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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....Click To Read More About This Product

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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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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

SUPER pickup

By Dakota FlameRider

from South Dakota

See all my reviews

Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic 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 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.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

best acoustic pickup I've tried

By paul-ufb47

from Florida

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

10
I put this pickup in my guitar about 2 weeks ago & dearly love this thing. Over the last 40 some years I've tried several different kinds of acoustic pickups. This one is a thousand times better than the under saddle unit I have been having a hateful relationship with for several years now. Wish they would have had this unit on the market 20 years ago. I can actually enjoy playing my flat top again.. now I'll have to relearn all those fingerpickin' & bluegrass songs that I quit playing when I went to electric guitar. It isn't cheap, but I can tell you it is worth it. I don't mind laying out the cash when something works this good. I also like the color as it looks real good sitting on the blond top of my guitar. No more eq / volume on the belt.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

couldnt ask for a better acoustic pickup

By eric G. guitar god

from Charleston , WV

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Pricey

Best Uses

  • Backup
  • Concerts
  • Everything
  • Practicing

Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

wowwwwww!!! ive played many acoustics with different preamps and with other soundhole pickups and none come close i play it in my1996 taylor 410 dread and its absolutly brilliant

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Guitars with 1 inch thick end blocks.

By Soundhole

from Tucson, AZ

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Active volume control
  • Good Quality

Cons

  • Battery removal
  • Difficult To Use
  • Strap Jack installation

Best Uses

  • Church Choir

Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

Guitar with thicker tail blocks will also need to have the 1/2 inch drilling enlarged to 11/16 inch from the inside of the guitar body. The depth of this bore must be only deep enough to accept the internal washers and thread the locknut and barrel onto the threaded section while leaving the proper amount of protrusion of the external threaded section that the external washer, retaining nut and strap ring thread onto. Enough of the 1/2 inch drilling must remain in order to center the strap-jack in the hole and allow the assembly to be adequately tightened with the lock nuts. I used a step drill to progressively bore the 1/2 inch hole from the outside using a hand-held drill at slow speed. I progressively bored the 11/16 inch hole from the inside using a larger step drill, a 3/8 inch drive mechanic's ratchet with 9 inch extension and socket to drive the step drill.
When removing the battery, press "down" firmly on the battery, where it says to press. The battery will rock out of it's recepticle. Using a pencil with a soft eraser is helpful.

(4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Hollow Quacky Sound

By ClamBake

from 96815

Verified Buyer

Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

Watch out. All those great reviews you read may be ringers. I fell for them and was appalled at the hollow mid-range quack. Was halfway decent thru my Bose L1 but soon found out at live gigs (festivals and TV without the L1) that it was hollow and tinny no matter how I adjusted the poles and the EQ on my Baggs Venue preamp. Sent it back.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very good pickup

By Matt B.

from Rural Hall, NC

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      I bought this so I could connect my Taylor Big Baby to my Xbox while playing Rocksmith.

      Temporary installation was simple: Loosen the strings (Big Babys are slightly undersized), and slide it in. Permanent installation is also easy if you trust yourself with a drill (get a step bit). The only install issue I had was with the included wire clips. They are very flimsy, and can loosen if you move the guitar too abruptly.

      The sound coming out is very clean and true to tone. It handles effects well (the game is called Rocksmith after all), but it can be a bit disorienting since you also hear the full acoustic sound. The built in preamp allows me to play my guitar through my karaoke system, so I can play along with any song in my library.

      All in all, I am very pleased with my purchase.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Pickup

      By Obie-Wp3Qq

      from Galt

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      I am very pleased with this pickup. Did have to drill a hole for installation, but my husband did it with no problems. Used a 1/2" drill. It was installed and I was playing music in minutes!! It picks up the notes beautifully and totally enhances the tones from your guitar. Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to amplify the guitar they have!!

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup

      By Stringman-baVRo

      from Oil City, PA

      See all my reviews

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      Overall I gave this a 9 because the volume control wheel is just a tad small and you may get a little tapping sound if you do any real hard strumming but overall you won't find better !
      I used this pickup on my Martin Custom D rosewood , I installed it myself in about 15 minutes if your not adept at using a drill have a luthier do it . If you do it yourself put tape over the where you drill out the endpin hole that way you won't chip out your finish .
      Very well built and high quality materials used
      If your looking for a easy to install and high quality sound pickup this ones for you ! No hum and no feedback . For the price you won't find better.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Does not make your strings sound like rubber bands.

      By Michael Whyte

      from Rockford, IL

      Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

      I've been using the Baggs M1A pickup in my '73 Guild F-40 for three or four years, and it's a keeper. I plan on buying a second one for my 12-string.
      Not much to it. Very simple...the way I like it!
      I had previously been using an under saddle pickup of some or other variety (it had already been installed when I bought the guitar) and had never been happy with the live sound I'd been getting, even while using various "high end" preamps. The under saddle always lent a tinny sound to the guitar (decidedly NOT charactaristic of a jumbo body Guild), and the other soundhole pickups I'd tried (DiMarzio, Fishman) tilted toward the dreaded "rubber band" sound I'd always hated about acoustic-electric guitars. While I can't say the M1A fully captures the depth and richness of a nearly 40 year old guitar, it at least sounds natural, and with a minimum of fuss. I no longer need a preamp, and never use an outboard EQ (tried it and only managed to make my guitar sound worse). Just a DI and a good P.A. and soundman. My Guild lays comfortably in the mix with the rest of my band, and manages to stay present against electric guitar, lap steel, keyboards, accordian, and electric bass. Installation is super easy. The volume wheel is a bit awkward to reach at first, but I got used to it in short order.
      All-in-all, a superb product for the price.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great pickup

      By John

      from Ashland, Ky

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Ease Of Installation
      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality
      • Improves Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about LR Baggs M1A Active Soundhole Magnetic Pickup:

          This was a replacement for a Martin Thinline 332 in an Epiphone JC200. The installation was a piece of cake, although a little extra drilling was required for the input jack. The tonal quality is exactly what I was looking for.

          Displaying reviews 1-10

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