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Fishman AFX BlueChorus Mini
 
Fishman launches three additions to its line of AFX Mini pedals, including a smooth-sounding chorus effect.
January 31, 2024
 

Fishman has added three new effects to its line of AFX Mini pedals. Introduced in 2023, the initial line of reverb, EQ, looper, and blender pedals was well received (check out my demo of the original four pedals), and now Fishman is following up with a compressor, delay, and chorus pedal, all housed in the same compact AFX Mini format as the earlier units. In this video, I introduce the new EchoBack and AcoustiComp (which I’ll feature in separate demos in the coming weeks), and take a closer look at the BlueChorus. I ran the pedals into a Fishman Loudbox Micro amp which I recorded directly from its DI output, and I also used my 1994 Taylor 712c with a Fishman PowerTap Earth pickup system. 

Next to reverb, chorus is probably the most popular effect used by acoustic guitarists. Producing anything from a slight shimmer to a Leslie-type swirl, it can be used to fatten up chords or single-note lines; it can approximate the sound of a 12-string; and, at extreme settings, it gives your sound a serious warble. Though often associated with 1980s electric guitar, chorus can be a powerful tool for creating tonal variety and creating a more “produced” sonic picture. The AFX Mini BlueChorus offers classic chorus sounds in a simple, no-frills package. Housed in the same rugged metal enclosure as previous AFX Mini pedals, the unit’s sounds are controlled by the Depth, Rate, and Tone dials typical of chorus pedals, while a small switch at the top of the pedal is used to toggle between Analog, Vintage, and Classic sounds. The top is also home to a standard footswitch and a red LED that lights up when the effect is engaged. Because of the unit’s tiny footprint, there is no room for a battery, so it has to be powered with a standard nine-volt external power supply, which is not included. A small switch at the front of the pedal toggles between true bypass or buffered operation, and a similar switch selects a tip or ring audio path. This is an advanced feature found on all AFX Mini pedals, and it allows for various non-standard routing options, such as assigning some pedals to separate audio paths, processing only one portion of a multi-source pickup setup, etc. (I demonstrate this feature in my demo of the AFX PocketBlender and AFX EQ). Like other AFX pedals, the BlueChorus uses a parallel signal path to add the effect to the instrument’s sound, leaving the original signal intact, thereby creating an addition to the sound, rather than a complete reprocessing. 

I was able to get great sounds from the BlueChorus as soon as I engaged the effect. Perhaps even more important for most acoustic applications, I was impressed by how quietly it operates and how, even in “buffered” mode, it doesn’t alter the guitar’s tone (“bypass” mode completely takes the pedal out of the chain when it’s turned off). The differences between the three chorus modes are subtle, but each offers a wonderful range of sounds that can be fine-tuned with the Rate and Depth controls. The Classic mode was my personal favorite, since it was the smoothest of the choices. Besides using the pedal with the Taylor in the video, I also used it with a Yamaha Silent Nylon guitar at a restaurant gig, and it added a great dimension to this solid-body instrument. I also tried a somewhat more intense chorus setting when playing slide, which created a nice contrast when I kicked it in for a slide solo.  

Overall, Fishman’s new AFX BlueChorus Mini is a great pedal for anyone who wants to experiment with their plugged-in sound. It’s easy to use, offers lush sounds, and is small enough to fit on an already crowded pedal board. I didn’t think I had room on my board, but I found a spot, and the BlueChorus is staying put!

SPECS

Chorus pedal. Single footswitch. Controls for Rate, Depth, and Tone. Selector for Analog, Vintage, and Classic modes. ¼ inch input and output. 32-bit processing. True bypass or buffered bypass operation. Dual path routing. Aluminum enclosure measuring 1.9 x 3.8 x 1.92 inches. Nine-volt power jack. $119.95 street. Made in China. 

fishman.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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