advice on soundhole pickups

RevolutionMan

Member
Messages
414
Hi All, Hoping some of you experienced acoustic players can point me in the right direction please.

I'd like to put a soundhole pickup in my martin HD28-V to use for some songwriter showcase kind of gigs. I'm well versed in electric guitars and amps, but my knowledge of acoustic gear is very limited.

I want the sound quality to be the best possible, but don't want to outfit the guitar with anything like a fishman or anything that requires modding the guitar, no holes drilled, want to leave the guitar intact.

Any recommendations on brands or models? There seems to be a lot of them to choose from, don't know where to begin. Also, if anyone has any other solutions, please let me know.

Thanks very much. Todd
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,450
the BEST soundhole pickup is a Sunrise magnetic with buffer box. Not cheap but still the best. http://www.sunrisepickups.com/

Check out who uses the Sunrise.

I had a Baggs M1 which might be a second choice, but to my ear, it's not a close second.
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,850
I use a pretty el Cheapo Fishman Rare Earth Single Coil also comes in Hum.
Has worked great for me.
If you really need to control your tone and sound and volume, I'd recommend adding a DI box or something of that sort that you can use to shape the signal.
 

mischultz

Member
Messages
1,088
I'd agree that the Sunrise is the best option here. They do offer a kit where you can run the cable externally if you're determined not to make any changes to the instrument.

However, I don't know that you'll be able to stop there if you want to get a truly representative acoustic sound from the pickup. At a minimum, you'll need a much higher quality DI than anything you'll find at the local coffee shop. The Countryman Type 85 or BSS AR133 would be a starting point.

I might be inclined to go with the Baggs Paracoustic DI, which is comparably priced and will offer some EQ control, which you'll need to dial out the electric midrange inherent to any magnetic pickup.

Beyond that, a little reverb or delay to give it some space would be a worthwhile move.

I think it's perfectly appropriate to leave a vintage instrument unmolested, and it's certainly an option for current production as well. It will just take a little more effort and investment to achieve results on a level with the current crop of internal systems.

Michael
 

bigroy

Member
Messages
1,412
Originally posted by r9player
I use a pretty el Cheapo Fishman Rare Earth Single Coil also comes in Hum.
Has worked great for me.
If you really need to control your tone and sound and volume, I'd recommend adding a DI box or something of that sort that you can use to shape the signal.
I use the Fishman Rare Earth Single Coil as well. I like the tone of it better than the Humbucker version. I send it thru a Baggs Para DI...

I owned the sunrise system, had it installed in a J45. I didn't like it as much as I do the Fishman. Maybe it didn't sound "right" with the J45.
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,850
My rare earth cost me $50 and an external DI Baggs is $150.
I don't know but I think you'll find results to be acceptable to excellent
 

MOJO

Member
Messages
3,354
there was a good review in "Guitarist" magazine about the new
Rio Grande acoustic soundhole pickup.

it's attached to the back of a lute type designed sound hole cover, something like this with the pickup attached to the back
of the cover

it got pretty good review


http://www.lutehole.com/products.htm


Ps i don't see it Rio's website yet though....
 

HEY!YOU!

Senior Member
Messages
3,795
Ive got a Bill Lawrence pup that fits in the sound hole nicely and you can rotate it so you can have more hi or low tone; no holes, scratches, issues to the guitar. Got it around 1975.


I don't really play acoustic amplified, I'd sell it if your interested. Don't even know if it's made anymore, but it sounds killer.
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,127
I use a Sunrise S-1 with the Baggs Paracoustic DI - it's a great set-up, IMO. The Sunrise is not a transparent pup - it has it's own sound, but it's a killer one. The Baggs DI has lots of EQing possibilities and has a volume control on it - handy if you don't have a volume pedal. Sounds good into a PA or a guitar amp, too.

I would recommend using an endpin jack, and having your tech attach a 3.5 mm female plug inside the body - that way you won't have a cable hanging on the face of your guitar. Pretty non-invasive mod, and you'll be happy you did it IMO.
 

royd

Member
Messages
2,039
Yes... the Sunrise is great (I use one) but they are expensive and as has been said, they have their own sound that either you like or not. They also like to be used in multiple source situations. I use a McIntyre with mine through a Sunrise pre-amp and a Raven blender... yep its getting pricey and complicated.

I like the Baggs M1 a lot and on a more limited budget I would go with it in a heartbeat.

My daughter has a fishman Rare Earth and it is a distant third in the race although can be tweaked to get a reasonable sound.
 

Pa'ani

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,480
I have a Schertler, Sunrise, LR Baggs M1A & Duel Source, Highlander 2, Fishman Magnetic & piezo, K&K Trinity installed in various acoustic guitars with stunning results!
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
6,875
The Sunrise has a big reputation. I have a Baggs M1 active the gives a good "acoustic" tone. The possible downside is that it picks up a lot of body noise - good for percussion players, maybe a problem for others. I also make my own from strat SCs, and for years I gigged with a piezo and magnetic going to an outboard preamp/mixer.
 
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tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,056
The Sunrise is my favorite sound hole pickup, I've had them in four or five guitars. Get the pre-amp box if you go that route.
 

Celticdave

Seeker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,221
I've used just about everything mentioned here, along with others, and my favorite so far is the Fishman Rare Earth Blend. I'd had some sound engineers comment on my other p'ups, but nothing like when I started using the Blend - in a good way.
 




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