Fishman’s game-changing Fluence Modern pickups just got even more versatile – with sounds “you’ve never heard in a humbucker before”

Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers
(Image credit: Fishman)

Back in 2014, Fishman debuted the Fluence – an electric guitar pickup that was hailed as “the first truly new electric guitar pickup system in more than 80 years”.

It’s become one of the most prominent pickup platforms of the modern guitar age, finding its way into the guitars played by the likes of Tim Henson, Tosin Abasi, Stephen Carpenter, Scott LePage and countless others.

Now, for the first time since its arrival, the Fluence Modern humbucker range has been overhauled by Fishman, which has made its game-changing pickup innovation more versatile than ever.

Whereas the flagship multi-voice Fluence Modern units featured just two modes – Modern Active High Output, and Crisp, Clean and Fluid – the new-for-2023 reboots offer a third voice, focused on single-coil sounds.

Not only that, Fishman has rolled out its Fluence Modern Open Core humbucker, which – for the first time – presents the brand's innovative pickup package in an open-coil format.

To make these new pups as accessible as possible, the open coils and all-new tonal voice have been made available in a handful of different varieties: Fluence Alnico and Fluence Ceramic options have been unveiled, as have six-, seven- and eight-string-compatible variants.

There’s also a suite of aesthetic options on tap, too, depending on your axe: black, white, red nickel, black nickel, brushed stainless steel and gold colorways are present across the board, while the Open Core models can arrive with either black or nickel blades.

Honing in on those flashy new Open Core Modern humbuckers, Fishman describes them as “original and totally reimagined” units that have a hum and noise-free operation, all while offering “pure, uncorrupted and musical tone”.

But while the open coils are a nice addition to the range, it’s those single-coil sounds that are the real big development here. According to the company, this sound provides “clarity and snap you’ve never heard in a humbucker before… extending the creative potential of the Fluence Modern series even further”.

We’d usually approach such claims with a considerable amount of caution, but owing to Fishman’s role in innovating the humble humbucker over the past decade, we’re inclined to believe every word – especially after listening to the demo video below.

These new humbuckers are just yet further proof that we are living in a golden age for pickups. Indeed, the most recent NAMM show was dominated by pickup releases, and numerous companies have been bolstering their ranks with updated electronic offerings.

Fishman itself has largely been behind this – releasing signature pickups for Tim Henson and Scott LePage – as has Seymour Duncan, which unveiled signature sets for Josh Smith, Lari Basilio and Joe Bonamassa. Other high-profile releases include Rabea Massaad’s Bare Knuckle Triptych Strat set, DiMarzio’s Jake Bowen Mirage set and Fender’s CuNiFe range.

Prices for the new-and-improved Fluence Modern pickups start from $159.

To find out more about the updated Fluence Modern pickups, head over to Fishman.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.