Zivix has announced the third generation of its pleasantly portable Jamstik smart guitar MIDI controller. The company is now offering different models to serve learners and more experienced players – with more frets, more power and (hopefully) more picking fun.

2013's original Jamstik had just five frets on which to noodle, but players could move up and down a virtual full scale neck via the companion iOS app. A version that made use of Bluetooth wireless connection rather than Wi-Fi followed in 2015, but rocked the same number of frets. For the third gen Jamstik, Zivix has added two more frets to create the Jamstik 7, but has also added another model to the line.

While the 7 is aimed squarely at everyone from learners to players, the Jamstik 12 (yes, with 12 frets) has been developed for power players and pros. Both flavors have been treated to a capacitive touch fretboard and state-of-the-art optical sensing technology for improved tracking accuracy.

At a little more than 18 inches long, the Jamstik 7 retains the portability of the original design, albeit with two more frets for improved playability, and keeps the beginner-friendly low price point. It runs on AA batteries, which are reported to be good for 72 hours of picking, and is connected to a smartphone or tablet running the companion app over Bluetooth.

As you might expect, the 12 fret Jamstik is a tad less backpack-friendly at 25.5 inches long. Zivix says that users of the bigger model can look forward to an extended feature set and a processing power bump.

The neck and optical pickup both get more dense arrays of sensors to help capture expressive playing and offer more realism, and the 12 runs on a Li-ion battery. The smart instrument's USB port doubles as a charge port and cabled MIDI connection, though the Jamstik 12 does still have Bluetooth LE for wireless freedom.

Zivix expects the retail price for the Jamstik 7 to be US$199, and $399 for the Jamstik 12, but will doubtless be offering substantial savings opportunities for pre-launch supporters who back the company's Kickstarter campaign in March.

Visitors to the NAMM show in California this week can find out more at the Zivix booth in Hall A.

Source: Zivix

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