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For Hard Strumming - M1 or I-beam ?

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  • For Hard Strumming - M1 or I-beam ?

    After doing some reading, I am considering either the M1 or the Ibeam and do have a couple of questions regarding the best choice.
    I am fairly confident that I can achieve a great sound with either product, but I do wonder which would be best for my playing style and for reduced feedback.

    Most of the reviews/comments I've read have been by finger-style players. I play with a flatpick and at times, an aggressive strumming style. In short, I will beat on it. I've read that the M1 is great at reducing feedback, however I wonder how the M1 (or any soundhole pickup) will take to take my playing style. Should I be concerned about bangs/pops from hard, percussive playing?

    My only concern with the Ibeam is finding an experienced luthier within a few hours drive, so I'm leaning towards the M1.

    If anyone has any thoughts, experiences or tips they could share, I'd greatly appreciate it !

    Thanks Much

  • #2
    I'm a flat pickin' hard strummer, too, using an M1A. The only problem I have with clicks and pops is that it happens to fit right where I seem to naturally want to strum. I play a very old Gibson J45 which has been rebuilt including a new top. I believe the sound hole may be SLIGHTLY smaller than the original, so it may move the M1A slightly closer to the bridge than it would have been in an original top. Nonetheless, I occasionally hit a pole piece and get a "click." I don't claim to have very good technique but I'm forced to reposition where I strum. One occasional "click" gets my attention and pretty quickly and alerts me to adjust my style.

    All that being said, I'm a HUGE fan of the M1A. I really love it!!!


    • #3
      I've had the I-beam for years. It is solid, easy to install, and reliable. The only thing that took a little work was moving it around to find the best tone on my guitar. You will not need to go to a luthier to install it. You just need someone with woodworking skills to drill the hole for the jack. Everything else is on videos and write ups online.

      I cannot comment on the M1A. For my next guitar I am looking to get the Anthem. I played it on a Larrivee and it was phenomenal.


      • #4
        I'd like to mention that the M1 and iBeam can be blended together at any ratio through an iMIX preamp. The iMIX is available as a kit with the passive M1 in place of either the Element or the iBeam.

        The M1 and iBeam is the more popular alternative combo as it removes the undersaddle pickup from the equation(less effect on the guitar's acoustic properties) and provides two body-sensitive sources for a richer and fuller sound.