Premier Guitar Review: Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend

Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend

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Adam Perlmutter is a thoughtful player and freelance writer who contributes his writing and playing skills to Premier Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Aficionado, and other magazines. He has also written a number of instructional books for Hal Leonard and Cherry Lane. His review of our Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend is predictably wide reaching and thorough.

Adam starts out with some deep background, “If you’ve played a higher-quality acoustic guitar with a factory-installed pickup recently, there’s a pretty good chance that the transducer was a Fishman Acoustic Matrix, this undersaddle device has been the most popular acoustic guitar pickup on the market. Guild, Martin, and other makers have relied on its revolutionary design—a single piezo strip, rather than individual crystals for each string—to deliver clarity and a more natural response in their instruments.”

After setting the stage, Adam delves into the new Matrix Infinity Mic Blend, “This year saw an evolution… and the introduction of the Matrix Infinity VT (undersaddle pickup only) and the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend. In both cases the preamps have been designed and some extent re-voiced with full-frequency modern acoustic amps in mind… As the name suggests, [the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend] combines a mini soundhole microphone and an undersaddle pickup—and I can say without reservation that it’s the best-sounding Fishman package I’ve tried to date.”

For his test, Adam used a recent Martin D-18 that he describes as having a “commanding personality when played unplugged.” Plugged into an amp Adam continues, “I set the tone controls flat on both the amp and the guitar, and the instrument’s blend control to the undersaddle pickup only. Straight away I was impressed by how well the Fishman electronics captured the hearty sound of the D-18. The string-to-string balance was excellent, and there was abundant warmth and detail… I typically found myself adjusting the system’s blend control for equal parts undersaddle and mic. In the process, I often forgot I was even using amplification.”

The review continues with Adam describing the other on-board controls and the method and results of various microphone locations and blends between the mic and the piezo element, concluding that, “… the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend is impressively flexible in terms of sound shaping. And by adding signal from the microphone, which is a cardioid condenser unit, I lost none of the pickup’s thump and definition but gained a distinct natural ambience… I typically found myself adjusting the system’s blend control for equal parts undersaddle and mic. In the process, I often forgot I was even using amplification… The presentation of the D-18’s natural sound was that vivid.”

Adam’s final verdict? “… for any player seeking truly natural sound from a steel-string, the Matrix Infinity Mic Blend’s organic and flexible tones—and tone-shaping power—warrants serious consideration.”

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