Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sabine FBX Solo 620-SL Feedback Exterminator

Feedback is a constant menace for amplified blues harp players. Walking around on stage with an open microphone in front of loud amplifiers is a recipe for speaker howl and audience complaints. We go to great lengths to avoid feedback, but the laws of physics and acoustics are hard to overcome.

One method of ameliorating feedback is to use devices such as the Sabine FBX Solo 620-SL Feedback Exterminator, which I recently gave up on. I was enthusiastic about it at first, but with real-world use over several months it lost its appeal. I used it less and less, and finally sold it when I downsized my gear collection a few weeks ago.

Yes, it did a pretty good job of targeting feedback and killing it, but it killed my sound, too. Imagine playing through a narrow-band EQ with your harp’s second or fourth draw tones rolled off by -12db… When you hit what you expect will be your killer tones, they are heavily attenuated to fight the feedback. Hey, I sound bad enough sometimes; I don’t need my best tones falling flat.

A more patient or careful user might get better performance from the Sabine FBX Solo. I did follow the instructions closely (they are helpfully printed right on the device), and I expected the performance to improve as I got to know the device better. But no luck.

The Sabine FBX Solo is not a magic feedback bullet for harp players. I’d like to hear from players who had better luck with it, but I cannot recommend it based on my experience.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again Rick for another great and honest review. You may have already reviewed the Kinder AFB box, But I could go on record for one here and say It works and actually ADDS tone. I love your page here. Yhanks.
Your Fan
Jason Ricci

Rick Davis said...

Hey, Jason, thanks for the kind words. I'd love to review the Kinder AFB box but I've yet to put my hands on one. But your demonstration in your gear video is incredible... You stuck the SM57 RIGHT INTO the amp speaker and the Kinder box killed all the feedback, and I never heard it suck a bit of tone while you were playing. I gotta get one of those...

Anonymous said...

Next time I'm in CO I'll lend you my spare or come by the gig or you have my #?