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M1 vrs M1A.....sound quality ??

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  • M1 vrs M1A.....sound quality ??

    Okay I have a M1A in my D-18... which sounds great to me and records very well. I'm thinking about getting a M1 passive pickup to eliminate the battery inside a new guitar...I don't like having to unplug the guitar all the time to save the battery in the M1A. This is for a new PONO DS-20 guitar that I'm getting in the next few days...I'm thinking about getting a M1 pickup for it. The M1A will stay in the D-18 and the M1 will go in the PONO....I realize the M1 doesn't have a pre-amp and it's signal should be weaker...but I'm planning on going into a Venue and Session that should boost the signal right ?? So my question is can I expect to get a similar tone with the M1 as I currently get with the M1A ??

    I know the M80 would probably be a better choice but it's out of my budget right now...

    Thanks in advance for any comments !!

  • #2
    I've been searching the internet for info and I could probably get a used M80. I'm reading some very good reviews about it. So I may end up getting one after all.


    • #3
      Hey Martin Maniac,
      In regards to the M1 vs. M1A, the M1 was designed first. Then, when the M1A was being designed, they tried to make it sound identical to the M1. So aside from the guitar that the pickups are installed in, the M1 and M1A should sound VERY similar. If you're running through a Venue and a Session, then any small differences should be even less noticeable.

      If you have the ability to go with an M80, I would personally recommend it. I'm definitely a fan of the M80 over the M1, for tone and versatility.


      • #4
        Caleb, I think I'll take your advice and go with a used's not the time to be cheap. A good quality pickup will last for years...the M-80 I can use without the battery. Should still sound good thru the Venue and Session yes ??


        • #5
          Originally posted by Martin Maniac View Post
          Caleb, I think I'll take your advice and go with a used's not the time to be cheap. A good quality pickup will last for years...the M-80 I can use without the battery. Should still sound good thru the Venue and Session yes ??
          Absolutely. I love what the Session does to the M80's sound.


          • #6
            I just bought a gently used M-80........I listened to the M80 demo on Doug Young's pickup demo website and the M80 sounded fabulous.

            I've been very happy with the M1A design, so I should also be happy with the upgrade to the M80.


            • #7
              Well the "gently used" M-80 turned out to be brand new in an unopened box !!! It arrived to day in perfect condition and sounds great in the Pono DS-20 guitar. Does it sound better than the M1A ?? I think so.

              Thanks for recommendation !!


              • #8
                No problem! I'm glad that you like it.


                • #9
                  I love it, it's perfect. I tried using it in passive mode and for some reason I like that better. Sounds great !! I want to use the passive mode to avoid any battery hassles. I keep forgetting to unplug my M1A and the battery will run down....I had it happen once and the unit was dead for a very important jam/gig. There's a secret to getting it to fit in the Pono have to slide it all the way to the left to get it to slip on...sliding it to the right and it may not go on.

                  I'm playing into one of the brand new Fender acoustic SFX amps, which really don't need a pre-amp. The M-80 sounds great thru that amp !!!


                  • #10
                    I installed the M80 into the Pono guitar yesterday. One little thing was almost a big problem...the endpin jack barrel was a little short. I was able to make it work but barely, but no room for lock nuts, only one washer.... Apparently the end block was a little thicker than normal. If you're looking for design improvement suggestions, I'd say make that threaded barrel a little longer. An extra 1/4" would have been better.. a half inch longer would have been great too because you can adjust the barrel to the length you need.

                    Any shorter and I would have had to order, wire up, and install a different end jack.
                    Last edited by Martin Maniac; 11-13-2015, 03:07 PM.


                    • #11
                      You're right about how the Session DI effects the M-80...I have it running thru the M-80 and Venue and it sounds fantastic. The pre-amps boost the signal dramatically. The M80 delivers a nice even full acoustic sound....I couldn't be happier with my rig...


                      • #12
                        Well the endpin jack button came loose on me. So I took off the one washer and remounted the jack, this time I had a couple more threads to work I put some Loctite adhesive on the threads and tightened it up and am hoping that'll hold it.

                        Yep an extra 1/2" of threaded barrel would have been perfect.