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Soundhole Pickups


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#1 datainadequate

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:12 PM

Does anyone have any recommendations for soundhole pickups for an acoustic guitar? I have a nice Ayers AS that I got a few years ago with no intention of ever using it amplified. Of course, now I want to use it amplified, but I don't want to go drilling holes in it. So, what actually works and doesn't produce feedback and gives a halfway ok sound?

Thanks,

John

#2 skej21

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:18 AM

View Postdatainadequate, on 21 November 2014 - 11:12 PM, said:

Does anyone have any recommendations for soundhole pickups for an acoustic guitar? I have a nice Ayers AS that I got a few years ago with no intention of ever using it amplified. Of course, now I want to use it amplified, but I don't want to go drilling holes in it. So, what actually works and doesn't produce feedback and gives a halfway ok sound?

Thanks,

John

The LR Baggs M1 Active is my favourite. Really great sound, adjustable pole pieces and a quick and hassle-free installation :-)
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#3 paulbuzz

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:58 PM

Chiming in with my sound engineer hat on:

DON'T get a single coil magnetic pickup for an acoustic guitar. Loads of people have them, for some inexplicable reason, and they nearly always buzz like a bastard as soon as you get them anywhere near any lights.

When I am president they will be made illegal, and anyone turning up a gig expecting to use one will be burnt at the stake.

Humbucking ones are fine.
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#4 KK Jale

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:52 PM


I've tried a few.

Fishman Neo-D – got one for my godson, simple, actually pretty good, scores 7/10 cos it's cheap
Fishman Rare Earth humbucker – currently have one, a bit expensive and slightly lower-middy but reliable and EQ-able, 8/10. Never tried the single coil
LR Baggs M1 - available active or passive (latter needs external preamp), toppy, slightly Stratty-sounding to me, picks up soundboard vibration and can click when you hit it with a pick, needs to be hung carefully so pickup sides don't touch soundhole, loved mine at first, don't anymore 6/10
DiMarzio - mostly not much cop but discontinued DP-139 is ace, 8/10. Angel model maybe worth a look
Dean Markley - pretty average, 5/10
Shadow, Seymour Duncan: haven't tried any
Sunrise – heavy, expensive, needs own preamp, not very acoustic-y, I like 'em but hey... 7/10
Fishman Blackstack, copy of Sunrise, heavy and electric-sounding 5/10

Naturally all just my opinion... hope this helps.

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#5 datainadequate

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:06 PM

View Postskej21, on 25 November 2014 - 08:18 AM, said:

The LR Baggs M1 Active is my favourite. Really great sound, adjustable pole pieces and a quick and hassle-free installation :-)

Thanks ske21. I have heard many good reports of the LR Baggs M1 and M80. The only reason I haven't just gone out and got one of them is the price! When ah were a lad ah could ave bought five guitars for t' price o' one o' them! On the other hand, I realise there is always an element of you get what you paid for.

#6 datainadequate

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:12 PM

View Postpaulbuzz, on 25 November 2014 - 03:58 PM, said:

Chiming in with my sound engineer hat on: DON'T get a single coil magnetic pickup for an acoustic guitar. Loads of people have them, for some inexplicable reason, and they nearly always buzz like a bastard as soon as you get them anywhere near any lights. When I am president they will be made illegal, and anyone turning up a gig expecting to use one will be burnt at the stake. Humbucking ones are fine.

Thanks for that piece of info. I really do not want to inflict amplified buzzing on anyone. :)

#7 datainadequate

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:23 PM

View PostKK Jale, on 25 November 2014 - 04:52 PM, said:

I've tried a few. Fishman Neo-D – got one for my godson, simple, actually pretty good, scores 7/10 cos it's cheap Fishman Rare Earth humbucker – currently have one, a bit expensive and slightly lower-middy but reliable and EQ-able, 8/10. Never tried the single coil LR Baggs M1 - available active or passive (latter needs external preamp), toppy, slightly Stratty-sounding to me, picks up soundboard vibration and can click when you hit it with a pick, needs to be hung carefully so pickup sides don't touch soundhole, loved mine at first, don't anymore 6/10 DiMarzio - mostly not much cop but discontinued DP-139 is ace, 8/10. Angel model maybe worth a look Dean Markley - pretty average, 5/10 Shadow, Seymour Duncan: haven't tried any Sunrise – heavy, expensive, needs own preamp, not very acoustic-y, I like 'em but hey... 7/10 Fishman Blackstack, copy of Sunrise, heavy and electric-sounding 5/10 Naturally all just my opinion... hope this helps.

Wow, that's a lot of pickups you've tried! Really helps, especially to hear that the LR Baggs might have some downsides.

#8 wateroftyne

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:34 PM

Loads of people I play with have eventually gravitated to one or other of the Baggsseses.

Quite right, too. They're rich, clear, and don't quack. I've heard them through small PAs in pubs, and 2000 seater halls, and they do the job every time.

All IMO, of course.
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#9 KK Jale

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:51 PM

View Postdatainadequate, on 26 November 2014 - 12:23 PM, said:

...especially to hear that the LR Baggs might have some downsides.

Hmm, I may have been a touch harsh.

I do like the M1 for solo stuff. Once though I was in a trio and the other guitarist had a Rare Earth bucker, and eight out of 10 times in walk-up situations - open mics, folk nights, never a soundcheck, that stuff - he kicked my arse. I crumbled, and moved over in self-defense.

M1 possibly has a more silvery, acoustic-ish sound but in those situations the Fishman was just A Bigger Knife (see Croc Dundee).
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#10 hubrad

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:59 PM

I've been using the M1 Active for the last couple of years, and I've lost count of the times I was complimented on my tone. Brilliant pickup!
Trouble is, I've just got hold of the M80. Really brilliant pickup! :rolleyes:
First time in ages I've felt excited about a guitar pickup.
Currently I've got both in the same guitar - bit of a squeeze to put it mildly - for comparison. Trying to work out how to show this to anyone not actually in the shop..
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#11 datainadequate

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 10:04 PM

Thanks all for the advice. Decided to go with an LR Baggs in the end, although I couldn't afford the M80. I've just fitted it to my guitar, and I'll play my first gig with it on Sunday, we'll see how it goes!





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