The Halloween is near, and we haven't even begun carving our pumpkins! All because we’re fearfully busy establishing mass production of Jammy Guitars. And if for some, autumn is about PSL (which is pumpkin spice latte of course), for us it’s all about DVT (design verification test). Read on if you want to know more about this abbreviation!
As I've mentioned in the previous update, we have kicked off the initial stage of Jammy Guitars mass manufacturing. And I'm lacking words to describe what a fulfilling experience it is to see the fruits of two years' hard work materializing. So here are the pictures.
Two pieces of the mold for Jammy's fretboard
The upper piece of the detachable frame's mold
First pickguards coming out of the injection molding
These are the very last version of the tooling and the very first molded parts of mass-produced Jammy Guitars. How cool is that?
We've been nitpicking to each and every detail, fine-tuning both hardware and software. And we have achieved quite an impressive result. Judge for yourself: We've managed to reduce the latency from 30+ ms to just about 8 ms. Our goal was something less than 10 ms, so it’s awesome news.
We've also paid particular attention to the pickup sensors. Those are the heart and soul of Jammy Guitar and the bread and butter of your experience with it. To produce those sensors, we've implemented a technology no one has ever used in the music industry before us. So bringing them to perfection requires tonnes of work in programming, electronics, mechanical design — and also a helluva lot of user-testing.
As we can judge from our experience, the best way to get the valuable user feedback is to field-test Jammy at the large music trade shows where hundreds of guitarists can play it on a span of just a few days. The closest one happened to be Music China, so we went there with the latest Jammy Guitar samples:
We've received lots of interest and kind attention from the visitors, and have also confirmed that the pickups responsiveness and sensitivity have improved. On the other hand, we still saw the room for further enhancement. That is the reason we had to deploy our engineers to the manufacturing facilities to tune up those sensors to the condition we needed.
With those improved sensors on our hands, we finally could commence the manufacturing of the very first Jammys, using the technologies and technics we plan to apply during mass production.
This limited batch we're currently assembling will be used for the DVT (yeah, we're back to this abbreviation as I've promised!) Design verification test is a crucial step of mass production. It will determine if we can jump into the next phase right away or have to implement any changes vital to Jammy's playability before proceeding.
The improvements to the pickup sensors took some time to make, so we shifted the production timeline a bit. We plan on giving a more accurate status right after DVT results in November.
We're terribly sorry for keeping you waiting for another couple of weeks, but I believe it will pay off at the end. The highest quality is our main priority, so we can't afford the risk of introducing Jammy to you knowing that we could have done better.
Stay tuned for the next update and please let me know if any questions directly at email@example.com.
VP of product @ Jammy Guitar
What’s up rockers!
Autumn carries more gold in its pockets than all the other seasons, they say. For us, it surely is a harvest time – all the hard work we’ve put into the Jammy guitar is now finally bringing its fruits. Anyway, first things first.
We’ve kicked off the initial manufacturing stage, having started making our tooling. With it, we’ll produce different parts of the Jammy guitar for subsequent tests. Right after that, we’re going to fine-tune the tooling until we reach the ultimate perfection that will allow us to launch the assembly line.
Now, take a sneak peek into our production facilities!
One of our tooling workshops
CNC-machining of one of the molds
The first version of the mold for the left-part plastic cover
The first version of the mold for the right-part plastic cover
Doesn’t it look like dreams finally come true? At the same time, another part of our team is sweating blood to improve software and playing experience. Check out these examples on how hammer-ons, vibrato and pull-offs work on Jammy!
Also, you’re once again having a chance to see us in person and test-play Jammy! In case you’ll happen to be in Shanghai, China, on October 10–13, be sure to visit Music China exhibition and drop by the booth #W3G29 – we’ll be happy to meet you there!
P.S. We’ve got some more updates under our belt, so be sure to stay tuned – we’ll post them really soon.
P.P.S. As usual, you’re welcome to leave your suggestions, ideas, and questions in the comments section or shoot me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
VP of Product @ Jammy Guitar
It’s not just a title to grab your attention, this Indiegogo update is extremely important indeed.
Most people seem to think that everything in the start-up’s garden is rosy: You just come up with some bizarre idea, collect millions from the investors, and then – boom! – you’ve got everything cover, you’re living a dream. I may assure that that is only partly true. I mean the part when you come up with some bizarre idea. What comes next is an exhaustive run against time. The run towards your dream which you have shared with those who believed in you – in this case I mean you, our devoted and patient backers.
During the last couple of months, we’ve been on a homestretch, and the run’s been getting more challenging with the day. We’ve been breaking our back to achieve a significant improvement in Jammy’s quality. And it paid off as evidenced by the NAMM’s Best In Show award we got earlier this summer.
At the same time, we’ve been going through the DFM (design for manufacturing) process in a very short time frame, striving to start the mass production with no further delays. We had to agree on every tiny detail with our OEM (original equipment manufacturer), so the part of our team spent about three months far from home, at Shenzhen’s manufacturing facilities.
In our search for the perfect playability, we’ve ended up having 48 custom parts and 34 molds to produce them. Here is the left part:
And here is the right one:
If it doesn’t sound impressive to you, bear in mind that it’s almost twice more than most products made by startups contain on average. But we couldn’t settle for anything less because we needed only the most accurate picking sensors, the best fretboard and body ergonomics, and hi-tech electronics ensuring the minimal sound latency.
So the good news is that, since we have achieved the quality we needed, the tooling process has now begun and now we can draw much more predictable production timeline:
As you can see, we won't be able to yield a significant amount of production-quality Jammy guitars to deliver the first limited batch in August as we hoped we could. But, with the tooling process kicked off, we can estimate with greater confidence that we’ll launch the full-scale mass-production at the desirable quality by the end of October.
Now, as we know each and every detail we need to make the Jammy guitar we all dream about, we can finalize our BOM (bill-of-materials, the complete list Jammy’s parts and how much does it cost to produce or buy them). Having obtained all this knowledge, we can see clearly now that the product cost is going to be higher than we expected. That forces us to make the detachable frame available only as an add-on purchase, you can already see those changes on our campaign page.
The good news is that those changes won’t affect our current backers – you WILL get your Jammy complete with all the accessories in the box at the initial price.
Well, on that rather happy note, I’m waiting for your comments and suggestions that you, as usual, may leave at the comments section of our Indiegogo page or shoot me directly at email@example.com
VP of product @ Jammy Guitar
Happy 4th of July to all of our American backers!
As luck would have it, on the eve of the most American holiday, we’ve visited one of the most American cities there are. The city, in which the history of the American music is reflected to the fullest. I mean Nashville, the Music City.
The first thing you see when you land at the Nashville airport is the guitars -- right over the baggage carousel.
As you stroll thru the city, the music keeps following you wherever you go -- the music is coming from the authentic rock-n-roll-soaked bars, saloons and tattoo parlors. Music is all around you -- especially when the NAMM Show comes to town.
Being the world’s biggest music industry gathering, the NAMM Show brings together the professionals in the field from all around the globe. We were extremely proud -- and a bit uptight -- to present Jammy in front of this very special bunch of people.
Our booth was located right next to the Gibson’s -- nice start, ain’t it? During the 3 days of the show, we gave interviews to local TV and radio stations, broadened our contacts, and had the Jammy guitar reckoned by the industry’s monsters.
The most exciting part, however, was the communication with the never-ending stream of music lovers that used to stop by our booth -- sometimes with the great interest, sometimes with suspicion. Although most people were initially attracted by our party trick -- disassembling and assembling the Jammy -- the moment they put their hands on Jammy was indeed the aha moment: “So this thing that’s just been in two pieces is an actual playable guitar? Wow!” Apart from tonnes of positive feedback from the attendees, we’ve got the official recognition, too -- our guitar was awarded Summer NAMM’s Best In Show!
A picture’s worth a thousand words, as they say. Thus a 1.5-minute Youtube video shot in 30 fps is worth approximately 2,700,000 words. So please check out our little video report!
Yeah, that was sweet! But the real pleasure was seeing our backer there. Hey Allen, if you read this -- we were delighted to meet you! Thanks for the support!
And to carry on with the thanks, I’d like to appreciate the prowess and ingenuity of Mark Malsegna -- the professional guitarist that was presenting Jammy at the CE Week exhibition that took place in New York a week before NAMM. You can see him rocking on our Instagram.
That event was much more closed than the NAMM Show, but it has garnered us some real cool coverage in the press. I mean articles in New Atlas, Guitar Player, and PCMag. That last one I even want to quote:
“While crowdfunded electronics can often become vaporware, Jammy looks to be on track for shipping in October."
The prototype of Jammy I saw at CE Week was functional and impressive, delivering on the claims of its campaign. We'll keep an eye on Jammy as it gets closer to launch.”
With all eyes on us, we stick to our production timeline and the promise we’ve made earlier!
Have a happy Independence day and stay tuned for more news.
VP of Product
@ Jammy Guitar
The summer heat urges us to shed the clothes, although the constraints of upbringing and the business ethics make us drop the veil of mystery hiding the redesigned Jammy instead!
I’m pumped up to present you the new Jammy right now, but bear with me for a few more moments and let me point out to you the reasons behind our decision on changing the Jammy’s mechanics.
Aiming for the best playability-to-portability ratio in digital guitars, we had been searching for the perfect harmony. And the ‘trombone-guitar’ Jammy happened to be a bit out of balance -- it was far more portable than it was playable. So, after the thorough playability tests -- with the participation of some of our backers, too -- we had to give up the sliding neck concept and give in to the idea of the two-part Jammy.
Supported by our backers (thank you guys!), this big change allowed us to kick up the playability a notch, and also make the Jammy look rocking cool. So behold the new, redesigned Jammy!
It’s still bloody portable! Only 17” when disassembled, the Jammy fits into most any backpack there is and complies with the airlines’ carry-on regulations. And its 15 standard-sized fret neck is suitable to play the majority of rock songs
The sturdy attachment mechanism is durable enough to go full Pete Townshend on it (though we strongly disapprove of breaking the perfectly good guitar!
We’ve added a ¼” jack to the ⅛” one -- so you could plug your Jammy into an amp and stick your earphones in all at once. We’ve also improved the battery to extend the operating time from 2+ to 4+ hours of active playing.
Now, let’s get to the sweetest part of the Jammy -- the one that makes it the future legendary guitar. It looks iconic in every detail -- from the inlays and covers to the bold-shaped frame-deck that allows you to play sitting. The frame can be disassembled into two pieces fitting perfectly into one another for more portability. Sure thing, you can still use a strap to play standing tall!
But enough talking! Without further latency (pun intended) I introduce you this raw unedited video of the Jammy prototype playing -- with no lags whatsoever
So, what do you say? Please let me know what you think about the new Jammy design by answering only one question here! If you have any additional thoughts and questions about it, don’t hesitate to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. When all is said and shown, we still stick to our timeline and plan on kicking off the batch production of Jammys in August.
P.P.S. If you happen to be in Nashville, TN, on June 28-30, don’t hesitate to pop by at our booth #1221 at the NAMM show for a friendly chat and the Jammy test-play!
conceptual creative @ Jammy Guitar
Yeah, it’s May and we actually got an update -- and that’s enough punning around, for what I’m going to tell you is not a laughing matter.
We’ve made a big progress since the last time I addressed you here about a month ago. First off, we’ve finalized the new mechanical design with our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) -- this means we’ll soon be ready for the final tests and will start building up the tooling right after that.
We’ve already got all the components for the new redesigned Jammy delivered to our office and the work on assembling them into one fine piece of guitar is underway.
For now, here’s the soul of Jammy -- a set of printed circuit boards that will allow your digital guitar to sing.
Looks hot, ain’t it? But wait until we put a glossy body on it! Yeah, we’re going to show you a fully functioning prototype in no time at all! (Well, a week or two of soldering, brazing and welding will fly by -- at least for us here.)
Moreover, you’ll have a chance to see the new Jammy in person soon, too! We plan on bringing prototypes to Summer NAMM show -- "the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry" which will take place on June 28-30 in Nashville, TN.
So if you want to get the coolest memorabilia the NAMM show has ever seen and be the first to strum our future legendary guitar -- we’ll be happy to meet you at the booth #1221! Shoot me a letter at email@example.com before June 10 and I’ll organize a free guest pass for you (backers only!)
As you can see, things run their course, we’re well into spring, the Jammy’s blooming -- let’s wait till August when it’s time to reap the fruits!
P.S. If you’re a journo in pursuit of a scoop, come meet us at the ShowStoppers event on June 20-21 in New York to chit-chat and snap some exclusive pics of the new Jammy.
and blues afficionado
Did you know April is Stress Awareness Month? So, no worries -- we’ve only got good news for you in this update. Just sit back, chillax and read ‘em!
First things first, we’ve got the last iteration of the printed circuit boards (PCBs) for the Jammy’s left part (that’s where the fretboard is) ready -- the pilot batch of them has just been manufactured and is now being tested at our main office.
Concurrently, we’re finalizing the production technology of the Jammy’s fret bars with our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in China. Those lil’ puppies may appear the least important part of our guitar, but the truth is opposite. The Jammy’s fret bars help pinpoint when and where the string is being pressed against the fretboard. Being connected to the underlying PCB, they have 16 electrical pins each, which allows for more precise bending emulation. This innovative concept is our proprietary design -- nothing like this has ever been used in the guitars before
Now, probably the most interesting part. As you know, the Jammy -- though totally portable and autonomous -- is accompanied by a cool mobile application. Among other sexy features this app boasts, there is a Jamming mode that shows you a bunch of notes you can use to jam along the backing track.
What you say we give you the Jammy app for a test drive with your regular guitar prior to the official release? If you’re our backer who’s willing to be our tester and you also happen to have an Android phone or tablet (the iOS-compatible version is underway) -- shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I could put you up on the list. Join the party now! Let’s get it rolling!
VP of Product
@ Jammy Guitar
Hope you’re doing well and not only keeping your fingers crossed for us, but also keeping them fit and practiced up, cuz it won’t be too long till you put them on your Jammy! (Keep reading to find out when exactly this will happen.)
As we’ve mentioned in the previous update, we’ve improved the Jammy guitar quite a bit.
Right now, our engineering team is back to the Silicon Valley of the East (Shenzhen, China) and it’s damn hot down there -- the guys are sweating their brows off implementing the new mechanical design (and it’s also 82° outside.)
The process is almost over and it’s pretty fantastic, considering that we had to change the mechanics drastically. So in no time at all, we expect to start building up the tooling -- like injection molds, patterns etc -- needed for the mass production.
As we expected, all this shifts the production schedule -- we plan on having the Jammy guitars started shipping by October 2018. The good news, however, is that we’ll probably have the first limited batch of the guitars manufactured and delivered to our current backers earlier -- the estimation is August 2018. Anyways, we’ll be able to be more exact about the dates once the tooling process began -- so stay tuned!
Now (last but not least!) a few words about the new Jammy appearance. We wanted to make it more rock-n-roll, bearing the elements relatable to any guitarist, allowing to trace the Jammy’s spiritual history rooted in the times when the guitars were great. Here’s a little sneak peek into what it’s gonna look like -- we’ll introduce it properly once the design’s finalized.
Just wanted to remind you that we love you!
Since loving is caring and caring is sharing, we’d love to share with you everything that we’ve been thinking and doing lately! (And how it brought us to a decision about the Jammy Guitar design improvements we’ve mentioned in the newsletter.)
From the very outset of the Jammy project, we’ve been determined to make an instrument you’d feel no hassle carrying around, but most importantly, enjoy playing. Thus, once we’ve assembled a fully-functioning prototype, we commenced extensive playability testing of the Jammy Guitar.
As you might know, some of our backers have taken part in the tests, too, providing us with the valuable feedback -- both at CES and, more recently, at NAMM. This latter, being the biggest annual music industry trade show, has also allowed us to get the Jammy Guitar played and evaluated by the professionals in the field. Throughout those activities, we’ve gathered the bulk of priceless criticism from people with different guitar preferences and playing skills. They have all concurred on one thing -- the famous sliding neck was too much a challenge to master (even for pro players!)
Yeah, I know… We really loved that idea, too -- it’s cool and fun. Until you’ve tried and played something more complicated than “Fly Away” on it.
Some of our backers have compared the sliding neck action of the Jammy Guitar to the violin in which you don’t have any fret for reference. Here’s what the originator of the sliding neck concept (a multi-instrumentalist trained as a classical violinist) has to say:
As the entrepreneurs, we’re used to taking risks. But we couldn’t take the risk of disappointing you with a poor playing experience. In the course of active and extensive communication with our backers, we’ve answered to each and every letter and comment, and heard all the concerns. We’ve seen that the main priorities for nearly all of the Jammy Guitar supporters are portability and playability. To provide both, we had to change the design. So we've made the decision: We go for the detachable solid neck solution!
We know that for some, Jammy was the love from the first sight -- that is, from the sight of the sliding neck. But there is more to it which makes the Jammy Guitar (given the new solid neck design) stand out from the crowd. For one, it’s still the only digital guitar that generates sound on board, with all the consequences like minimal latency and maximal autonomy (you need as little as the pair of earphones to play it.) It also fits into most backpacks and complies with the airlines’ carry-on regulations.
The inevitable change in the design sets off a chain reaction of improvements, adding even more unique features to the Jammy Guitar. Among them:
So worry not -- the thing’s gonna hold firm enough to survive something like this:
Those improvements are surely gonna take some time -- we’re changing the mechanics and internal schematics layout, and this shifts the production timeline. The good news, however, is that we’d managed to bring forth the 1st draft of the new mechanical design and get the feedback from our Chinese manufacturers prior the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebration. What’s even better is that 95% of electronic parts and components remain the same and only need rearrangement according to the new construction.
Our team is heading to China after the end of the festive season (in the beginning of March) -- that’s when we’ll know for sure and gonna be able to commit to a new shipping date. Our guys will stay there as long as it takes to oversee the production preparation and keep you in the loop on the manufacturing setup progress.
We’re gonna hold on to the same colors and you’ll be able to update your choice once we showcase the samples.
We’re also gonna update our campaign page and all the other resources to reflect the change.
The price remains the same.
Innovation, by default, involves some risk -- you travel the road not taken, you leap into the future unknown. And that’s exactly the case with the Jammy Guitar which has undergone the change during this leap.
We’re still in flight, but now we see clearly where we wanna land -- and I believe we won’t miss the mark! I also know for sure you’re no strangers to risk as well. For starters, you’ve chosen to support our innovative crowdfunding project over going to the guitar shop and buying some uke. If it weren’t for you, we would hardly even set out on this journey.
So thank you for inspiring and joining us on our mission to create the coolest compact digital guitar ever -- no words are sufficient to express how grateful we are for this! We know how much you're looking forward to finally put your hands on Jammy and we’re really breaking our backs to make it happen as soon as possible!
Rock on and feel free to say what you think about the change in the Jammy Guitar design!
@ Jammy Guitar
So we’re back from CES 2018. Seen lots of robots, drones, smart-everything (including diapers), and tones of 8K, 16K, 32K, you-name-it-K TVs (can’t wait to watch the new Black Mirror episodes in a resolution that high!) The startupers’ pavilion inhabitants multiplied fourfold comparing to the last year -- so the Tech keeps on growing (in quantity of the innovations, for sure.)
Apart from tripping on the technological advances the mankind has made in the year 2017, we had a pretty fruitful business trip. Although didn’t have a booth and strolled thru CES as the usual attendees, we had a chance to share the experience and inspiration with some fellow innovators -- the guitar makers from Populele, among others...
… and also had a productive session with our manufacturing partners from China -- the mechanical design alignment process continues, more news coming soon!
The icing on the cake is that we’ve spent some quality time with our backers (Nader, Gary, thank you guys!), discussing the usability challenges our current prototype may pose to different kinds of players and the ways we can improve Jammy in the next iteration.
We’ve shot a short survey dealing with those questions to all our backers so everybody has their say in the further improvements of our compact digital guitar.
We're also going to NAMM Show at Anaheim, CA next week (25-28th of Jan) to continue our validation. If you can meet us there to try current Jammy prototype yourself -- please let me know.
Now, that’s all for today. Keep on rockin’ and stay tuned for more news to come!
VP of Product
@ Jammy Guitar
P.S. That's Elvis holding Jammy -- I just couldn't resist putting our guitar into the King's hand.
Super Portable Digital Guitar. Just take it out of your backpack, plug your earphones in and play—no additional equipment needed.