Install pickup into Martin acoustic, or new guitar?

VanWhelan

Member
Messages
1,070
Hey everyone - I've got a bit of a dilemma & am looking for some advice from anyone who might have been through this before.

I've got a Martin 000-16 acoustic guitar - bought it new in 2003. Guitar has been well cared for & is like new. Only issue is that it doesn't have any onboard pickup or electronics.

So now I'm looking to start playing gigs again & need an acoustic that I can run through a PA system. I thought about selling/trading my Martin toward another guitar that has the onboard accessories, but most good quality acoustics tend to be quite expensive.

Which is why I'm considering getting a pickup installed on my Martin. Has anyone had this done before - if so, what are the positives/negatives of it? Looking back on it, would you do it again, or would you have opted to just get another guitar instead?

Thanks in advance for the help
 

EricPeterson

Member
Messages
49,033
I have installed pickups myself in all 4 of my current gigging guitars, I say go for it. Positives are you already like and know the guitar, the negatives are it might effect the tone if you put a undersaddle it, I personally have not noticed a major change but some claim they do.

Conversely, just get a soundhole pickup like an M1 and you dont have to do any modifications.
 

AcousticDude

Member
Messages
407
Some would argue the best way to amplify the tone next to having a mic is to buy a straight acoustic and add your electronics afterwards. I have both factory installed and post purchase installed electronics on my two steel string acoustics. Both work great.

So to give you some information in the event you choose to keep your Martin, I added an LR Baggs Anthem SL to my Martin OM 21 Special. It cost about $200 for the pickup and $40 to install. For my tastes and usage, this pickup has worked well. I play in the band at church and only use this for songs with a lot of fingerstyle. I would do the exact thing again. For your 000, this pickup would be a good fit and very low impact.
 

Matt McGriff

Member
Messages
836
So to give you some information in the event you choose to keep your Martin, I added an LR Baggs Anthem SL to my Martin OM 21 Special. It cost about $200 for the pickup and $40 to install. For my tastes and usage, this pickup has worked well. I play in the band at church and only use this for songs with a lot of fingerstyle. I would do the exact thing again. For your 000, this pickup would be a good fit and very low impact.
+1 on the anthem SL. I added one to my straight acoustic Taylor dread and it is fantastic. Sounds like a mic'ed guitar. I've got another pickup and will be replacing the UST on my Gibson J15 with it.
 

EricPeterson

Member
Messages
49,033
+1 on the anthem SL. I added one to my straight acoustic Taylor dread and it is fantastic. Sounds like a mic'ed guitar. I've got another pickup and will be replacing the UST on my Gibson J15 with it.
Let me know if you want to get rid of that UST from the j-15.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
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28,780
I used a sound hole mic forever, a fishman matrix. Liked it so much I had it permanently installed.
 

VanWhelan

Member
Messages
1,070
Some would argue the best way to amplify the tone next to having a mic is to buy a straight acoustic and add your electronics afterwards. I have both factory installed and post purchase installed electronics on my two steel string acoustics. Both work great.

So to give you some information in the event you choose to keep your Martin, I added an LR Baggs Anthem SL to my Martin OM 21 Special. It cost about $200 for the pickup and $40 to install. For my tastes and usage, this pickup has worked well. I play in the band at church and only use this for songs with a lot of fingerstyle. I would do the exact thing again. For your 000, this pickup would be a good fit and very low impact.
Thanks, AcousticDude!

I had seen the Anthem online & had been considering that as an option - spending $240 to get my guitar wired up sounds a lot better than buying another guitar. I just wasn't sure what the sound quality was like - think you helped me make up my mind!
 

royd

Member
Messages
2,037
Which is why I'm considering getting a pickup installed on my Martin. Has anyone had this done before - if so, what are the positives/negatives of it? Looking back on it, would you do it again, or would you have opted to just get another guitar instead?
There really are no negatives with your guitar unless you do something terribly invasive - like cutting a big hole in the side for a side mounted preamp. DON'T DO THAT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

As to which pickup system... that is another thread altogether. Lots of folk will chime in and tell you to get what they have. That may be good advice or terrible advice depending on whether their needs are similar to yours. For example, I have a friend, a full time pro fingerstyle player who always recommends an external mic. It works great for him playing solo gigs, seated, in quiet listening rooms with no monitors. For most of us that would be a disaster.

You have to ask how much feedback resistance you need, how complicated a rig, how much impact on your guitar, how much you want to spend, what kind of system sounds most acoustic to your ears, whether you need to cut through a dense mix or if you'll be playing mostly solo, how loud you need to get, what kind of venues you'll be playing, etc. How you answer those questions will dictate which options might be best for your situation. There is a good reason that there are multiple different types of pickups, multiple technologies, and each have very different characteristics.

Here's a link to a longer thread that I started, talking about the different types of pickups that might help or maybe just make you more confused... :eek:
 

pickaguitar

2011 TGP Silver Medalist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,210
Hey everyone - I've got a bit of a dilemma & am looking for some advice from anyone who might have been through this before.

I've got a Martin 000-16 acoustic guitar - bought it new in 2003. Guitar has been well cared for & is like new. Only issue is that it doesn't have any onboard pickup or electronics.

So now I'm looking to start playing gigs again & need an acoustic that I can run through a PA system. I thought about selling/trading my Martin toward another guitar that has the onboard accessories, but most good quality acoustics tend to be quite expensive.

Which is why I'm considering getting a pickup installed on my Martin. Has anyone had this done before - if so, what are the positives/negatives of it? Looking back on it, would you do it again, or would you have opted to just get another guitar instead?

Thanks in advance for the help
Yes absolutely have a pickup installed in your Martin...pure western mini is a good choice imo
 

Fishyfishfish

Member
Messages
6,379
I was going to post almost the exact question. I would love to install some sort of non evasive pickup to my 000-28, but worried about devaluing because I would have to drill out the strap pin for the input jack.
 

OM Flyer

Senior Member
Messages
6,081
I was going to post almost the exact question. I would love to install some sort of non evasive pickup to my 000-28, but worried about devaluing because I would have to drill out the strap pin for the input jack.
I would say the resale value of a guitar would be minimally impacted if the endpin reaming was the only permanent mod.

OP: The LR Baggs Lyric or M1 Soundhole pickups are minimally invasive, and a breeze to install yourself.
 

hippieboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,650
i prefer much more to get the best acoustic you can and then when (and if ) needed add a good pickup, a lot of built in pick ups are not that good and get old real fast.
 

VanWhelan

Member
Messages
1,070
i prefer much more to get the best acoustic you can and then when (and if ) needed add a good pickup, a lot of built in pick ups are not that good and get old real fast.
Yeah I learned that lesson on a 12-string acoustic I bought many years ago. Has a built-in pickup & preamp. Damn thing didn't last more than 3 or 4 years before crapping out.
 

VanWhelan

Member
Messages
1,070
There really are no negatives with your guitar unless you do something terribly invasive - like cutting a big hole in the side for a side mounted preamp. DON'T DO THAT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Totally agree - just going to get a pickup installed & use a DI box with EQ into my PA system. I hate those built-in preamps
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
3,699
Also check out the Trance Amulet M. The Anthem is nice but I personally found that it altered my unplugged tone a bit. Lr Baggs employees have confirmed that there is a change in the unplugged tone but some people just don't notice it as much as others.
 

GGinMP

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,121
Also check out the Trance Amulet M. The Anthem is nice but I personally found that it altered my unplugged tone a bit. Lr Baggs employees have confirmed that there is a change in the unplugged tone but some people just don't notice it as much as others.
I've been super pleased with the Amulet M(v), although I haven't played with a real loud band so I don't know if that would cause problems.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,127
Other than perhaps the Taylor Expression System, there isn't a factory installed pickup system I've liked as much as after market options.

I put a K&K Pure Western Mini in a Eastman OM a few years back. Endpin jack. Been very pleased.

Considering options for my mandolin.
 

VanWhelan

Member
Messages
1,070
UPDATE: took my Martin in and decided to get a Fishman Matrix under-saddle pickup installed. And a setup.

The shop I went to had an acoustic demo guitar, with 3 types of pickups installed (under-saddle, internal mic & soundhole pickup). The internal mic sounded most "natural". Under-saddle was good too, and I don't have to worry as much about feedback, so I went with that.

Won't get it back until end of next week, so I'll be anxiously awaiting its' return.
 




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