Willcox Atlantis Thinline HexFX Edition with Optical Pickups

Willcox Guitars introduces the Atlantis Thinline HexFX, featuring an optical pickup and a 13-pin DIN connector.

Willcox Atlantis Thinline HexFX Edition

This electro-acoustic chambered body guitar features Wilcox’ own LightWave optical pickup system, and combines it with MIDI capability via the HexFX 13-pin output.

The most notable feature of this guitar is its unique pickup system called LightWave, which utilizes infrared light to sense string vibration instead of conventional piezo. According to the company, this better captures the sound of the instrument, and also allows for individual string processing. Getting each of the strings isolated in turn results in better synth/MIDI compatibility.

The pickup is designed in such a way that each string has a dedicated transducer, and since light is used for vibration detection, string isolation is achieved without any electrical or mechanical spill over. Now this is an interesting technology, however its a little concerning because the cross talk between strings is essential in forming the guitar sound that we are all familiar with. Still, this pickup system allows for deep control over your tone, articulation and string to string balance, something that’s not possible on traditional pickups.

Taking further advantage of the string isolation, Willcox introduces the HexFX edition which translates the sound of your guitar into MIDI and sends it out a 13-pin DIN connector. You are basically getting a guitar with precision synth like control, making individual string modeling and processing possible.

The optical pickup technology provides fast and accurate tracking with virtually no latency. False triggering and glitches are also avoided with its isolated string design, maybe fans pointing their infrared lights during a concert could cause a problem, but then again maybe not. The addition of HexFX lets you do polyphonic string processing and pitch-to-MIDI conversion that will let you play virtual instruments that include analog and digital synthesizers.

According to the company, “The 13-pin output follows the Roland GK Protocol, so it is compatible with all of the Roland GK and Virtual Guitar (COSM) modeling devices, as well as any device that also follows the protocol, including Axon, Keith McMillen StringPort, and many more. The HexFX Editions include additional controls: MIDI Volume, Momentary Up / Down Program Selector Switch (S1/S2) and Output Selector Switch (Mono / Individual String / Both) for an infinite palette of tonal possibilities.

The guitar features a chambered mahogany body with a European spruce top that gives it acoustic like qualities. The 25.5″ scale length neck is crafted from mahogany and topped by a rosewood fretboard. Check out the official video demo below:

The Willcox Atlantis Thinline HexFX Edition guitar is now available, starting at $2331. For more information and for the complete specifications, visit Willcox Guitars.

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