There was a lot of noise about the Fishman Fluence pickups when they were released in 2014. Here is my experience of using them, as well as a short YouTube demo.
At the 2014 NAMM show, Fishman released their Fluence pickups. Like all manufacturers Fishman came up with a hefty hyperbole: “Original and totally re-imagined, Fishman Fluence pickups are free from the hum, noise and frustrating inductance issues that plague even the most coveted wire-wound pickups—revealing pure, uncorrupted and musical tone.”
In the past I’ve never had a great experience with ‘noiseless’ Strat replacement pickups. In fact, the Fender’s own N3’s sounded very boring to my ears. I also steered clear of active systems. Firstly, because I don’t like the idea of a battery in a guitar. Second, I don’t need all that volume and I the sound is often clinical.
I really like the Fluence, though. They fit the guitar perfectly, no need for any modifications. They have two distinct sounds Vintage and Hot-Texas. Amazingly they do what they describe: Vintage with a 4 kHz peak; and Hot-Texas ehm… hotter with a 3 kHz peak. Very useful. The rechargeable battery pack fits on the back where the tremolo cover normally sits and it recharges via USB. Any phone charger will do. Apparently it will last 200 playing hours, though I haven’t really tested it.
I have used it on jazz/funk gigs with my Kemper Profiling Amp and Yamaha DBR10 powered speakers. As well as, much louder blues gigs with my Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 combo and a couple of overdrives. I am very happy with the Fluence pickups. They sound like a smelly old proper Strat, but without any mains buzz.
Here is a short video where I’m noodling to demonstrate the sounds the Fishmans make. The setup is simple. I go straight into Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 except for the last minute or so where I plug in a Hermida Zendrive. The amp is mic’d up with a Rode NT1 which plugs into Focusrite Saffire PRO14. There is no EQ or compression added. In fact I’ve noticed that there are a couple of clipped notes in the final video, sorry.
I hope you find it useful, if you want more information please comment below. You can also email me, I’m always happy to help if I can. I’m also interested if anybody is using the Tele Greg Koch models, any good?