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LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup   

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The M1 Active features built-in all class A electronics, so there's no need for any external preamps and it's compatible with any outboard equipment....Read More

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OVERVIEW

Takes the M1 pickup to a new level of performance and convenience.

The M1 Active features built-in all class A electronics, so there's no need for any external preamps and it's compatible with any outboard equipment. The new volume control gives you fingertip access in any performing situation.

The M1 is a humbucking pickup with a twist. In a common stacked humbucker, the second, lower coil cancels hum, but doesn't contribute anything positive to the sound. In fact, it can muddy the sound of the main coil. The M1 unlocks the second coil. This allows it to make a positive sonic contribution while maintaining the pure open sound of a single coil--but without the hum.

TriAxial Dynamic Technology
The hum-canceling coil is suspended under the main coil by a tuned support that allows it to move in 3 dimensions. The primary coil moves with the guitar top and creates a body signal in the suspended secondary coil. This brings the M1 to life, with string and body sound all in one. It's like having a dual pickup system in your soundhole. And it's all passive! The support is carefully tuned to control motion in all 3 dimensions. This allows you to selectively add the presence and realism from the body signal while suppressing runaway feedback.

FEATURES
  • Outstanding body sensitivity with great warmth and presence
  • Class A electronics
  • Long battery life
  • Top-mounted volume control wheel
  • Quiet, hum-free operation under the most challenging live conditions
  • High feedback resistance
  • Adjustable pole pieces with smooth threadless tops preserve fingerstylists' nails
  • Built-in gold-plated 1/8" jack makes moving or removing the pickup a snap
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
LR BaggsM1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup
 
4.5

(based on 47 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good quality (16)
  • Functional (15)
  • Easy to use (12)
  • Improves sound (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (10)
  • Practicing (8)
  • Back-up (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (14), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

SUPER pickup

The mix of body and string sounds accurately reproduce the acoustic tone of my guitar. The above mentioned strapjack issue was disappointing and nearly a show stopper but a bit of inventiveness resolved the...Read complete review

The mix of body and string sounds accurately reproduce the acoustic tone of my guitar. The above mentioned strapjack issue was disappointing and nearly a show stopper but a bit of inventiveness resolved the issue.

An optional "long reach" strapjack would be a welcome addition. My guitar can't be the only one in the world with an extra thick tail block.

A choice of white or black might be welcomed by some; however, the white certainly stands out and is distinctive
I installed the M1A in my 1956 Gibson Southern Jumbo. The sound is AMAZING. I'm extremely impressed. The M1A makes a fantastic vintage acoustic sound equally fantastic amplified.

One caviat, however. Gibson really built tanks back then compared to the typical newer acoustic. The tail block on the Gibson was about a 1/4" thicker than the M1A strapjack could accomodate. Baggs extremely responsive and helpful tech support advised countersinking the hole from the inside. That simply wasn't an option for me and there is no qualified luthier available so I had to get inventive, but I was able to engineer a fix that worked fine.

IMHO, spending the time to balance each pole piece is a necessity and results in a rich, bright sound with excellent sustain. I am running the M1A with no EQ into a TC Helicon Harmony G. There is PLENTY of gain.

I'm VERY pleased with this pickup!!!!
The M1A is certainly at the higher price range of sound hole pickups, but it's well worth the investment, especially since it can move from instrument to instrument pretty easily.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not Impressed

As others have stated, I had heard about this pickup and listened to some samples online. Sounded good. Bought it, installed it without a problem and disliked it as soon as I used...Read complete review

As others have stated, I had heard about this pickup and listened to some samples online. Sounded good. Bought it, installed it without a problem and disliked it as soon as I used it.

Someone else said in a review that the mid-range is honky, and that is very true. Highs are also shrill, and lows aren't full. I've adjusted the posts time and again and still can't get a true acoustic sound out of it. It's basically an electric guitar pickup stuck in an acoustic guitar soundhole, and it sounds like it.

Another problem is that it's noisy. It picks up unwanted pick sounds, taps, ticks, bumps...everything. The manual says that padding is not recommended since the M1A absorbs resonance from the guitar body to create a fuller sound, but it also absorbs every little creak and crack that's produced when performing live. I use a percussive effect on my guitar during some songs, but that's intentional. Unintentional noise is distracting, maddening and unprofessional.

I'm gigging almost every night, sometimes playing 6 or 7 shows a week, 3 to 4 hours a show, performing mostly covers crossing several genres. My main guitar is a Larrivee and it has an LR Baggs Stage Pro Element under-saddle pickup, which I love, but that guitar needed some body work and I put it in the shop. I'm using my backup guitar now, an older Takamine. The onboard electronics on this instrument produce a 60 cycle hum, probably because of some decay in the circuits, so I got the M1A, trusting LR Baggs to produce a quality unit. The Takamine sounds bright already, but this pickup makes it sound like a toy. I'm running it through a Line 6 POD Pro, a Boss GEQ 7 and a Bose Tone Control module with an L1 Model II Bose stick sound system, and, with all the modeling and EQ shaping, I can make it sound alright, but it still needs more mothering than I'd like to give. When you're a working musician, you can't afford to waste time and nerve endings messing with settings all night long. Others I've talked with feel the same, all industry professionals (performers, writers, luthiers, promoters, etc.).

I have to keep using it because I just don't have the time, money and energy to replace the pickup on my backup guitar right now. Once I get my main instrument back, I'll work on bringing the Tak up to snuff, probably installing a REAL acoustic pickup, and probably using an LR Baggs unit like the Element or something similar.

Bottom line: not a product worthy of more than a glance.

Reviewed by 47 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Excellent tone

By Matteop

from Ridgefield, CT

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      After reading reviews for many alternatives, I chose the LR Baggs M1A for my Yamaha 12 string. Simply put, this pickup has a more natural tone than almost any piezo/preamp setup. Although not as loud, it is clearly a more realistic acoustic sound through a PA. In my case, because I am changing guitars on stage through the same channel, I simply use an EQ to bring up the gain a bit.

      Although I have not tried other magnetic pickups, this one does a terrific job and was very simple to install with a 1/2" drill bit and a variable speed drill.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      It serves a purpose well

      By JC Causeway

      from Spokane Valley, WA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Cuts Through The Mix
      • Feedback Resistant
      • Functional
      • Good Quality

      Cons

      • Acoustic sound is limited
      • pick/finger noise

      Best Uses

      • Amped setting
      • Band settings
      • Concerts

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      It serves it purpose...there are always trade offs.

      I love the feedback resistance and its ability to cut through a band or loader solo/duo situation. I have a colleague that has the LR Baggs Anthem System, which he loves the natural sound reproduction. However, when the volume goes up he has feedback issues and I that do not have.

      It has been my experience that a good stage sound is not always a good front room sound (kind of like a great strat blues tone at home doesn't always cut through a band mix). I get most of the acoustic tone and string response I need playing live without having to EQ out the "natural overtones" and airy bass noise that muddies up that air space of some amped situations. I do get some unwanted pick and finger noise if I get aggressive directly over the pickup, so I have to move my picking hand back a bit.

      I do also use the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI which really thickens and warms each note; from there I go into a Fishman Artist which is a great stage monitor then to the PA.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      It serves a purpose well

      By JC Causeway

      from Spokane Valley, WA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Cuts Through The Mix
      • Feedback Resistant
      • Functional
      • Good Quality

      Cons

      • Acoustic sound is limited
      • pick/finger noise

      Best Uses

      • Amped setting
      • Band settings
      • Concerts

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      It serves it purpose...there are always trade offs.

      I love the feedback resistance and its ability to cut through a band or loader solo/duo situation. I have a colleague that has the LR Baggs Anthem System, which he loves the natural sound reproduction. However, when the volume goes up he has feedback issues and I that do not have.

      It has been my experience that a good stage sound is not always a good front room sound (kind of like a great strat blues tone at home doesn't always cut through a band mix). I get most of the acoustic tone and string response I need playing live without having to EQ out the "natural overtones" and airy bass noise that muddies up that air space of some amped situations. I do get some unwanted pick and finger noise if I get aggressive directly over the pickup, so I have to move my picking hand back a bit.

      I do also use the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI which really thickens and warms each note; from there I go into a Fishman Artist which is a great stage monitor then to the PA.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      big ol NOPE

      By jeffrey wright

      from georgia

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Easy to install

      Cons

      • Not A Good Choice

      Best Uses

      • Solo Acoustic

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      OK, let me just preface this by saying that i only literally used it live on 1/2 a set, but that was enough for me to get rid of it. I was playing an acoustic DUO with a drummer. I installed this on a Guild guitar all wood. The snare drum was coming through the M1A and it sounded like you were hearing it through a telephone. Basically any sound your guitar makes, or any sound that resonates the top of your guitar comes out in this pickup. it wouldn't have been a big deal if it was a good tone, but the m1a's body sensativity has a very nasal and irritating tone to it. It will interrupt your performance due to you just being annoyed by it.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Sound comes alive.

      By JimJam

      from Wild Wonderful West Virginia

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality
      • Improves Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Anytime

        Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

        Bought two of these, and just love them.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        Nice live perfomance pickup

        By Rockerduck

        from Marietta, Ga.

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Functional
        • Good Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backup
          • Concerts
          • Practicing

          Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

          I put the M1a pickup in my Alvarez/Yairi acoustic guitar so I could perform without mic'ing it. It has some midrange to it that makes it cut thru a band mix. For softer play I use a Boss GE-7 eq to adjust the mids out. Luv it for playing slide too.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          5.0

          Great Pickup

          By Blind Joe Death

          from Davenport, IA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

            Was not thrilled with the preamp system in my Lag T200DCE (but love the guitar!) so I bought this pickup. Excellent sound quality and picks up percussive taps and slaps (a la Michael Hedges) but doesn't pick up subtle movements like an in-body mic. With the 6 adjustable pickups, you cannot go wrong if you want to amplify the true sound of your guitar.
            P.S. Small shipping issue since I bought this item restocked, but Musician's Friend was extremely helpful and overnighted it in order to get it to me in the original shipping timeline. EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE, which I'm always worried about when buying something online.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            4.0

            Awesome for the price!

            By Rarefaction

            from Bristol, CT

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Functional
            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

            • Volume Is Easy To Bump

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

            I have an Ovation legend that came with a poor quality saddle pickup that was cutting out on me so i went cheap and got a Seymour Duncan woody humbucker that has a terrible ac buzz, so I decided to try the M1A. Installation was a snap and bang I was back in business. This thing sounds great with my radial pz delux preamp. It is very bright but also has a rich low end. I had to dial back the high mids a bit but it eq's really well. It is also very active and brings out some of the imperfections of my instrument i had not previously noticed due to the extreme clarity this pickup brings to the table. I also play a bit of percussion on the body of my guitar and this unit picks up the finger tapping on the sound board well (the Seymour Duncan did not). For the price this is a great pickup. My only real disappointment is that I cannot use my sans amp distortion anymore because the M1A is so active it squeals wildly with feedback when overdriven. Oh and I had to put a little piece of clear tape on the volume knob so I would stop bumping it down when playing aggressively.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Not Impressed

            By Bob

            from Lubbock, TX

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Functional

            Cons

            • Noisy
            • Poor Quality
            • Tinny Sound

            Best Uses

              Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

              As others have stated, I had heard about this pickup and listened to some samples online. Sounded good. Bought it, installed it without a problem and disliked it as soon as I used it.

              Someone else said in a review that the mid-range is honky, and that is very true. Highs are also shrill, and lows aren't full. I've adjusted the posts time and again and still can't get a true acoustic sound out of it. It's basically an electric guitar pickup stuck in an acoustic guitar soundhole, and it sounds like it.

              Another problem is that it's noisy. It picks up unwanted pick sounds, taps, ticks, bumps...everything. The manual says that padding is not recommended since the M1A absorbs resonance from the guitar body to create a fuller sound, but it also absorbs every little creak and crack that's produced when performing live. I use a percussive effect on my guitar during some songs, but that's intentional. Unintentional noise is distracting, maddening and unprofessional.

              I'm gigging almost every night, sometimes playing 6 or 7 shows a week, 3 to 4 hours a show, performing mostly covers crossing several genres. My main guitar is a Larrivee and it has an LR Baggs Stage Pro Element under-saddle pickup, which I love, but that guitar needed some body work and I put it in the shop. I'm using my backup guitar now, an older Takamine. The onboard electronics on this instrument produce a 60 cycle hum, probably because of some decay in the circuits, so I got the M1A, trusting LR Baggs to produce a quality unit. The Takamine sounds bright already, but this pickup makes it sound like a toy. I'm running it through a Line 6 POD Pro, a Boss GEQ 7 and a Bose Tone Control module with an L1 Model II Bose stick sound system, and, with all the modeling and EQ shaping, I can make it sound alright, but it still needs more mothering than I'd like to give. When you're a working musician, you can't afford to waste time and nerve endings messing with settings all night long. Others I've talked with feel the same, all industry professionals (performers, writers, luthiers, promoters, etc.).

              I have to keep using it because I just don't have the time, money and energy to replace the pickup on my backup guitar right now. Once I get my main instrument back, I'll work on bringing the Tak up to snuff, probably installing a REAL acoustic pickup, and probably using an LR Baggs unit like the Element or something similar.

              Bottom line: not a product worthy of more than a glance.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Good enough for another one.

              By Plunker

              from Chanute, KS

              About Me Novice

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Functional
              • Good Quality
              • Improves Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Backup

                Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

                This is my second M1-A for my second Taylor. Love the sound quality and the ability to adjust the volume without having to touch the mixer.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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