Review: Fishman Platinum Pro EQ

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Platinum Pro EQ In Tune
You’ve spent good money on a guitar and pickup that would give your songs the guitar sound they need, but sound systems and performance situations vary. Sometimes, you just can’t afford to count on the soundman to get your guitar sound right. It’s frustrating to say the least. To get the personal control of their sound, many acoustic guitarists look to a quality preamp along with good EQ, a professional DI, and electronics to filter to defeat feedback. Fishman, long known for their outstanding acoustic instrument pickups, has now put all that into one sleek box and even added a few features that songwriting guitarists will love.

Fishman totally redesigned their Platinum Pro EQ to be a guitarist’s best friend on stage and in the studio. They’ve used analog technology to build a pedal that works as both a professional XLR DI and five-band EQ, but it offers other important features, including a phase switch, a notch filter to beat feedback situations; a digital tuner with a large, high contrast display; and an adjustable ‘boost’ feature that will get you an extra 3-12dB of gain when you need to cut through the mix. That’s more than most acoustic guitarists will need, but if you need more there is also an analog soft-knee compressor and you can easily add other effects via the unit’s effects loop jacks.

The Platinum Pro EQ also has a guitar/bass mode switch so this preamp and eq can provide the same functionality for bassists. If you are into analog electronics, you will appreciate Fishman’s high-headroom, low distortion Class-A preamp. In addition to getting a pure guitar or bass sound, analog devotees swear by the warm, organic sound that these analog circuits can add to a performance.

The construction of the Platinum Pro is solid with a metal case and all connections located on the sides of the unit. All adjustments, except the trim and boost, are conveniently located on the face. EQ knobs run across the center of the face and operate smoothly with a detent at the center of each. The notch filter is simple to operate and allows attenuation of frequencies from 45Hz to 370kHz as much as 12dB. Power for the unit may be supplied by either a nine-volt battery (estimated battery life of about 30 hours) in the fast access battery compartment on the bottom of the unit or Fishman’s 910-R (for 110V) power supply.

On the gig, the unit was easy to set up for guitar. The eq section not only provided precise control of the lows and mids, but also restored top-end brilliance to the guitar without making the sound thin and ‘tinny’. While everyone’s ear is different, I thought this analog pedal presented a more realistic guitar sound across a seemingly wider dynamic range than other pedals I’ve used. Just as important, it puts all the sonic tools I need to get a great guitar sound in one box, for a faster set-up with fewer cables and connections for less noise.

Some people will buy the Platinum Pro EQ because it’s a great DI with a lot of useful features, but others will clearly see warm sound of the analog preamp circuitry to be its most outstanding feature. Either way, the Platinum Pro is a Swiss army knife of high quality tools for the serious acoustic musician built into a solid, roadworthy pedal.

MSRP- $384.54; Street Price- $249.95

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