Guitar Interactive Review: PowerTap Earth and PowerTap Infinity
Guitar Interactive’s Nick Jennison Reviews the new PowerTap Acoustic Pickup Series
With so much happening in the world right now, so much on our minds, many of us are diving deep into our music for refuge. Music is our “safe place,” a place that can be a mental vacation, a place of challenges and exploration – our virtual woodsheds.
Many of us have started streaming, while others have written and recorded music; still others have begun to explore the possibilities of other instruments, banjo, bass, mandolin, resonator, and even… yes… ukuleles!
In his review, Nick Jennison explores another idea, another way to not simply pass the time, but to expand our guitar and playing vocabulary in totally new directions with our PowerTap pickup systems.
Jennison starts out with an overview of the two PowerTap pickup systems, “Earlier this year, Fishman unveiled the all-new PowerTap Earth and PowerTap Infinity pickup system(s)… Featuring the new Tap body sensor, that when combined with either a Matrix Infinity (PowerTap Infinity) or Rare Earth (PowerTap Earth) pickup, opens up a new palette of sounds, interaction, and colour for players of all styles.”
Speaking about electro-acoustic guitars from decades past, Jennison states, “… While there are undoubtedly tons of superb instruments from that era, the pickups from that era can leave a lot to be desired. Most of them were quacky, excessively dynamic, lacked sustain, had a very bizarre frequency response and were generally an unpleasant necessity that gigging guitarists had to endure rather than enjoy.” He continues, “… Modern acoustic pickups are everything their forebears weren’t: they feel natural, preserve your playing dynamics and touch and they sound fantastic… for most things. If you’re playing the strings of the guitar, you’re golden. But if you’re playing percussive parts on the guitar’s body, even the best pickup system will leave you wanting.”
Based on our most popular undersaddle and soundhole pickups, the Matrix Infinity and Rare Earth, the key to “Tap” is the addition of our new Tap body sensor, specifically designed and tuned for percussive playing styles.
From Jennison’s review, “[The Tap pickup] is fantastic. It has an even dynamic response all across the guitar’s soundboard and produces an authoritative and tonal sound that’s a far cry from the dull “thud” you may be used to hearing from a contact pickup. The upshot of this is that you can fully exploit the whole range of sounds your guitar’s body can produce, safe in the knowledge that PowerTap will reliably put out what you’re putting in.”
Jennison continues his thorough review discussing the mono/stereo options, feedback resistance, different timbres and textures of the two systems and more. But as much as we love hearing all of the positive tech stuff, what really put a smile on our faces is the way he uses his own skills to demonstrate the different tonal possibilities and performance techniques in the accompanying video (PowerTap Video).
The review closes by saying, “[The PowerTap Earth and PowerTap Infinity pickups systems] reproduce your percussive playing with accuracy and authority while still sounding superb for more conventional styles…”
To read the full review, click here.
Read Nick Jennison’s feature article “Creating Drum Grooves On Acoustic Guitar” here.