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Fishman AFX Pocket Blender Mini and AFX Pro EQ Mini
 
A deep-dive into Fishman’s new signal routing and graphic equalizer pedals.
May 31, 2023
 

Fishman’s new line of AFX Mini pedals comprises four small-format pedals that include two effects pedals (the Broken Record looper and AcoustiVerb reverb) and two pedals dedicated to solving sonic and signal-routing challenges. I gave an overview of the entire line a few weeks ago (check out this video demo if you haven’t already), and in this video, I go deeper into the sophisticated functionalities of the AFX Mini Pocket Blender and the AFX Pro EQ Mini. 

The AFX Mini Pocket Blender is a miniature two-channel mixer that offers clever signal routing and switching options for a range of applications. For example, the unit’s stereo input (by way of a ¼-inch TRS jack) allows you to blend two pickups or, with a Y-splitter, switch between two instruments. The Pocket Blender can also function as a sophisticated A/B box or mute pedal, and you can use it to switch between two gain levels. In addition, you can combine it with other AFX Mini pedals to control independent effects chains via Fishman’s innovative Dual Path routing, which allows separate processing of each side of a TRS cable’s signals. Because the Pocket Blender offers balanced output, it can also function as a DI box (though it requires an adapter if you need XLR output). 

Despite its small size, the AFX Pro EQ Mini uses a circuit based on Fishman’s acclaimed Platinum series of preamps. It’s not only a powerful five-band EQ specifically voiced for acoustic instruments, it can also provide up to 20 db of gain, making it useful for boosting the signal of passive pickups, matching gain levels when multiple instruments are run through the same chain, or boosting the volume at the push of a pedal for solos. The AFX Pro EQ Mini’s sliders include bass, midrange, and treble, as well as low cut and brilliance, allowing for sound shaping as well as the elimination of problem frequencies that might cause feedback. The pedal also has a phase-reversal function, and two small switches allow for selecting true bypass or buffered operation and choosing whether the audio path is at the tip (which also allows for standard operation with a regular mono guitar cable) or at the ring of a TRS plug. 

In the video, I start by demonstrating how to use the AFX Mini Pocket Blender on its own to mix the two pickups of a Fishman Rare Earth PowerTap system installed in a Taylor 712c guitar and run into a Fishman SA330x PA. I then expand the signal path by using the Pocket Blender, two AFX Pro EQ Minis, and an AFX Mini AcoustiVerb to demonstrate the pedals’ Dual Routing capability, assigning one of the EQs and the reverb to the tip portion of the signal and the other EQ to the ring portion, allowing me to process the magnetic Rare Earth pickup and bridge plate–mounted pickup of the PowerTap system separately. 

Both the AFX Mini Pocket Blender and AFX Pro EQ Mini are real problem solvers. The Pocket Blender is the more specialized of the two and while not everyone will have an application for it, those who do will find that there really isn’t another product with a similar feature set on the market. The fact that it’s tiny and affordable is icing on the cake. The Pro EQ is pretty much a no-brainer as an addition to any acoustic pedalboard. Whether it’s used to fine-tune the overall tone, make a second instrument work with existing settings elsewhere in the chain,  boost solos, etc., players are bound to find that with its small size, clean sound, and practical feature set, this is a pedal with countless uses. 

SPECS

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.

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. 

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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