A few companies have tried to think of new ways to create consistent pickup designs that we have been relying on for decades, the most used method being computer aided winders to try and create accurate windings not only by number but also by tension and distribution across the bobbin. Now Fishman have developed a new pickup called Fluence that turns everything that we know about pickups on its head by using printed coils.
“Fluence is based on the notion that coils can be applied rather than wound. Like traces on a circuit board, concentric spirals of ‘coil’ can be printed. Picture, for example, a racetrack shaped printed circuit board the size of a Stratocaster pickup, with an opening in its center reserved for magnets. One board can hold one spiral, and because it’s printed, each copy is perfectly consistent. The next step involves stacking multiple layers of printed coils and interconnecting them until ‘pickup’ ability is reached.”
Now that in itself is very cool sounding having perfectly reproducible pickups but aside from that you can also switch between different pickup profiles! That means you can select between for example a vintage and modern output pickup with the flick of a switch or pull of a pot. Oh and just to add to the list of features the single coil pickups are hum cancelling with no loss of tone thanks to a preamp which acts as a buffer meaning the tone will be the same with the volume set to 2 as it is set to 10, just quieter.
And if you think this is just another technology that is all hype, Greg Koch had this to say, “It’s my privilege to be involved with Fishman on this new project. These things are the real deal. I just got done defiling a Fender Custom Shop ’57 Wildwood 10 Strat outfitted with these pickups and I’m currently trying to remove the missing top of my head from the ceiling…”
Check out this great demonstration of the Fluence pickups from Greg Koch at Winter NAMM 2014:
For more information check out the Fishman website.