is from AllParts and allows access to the 9V battery that is used to power the XR Active Volume and Resonant Filter controls.

This is a dual purpose guitar: the 1/4" output allows one to plug into any guitar amp and enjoy the SSS XR Flex pickups. Plug in the Nexus cable and breakout box to take advantage of the Nu Multi 6 - separate string and XR Flex audio in 7 channels along with Roland 13-pin compatibility (thanks to Synth-Linx's excellent product) with Synth Volume (wired as a Blend with Guitar Volume) and Guitar/Synth Mix CVs (permanently set to 1.04V for "mix"). Nirvana!

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The finished product!

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Another view in sun light. The top layer is Walnut.

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The back side. One piece Swamp Ash.

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Fitting the Nu Breakout Board. This is the hub for all audio and CV signals.

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Fitting the Lemo-compatible 19-pin connector. Very compact, only slightly larger than a 1/4" jack.

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The heart of the matter: the wired pickguard. The bridge pickup is a combined hexaphonic low-impedance Nu Multi and a humbucking XR Flex Dual.

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Notice the solderless connections.

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A home-made tone shaping circuit was added to the middle XR pickup just for fun.

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The middle pickup tone potentiometer is accessed through this hole in the pickguard.

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Pick guard will all connections. Note the flat conductor cables used for the hexaphonic pickup.

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Test fitting the wired pick guard. More flat cable connections used between the 19-pin connector and the Breakout Board.

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The body undergoing Tru-Oil finishing.

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Look at those Swamp Ash patterns!

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The neck is Canary - very dense and smooth, needs no finish at all!

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Schaller locking tuners. Note the beautiful patterns in the Canary wood.

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Fender LSR Roller Nut on Rosewood fingerboard.

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Note how I cleverly matched up the grain on the Swamp Ash Body with the Canary neck. Really? Purely accidental!

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All four woods in perfect harmony!

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A closer view of the Wilkinson tremolo. I put these in all my Strat builds, highly recommended!

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Front panel of the Nexus breakout box. The 19-pin input connection is on the left, the Synth-Linx 13-pin output is on the right, carrying the 6 string signals, XR output, synth volume, and mix CV.

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The Nexus box is highly configurable and hackable. All key signals are available on headers.

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The back panel of Nexus has 1/4" TRS jacks that are configurable, as well as MIDI output. Power is supplied to the guitar via the 19-pin cable.

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Block diagram of the Nexus box. The mixer allows for routing of signals to stereo outputs. The MIDI module can be programmed to any CV to MIDI command conversion.

How does it work? In one word: fantastic! The sound of the "normal" XR pickups is very clear and bright, with wide frequency response, making it easy to dial in any tone you want. The Resonant Filter is insanely good - one can control both frequency and Q, very much like a synth. Think Stratocaster single coil on steroids, but can dial in Tele and LP sounds as well. The Nu Multi by itself also sounds fantastic, very close to the XR sound. Not at all like the typical hex pickups from Roland, Fishman, or Antares; no, like a real pickup! It could easily be used as both the main guitar pickup and the hexaphonic synth driver.

Huge thanks to Joel De Guzman and Mark Bellarmino from Cycfi Research for their assistance with this build. Superb customer support!

I will build you one if interested - PM me for details.

Fireful0
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: GuitarBuilder's First Modern Hexaphonic Nexus Guitar

Postby Fireful0 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:35 pm

That's awesome!

Sunburst
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: GuitarBuilder's First Modern Hexaphonic Nexus Guitar

Postby Sunburst » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:45 pm

Sweet, GB!!!

GuitarBuilder
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:14 pm

Re: GuitarBuilder's First Modern Hexaphonic Nexus Guitar

Postby GuitarBuilder » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:25 pm

Thanks!