"I've been loving the Felix. I feel that the pure tone of my banjo is now coming through, and that nothing is degrading the sound along the way. I would highly recommend it to those that can hear the difference!"
Bela Fleck is a Grammy winning composer and virtuoso. From the first wave of progressive bluegrass in the 80's, through his highly celebrated instrumental group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, to his globe-trotting solo career as a fearless musician and collaborator, Bela has redefined not only the Banjo as an instrument, but the very fabric of acoustic music. He is an artist of boundless creativity and uncompromising style and ingenuity.
Bela was exactly the type of artist we had in mind when we were designing FELiX, so he got a prototype early on and he immediately took it out on the road. Both Bela and his longtime engineer Richard Battaglia are sonic perfectionists, so we knew if it could live up to their standards, we'd be in business. We didn't hear from them for quite a while and when we did, it was to just to send more. By then we were in production and so we happily obliged and now Bela's banjos are in good hands with FELiX.
photo courtesy of Bela Fleck
"Congrats on making a great box. I've been hoping for something of this caliber for years and years. It renders my pedal board of the last several years obsolete and useless. It's easy to use and sounds like I'd hoped. Bottom line - this is the best preamp I've ever used."
Bryan Sutton is one of the most sought after acoustic guitarists on the planet . Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Bryan grew up in a musical family and was immersed in the rich heritage of western North Carolina music. Sutton entered the bluegrass world in 1995 as a member of Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder band, playing on two Grammy award winning records. After his tenure with Skaggs, Bryan went on to build a career as a top studio guitarists in Nashville. His playing can be heard along side such names as Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Harry Connick Jr.. Always striving to keep his bluegrass roots strong, Bryan has also released four solo projects and has toured around the world with artists like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and as a member of the legendary bluegrass band, Hot Rize. Sutton has been honored as a six time winner of the IBMA's Guitarist of the Year, and received a Grammy in 2007 for "Best Country Instrumental Performance" for his duet recording with Doc Watson. Bryan now balances a busy schedule of recording, touring, and teaching online as part of the Artist Works group.
“Man, FELiX sounds great! And it really helps because it eliminates another piece of gear for me. Now, I have everything I need in a single unit: the mic preamp for my acoustic bass, great EQ, and flexible I/O. It works great for my electric bass too. Home-run! Killer!"
In case you live under a rock, John Patitucci is one of the greatest living Jazz and Fusion bass players alive. From his vibrant solo career to his work with a countless array of Jazz luminaries such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, John resides comfortably in the Jazz pantheon.
We sent John a FELiX a few days before he left for a tour with Wayne Shorter. His rig for the gig was very simple: his upright bass mic'd with a DPA 4021. He took the chance on bringing the unit along as the mic amp / DI for the tour and came home with rave reviews of the sound, not only from him directly but from the crew and bandmates. He owns it now and will continue to rely on it as his main preamp, for both acoustic and electric bass duties. We are so happy to get to work with one of our long standing idols. Aside from his illustrious career and mind blowing talent, he is one of the nicest, coolest folks we've ever met.
Bridget Law - Elephant Revival
“I have been looking for a preamp like the Grace “Felix” for a long time. Rich, true tone and the ability to shape the tone of my violin in a detailed way. The signal is super clean and the options are all there for blending, using an amp, equalizing and more! I plan to use this product for the rest of my career.” .~*Bridget
"Willy plays rhythms that make me want to crawl inside his guitar and sleep there forever." — Tori Amos
Willy Porter is the elusive triple threat. His songs flow from the soul, his singing is beautiful and true, and his guitar playing is deeply inventive and masterful. Whew. He came across FELiX via a recommendation from a luthier. After many years of working with various high-end acoustic preamps, he borrowed it for a stretch and was blown away. He called and soon enough he was out with his own. Conversations with Willy are joy. He is humble and effusive to the point that we forget we're talking to a master. Don't ever miss a chance to see Willy play live.
Ed Gerhard is a fingerstyle guitar guru. His style is beautiful, his tone is excuisite and his arrangements are understated and masterful. He tours the world extensively, bringing his FELiX with him wherever he goes.
"Felix is without question the finest blender preamp I have ever encountered. And I've tried them all for the last twenty years. This is not some shitty guitar toy. This is real, serious audio gear. Big difference. Big, clean, robust signal and powerful EQ. Everything is right about this box. I've been using my Felix since 2015 and I just can't say enough good things about it. Felix is THE ONE."
We have known Mitchell since back in the 90's in Boulder, when he was killing it about every night with his various Brazilian, African and Jazz projects. Now Mitchell has deservedly found his place on the world stage. We were lucky to reconnect with him at the 2015 winter NAMM convention; he was there trying to fill in some missing pieces of his rig, especially for his acoustics. We delivered him a FELiX just a few days before he left for a world tour with the inimitable Melody Gardot. FELiX made its debut on Mitchell's pedal board on the Jools Holland Show this May and is now enjoying a world tour with Mitchell and Melody.
photo courtesy of http://mitchelllongmusic.com/
“Two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world, bridging folk, jazz and chamber music. His award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling music.” - www.jaymestone.com
We are lucky to have met Jayme. He had heard about FELiX, and being such a discerning performer, composer and sonic explorer, he was intrigued. So we sent one out with him on the road and he immediately connected with it. He uses a DPA 4099 for his live setup, and needed a compact instrument and mic preamp with phantom power, so FELiX was just the thing. His work is simply stunning.
"After trying what seemed like every preamp on the market (including expensive studio channel strips), I've happily settled on the Felix for upright bass. Sounds amazing, is very flexible and works better than anything I've tried. Being universal voltage is a huge plus for European tours. I love the notch filter although I've never needed it since feedback is less of a problem than ever. This thing is genius!"
Mark is one of those guys who has to be an athlete as well as musician. The Legendary Shack Shackers play southern gothic rockabilly, and they play it loud and hard. So the upright bass duty requires power, volume and tone to match the energy of a punk band playing counrty music. FEliX keeps up with him on stage, letting his upright stay big, loud and awesome.
Jeremy McComb - Solo Artist
"After seeing & Hearing FELIX Live - I KNEW I had to be part of what Grace design were doing.. I've used every preamp on the market, looking for something that gives me this type of tonal control and can hold up to rigorous touring, FELIX is everything to my tone now - being able to get my mix locked in with my ears (with the Headphone output)t on my own during soundcheck is just the cherry on top of the amazing Felix."
We met Jeremy in Nashville at the NAMM show. He is a star and has had several songs in the Billboard charts, but still works his ass off touring, writing and recording. He's what we like about country music, and a major talent. And he is funny, down to earth and blast to talk to.
Andy Hall - Dobro / The Infamous Stringdusters
"When I heard that Grace Design had made a new pre amp tailored for live use, I knew I had to have one. Having used Grace stuff in the studio, I was excited to hear about the Felix unit. Needless to say I was not disappointed! It provides the best tone and functionality of any pedal style pre amp/eq period."
Andy and his bandmates play a new breed of genre-bending, virtousic progressive bluegrass. Andy helps leed the proceedings with his fleet, articulate and jaw dropping dobro voice. We helped him integrate a new FELiX on his pedal board the day of a festival show, and it worked out very well. We're glad to know him and are eager to watch them continue to push the boundaries of American music.
Andy Falco plays progressive bluegrass guitar with his band, the Infamous Stringdusters. Which is a ridicules understatement. More accurately, with a beautiful road-worn Collings seemingly fused to his body, he mesmerizes sold out crowds at festivals and theaters with jaw dropping long-form, hammer time acoustic guitar heroics that would make Tony Rice and Jimi Hendrix blush. He added a FELiX to his pedal board this summer and hasn't looked back.
Sarah and her sisters, Hannah, Eva and Liza (SHEL) are a rising star band based in Nashville, TN. They are currently developing material for a new album with Dave Stewart (Euryrithmics) and touring the US and Europe at a fierce clip. See their latest video release here.
We met Sarah at the 2015 winter NAMM show, she and her soundman were searching for a new preamp solution for her stage rig that could accommodate her DPA mic and pickup and included an mute switch. FELiX was a perfect fit right away, and now it lives with her on the road.
"The Grace FELiX is simply the best acoustic preamplifier for a touring musician. I've used everything and nothing else comes close. It's is beautiful to behold, built like a tank and sounds like heaven. It is like having toolkit of infinite possibilities for routing, balancing, boosting and EQing an acoustic instrument."
Jim plays 'Exotic Guitar Music', and he plays it well. He is an international touring and recording artist. Jim's two most recent solo efforts include Guitarra Exotica (2007) and Inspiracion (2010) have met with great reviews and have both charted multiple times on Amazon.com. He is currently in the studio working hard on his next release due out in 2015. He was an early convert to FELiX, as the demands of amplifying nylon string guitar well are difficult and involved. His work is beautiful, progressive and very much worth exploring.
photo courtesy of http://www.guitarraexotica.com/index
Eric Thorin - Bass
This is an awesome spot – where friendship and work collide. We have known Eric as a friend and musician for many years. He is simply one of the finest bass players working today – bluegrass, roots, jazz or art-rock, he does it all with equal excellence. He also is an in demand record producer and composer, the latter evidenced by his work with the Matt Flinner Trio, a virtuosic trio (Matt Flinner, Ross Martin, Eric Thorin) who's “Music du Jour” project tasks each member to compose and debut a new piece the day of every show.
Eric also tours with the Jeff Austin Band, a hard-hitting roots project which features acoustic instruments played at high energy stage levels. Eric is using his FELiX on upright bass, blending a dynamic mic behind the bridge with a under-bridge transducer. His setup allows him to play upright at brave stage levels, while still having all the tone, definition and articulation required of such a great sounding performer and his instrument.
photo courtesy of http://ericthorin.com/
We have known of Adam since the early days of his band Yonder Mountain String Band. They have been pushing the boundaries of bluegrass for over 17 years, and have steadily progressed into one of Colorado's biggest musical exports. Today they are a fixture on both the American and international acoustic music scenes, with a huge following, and many, many albums released.
Adam came to us, a bit frustrated with his current touring rig and the FELiX seemed like a good replacement. Its test run was the main stage at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and by all accounts, the new rig worked. Adam is a fantastic, tasteful player with awesome ears. We're honored to have him include FELiX in is live setup.
photo courtesy of http://www.yondermountain.com
We met Eric here in Lyons. He is a musician's musician. He plays everything well. Eric was key in helping work some of the final kinks out of FELiX. Not only does he have killer ears and musicianship, he really knows the finer points about amplifying acoustic instruments and was able to help us work through the final details to make FELiX play nice with a wide array of stuff. We are thankful to have him as a resource and a friend.
He currently performs or has performed with: Carmen Sandim Sextet feat. Ron Miles, Monocle Band, Taarka, members of the Railsplitters, Cassie Taylor, The Fever, Ink Freethinker, Jocelyn Medina, Danny Meyer, Polarity, Phil Robinson Quintet, The Spin, Lindsay and the Lost Caravan, Meryl Romer, George Nelson Band, Aakash Mittal Quartet, Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift) and many others!
photo courtesy of http://www.ericwiggs.com/