Guitar Player Review: Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend
“The Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend delivers naturally bold, responsive and harmonically satisfying amplified acoustic tones in droves.”
At Fishman, our commitment to Acoustic Power has led us to provide players with a wide selection of tone shaping tools, pickups and amplifiers. A question we get a lot is to explain the advantages of certain features or upgrades to existing products. We admit, that sometimes it can be a bit daunting to fully understand the nuances between different products to find the one that’s just right for you and your acoustic amplification needs. In this Guitar Player magazine review, Jimmy Leslie gives us the scoop on the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend.
Leslie’s review begins by explaining the lay of the land, “Fishman has been at the forefront of the ‘plugged’ revolution for decades; and now the company has significantly updated the stalwart Acoustic Matrix Infinity Pickup & Preamp System it introduced a quarter century ago. There are now two new options, both consisting of the Matrix undersaddle pickup and Infinity endpin preamp: the Matrix Infinity VT ($159 street) — with its significantly updated preamp optimized for modern acoustic amplification — and the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend system ($299 street), on review here, which also includes a multiposition cardioid condenser mic capsule and other features. It arrived inside a Martin OM-21, which is always nice.”
After discussing the redesigned control housing and mechanical setup, Leslie gets to the central issue, “… On my test OM-21, the enclosure was mounted topside of the soundhole, and another, with a blend thumbwheel, was mounted on the bottom side. The mic was affixed to the top, at the lip of soundhole on the bridge side, while the nine-volt battery pack was stashed on the treble side of the back’s upper bout… I plugged into a Fishman Mini Charge acoustic amplifier and spun the dials to their midpoints. Although the guitar and amp were small, the tone was bountiful, with a warm, open-air quality that not only reflected the Martin’s lovely natural tone, but also enhanced it.
“The Fishman made a great guitar sound better via super-sensitive dynamic response and sky-high headroom. The tone knob was especially useful at scooping the midrange, and rotating the mic on its swivel produced significant tonal changes: downward for a more hollow sound, or upward to fill up and round out the tone. The ‘voicing’ switch, located between the tone and volume controls, accommodate instruments of different size via a slight bass boost. It all adds up to a lot of flexibility right under your fingers.”
After testing the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend system through a selection of amplifiers, effects/preamps and PA systems, Leslie states, “… The OM-21 [fitted with the Infinity Mic Blend] sounded richer than several other larger guitars, and I could almost make it sound as big as a dreadnought — if I felt like it… I brought the Fishman-equipped OM-21 to a weekly open-stage gig I run in San Francisco, where I always allow anyone brave enough to come up and use the gear I bring. Every player was stunned by the awesome sound, and feedback was never an issue.”
In the complete review (read it here), Leslie details his thoughts on this latest update to our flagship undersaddle pickup, the evolution of on-board controls and how they are affected by advances in modern, acoustic amplification.
Summing up his pragmatic and insightful look at the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend system, Jimmy Leslie closes out with, “What a joy it is to experience such naturally bold, responsive and harmonically satisfying amplified acoustic tones! I tried every technique — from fingerstyle to aggressive plectrum strumming to percussive slap-and-tap stuff — and the Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend system rang true. This is one of the easiest Editors’ Pick Award decisions I’ve ever made. Try one!”
You can read the entire, in-depth review here
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