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M1A, problem with feedback

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  • M1A, problem with feedback

    About one month ago I purchased and installed an M1A pickup in an older, but otherwise quite normal, Takamine acoustic guitar. I am experiencing serious problems with feedback. Two kinds occur. One appears to be a harmonic high. The severity of this type depends on the note plucked. The second is a strong low pitched form that seems to come from the body of the guitar. I can stop it by pressing hard on the guitar body. I have tried several amplifiers and a PA with identical results. I have repositioned the pickup from the fret side to bridge side of the sound hole, and have tried different angles. I messed around with the height of the poles. I have installed several different thicknesses of felt, cork, or paper washers to isolate the pickup from body vibrations. Only very thick (~1/8") washers have any effect, although they do not solve the problem. It returns if the volume is elevated.

    At present the pickup is unusable to me, whether that be in a live performance or home rehearsal setting. Is there any reason to believe that there may be a problem with this particular pickup? The reviews of the M1A have been uniformly good, and its feedback resistance is often mentioned.

  • #2
    Hi Reevesp,

    Thanks for the heads-up. That sure sounds like something's awry with your M1A. Since you purchased it so recently, it is under warranty and can be tested and repaired or replaced.

    Are you in the US? If so, please call 805-929-3545, ext. 111, to make arrangements for warranty service. Otherwise, please state if not.


    • #3
      OK, great. I will contact the warranty dept. Thanks.


      • #4
        Status: A new M1a was returned to me the same day my old pickup arrived in Nipomo. Wow! Thanks for the quick service! The new M1a is perfect, by the way. I really have to work, like jam the guitar body inches from the PA speaker, to make it feed back. I can finally have my monitor up as loud as I want! Thanks, guys.


        • #5
          You're welcome. Please contact us if you have further comments, questions or concerns. Have a great day and enjoy the pickup!


          • #6
            problem with feedback

            Hi Reevsp.

            Sorry to re hash an old thread but I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about your pickup. I recently bought the M1a too and have trouble with feedback. Like you, one of the things that attracted me to it was how all the reviews agree that it resists feedback well.

            I play through a couple of Fender tube amps and at low to moderate volume levels, the unit howls with microphonic feedback. Would you say that this is similar to what you were experiencing or did your issue go away when you muted the strings? Mine doesn't! If I tap the guitar or pickup, it rings, which is very unpleasant and sounds like it's about to feedback

            On your replacement that you were sent, would you be confident to play your guitar clean but relatively loud through a guitar amp, without worrying that the guitar will feedback uncontrollably? I have spoken to Bryan who says that I can send it back to them but I live in the UK and so don't want to send it if it's actually working as it should.

            If you get a chance, I would really appreciate your help!

            Thanks a lot, Luke


            • #7
              It sounds like you have a problem with your unit. I would advise you send it in for repair or replacement. You should be able to reach very loud volumes without feedback.



              • #8
                I agree. The way I have my M1A routed to the PA, a typical volume setting on the M1A is 3-4. With everything behind it set the same, I can crank the M1A up as high as it will go with absolutely no feedback issues.


                • #9
                  HI , I have (3) m1A PICKUPS THAT I,VE USED ON VARIOUS GUITARS FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF REARS WITH NO PROBLEM. But I recently installed one on a Loprinzi OM body
                  with a thin top. All I got was a feedback and a nasel tone not usable at all. Does this happen to alot of thin top acoustics?If this is the pickup problem would it still be warrantied?
                  thanks lee


                  • #10
                    Luke - One thing that stood out in your post is your mention of playing through a couple of Fender tube amps. Are those acoustic instrument amplifiers? Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly sure Fender's acoustic instrument amps are solid state. If you play through a tube amp for electric guitars, you're getting more bass and definitely more midrange from the amp's voicing than you would from an acoustic amp or a good PA system. This can increase the potential for feedback dramatically. Furthermore, it can be worse if the amps in question are on the floor, even worse if it is backed near a wall and even worse than that if the amp is backed into the corner of a room. If that's the case, pull the amp out away from the wall and place it on a chair or some other stand to prevent the low frequencies from reinforcing and causing feedback.

                    Alamo62 - The nasal sound you described is not normal and should not be there, regardless of the thin guitar top. Please call 805-929-3545, ext. 111, to discuss a test you can do that may identify whether or not your pickup has a fault.


                    • #11
                      I own an M1A and have experienced feedback issues at open mic nights in 2 different acoustic guitars. I keep the volume on the pickup wide open. Would turning the volume down on the pickup help? Otherwise, the warranty has run out and I am just going to trash the pickup or give it away. What a waste of money!


                      • #12
                        Hi Jlester,

                        You should be able to keep the volume on the pickup at full. I wonder if there may have been conditions in the open mic venue and sound system that could have contributed to the chance of feedback.

                        Before assuming the pickup is just bad, would you like to send it in for testing? I'm flexible with warranty cut-off and can extend coverage under certain circumstances.

                        If so, please contact me at [email protected]