Fishman AFX AcoustiVerb Review
Parallel signal routing and three reverb voices make the AcoustiVerb a versatile stage and studio asset that’s capable of sweet, tasteful tones and much wider spaces.
Parallel signal routing creates pretty and tasteful composites of organic and wet signals. Different voices offer different dynamic profiles.
Excitability in high harmonics makes some more expansive settings difficult to use.
Fishman AFX AcoustiVerb
The relationship between acoustic guitar and reverb is a funny thing. If you were in a studio, you probably wouldn’t think twice about adding at least a touch of the stuff to your signal. And if you’re slotting a guitar in an ensemble mix, you might heap it on pretty generously. But onstage—and especially in the context of a solo performance—reverb can be cloying and artificial. The beauty of Fishman’s AFX AcoustiVerb pedal, apart from its small size and accessible $119 price, is how readily you can move between nearly subliminal ambience, tasty but restrained coloration, and wide-open spaces.
Much of this flexibility is attributable to the AcoustiVerb’s parallel signal path, which makes it easy to foreground an acoustic’s dry signal and slot the reverb effect in a place that’s appropriate for a performance environment. But the pedal’s three voices help conjure reverb tones that work best in terms of dynamics and response. The warm, contoured reflections of the hall mode, for instance, are ideal for fingerstyle settings where highlighting fundamentals and bass resonance without generating low-end wash is critical. The plate mode, meanwhile, is ideal for strummed parts that are enhanced by the presence of breathy, high harmonics. Sweet spots are easy to find, thanks to the economical control set. And altogether, the AcoustiVerb is an adaptable tool that can offer quiet, subdued support on stage or unorthodox paths to acoustic ambience.