Jammy ditches the slide, aims for snap-on portability
Last year, startup RnD64 launched a portable digital guitar called the Jammy that slid out from 12.6 inches long during transit to nearly 20 inches for play. It was certainly an odd-looking strum machine, but had real strings and stretched out to normal guitar length. Now the Delaware team has totally redesigned the travel-friendly instrument, which has just gone up for pre-order.
"Bringing harmony into lives of those who need a really playable guitar wherever they go but can't stand the hassle of carrying around a bulky full-scale six-stringer has been our primary goal when we set the Jammy project in motion," said RnD64's CEO Dima Shemet. "Now, we have finally found the harmony between the portability and playability that has also given Jammy the look and feel of the future legendary guitar."
As far as using the Jammy, little appears to have changed. There are still two sections: a picking body and a fretting neck. But the two no longer slide out on a connected rail. Instead, the body slots into the neck and locks in place.
The neck component is 17 inches long and rocks 15 standard-sized frets that are said to make it possible to play 70 percent of popular rock songs, while the pick action takes place on a 10-inch "body" section that's home to the electronics. Fret bars sense the finger positions, as well as playing techniques like bends and vibrato.
The Jammy offers a real guitar feel from steel strings, with tension that can be adjusted to suit personal preferences, and complies with airline carry-on regulations. Locally generated sounds and effects are routed in real time to headphones via a 3.5 mm jack or an external instrument amp through a separate 6.4 mm jack, and the 4,400 mAh battery units in each section for over 4 hours of play between charges.
Though the Jammy can be played on its own right out of the box, it also connects to a smartphone running an iOS/Android app over Bluetooth, where players can activate a metronome to help keep time, change the sound of the guitar or its tuning, dial in effects or auto record your noodles for posterity.
Last year's crowdfunding effort was successful and the company aims to ship the production-ready Jammy out to its original backers in August. But it's also gone up for pre-order on Indiegogo for US$349, including a detachable frame for improved comfort and a more traditional feel. Shipping pre-orders is estimated to start in October. The video below shows the new Jammy in action.