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Fishman AFX Mini Pedals
 
Four new mini pedals provide looping, reverb, EQ, and mixing functions, specifically designed for acoustic instruments.
April 12, 2023
 

Fishman is well known as one of the industry’s leading makers of acoustic and electric stringed-instrument pickups, and the company’s preamps and amps are held in equally high regard. But effects? The company has occasionally dipped its toes into signal processing that goes beyond accurately reproducing an instrument’s acoustic tone. Not only did Fishman pioneer the use of Impulse Response (IR) technology with its sophisticated Aura preamps, the company also offered a line of dedicated effects pedals with the original AFX series in the late 2000s, and its TONEDEQ pedal is a multi-effects pedal fine-tuned for acoustic players (check out our demo of this pedal). Now Fishman has released a quartet of AFX Mini pedals that are as sophisticated as they are small and affordable. I recently had a chance to check out all four pedals: the Broken Record looper/sampler, AcoustiVerb reverb, Pro EQ Mini preamp/EQ, and Pocket Blender A/B/Y + DI. In this video, I give an overview of the line, demonstrating them using a Taylor 712c with a Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup and running them into a Fishman SA330x amp. I’m going to follow up with a more detailed deep dive into the individual pedals in the coming weeks. 

The AFX Mini Broken Record and AcoustiVerb offer easy-to-use and great-sounding interpretations of these two popular effects. The Broken Record allows for up to six minutes of 24-bit recording, which can either be used for live looping or playback of pre-recorded samples (which can be loaded into the pedal using a USB-C connection). Looping is done with a single footswitch: one tap sets the beginning and end of a loop, two taps stop the loop, and holding the switch erases the recording. The only controls are a small toggle switch that selects looper or sampler functions and a level control that adjusts the playback level of a loop or sample. 

The AFX Mini AcoustiVerb is similarly simple. Its three fundamental sounds—spring, hall, and place—are selected with a toggle switch,and three dials control level, tone, and decay time. The effect is blended in parallel with the main signal, meaning that the instrument’s clean tone is preserved. While there are plenty of reverb pedals with more features, I found the AFX Mini AcoustiVerb to be a really nice-sounding pedal for basic reverb needs. As a solo fingerstyle player, I tend to use hall-based reverbs as part of my general amplified sound, and the AFX Mini AcoustiVerb delivers a lush, warm, and musical sounding reverb that I would be happy with in any setting. 

The AFX Pro EQ Mini uses a circuit based on Fishman’s acclaimed Platinum series of preamps. It can provide up to 20 db of gain and serve as an impedance matcher for passive pickups. Input trim and level controls allow for perfect level adjustments, and the pedal’s five-band EQ is voiced specifically for acoustic instruments. Its bass, midrange, and treble sliders are surrounded by a low cut at the bass end, and a brilliance control at the high end. That’s an impressive amount of tone-shaping for such a small pedal. 

The AFX Mini Pocket Blender is the most unusual pedal in the series. Its fundamental function is as a miniature two-channel mixer that allows the blending of two input sources (such as dual pickups) via its TRS input jack. But the unit’s flexible routing also makes it useful for various A/B box applications, and with a balanced output (with a TRS rather than the more common XLR jack), it can even serve as a DI box. Because the other AFX Mini pedals have an innovative dual-path-routing feature that uses TRS jacks, it gives you the option of creating independent signal paths that the Pocket Blender can switch between. 

All four AFX Mini pedals are highly capable signal processors. Due to their small size, all require external power from a standard nine-volt source, and all share rugged metal construction with high-quality jacks and switches. Whether you’ve been looking for a simple looper or reverb or need to solve audio signal challenges by way of EQ or via creative signal routing, I’d highly recommend taking a look at Fishman’s new additions.

SPECS

AFX Mini Broken Record: Looper/sampler pedal. Single footswitch. Looper/sample selector switch. Level control. Six minutes of recording time. ¼ inch input and output. 24-bit, 44.1 kHz audio recording. 32-bit processing. USB-C connection. 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. 

AFX Mini AcoustiVerb: Reverb pedal. Single footswitch. Spring, plate, and hall settings. Level, tone, and decay time control. 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. 

AFX Mini Pro EQ Mini: Preamp and EQ pedal. Single footswitch. Input trim and level control. Five-band EQ. 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. 

AFX Mini Pocket Blender: Two-channel mixer and A/B/Y pedal. Single footswitch. ¼-inch TRS stereo input. Tip/ring input-level controls. ¼-inch DI and amp outputs. Ground-lift. Aluminum enclosure measuring 1.9 x 3.8 x 1.92 inches. Nine-volt power jack. $89.95 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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