Fishman's new micro pedals add scads of acoustic performance flexibility and a ton of fun.
Tailored specifically for acoustic guitars, Fishman AFX Mini Acoustic Pedals allow you to explore new textures, rhythms, and spaces without sacrificing your tone. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned player, experience the acoustic focused design of Fishman AFX Mini pedals and unlock the full potential of your acoustic sound.
Three quality reverbs – Hall, Plate, Spring – are blended in parallel with your direct sound while preserving your acoustic tone. The Reverb Time knob controls how long you hear the effect, and ranges from short to very large spaces. Tone knob affects only the reverb and not your direct sound. Similarly, the Level knob adds the effect into your signal chain without overwhelming the sound of your instrument.
Recreates the classic sound of a spring type reverb found in many electric guitar amplifiers.
An all-around reverb with natural, resonate spaces capable of replicating rooms both small and large, with long reverb decay times.
Recreates the dense reflections and metallic characteristics of mechanical plate reverbs used throughout the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
Based on the highly-regarded Fishman Platinum series of instrument preamps, AFX Pro EQ Mini offers quality preamplification and critical equalization voiced specifically for acoustic instruments.
This is no off-the-shelf graphic EQ – plug in and your signal begins with a high-impedance instrument preamp to condition nearly any passive or active pickup.
Then, use the four bands of acoustic tone control to sculpt your bass, mids, treble, and brilliance.
A sweepable Low Cut fine-tunes the very low frequencies to reduce or enhance thumps and subs.
Finally, hold the footswitch to toggle your output polarity. Also known as “phase,” this simple circuit can tame low-frequency howl very effectively.
Broken Record Looper/Sampler
AFX Broken Record packs high-quality audio looping and sampling into a tiny, yet deceptively-simple stompbox package. It features intuitive one-button operation, endless overdub capability and offers easy transfer to a computer.
A single footswitch is all it takes to record, overdub, and play along with your coolest riffs and patterns.
Featuring high-quality 24-bit, 44.1kHz audio recording of up to 6 minutes, AFX Broken Record let’s you capture cool ideas and build on them, or even play along with pre-recorded audio you transfer from your computer.
Built-in memory will retain what you recorded even after the power is disconnected. So, you can unplug at your gig and transfer your loop to your computer later. This also means that the backing track you transfer from your computer will be ready and waiting for you to play back at your next performance.
Our columnist recounts what he’s learned about getting the sound of a projection cone to an audience, and his ultimate solution: two mounted mics and his faithful Super Reverb.
In my July 2022 column, “Acoustic Guitars and Fender Amps,” I talked about using acoustic 6-strings with classic black-panel amps—particularly the bigger models with wide EQ possibilities. This month, let’s take it a step further and talk about Fender amps and resonator guitars. I will share what I have discovered by experimenting with various microphones, pedals, and more.
In a resonator, the metal cone underneath the front plate functions as a base for the bridge saddle and vibrates like a loudspeaker to project sound. Because of the instrument’s directional character and ease of feeding back, resonator guitars are difficult to use in live bands with loud stage volume. The goal is to get enough volume resonator onstage and in the room without feedback. Since it’s an important part of the instrument’s character, it’s necessary to capture some of that metal-cone voice within an overall balanced guitar tone that sits well in the mix. And you need to be able to achieve this in a way simple enough to reproduce the same tone night after night, and focus on your music, not technical problems.
The easiest way to mic a resonator guitar is to place a microphone on a stand about a foot in front of the guitar and run the signal into the mixer. But this pure acoustic route only works well in low volume situations—due to feedback—and requires you to play sitting down or standing still.
“Because of the instrument’s directional character and ease of feeding back, resonator guitars are difficult to use in live bands with loud stage volume.”
You can also use the type of clip-on microphone (often used for violin) made by Neumann and DPA, among others, to make you mobile, but if you get too close to the monitors or mains, feedback ensues. I recommend the microphones that come with a preamp and volume dial, to give you the most control. If you use one of these, point the mic directly toward the metal cone. Finding a nice tone will require some experimentation.
Another option is a piezo pickup. Some newer resonator guitars come with factory-installed piezos. It’s not very difficult to install a passive piezo yourself. You need to file and sand the bridge piece, detach the metal cone for wiring and soldering work, and, finally, drill a hole in the guitar where the jack plug goes in through the strap button. Getting the string tension correct over the entire length of the bridge saddle is the key to success. Lately, I have used hard oak as bridge material, which creates a smooth and mellow tone with bronze strings.
The author’s resonator “kit.”
Piezo pickups are less prone to feedback than acoustic microphones, so they are better for high-volume stage scenarios. But piezo pickups alone will not fully capture the tone of the resonator cone, so if you’re looking for more of that, add an acoustic clip-on microphone. That’s what I do. Both the piezo and the clip-on go to my Fender Super Reverb, and I use the normal channel for the feedback-sensitive acoustic microphone while the piezo goes to the vibrato channel with reverb. For dirty tones, I sometimes use an overdrive pedal for the piezo pickup. There are independent EQ and volume settings on both channels.
The third and last microphone technique I have experimented with is a humbucker. I bought one from 12 Bar Blues Pickups that is only 6 mm tall and built specifically for resonators. It fits nicely under the strings with enough clearance. The advantage with a passive magnetic pickup is obviously the simplicity. The installation process is easy if you simply tape or glue the pickup to your guitar and let the wire run externally on top of your resonator’s body. The kit I bought contains a small volume and tone box with jack input, and requires no battery. The result is, essentially, a hollow-body electric guitar suited for pedals and regular amps. It is also more resistant to feedback than both piezo and acoustic microphones. When I want to add some of the “bluegrass” flavor of the resonator cone, I add the acoustic microphone as mentioned earlier.
One drawback with conventional magnetic pickup technology is that bronze strings have a lower output, since bronze is less responsive to magnetic fields than nickel. I have kept the bronze strings on my resonators because of the great tone. To get even output on the bass strings, the bridge height measures a little higher on the bass side than the treble side.
So, there we have several different techniques for capturing modern resonator guitar tones, including a few options with guitar amps. Now, go experiment!
Updated USA NS basses combine the most popular elements of Spector’s Brooklyn, Kramer, and modern Woodstock eras while expanding the line with new, player-focused options.
Spector announces the release of its updated USA NS series of basses crafted in the new Spector USA Custom Shop facility outside of Woodstock, New York. These iconic basses remain faithful to the intent of the original instruments while combining the most popular design elements of their nearly 50-year history, an expanding menu of player-focused options, and the increased consistency of modern manufacturing techniques.
These basses boast classic, player-favorite options, such as body contours, our proprietary bridge, and the custom appointments like matching headstocks, all drawn from Spector’s famed Brooklyn, Kramer, and modern Woodstock eras. They are also available with newer options or upgrades, including modern or vintage pickup spacing, improved fingerboard tapers, standard and thin neck profiles, and premium electronics and preamps.
In addition to the new basses, Spector has made significant investments in the brand's future with their new USA Custom Shop near Woodstock, New York. While maintaining tried and true hand-building methods, the facility harnesses modern manufacturing technology, such as 3D modeling, and overhauled CNC programming to foster growth and create more consistent and accurate versions of its flagship instruments.
Spector USA NS-2 Bass Guitar - Hyper Violet Matte, Sweetwater ExclusiveSWX USA NS-2, Hyper Vlt Mtt
Spector Marketing Manager Jeff Shreiner explains, “This new NS Revision project aims to incorporate the “best of” Spector’s storied history, all while remaining true to Ned Steinberger and Stuart Spector’s original 1977 design. It represents the first major project implemented by the new team at Spector and sets forth a standard for the future of the NS design.”
For more information, please visit spectorbass.com.