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Still can't decide on pickups for my Gibson acoustics...

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    sbpark
    Junior Member

  • sbpark
    replied
    Originally posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
    Hey sbpark,
    From what your saying, I don't think that the M1A will give you any more of what you're looking for than the M80 did. The metallic and magnetic sounds that you got from the M80 are simply a part of the pickup being magnetic. The M80 has even less of that sound than the M1 does, in my opinion. The M80's added body sensitivity covers up more of the unnatural magnetic quality.

    If you're using the PZ Pre, then the Lyric should be great! However, if you are going to be playing in situations where you don't have any control over what you plug into, then the Lyric may not be as consistent from one night to the next.

    Have you done any research into the iBeam Active pickup? It would still meet your requirements for "no undersaddle", and depending on the guitar, you can get away with little to no EQ.
    Thanks, Caleb! From what I have read it seems like the biggest complaint of the iBeam is feedback, and it apparently doesn't sound as natural as the Lyric.

    Leave a comment:

  • Caleb_Elling
    Administrator

  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    Hey sbpark,
    From what your saying, I don't think that the M1A will give you any more of what you're looking for than the M80 did. The metallic and magnetic sounds that you got from the M80 are simply a part of the pickup being magnetic. The M80 has even less of that sound than the M1 does, in my opinion. The M80's added body sensitivity covers up more of the unnatural magnetic quality.

    If you're using the PZ Pre, then the Lyric should be great! However, if you are going to be playing in situations where you don't have any control over what you plug into, then the Lyric may not be as consistent from one night to the next.

    Have you done any research into the iBeam Active pickup? It would still meet your requirements for "no undersaddle", and depending on the guitar, you can get away with little to no EQ.

    Leave a comment:

  • sbpark
    Junior Member

  • Still can't decide on pickups for my Gibson acoustics...

    Been experimenting and trying to decide which pickup would be best my my wants/needs. Seem to keep coming back to the LR Baggs pickups as they have treated me well and have never had any issues with them failing, etc. Great products! With that said, here's my situation...

    I have two guitars, a Gibson Advanced Jumbo and the other is a Gibson J45 True Vntage. The Advanced Jumbo has a slotted saddle, so an UST is not an option for that guitar without some modification to the bridge that I do not want to do, along with the fact that J45 Standards Iv'e owned in the past have had LR Baggs Active Elements installed from the factory that I have never enjoyed the sound of. Too rubbery/artificial and quacky despite experimenting with EQ, modeling preamps (Aura Spectrum), TC Body Rez, etc. I also find that UST's don't really allow for changes in playing dynamics and lack sensitivity.

    I had LR Baggs Lyrics in three guitars so far; Martin 000-15M, J45 Standard and a Martin D28. At first I hated the Lyric, but quickly learned that if you take a little time initially in setting it up it can be a very nice sounding pickup. At first I would dial out the initial harshness with the trim pot on the volume control and then the next step was having a good EQ to pull out quite a lot of the low mids. I use a Radial PZ-Pre that seems to work really well with the Lyric. Also, dialing out those low mids also seems to help a little with the Lyric as far as reducing feedback, which many of us know can be a challenge in anything short of the most low volume, intimate settings. Unfortunately for me I just do open mics and don't have the luxury of taking the time to fine tune the EQ each time, do a sound check, etc. and worry if the Lyric will be a good match for the venue's PA, feedback, etc. But when you do have the chance to fine tune it for the gig it can be great and so far the most natural sounding pickup that reproduces the guitar's true tone better than any other pickup/internal mic I've tried. The added bonus is it works wonderful for recording demos or when you don't want to set up a decent mic and take the time to deal with mic placement, etc. Just plug in and record and it yields an impressive acoustic sound.

    I used to have an M80 in an old Yamaha FG441S. Was the first time using a magnetic sound hole pickup in over 20 years since I used a cheap Dean Markley Woody for an acoustic guitar back in high school. The M80 was super simple to install. Just wasn't too stoked on the sound. It sounded too metallic and artificial/bright for my liking despite adjusting pole pieces, etc. I found dialing back the thumb wheel of the volume to around 7 helped a bit though, but it just sounded a bit too "hi-fi" and too "electric" (what was I expecting? It's a MAGNETIC pickup, right?!), yet when you listen to the LR Baggs videos on the LR Baggs site the pickups sound way more "natural" than anything I've ever been able to get out of a mag pickup. Since I play more traditional, singer songwriter type stuff I really don't care about body response and just want a more natural sound, making me possibly consider trying the M1A.

    Unfortunately I don't have any of the guitars mentioned above that had pickups in them. They're long gone and were sold with their respective pickups. I'm currently trying to figure out what to use with my two Gibsons. In addition to the Radial PZ Pre I just have a small Fishman Loudbox Mini, mostly just used for small jams with friends and small gigs (Used to have an SWR California Blonde with it was overkill and a bear to lug around!) Plus for open mics you just bring your guitar and plug into whatever preamp/DI they have, or can sometimes use your own preamp/DI/EQ.

    I'm still kind of leaning toward the Lyric for the two Gibsons, but part of me is wanting to give an M1A a shot. I like the acoustic, natural tone of the Lyric, but it's tendency to feedback as the volume gets louder and it's necessity for lots of EQ'ing make it a risky choice for open mics, but a pleasure to record with. The M1A seems to be a better, more reliable choice for open mics, but not as natural sounding and wont sound as good as the Lyric for recording, and not as touch sensitive, responsive and natural as the Lyric.

    So what do you guys think?
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