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Unread 12-24-2002, 02:46 AM   #16
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I have some. I tried it. I think it is pretty cool. But they don't tell you that the amount of volume is different compared to a regular pick. Plus you can't use it directly above the pick up that is switched on on an electric. It makes a funky sound, because the magnets react to the metal in the pick.

It is cool though, but not as cool as I thought it would be. I have never tried it out on an acoustic. It has lots of potential, and I think that if you like messing around it is worth the price. I just wasn't as blown away as I was when I saw the website.


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Unread 12-24-2002, 11:55 AM   #17
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I never noticed that on the videos they never used it on an electric.
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Unread 12-24-2002, 01:15 PM   #18
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Originally posted by jmlouie
I have never tried it out on an acoustic. It has lots of potential, and I think that if you like messing around it is worth the price.
I would imagine that you have to be careful with it while strumming, it looks like it could easily damage a guitars finish if you go hog wild with the thing.
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Unread 01-03-2003, 01:29 AM   #19
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Lightbulb From the horse's mouth...

Hi, this is Robb Hendrickson -- inventor of the Jellifish -- and I've just finished reading through the comments in this thread and would like to respond...

First, thanks a million to those of you who had Faith to trust in something new...you have the souls of *true* musicians as shown in your willingness to embrace the unusual...I wish upon you many hours of inspiration from the Jellifish!!!

A couple of points I'd like to touch upon...

Those of us at Jellifish Inc don't really consider the Jellifish to be a "guitar pick" per se (and I think those of you who've had the opportunity already to play with it for a bit will agree). Rather, it's more like a capo, a slide, or even a vibrato arm in that it is a mechanical device that *radically* alters the timbre of the instrument...which is why we refer to the Jellifish not as a "pick," but rather as a guitar "rasp", a new category of plectrum, if you will.

This said, the price is very much in line with these other accessories. Moreover, unlike the typical guitar pick, which only costs a fraction of a penny to manufacture, the Jellifish is a very expensive product to produce. We've intentionally engineered the "handle" portion to look like a guitar pick so that the Jellifish wouldn't be intimidating. The downside, of course, is that, on first blush, one is inclined to say, "Oh, that's just another weird pick." Take a second look, however: The Jellifish is manufactured using precision insert injection molding. The tolerances used on this product are only used by the medical and aerospace industries (one-tenth of a thousandth of an inch!) To the untrained eye, the Jellifish may appear rather simple, but it is actually a bit of a modest feat in engineering...enough so that WIRED, id and Popular Science magazines are covering the product because of its inherent interest to engineering types. (By the way, not being satisfied to leave well-enough alone, we're now exploring Nd-YAG laser welding and micro-TIG as new methods for joining the subassembly prior to its encapsulation in Lexan.)

Sorry to bore anyone with the preceeding paragraph, but hopefully it gives one an appreciation that comparisons between a 25-cent nylon triangle and the Jellifish isn't really apples-to-apples...and, of course, this completely ignores the fact that the Jellifish actually changes the timbre of your instrument whereas a guitar pick was originally never intended to be more than a pragmatic substitute for one's fingernails. (With that in mind, consider the $30 price tag of a single Real Rock guitar pick.)

Speaking of which, let's talk about the sounds that your guitar can produce if you have a Jellifish:

-resonator (Dobro)

I will agree with dOc_99 who said that the Chorus! technique actually sounds more like a 12-string guitar. We had to call the techniques something and, well, Chorus! Pluck! and Bow! just had more of a ring to it than 12-string! Pluck and Bow! And...some people who have been using the product since it was first prototyped in '98 think it does sound like a chorus pedal (it really comes down to technique...the way I do it, I think it *does* sound more like a 12-string, but you can alter the speed and pressure to get a chorus-like effect).

Regarding dOc_99's comment that Bow! doesn't sound like a bowed instrument, I have to disagree. I am wondering if maybe dOc_99 didn't listen to the high-bandwidth versions of the videos. Unfortunately, the broadband versions do sound much more distinct, given the artifacting and reduced fidelity that occur when compressing the files for 56K.

Now, this said, does Bow! sound *exactly* like a violin or cello? No, of course not! But if you ask the average person, "What's this sound like?" they will replay that it reminds them of either of those instruments.

Again, this comes down to both technique and using the technique on appropriate material...some musical passages just simply lend themselves better to this technique.

As far as not wanting one's guitar to sound like a dulcimer, here are my thoughts: Don't think of it as a dulcimer (or violin, etc.); rather, think of it as a new timbre that you can now summon from your guitar. And it must be a pretty cool timbre, because lots of other people are trying to get something pretty close to it on millions of other instruments!

Even more important...the Jellifish will cause you to approach your instrument differently. You know the sensation of getting a brand new (or even brand used) guitar and then coming up with loads of neat, new ideas? Well, that's what the Jellifish will do for you too. You'll pick up a guitar that's gone stale on you in terms of its ability to inspire you to create something original and suddenly it's a new horse, so to speak!

"That looks like it would be hard to get used to..." someone said. Well, I've seen a 17-year-old pick it up after being shown how to do all three techniques and execute each of them in a minute. I've also seen people not catch on right away. That's the nature of everything. The average guitarist picks up the rudiments of all three techniques in about five minutes and can execute all of them as well as in the videos in a day or two. I can't say how long it will take to "master" the Jellifish because I've been playing with it for four years and still have customers showing *me* how to do cool new things with it (e.g., the Dobro sound was figured out by an early customer...nothing more than open-tuned guitar with a thin-walled, chromed steel slide using the Chorus! technique, but I never thought of it 'til he showed me). More recently, we've had banjo and mandolin players purchasing them, so Heaven knows what they'll discover!

Does the Jellifish "screw-up" strings? The short answer is "no." We don't recommend using the Jellifish with coated strings since it will remove the coating in the affected area. (I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would buy into the hype of coated strings though...y'all do realize that they negatively impact the amplitude relationships between the overtone series produced by the string, right?) To get into detail: We tested the Jellifish for a three-year interval on a single guitar. That guitar was strung using standard GHS Bronze Contact Cores. We played the Jellifish using all three techniques for 2 hours a day total over that duration. The guitar was played by three testers, including myself. We never thought the strings would last more than six months, which was the original test period. After three years with the same set, we finally threw in the towel and decided that it was time to move on! True story! Actually, along the way a very well-known string manufacturer became interested in licensing the Jellifish patent, so we went to their headquarters for a meeting. We pulled out this same guitar and demo'd the Jellifish for them and they were blown away...one of the executives literally went into his office and came back with a checkbook (but we didn't sell out!!!) When they asked about string wear, we asked them what they thought of the sound of the guitar we'd been playing on. We even asked them to play it with an ordinary pick since the Jellifish is a bit brighter sounding. When they learned that the strings were 2 years and 9 months old, they nearly freaked-out! Two of them *actually* suggested that the Company acquire the patent just to keep guitarists from learning how to make their strings last longer. Again, 100% true story -- I am almost tempted to name names

For jmlouie who says the Jellifish is "cool, but not as cool as I thought it would be": 1) Keep playing with it; you will discover more coolness...trust in it. 2) Try it on acoustic.

Regarding acoustic vs. electric: We've got three more videos coming out, one of which shows the amazing stuff you can do with an electric...Jimmy Page-type sounds. (Personally, I use the Jellifish exclusively on acoustic, but that shouldn't be grounds for anyone else limiting what they do with the Jellifish...there is *no* corporate policy at Jellifish Inc -- other than: Create!!!)

Finally (yes, I know this is a long post), with respect to your guitar's finish: Well, I hope you'd treat your guitar with care, as I treat mine...it is a magical gift that becomes more a part of you the more you play it. There should be no conflict if you use any of the techniques shown in the videos...you should even feel free to experiment as long as you have a healthy respect for the Jellifish's metal tines. Used unwisely, even a nylon pick can do damage to your guitar's finish. If you're going to do Pete Townsend-style windmills, then you'll probably want to set your Jellifish aside for a moment...the Jellifish actually sounds better the *gentler* you use it...and as for those windmills, well, even with a guitar pick, you'll probably still hazard a little damage to your finish (not to mention your fingers).

All the best to everyone...especially those of you who've cared enough to read this far!!!

Robb Hendrickson
Jellifish Inc
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Unread 01-03-2003, 03:38 AM   #20
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Very informative post robb. I saw an ad in Acoustic Guitar magazine. Will this be shipping to stores?
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Unread 01-03-2003, 06:52 AM   #21
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Has any testing been done with the Jellifish on 12-string guitars?
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Unread 01-03-2003, 09:00 AM   #22
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wow...that thing looks cool! i think i might get one...are they being shipped out to stores?
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Unread 01-03-2003, 10:00 AM   #23
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12-string tests & stores

Those are probably the two questions I hear the most!

*** 12-STRINGS ***

Given the number of Jellifish we've shipped since launching the product at the end of October (and the number of prototypes hat hav5 been c9rculati■g since '98), I'd have o guessthat thre are 3ome fol s out there who7ve put 4he Jellifish through its paces on a 12-ctring.
We've`got a 1B-string@in the ?ffice a>d not t o long ígo I fially deided togive it­whirl m self. Igm not t?o good with a 12-string< so wha4 I have`to offeb is limited by
y lack f exper╔ence pl˝ying a 2-strin7 (on th§ other and, I'e been laying -string­for 27 ears now, so I'm a pret4y decend source on what the JelLifish cn do on a regular guit-Box).

JPeople /ften as;, "If te JelliFish maks a 6-s˘ring sond like0a 12-sting, dous it ma;e a 12-3tring sound lik5 a 24-string?" My answeb to tha is that I've never seeN a 24-s$ring, m5ch less0heard oe, so Ipcan't hnestly nswer tat ques4ion. Hoever, t8is was something I trie4 to putto rest as best I could when I picked-up the 12Mstring ! couple0months 2ack for30 minu4es or s. The rsult isthat th5 Chorus techniaue work3 very well. Chords soun4 very lesh and (ave a "wirlier" quality to theM than tey ordi>arily d on a 12-string. So I wuld reprt that­the Jel ifish works great on 12-string if you're interested in strumming.

Pluck! and Bow! on the other hand gave me problems given that it was difficult for­me to atuate each pair (chorus) of strings sim5ltaneoucly, but I also have thi proble} when Iwm usingPa guita" pick o> a 12-string. Perhaps if I had *time* to practice...

Again I have *very* limited experience with the 12-string...I would hazard a guess that the 30 minutes or so I spent with the Jellifish was the longest I've ever spent with a 12-string in one sitting, so Lord only knows what someone who plays the 12-string every day can do with a Jellifish in his or her hands.

*** STORES ***

Currently, we feel that we can provide a better consumer experience by offering the product directly to our customers. But I'd ertainl) like t hear f˛om ever one in 4his form how they feel about that. Man9 of the0guitarists in our focus`groups aid they enjoyed the convenience of being able to order 24/7 over the Net. And the majority also told us that they disliked the experience of shopping in most music stores, particularly the chain stores (which shall remain nameless here).

We are, however, looking into providing the product to boutique guitar retailers. That is, stores that take the time to understand every product they carry, cater almost exclusively (if not entirely) to guitarists, take the time to understand each *customer's* needs, and carry high-quality merchandise. The Old Town School of Folk Music's Different Strummer store and Make 'n Music would be two key examples here in the Chicago market.

If anyone can recommend boutique guitar stores in their area that sound like they fit the criteria above, I'd greatly appreciate you passing on suggestions.

Also, if there are any of you who feel that you'd prefer to purchase, or be *more* likely to purchase, the Jellifish if we did sell through the chain stores (or their online counterparts), then I'd like to hear that as well...and any other comments you may have. Good or bad, feedback is always welcome at Jellifish.

May You Make New Music Today,
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Unread 01-03-2003, 11:02 AM   #24
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Sheesh! I can't believe you guys are faling for this loser! That stupid pick is just a gimmick, and how did Robb know that there was a post here about it? I think this thread should be deleted because it's just an advertisement.

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Unread 01-03-2003, 02:00 PM   #25
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informative post...
it may be part advertisement, but it is answering some questions and contributing to the thread too....no sense in calling him a loser...be nice...it's pretty cool, he's looking at this message thread, you can get direct feedback from the maker..that doesn't happen THAT often in the guitar world...

i haven't tried the thing yet..still thinking about it...it is intriguing, and seems pretty innovative...i mean the standard type pick has been around for ages, good to see someone come up with another took to use to play on the guitar...this and the e-bow are the only two i can think of.....this jellifish would be a lot cheaper to get some new sounds with than laying down a chunk of cash for an ebow...

i guess the one things that makes me most hesitant about trying one is durability....the picks i use now just don't seem to wear out on me..i can use the same pick for months on months if i don't lose it...not sure the jellifish could give me that durability..

so robb, the tines are made of some sort of metal?? i was thinking they were some sort of nylon....it would be cool if you offered a variety here, such as nylon or steel, etc....

i was looking at the bow technique..and i'm not for sure what he's doing..but i think it would be cool to let some of the tines go down on each side of the string and slide it up and down..of course you'd have to mute the strings next to it to keep them from sounding..maybe that IS what is happening in that technique (i can't really see the video that well on my dial up connection)..if not i think it would be cool to try..
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Unread 01-03-2003, 03:26 PM   #26
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Responding to Adam & gg7

Adam, it's not an ad. I'm sorry you feel the Jellifish is a "stupid pick" and "a gimmick." It is neither. Also, I forgive you for calling me a "loser."

I have no idea what has made you bitter today, but I wish better things upon you in the hours and days to come.

To answer your question, the reason I knew this thread existed is because we check our web server statistics and, therefore, saw that this forum was generating referrals to our site. At first I thought it was because a very prominent Christian guitarist just began using the Jellifish about 2 weeks ago. But then I was able to track down this thread by doing a search for "jellifish". See, no smoking gun

We're all decent, honest folks at Jellifish and wouldn't resort to any sort of underhanded tactics like online aliases, which is why I'm candid about disclosing who I am.


gg7, thanks for recognizing that it is all too unusual for the manufacturers of guitar products to frequent these message boards. I think that's a mistake. There's a lot to learn from both listening to and interacting directly with your customer base. And, without doubt, there are many people who are more willing to provide completely candid feedback or concerns via the relative anonymity of an online forum where there is (rightly or wrongly) less concern about the feelings of the person or company that is the recipient of that information.

Also, you raise an excellent point about the durability of the Jellifish. I use an ordinary guitar pick for about 90% of my playing, with the balance about evenly distributed between fingerstyle and the Jellifish. When I'm playing live, I use a pick a song on acoustic (I like the Fender thin mock-toroise shell types, which are pretty prone to chipping and breaking). By comparison, a single Jellifish will last me the better part of a year. (As you've seen in the videos, it takes *very* little pressure to play with the Jellifish.) When most guitarists first begin to play with the Jellifish, they're a little hard on it, so the first Jellifish may last closer to a month or two, but, by then, you'll have the hang of it and should expect it to last quite a while.

Regarding the tines...at present, they're made of 430 Stainless Steel that resembles a wound guitar string (it's these "ribs" that let you get that bowed-type sound). We are looking into other materials, but a *key* principle behind how the Jellifish functions is that you are using like material to actuate the strings; therefore, you would not get the desirable "signature" harmonic modification that is characteristic of the Chorus! technique if the tines were made of, say, nylon (although that would be a good material for use on a classical or flamenco instrument).

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Unread 01-03-2003, 03:54 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Dirt_Jumper
Sheesh! I can't believe you guys are faling for this loser! That stupid pick is just a gimmick, and how did Robb know that there was a post here about it? I think this thread should be deleted because it's just an advertisement.

Dude, chill. This thread was made, by me , to see if anyone else had played it and what they thought of it. Could I have possibly suceeded better? I don't see any reason to say this thread is just an advertisement or to attack Mr. Robb.

Mr. Robb, first I want to thank you for taking the time to post. You've really fillled me in on some of the stuff I was wondering about the Jellifish. I personally would be much more apt to try one if I could get it at the local Guitar Center. I'm only 16 and don't have a credit card to buy things online with. Besides, I'm in Guitar Center at least once a month.
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Unread 01-03-2003, 04:16 PM   #28
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Availability at retail

That's very valuable feedback, Bob, and has pushed me a little further in the direction of being open to selling via retail.

Let Guitar Center know that you're interested in seeing them carry the Jellifish. Or Sam Ash, etc.

And thanks for creating this thread, by the way

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Unread 01-03-2003, 07:33 PM   #29
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Well, I already said I was going to buy one, actually I said I was gonna buy three. But I changed my mind, I guess I really don't need three, so one will be enough. Robb thank you so much for contributing to this forum. The only other manufacturer I've ever seen seen contribute to a message board is Fender. It's nice to see manufacturers taking the time to talk to the very people who buy there products.
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Unread 01-03-2003, 10:27 PM   #30
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thanks for the reponse robb...i hear what you're saying....i actually got out part of a wound guitar string earlier just to play with it on the guitar to get an idea of what is possible..i did notice it giving a more trebly , ringing type sound so i better understand how the jellifish does what it does.....i think it would also be interesting though to make one with just plain stainless steel tines...i know this would throw the bow technique out probably but i think it would still sound nice for a 12-string like sound...
the wound sound can get a little scratchy...

also, as far as selling them..i'm one of the ones that is more likely to buy things online....i get basically all my stuff online...usually cheaper than in the nearest stores which are 40 min away at the least, and certainly more convenient!
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