Fishman Fluence Matt Heafy Review
Verdict and Review Summary
Tons of well-rounded aggression on high gain settings, then almost a crystal, single coil-like sound with clean tones. The Matt Heafy set is my favorite pair of humbuckers to date.
To be as transparent as possible, this was not only my first crack at a pair of Fishman Fluence pickups, but it was also my first experience having active pickups in my own guitar at all.
And here's a fun side note. My PRS CE 24 has all gold hardware, so I love that line of gold through the pickup cover.
It looks fantastic, and you can checkout the pictures below.
But you're probably not here for that.
My quick take is that the modern distortion sounds are smooth as butter, and even at high levels some moderate noise gate control was all it took reign things in. On the clean end, you can get a beautiful single coil sound, which is one of the most remarkable things about Fishman's stacked coil technology in the first place.
Take my word for it, or go over the details below.
Read more: Active VS Passive Pickups
Compare to similar pickups
This comparison table lets you compare pricing, basic specs and tone of the Heafy set with some other similar pickups.
Fluence Heafy Signature
Seymour Duncan Invader
Compare More Pickups
If you want to compare more pickups to the Matt Heafy set or others in this list, you can search for them in our database and add them to the comparison bar at the bottom of this page. We don't have everything, but we have a lot.
Fishman Fluence Matt Heafy Signature Price Guide
This section has live pricing from Sweetwater with alerts and price history. Note that this is for the set and not single bridge or neck pickups. In most cases, Fluence humbuckers only come in sets anyways. Keep in mind that pricing and availability can be a bit fickle and subject to change.
We've included the 7-string version as well, which weirdly costs the same, at least when I was writing this review.
Prices updated Wed, December 06th, 2023.
Pricing from Sweetwater
Price History for Fishman Fluence Matt Heafy Custom Active Humbucker 2-piece Pickup Set
|Current Price||$289.95||November 30, 2023|
|Highest Price||$289.95||May 11, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$289.95||May 11, 2023|
Last price changes
|$289.95||May 11, 2023|
IDEAL FOR: Modern metal, cleans, handling versatile styles, high gain, and cutting down noise.
Sound and Tone
Here's a quick summary of the tone qualities that stand out the most:
- Very smooth and full-bodied distortion
- Plenty of low-end for modern percussive playing styles
- Cleans are crystal clear and very organic sounding
- Well-rounded and controlled sound with some natural compression
Here's the audio-only demo I did during testing. It's nothing fancy but gives you a nice preview of what to expect. This was through my PRS and a Boss Katana 50.
The distortion was from an Amptweaker TightMetal.
Note that the noise was only an issue before I cut on my noise gate. This is a common problem with my PRS (not sure why) so don't blame the Fluence pickups.
So there ya' have it.
I'm a metal and hard rock guy, so you get what you get. No blues here.
Lots of lows and a massive amount of sustain, yet with a seatbelt. It's just great for modern playing styles.
Uses and flexibility
The style capability of this set, and most Fluence sets, is very impressive. Being so strong on the clean and distorted side helps a lot, and they do it better than any other pickup I've tested.
There are a lot of high-gain humbuckers that can do cleans, but the Fluence technology is just better. It's in a class by itself.
So yes, metal and hard rock are the Heafy set's bread and butter.
But it can handle a lot of other styles and scenarios as well.
Price and Value
Most of the Fluence pickup sets are priced in a similar similar. When we wrote this review, the Matt Heafy set was a little more expensive than the Fluence Moderns, but not by much.
There's no question that all the Fluence humbuckers are on the higher end of the typical price range for a humbucker set, but there are plenty that go higher. Overall, I don't mind the asking price. It's more than justified considering how good they sound.
My buddy Everette installed these pickups for me because I'm kind of a doofus when it comes to using a soldering iron.
My PRS actually has a five-way pickup selector, and originally did not have push/pull knobs. As I mentioned, the design is for a three-way pickup selector, so Everette had to wire it with only three of the five positions working.
However, the push/pull knobs, which are included, work great, so there's still plenty of sounds I can get from it. I didn't care much, because I never really felt the need to tweak them.
Just make sure you have some help with the installation if you're not comfortable doing it yourself. Don't go yankin' wires without a plan.
Fishman Fluence Matt Heafy Review Conclusion
Again, this is my first experience with Fluence humbuckers or active pickups at all, so maybe I'm just on a dopamine kick. But I honestly think these pickups are fantastic, and a solid representation of what Fishman has been able to achieve with this technology.
So overall, my experience was entirely positive, especially given the fact that I didn't have to install them.
If you have questions about my Fishman Fluence Matt Heafy review, drop them in the comments section below.
I respond to all comments, so I'll help as best I can.