Fishman Fluence

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Weldaar, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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    What's up with these pickups? They have a circuit board in them? Anyone check these out yet?
     
  2. frankfalbo

    frankfalbo Senior Member

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    What do you want to know? I've been a part of the development since leaving Seymour Duncan. "Circuit board" can mean a lot of things. From simple 1-layer boards found in some pedals to multi-layer precision boards in your iPhone and on satellites and what not.

    Just to give some perspective, the iPhone 4 had a 10-layer board. That means the board was made by laminating 10 thinner boards and connecting them together with vias (like little elevators between the floors) this is an interesting tech article about it with a cross section view:
    How the Apple iPhone 4 drives high, low tech | EE Times

    So to compare the Fluence cores to that, Fluence use a 48-layer board. Next is "yeah but why should I care?" and it comes down to the fact that you simply can not wind a coil to do what these cores do. As a pickup maker, to me they delivered "more" of all the characteristics winders have to fight to keep in their pickups. With wire everything is a compromise. I can give you low wind PAF clarity but if you want 3dB more then that clarity will diminish. If I try to increase the clarity with a scatter pattern then the midrange is affected, and so on...so here, it's like the limitations are gone.

    I'm not trying to "pitch" it, just quantifying what it means to have a "circuit board" in your pickup. Not all circuit boards are equal. :)
     
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  3. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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    I guess one would have to try them to really appreciate them. Thanx for the info.
     
  4. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I have the singles in a Strat. They sound as good or better than my other Strat with Fat 50's, which are great pickups. The Fluence are quieter and have better clarity with high gain. I don't like that I can't get the tone to work with the bridge pickup, only the neck or mid. Other than that, no complaints. Here's a crude comparison I did of the two Strats at rehearsal one night. They both sound good, but the Fluence is clearer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U56-o5mp6sU
     
  5. Hyote

    Hyote Junior Member

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    I just put a set of the Fluence Classic Humbuckers in a PRS Bernie Marsden. Short answer - very impressive.

    I'm pretty good at figuring out my own wiring options, which is critical with a 3 knob guitar like the Marsden. I would not recommend anyone try to adapt the Fluences to something like that without patience and a willingness to study what needs to happen. Fishman comes right out and says as much in the instruction sheet.

    One thing I find strange about Fluence humbuckers: They have terminals that can be used to wire up coil splitting options, but that's not widely advertised. I'm still experimenting with the switching for the splits, but I know I'll have some sort in my final configuration.

    frankfalbo - do you have any info on why the split wiring isn't mentioned in advertising and so forth?

    But at any rate, these are great pickups. Really special with a clean or slightly overdriven amp, which is exactly what I wanted them for.
     
  6. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Senior Member

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    I heard the Gristle-Tone set in a tele at NAMM...very cool. I want to try them in person in my own gear...I don't like the batteries, but hey, doesn't have to be a deal breaker if they're awesome.
     
  7. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Is is a hassle to fit the battery in an LP, for the humbuckers? Would the hb set be considered low output, or medium output?
    If the humbuckers sound as good as the single coils, I know I'd like them.
     
  8. S_G_D

    S_G_D Senior Member

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    Doesn't look like they sell just the bridge pickup, but I think one of these would be great in an esquire.
     
  9. Hyote

    Hyote Junior Member

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    Battery fit depends on the guitar. They make rechargeable pack that simply replaces the control cover on the back of a Les Paul. Definitely the way to go if you have a Les Paul. I put mine in a PRS that has about as much control space as a Tele, so I've got a ton of wires and a 9V battery stuffed in there. They make a generic rechargeable battery that is about 1/8" too big for my guitar. Someday, I may have to route out a battery holder space.

    These pickups are active and low impedance, so their output it quite different than regular HBs. I'd say they get the tone of low output HBs, but the signal they send to the amp can be a good bit more powerful with the volume control dimed. That's one of the things I like about them. Have your cake and eat it too.
     
  10. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I'm about to order a set of SD Antiquities. I like the Fluence single coils so much, that I'm real tempted to give the Fluence HB's a try, instead. I see they have some high output HB's, but I don't do metal, so they would probably be overkill for me.
     
  11. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Actually, I see they have three humbucker options. Classic, Modern Ceramic, Modern Alnico.
    I'm wondering if the Modern means a scooped mid? The guitar I'm thinking of putting these in is a three control setup. Right now it's MV and two tones. I probably should consult with my luthier, who is a Fishman retailer, and have him do the install, if I decide to go this route.
     
  12. Hyote

    Hyote Junior Member

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    I wired my PRS as a Volume Tone Tone setup. I wired one of the tones as a push-pull for the two voices available from each pickup, and the other tone push-pull does the treble cut they have available. I find both of those very useful. There are also terminals for splitting the coils that Fishman doesn't mention in any of their ads. As it turns out, those are very useful tones, so I plan to put in switches for those as well.

    My guess would be that the modern versions are actually more midrangey than scooped. I don't play heavy distortion, so I was only really interested in the classic versions.
     
  13. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Both of my tones have push pull for coil split. So I can probably do a similar setup to what you have done. The Fluence might be the right choice for this guitar. I have SD Bonamassa's in one, which covers low output very well, and DiMarrzio Illuminator's in another, that covers medium high output very well. I want something in the middle that is a bit different and quiet. Thanks for the info. I think I'm glad I held off ordering the Antiquities.
     
  14. Hyote

    Hyote Junior Member

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    One thing to know: All the Fluence pots have to be 25K since they're active. The pickup set will come with 4 pots; 2 each push-pull and plain. Also comes with the wires that plug into the pickups, a new jack, a 9V battery clip, and new caps. It does not come with any wire to solder to the coil split terminals, but any decent wire will do.
     
  15. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I forgot, you have to use all the Fluence parts. No problem. Thanks.
     
  16. darthphineas

    darthphineas Senior Member

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    I've tried the Classic set and all variations of the Modern set (all ceramic, all alnico, and mixed). I have reviews up at my site (green link in signature below).

    Install was not really a big deal. I wired a guitar up for almost every possible option and it worked out fine the first try. The different voices, the HF tilt, the coil split.

    The Classic set had me thinking I was playing a passive more than an active. The all alnico Modern set is great for my preference of hard rock. The ceramic seems to start at Rock and hard rock and goes up in to the brutalz.

    I don't think the minds are scooped, as common with that 80s metal vibe. Maybe a little even in the mids, more so than the stronger pronounced mids in a few of the other more modern type of pickups out there.

    I picked the brains of different people from Fishman for a good while before pulling the trigger on buying any. They are nice pickups and the best ones that I've tried that have overcome existing concerns I've had with other active brands/models. Many will like them. Many will like them a lot.
     
  17. Shamati

    Shamati Member

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    I'm going to order a set for my Les Paul Traditional but don't know whether to choose the Modern Alnicos or Classics (or Modern Ceramics)??

    I play mostly heavy metal but I also play a lot of clean stuff & fusion style fluid lead tones.
    Was thinking the Classics in their 'Hot Rod' voicing might be best & equivalent to the EMG 57/66 set (which is supposed to be an active version of JB/Jazz) until I saw the Modern Alnicos. My main sound will probably be distorted.

    I'll have to order a set & they cost 50% more than an EMG set.
     
  18. darthphineas

    darthphineas Senior Member

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    the Modern Ceramics are way more EMGish than the Modern Alnico, if that comparison helps. my opinion is that the Modern Alnico also gets better cleans, particularly with the coil split options available.

    the Classic set didn't really hit home with me. the bridge is supposed to have the voice of something like a Seth and the voice of a late-70s JB. I have both and have had them all in the same guitar and didn't hear it. other people seem to like it.
     
  19. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I love my Classic's. They are great for what I play, which is the heavier side of classic rock. But don't count on the hot version of the classic humbuckers for much extra punch. It's just not there. I also have a Strat set up with the Fluence single coils, and the hot version of the single coils is a nice noticeable difference. Not so much with the Classic humbuckers.
     
  20. Shamati

    Shamati Member

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    Thanks!
    I dont want the EMG81 sound - I think they suck for lead tones. I like the EMG57 sound though . it doesn't sound very "EMG" to me

    Of the few pickups I've played I like the Super Distortion, JB kind of sound with lots of mids. the Gibson 57+/57 combo is a bit too low output for me, but I like em better than the burstbuckers.

    Gonna go for the Modern Alnico's then! I hope they will not ruin the look of the Les Paul too much with those strange covers :)
     

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