Behind the Scenes: Why We Went Wireless
Going wireless with the Jamstack 2 guitar amp was a difficult decision. Not because we weren’t convinced of the amazing potential it would bring to the product. The decision was difficult because we had already jammed so much technology into the design that even one more addition was incredibly ambitious - even for us.
While we were considering this momentous leap, here are some notes that landed in our “pros” column:
- One of our most important goals with the Jamstack 2 was to facilitate quick and easy Jamming. The wireless technology enabled us to add a second input for another musician, which made hassle free jam sessions a reality.
- Musicians were asking about plugging in so many different instruments: electric violins, acoustic guitars, etc. A wireless connection eliminated the need for a traditional long patch cable, and really maximized the hyper portability of the Jamstack, opening the door for any instrument to connect and play!
- Every now and then it’s good to get away...from your amp! It makes a big difference to have your guitar amp pointing right at your head, and without the patch cable, you can roam freely, enjoying the unique sound of the room you’re in.
All of this and more made us incredibly dedicated to making the Jamstack 2 a wireless amplifier, but we knew it was a tall order. Wireless technology is a very tricky business, and there are a number of things to consider:
- Among others!
We knew that if we were going to pull it off, we had to knock it out of the park. Once we (finally) found our wireless technology partner, our confidence in this process truly started to blossom. We were connected to our fellow Canadian engineering firm Eleven Engineering, based out of Vancouver. They had been developing hi-fidelity wireless technology, with extremely low latency, specifically for musicians, and were looking for projects just like ours!
It was a match made in heaven.
Their tech was small, power efficient, and offered some innovative features never before built into an electric guitar amp. After testing out their equipment with our prototypes, we knew we couldn't walk away from this opportunity: it was just too fun, and it worked too well.
As we tested out the core use cases, it became apparent that our vision for a portable audio companion for instruments, a home theatre system, karaoke, Bluetooth music streaming, and more, was evolving quickly. In a world full of WIFI and Bluetooth (neither of which are perfect), there was a clear need for low level, hi-fidelity wireless speakers that were also battery powered and mountable.
WIFI and Bluetooth both struggle with latency and sound quality. These technologies have fundamental issues that prevent them from achieving what direct radio communication is capable of doing. Today, with Eleven Engineering’s technology fully implemented into the Jamstack 2, we couldn’t be happier with our decision.
Fun fact: the grill itself is part of the antenna!
Now Jamstack 2 owners can watch their favorite movies with truly wireless audio (meaning no signal wires and no power wires), and enviable sound quality! Without even the push of a button, they can turn off their TV, and start playing their guitar through one (or more!) of their Jamstack 2 amps. That’s the dream!
If all of the functionality already discussed wasn’t enough, the Jamstack 2 is also the first guitar amp to have a built in low latency transmitter. What does this mean? Well, you can boot up your home theatre system and immediately start mirroring the incredible guitar effects of your Jamstack 2 on your home system! And all you’ll need is our receiver to plug into your setup.
The guitar transmitter itself is much smaller than anything else on the market, and significantly more stable than anything in its class. You’ll get an excellent signal to noise ratio, you can travel up to 150 feet away from your speaker, and you can pair to two speakers at the same time (or one Jamstack 2 and one SKAA enabled subwoofer or general purpose receiver).
Jamstack 2 users will likely continue to discover all of the possibilities we’ve added over the first few months of owning this portable guitar amp. Here’s hoping this article gets you started on what should be an exciting journey.