Digital guitar with local ties uses crowdfunding for next generation

May 4, 2018

Another crowdfunding round launched this week for the next generation of Jamstik digital guitars, some of which are manufactured in Sioux Falls.

Zivix, the Minneapolis-based startup that created the MIDI guitars, is led by Ed Cannon, a Sioux Falls native. Electronic Systems in Sioux Falls will continue to build the Jamstik 7, which is designed for people learning to play the guitar, Cannon said. The Jamstik 12 is designed for players and professional musicians.

Apple was one of the early supporters of the product, allowing the first Jamstiks from 2014 to be sold on its website and in some of its retail stores. Now, Jamstiks are sold online through Zivix, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and other retailers.

Zivix has redesigned both models of its smart guitar, incorporating the latest technologies for finger-sensing on the fretboard, optical pickups for the guitars strings, and Bluetooth and USD connectivity.

“When we first announced the Jamstik over five years ago, we were blown away by how many people shared our passion for bringing a modern MIDI guitar to market,” said Matt Cannon, director of growth at Zivix. “The excitement was around what we delivered then but also the potential of what future versions could bring.”

Both versions of the Jamstik are available for pre-order on Indiegogo, with early bird pricing at $179 for the JS7 and $349 for the JS12. The JS7 will be available for shipping to backers in August, and the JS12 will be ready in the first quarter next year.

“We’ve developed this new line of Jamstiks having kept a close eye on both the digitization of educational methods and the shifting landscape of digital music production, creation and consumption,” Matt Cannon said.

Zivix has used crowdfunding before, noting on Indiegogo that it’s a great tool to bring customers into the development process and build momentum for the products. In a 2015 campaign, the company raised more than $800,000 from almost 3,000 backers.

In this round, Zivix will use the money that’s raised to make the initial purchase orders for parts and tooling. With advance sales, the company is able to order at higher volumes, allowing it to manufacture at a lower cost.

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Digital guitar with local ties uses crowdfunding for next generation

Another crowdfunding round launched this week for the next generation of Jamstik digital guitars, some of which are manufactured in Sioux Falls.

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