A Little Help Needed
Fishman offers some expanded-feature acoustic pickups that, as a result, prompt a “professional installation recommended” caution. If you or someone you know is good with tools and woodworking, you can probably make the following pickups “DIY projects.” Just keep in mind that a pro installation by a qualified guitar tech isn’t a big deal, doesn’t usually take a lot of time, and is typically pretty affordable. Your local guitar shop or musician friends can often help with recommendations of where to get the job done.
Fishman PowerTap Earth Pickup
The PowerTap Earth is a dual-source system with a Rare Earth humbucking soundhole pickup and an internal tap-body sensor that’s perfect for modern players who use their acoustic-guitar body for added percussion and increased dynamic response during performances. There’s a blend control conveniently mounted on the soundhole pickup for mixing the levels of the guitar and percussive sounds, and the system is designed to be near-impervious to feedback. (A very good thing when you’re slapping the guitar as if it were congas, bongos, or a cajon.) This is an active system and mini batteries are included. Another hip option is that you can choose to run the system in mono or stereo, and it automatically delivers the right output depending on whether you plug in a stereo or mono cable. More info on PowerTap Earth.
Fishman PowerTap Infinity Pickup
A different take than the humbucker and single-coil soundhole systems, the PowerTap Infinity includes an undersaddle pickup—the Fishman Acoustic Matrix—and the Fishman Tap body sensor pickup. There’s some more sonic options available, as well. You can blend the sensor and undersaddle pickups, of course, and you also get volume and tone controls, a scoop control (which cuts midrange frequencies while simultaneously boosting treble and bass frequencies), a voicing switch (for accommodating different guitar bodies), and mono or stereo operation. Get all the details on Fishman’s PowerTap Infinity.
Fishman Matrix Infinity VT
This system features an expanded range that enhances not just acoustic steel-string guitars, but also nylon-string models, 12-strings, and even basses. The Fishman Acoustic Matrix undersaddle pickup is the star here, along with steel- and nylon-string control modules. Other controls include volume, tone, scoop, and voicing. The Matrix Infinity VT resists feedback, so it’s a great choice if your band sound is closer to Metallica than Joni Mitchell. Read all about the Matrix Infinity VT Pickup & Preamp System.
Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend
A multi-position mounted cardioid condenser mic is added to the mix for blending organic textures with the Fishman Acoustic Matrix undersaddle pickup. Like the Infinity VT, the Infinity Mic Blend accommodates steel-string, nylon-string, and 12-string guitars, as well as basses. Control include volume, tone, blend (for the mic and pickup signals), scoop, and voicing. Output can be stereo or mono, and is automatically determined by the cable you plug in. Click here for more info.
Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend
This extremely ergonomic design puts the essential audio controls right at your fingertips. A low-noise, soundhole-mounted preamp offers volume and mic/pickup blend sliders, a phase switch (for fighting feedback), and a mic-trim control. The system includes the Acoustic Matrix undersaddle pickup and a cardioid-condenser mini microphone placed atop a gooseneck that allows easy mic positioning. Although the Ellipse Matrix Blend features a savvy neodymium-magnetic mounting system and solder-free connections, it’s still recommended that a qualified tech does the installation. Learn all about the Ellipse Matrix Blend.
Fishman Ellipse Aura
The Fishman Aura Acoustic Imaging Technology that’s a big part of this pickup system is a combination of benevolent sorcery and extraordinary tone. Basically, tons of audio “Images” of many different guitars are recorded in professional studios using truly magnificent microphones. The Ellipse Aura lets you download up to four of these Aura Images into the preamp system, essentially making your guitar sound about as amazing as it would on a multi-platinum selling, Grammy-winning album track. Well, that may be a bit over the top, but you get the idea—your guitar will sound awesome. You can blend the selected Aura IThomage with the onboard Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup for some stunning tonal textures. You also get automatic feedback control, a phase switch, low-and frequency tone shaping. All the details on the Ellipse Aura can be found here.