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Is M80 swappable with my existing M1 Active 1.8" cabling

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  • Is M80 swappable with my existing M1 Active 1.8" cabling

    First time here. Looking at getting the M80. Proud and satisfied owner of M1 Active for a number of years. I like the idea of more body amplification, battery checker and the ability to switch to passive mode. My luthier installed end pin jack and cabling for the M1. Can I use the existing cable and simply plug in the M80?

    1975 dreadnought Martin clone
    Finger picking and strumming style
    Wireless Line 6 Relay ( for wandering around the audience)

    Two amplification modes:
    BOSE L1 Compact using line out no guitar preset on Channel 2 the BOSE guitar preset on the L1 compact is too boomy for my ears
    BOSE T1 mixer using M1 Active Tonematch preset into line out on Compact
    Also have BOSE L1 Model II and use it for larger venues always with the T1 Tonematch

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    The M1A and the M80 use the same output harness. So you can use the M80 with the jack that is already installed, and without any modification to the guitar.


    • #3
      Thanks Caleb! Just another question regarding the M80. I have watched all the performing artists and note that they are seated. Since I am often moving about among the audience will the M80 be too senstitive to my movements? I often play a duo where the other player is using an arranger keyboard with drums,bass, etc. My thought is the M80 will help me cut through the mix when I play with him. Thanks again.


      • #4
        The M80 is sensitive to the body, but not overly so. I've seen the M80 used live by some very active and energetic bands, as well as playing it myself, and I've never noticed any over sensitivity.


        • #5
          Thanks Caleb. Off we go!


          • #6
            And we have lift off! Picked up this afternoon (pardon the pun) easy switchout and a noticeable improvement over an already good M1 Active. Very happy! Thanks to Lorne and all the crew at LA Baggs!!!


            • #7
              I will add to this rather than start a new thread since my subject is related.

              I just bought an M1a the other day and had it installed in a Recording King guitar that I bought the same day. It was a spur of the moment thing, and at the time I didn't realize that there was an improved model: the M80.

              I was interested in exchanging my M1a for the M80 and was wondering if the endpoint jack assembly was close enough that one could be substituted for the other in the retail packaging.

              On the other hand, I'm not sure if maybe the M1a might not be a little better for me personally. I play jazzy arrangements of pop and Christian tunes. I play fingerstyle with no nails and hence the sound coming from the strings is quite soft. After struggling with fret and body noises with a piezo, I stumbled upon the idea of using a magnetic pickup. That worked really well with my style and lately my two guitars have been a Loar archtop with a floating pickup and an Ibanez with a magnetic soundhole pickup. Two different looks but really a similar sound.

              Anyway, as much as I like the magnetic pickup, I missed a bit of the acoustic sound with it. I listened to lots of online demos and liked the M1 the best of any. I'm not really after a purely acoustic sound. I just want a little bit of acoustic sparkle mixed in with the jazz-boxy sound.

              When I listen to the M1A, I really like it a lot. Much more than the purely magnetic sound I was getting, but I feel like if I could adjust the blend, I would go for a little more magnetic and a bit less body. I am getting a touch more fret squeak than I would like. Keep in mind that my style is soft so the noises are relatively louder. This is related to my style in particular. I am going for a sound along the lines of of Martin Taylor on his Vanden archtop: a jazz box with bronze round wound strings with a piezo blended in for a little high frequency sparkle.

              As I read up on the M80, I understand that the blend is about 60% magnetic to about 40% acoustic. On the M1 I have read that it is about 80% magnetic to 20% acoustic. I also understand that the EQ is different on the M80 and that the acoustic part emphasizes lower frequencies.

              These two things would probably be good for 99% of all users, but they both scare me. I turn the low frequencies up a bit and do bass lines under everything. I kind of like the magnetic pickup in this range. I don't play my guitar like a drum at all. Then the 40% blend: at 20% I already am looking at raising the pole pieces and putting felt or cork at the soundhole mounts. It seems to me that the M80 would be a step away from this.

              If I could actually try them both out I would know in just a couple of seconds which one would suit me better, but I haven't got that chance where I live.

              Here is me playing with the regular soundhole pickup that doesn't add any body resonance:

              And here is my playing the same sort of style with an archtop:

              Which would be better for this type of playing? The M1 or the M80?


              • #8
                I just found this. Not in English but you can tell which is which by watching him change the plug. A mic comparison of the M1a and M80 with a soft fingerstyle, and while they both sound pretty, the m80 is clearly better sounding even with soft fingerstyle.


                • #9
                  First of all let me apologize for calling the company founder Lorne instead of Lloyd and the company LA Baggs instead of LR!
                  I guess I was so enthusiastic about my new M80!. In response to your question Lkingston I would highly recommend the M80 and have no regrets about using it. On top of the sound you also get the added battery level indicator which is very useful. Of course the amp or sound system you use is very important. Based on your videos I think you'll do just fine. Thanks for sharing and let us know how you make out.



                  • #10
                    These days I do more video than music, and when I do do music, it's sort of sneaking it in. Anyway, here is a video I did for a local Celebrate Recovery program (a Christian 12 steps program). The guitar is my winging the song "Faling in Love With Jesus". This is an inexpensive Recording King guitar (which I adore) and the M1a pickup. No EQ. Just a little reverb. This is pretty much exactly the sound I was going for. A sort of jazz boxy sound with just a little soundboard sparkle, sort of like what Martin Taylor gets from his Vanden signature model archtop with the blend between piezo and magnetic pickups. Anyway, for what it's worth here is the video with my M1a guitar playing:

                    This is "Celebrate Recovery - Spring 2014 - Music and smiles version" by FUMC Video Channel on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who…

                    If you listen closely you can hear the guitar body rubbing against my clothes. That's because the playing style is so soft and so amplified. That's with the 20% body sound of the M1a. I would expect the M80 to have 40% body sound and be a bit much with my style (but better for almost everyone else) I really hope to be able to try one soon just to know for sure. In the meantime, I am really very pleased with the sound of the M1a.
                    Last edited by Lkingston; 04-14-2014, 06:46 PM. Reason: Spelling


                    • #11
                      The M80 is definitely more body-sensitive, but really, it's mostly in the low end. So handling noise is slightly more noticeable in the M80 than it is in the M1A.

                      The M1A also has more of that very unique "boxy" magnetic sound. So I think that for your applications, the M1A sounds like it would suit you better.

                      The audio sounds great too! Nice playing.


                      • #12
                        One last question about the M80 vs the M1a: How is the M80 for fret squeak? Twice the body sensitivity might exaggerate the squeak but the way the body sound frequency response is in a lower range which could possibly make it even less of an issue than with the M1a in spite of the greater sensitivity. Can someone with experience compare fret squeak between the two?


                        • #13
                          This might be a little more subjective, but I can at least share my thoughts.

                          Since the M1 and M80 are magnetic pickups, string noise can be more prominent than other types of pickups, by nature. The M1, not having as much body in the signal compared to the M80, should have slightly more string sound in the signal. There is still quite a bit of string response in the M80, but in my experience, the body sensor masks this more than the M1 does.

                          I personally think that EQ is a much more exact way to remove excessive string and fret noise, when necessary. When I have new strings, or use a pickup that has a lot of "squeak", I usually cut a small amount of 2-3kHz. This typically does the trick, but as always, use your ears to fine-tune the EQ to fit your instrument, pickup, and playing situation.


                          • #14
                            Finally getting an m80

                            OK, I'm back. When I was last here, I had just bought an M1a and had it installed, only to get home and realize that there was the new and improved M80 version.

                            The other day, I found a really good deal on a Martin DX1 with no pickup. I just ordered an M80 for this guitar.

                            I also checked out the Anthem system demos, but while it sounds more realistic, I don't find it as pleasing.

                            One of the things that drove me nuts with the M1a is that I could hear my clothing squeaking against the glossy finish of my Recording King acoustic. I'm hoping with the satin finish on the HPL body and the lower frequency spectrum of the M80 this won't be as much of an issue.

                            Also, I use a Tech 21 Para DI when I go straight to PA, and a Henriksen Bud amp otherwise, and both of these options have enough preamp gain to let me use the M80 in passive mode, which is tempting. I'll try both modes when I get the pickup.

                            I watched some online demos of the new Session DI and what is going to keep me using the Tech 21 Para DI is the blend control. With the Tech 21, I always play with a blend of saturated and straight sound. What this gives me is a really cool subtly saturated sound but it keeps the clarity that even the subtlest saturation amount kills. I wouldn't use the saturation without the blend control and the Session DI doesn't have it. On the other hand, the multiband EQ compression sounds fantastic.


                            • #15
                              Hey Lkingston,
                              It sounds like you are going to enjoy the M80!

                              On a side note, satin finished guitars usually have more body noise, but that really depends on the pickup. Hopefully the M80 will pair really well with the Martin.

                              Let us know how it goes. It would be great to hear your thoughts.