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M80 + iBeam Active?

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  • M80 + iBeam Active?

    I posted a while ago about having feedback problems with the iBeam Active that I have in my Santa Cruz OM. I am currently using the iBeam with a ParaDI, occasionally using a sound hole cover as well.

    I feel like I am having to notch out a lot of the warmth of the iBeam in order to avoid feedback, and the sound hole cover seems to make my tone too thin and sterile. I do like the way the iBeam sounds, but am now considering a pickup that is a little more feedback-resistant. I'm sort of interested to try out the M80, but I want to leave the iBeam in the guitar, at least until I decide I like the M80 better, if that even happens. Without having actually tried it, I think I'd like to use the iBeam in quieter situations, and the M80 in louder situations.

    (I know the iBeam + Element is the "normal" way to go, but I think I'd prefer the sound of the M80 over the Element in case I need the signal to be predominantly not the iBeam.)

    That brings me to a few questions:
    • Can the iBeam and the M80 be used together in a sort of "dual source" way?
    • Would I need something like the iMix preamp to join the M80 and iBeam signals?
    • Does the iMix work with the iBeam Active, technically speaking?
    • Does this even sound like a good idea? Would the M80 and iBeam tones work well together?
    • And one final question, how does the iBeam compare to something like the Lyric in terms of feedback resistance? Is the Lyric only marginally more feedback-resistant than the iBeam when it's compared to something like the M80?
    • Ok, I guess one more. If I already like the sound of the iBeam Active, what is a good feedback-resistant alternative that is not a dual source solution?


  • #2
    The M80 and the iBeam can be combined together in the iMix preamp. This is actually recommended if you want to use both pickups in the same guitar. You would need to remove the iBeam preamp and attach your iBeam to a mini-plug, but any LR Baggs shop should be able to do that pretty easily. Overall, this is a really nice combination, although it is pretty expensive.

    The iBeam isn't as resistant to feedback as the Lyric, but the M80 is significantly more resistant than either the iBeam or Lyric.

    If you want a simpler alternative that is significantly more feedback resistant, but still natural sounding, I would recommend looking into the Anthem SL. The Anthem SL is the best of both worlds- high feedback resistance, with a natural mic'd sound. This is my personal system of choice, and I highly recommend it for a variety of applications.