Review of WowWee Paper Jamz

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TikaC
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Review of WowWee Paper Jamz

I know this has nothing to do with robots but it does have to do with WowWee. I saw the Paper Jamz guitars and amps at the local Walgreens. I know I said I'd never buy one. But yeah, I did. LOL! For around $63 and change (inlcuding tax) I got a 24-Pack of AAA batteries (Walgreens sells the AA with the Paper Jamz and I told them the units take AAA cells instead). So that was like $13 there. I got a guitar, amp and a guitar strap.

At first play, is does sound impressive. You can play it freestyle just as a guitar but you can't form chords on it like you would a real guitar, you just press the frets for it, it seems. And no single-string notes so you can't whip up a solo. LOL! But this is going to be one interesting review. It really is pretty cool and makes a nice (if expensive) decoration if you're not using it. :)

The "paper" is laminated cardboard but it seems as sturdy as the plastic that is with it. The guitar is more plastic than cardboard (the cardboard is on the front). The amp is mostly cardboard.

[Video Removed]

GWJax
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Thanks for letting us know that the PaperJamz are out now. I have been waiting on them but unable to go out to see if they are in the stores yet. I can't wait to get my hands on one ASAP.. Looking forward to your review..

Jax

TikaC
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Update! I got the review recorded AND a Paper Jamz Guitar Lesson! :) Now to go edit my vids and get the photos processed and stuff. The more I play with these, the more fun they are! :)

GWJax
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I can't wait to see them in action by an member of R/C.

TikaC
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It's processing (the first video). I have also recorded a guitar lessons video and one on how to change the guitar sound using Mixcraft 5 and VST plugins! BTW, I picked up another one (The Stratacaster I think it is - Comes with "What I Like About You" as one of the songs). I got the second one for two reasons. One to see if it's sound is different from the Flying V (it's identical in sound), and also to take apart and maybe hack at some point. ;) Seems the guitars are all identical except the design and songs that go with them.

So there'll be at least 3 videos on this from me. And that's something since I was not at all enthusiastic about this product! LOL! But overall, I really actually like it!

Also in the video, the intro/ending music was done with the guitar! I plugged it into the PC (into the line-in) and used Mixcraft 5, a VST plugin and some loops that come with Mixcraft. It's not the greatest, but hey, it shows a little of what you can actually do with it!

More coming up soon!

idrum289
idrum289's picture

My youngest got a Paper Jamz guitar for her birthday last week. Now that I'm more aware of what it can do I might sneak a closer peek.... :)

TikaC
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I edited my original post so now the review video is up! :) Take a look! I'm also working on the other two and will post them here when I am done.

GWJax
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TikaC Nice video review!!! I agree with you about having capacitive touch sensors on the amp for more controls. This would indeed be a nice hack to do and show others how to make this these types of sensors. So each different guitar has 3 different songs to practice with. I like the free style mode the most because this gives you a lot of freedom when playing plus it does need a wammy bar as well. So another hack is needed for that :)
Thanks for Video review and I look forward to seeing more.

Jax

TikaC
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I put up two Paper Jamz guitar lessons as well:

http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/17805/Paper-Jamz-Guitar-Lessons/

I will be getting into the Strat at some point taking it apart and trying to find out what can we hack. ;)

If this takes off, I just might start a forum with this stuff. Thing is, every time I start my own forum, nobody uses it. LOL! And Paper Jamz isn't exactly "on topic" in this one.

Now I think I started a new hobby. LOL!

GWJax
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You would be surprised on how many people reads your new threads even if they don't comment about them. All info that we can provide about anything electronic or robotics will help others out like myself. Plus it's nice to see a pretty face on the videos as well unlike my mug shots. ;) Your doing a great job with these and please keep it up.

Jax

TikaC
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Gee, thanks. :) I had run forums and there weren't even any VIEWS on my threads when I create forums. I'm talking about hosting them on my own site - that's when nobody visits. :(

I have a beauty channel at BeautyByTika which I do stuff there as well. Tutorials, reviews, blogs, etc. I got 3 more videos recorded for that one too, so have to process them yet.

But I think what matters is the content to be informative. Hopefully it is (on both channels). I love music and have a Casio MT-260 MIDI keyboard I've had for a good 15+ years I think - Maybe even 20 years! It still works great! I hope to maybe do more music stuff and make a music channel on YouTube too. We'll see. So many ideas - so little time! I still need to get sanding Garcifer!

idrum289
idrum289's picture

I watched both of your videos Tika. Awesome! I'm going to sneak off with my daughter's guitar!!

TikaC
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There were 3 all together (the review and two tutorials). You'll probably find yourself buying a guitar and amp for yourself so you two can start a rock band. LOL!

idrum289
idrum289's picture

3? Cool, I'll watch the 3rd asap. I have enough kids to start a band. I've played frums for years, my eldest has had some keyboard lessons and my youngest son wants to learn guitar. Who knows? :)

GWJax
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Well I went out to find the PaperJamz yesterday and NO LUCK in finding them :( I'm sure they will be out next week here in Jax but not sure. I'm itching to get my hands on them hehehe..
So idrum let us know when you buy the whole set including the drums!

I guess I'll just have to play with them in you videos Tika.

Jax

Peter Redmer
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Tika, great video review! You really give a thorough overview of the features, better than most reviews I've seen which are usually just quick clips.

I also feel compelled to mention that the "standard" guitar chord on the PaperJamz model you have really reminds me of some of the samples from old Amiga/DOS games...

Rudolph
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Wow, that amp has a much better sound than I would have expected. The difference between the builtin speaker and the amp is very surprising.

Thanks for the review Tika!

Peter Redmer
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FYI - I split the Amiga/C64/classic computer discussion into a separate thread :)

Peter Redmer
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TikaC
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Thanks, Peter! I'll see ya in the new thread! :)

GWJax
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I now have the Series 1 Drum set, Amp and Guitar today. I found out that only Walgreens has them until July 15th which is the official launch date for the rest of the stores like Toy-R-Us, K-mart, Wal-Mart etc.

Time to rip them down once my son gets "finds" my good camera so I can start logging in the details of the rip-down. The drum set sounds pretty cool but I still don't know how to play any of the instruments! :p I guess a computer controlled hand is needed for me which might be easy to make out of my micro-servos since I just got a Lynxmotion Ver 2.01 SSC-32 servo board for only 20 bucks from a friend of mine, hehe. Also time to make a volume control on the Amp as well. When I get started on this I'll start another thread and link it back to here.

Jax

Mighty Mik
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ok, so i'm 2 days early then. Got mine @ the local walgreens. only the first 10 frets are active, and it needs more sustain. the good news is that it has screws, so it CAN be taken apart (i have NOT confirmed this). too early for mods/ circuitbending yet then. Somebody get some good photos of the insides please.

GWJax
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Pulled apart the guitar, NO photos as of yet but it has one circuit board and a matrix capacitive sensor as the touch pads. The circuit also has a button on it that when you hold down the button and turn the power on you can test each pad and control it volume. I guess this is there to test it out first before it is being shipped. There's not much to the board but a few caps and a big blob that holds the main CPU. If you also notice that you can only activate the sensors when you touch them but if you use anything else like a screwdriver or other item they will not work. This is due to capacitive sensors that need a little bit of voltage from your body to activate them.

I think I'm more impressed with the drum set but you can only tap the drums so fast else it will skip the beat your trying to do. I'll pop this one open now to see whats in it. I'll take some pics of this to show you all.

Jax

GWJax
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Mighty Mik said: ok, so i'm 2 days early then. Got mine @ the local walgreens. only the first 10 frets are active, and it needs more sustain. the good news is that it has screws, so it CAN be taken apart (i have NOT confirmed this). too early for mods/ circuitbending yet then. Somebody get some good photos of the insides please.

Welcome to RoboCommunity Mity Mik, we hope that you enjoy our community and feel free to post any commends or mods you have or even start a new thread or make an Atricle of any robots you own..

Again thanks for signing up,

Jax

GWJax
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OK here is the inside of the drum set. This too has a test button on the board to test all the pads.

Enjoy

When I get more time I'll start pining out the board and let you know what I find.

 

Jax

Rudolph
Rudolph's picture

SCL and SDA imply an I2C bus. Wonder what snazzy things might be found in there? Cool

I'm also really curious about the drum pad sensors. Are they just piezos?

GWJax
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Here is the Guitar that you seen in TikaC review but ripped down..

Enjoy,

Jax

GWJax
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Rudolph said: SCL and SDA imply an I2C bus. Wonder what snazzy things might be found in there? Cool I'm also really curious about the drum pad sensors. Are they just piezos?

AHHH Yes you know what these are :) both of the units have an I²C bus.. Yes I too wounder what we can do with these, like adding new music for one or even dumping the firmware.

The drum pads are the same in all units. Capasitive Touch Sensor in a matrix like how your keyboard is attached. I wish they were piezos because we could then make noise out of pads..

 

Jax

Rudolph
Rudolph's picture

Ah, I didn't realize the drums were capacitive as well. So no drumsticks, just hands eh? That means they probably aren't smart enough to make more/louder sound by being whacked harder, I imagine. That sucks.

GWJax
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Well there are 3 different drum kits that you can change to even in the middle of a song. There is also a mode that will soften the drums as well. Really WowWee had done a great job with the Drums. I see on the back where there is a pedal plug and the manual states that this is another accessory that you can get but I have not seen this as of yet. Once I get my scanner up and going I'll scan in the manuals for each unit so we can have them stored on the forums.

Jax

Aztekious
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This looks awesome, Aside from getting one for my son, I think im gonna have to pick one up myself! Anyone know if there available in Canada yet? I called Walmart, Sears, Zellers etc and they dont have a clue what im talking about, So im guessing not yet?

even looked on E-bay but they are selling for $50 + shipping : /

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