Aural

Fishman Aura Spectrum DI

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Gives your acoustic pickup the sound quality of a studio mic

The pickups on acoustic guitars do a notoriously bad job of reproducing the instrument’s unamplified tone.

30 years of incremental improvements on the design of piezo pickups haven’t brought us appreciably closer to the sound of an unplugged guitar in a room.

People whose instruments cost them thousands of dollars still sound wretched in a live setting.

Enter the Fishman Aura DI.

While technically a DI (direct input) for amplifying acoustic instruments, this magic box is a category unto itself.

The wizards down at the factory record an acoustic guitar (or mandolin, fiddle, dobro, banjo, ukulele, etc) in a fancy studio, capturing the signal from both the onboard pickup and a variety of high-end studio microphones.

Then they somehow extrapolate the sound of the microphone from the pickup signal. The result is a live sound that is uncannily similar to the instrument’s acoustic sound, with zero feedback.

I’ve had this particular model for a year, the onboard model for two years before that, and the original model for three years before that. I refuse to play without it (I play for a living).

There’s a large library of “images” online, so you can match the make and model of your instrument. Or for another couple hundred bucks, you can send your guitar to Boston and they’ll prepare an image of your exact instrument.

-- Joshua Skaja 10/21/15