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LR Baggs M1 active vs passive

paulo_crunch

Member
Messages
162
I'm thinking of buying a pickup for my baby taylor.

and i really like the M1!

but can someone explain me the difference on the active and passive thing?

pros and cons?
 

edi_87

Member
Messages
535
Went through that choice some time ago.

I understand that the active version is less picky about what it goes into (be it a pedal, an amp, a mixer, a di box) and always sounds consistent thanks to the built in pre-amp.

The passive version is much more demanding. Ideally, it should plug into an acoustic amp or an acoustic pre to sound optimal. Nonetheless, it is said that once it is plugged into a nice receiver, it sounds better, truer than the active version (probably due to the fact that dedicated pres are better than the micro pre in M1A).

I went with the passive version for the sake of simplicity and I'm very happy. Never tried an m1a though.
 

Pickaxe

Member
Messages
684
Yep. Though if you want to have great live results you can't go wrong pairing the M1A or the M1 with the Baggs Para DI.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
I like my M1A ... especially for open mics and such where the host hands me a cable that's a direct in to the PA. The preamp insures I get my signal to the board.
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,104
Passive pickups rely on a direct box and are sensitive to the quality of that device. The active M1A is basically immune to the vagaries of the direct box. But in exchange, the preamp is no better than what's in the pickup (which was designed by Baggs specifically for that device, so that's pretty good). So if you were to use a really high-end active direct box, you could probably get better sound from an M1 than an M1A. Are you willing to pay hundreds more, though?

That said, is it that important to squeeze another couple of cents of performance out, compared to whatever PA you're getting, who's doing the mixing, and most importantly, how the nature of the pickup affects your playing?

I have a Baggs M1A in my main gigging guitar and I love it. Very natural sound and well-behaved under whatever conditions I'm in, and it's very feedback-resistant. But two gripes... first, it's so sensitive to the top that you can hear every little touch and scrape on the surface of the guitar, not just the strings. Second, I have an occasional problem with sound from my pick hitting the pickup itself. But I live with those issues, because it's just a really good pickup.

Here's a good example of a live recording with a Baggs M1A (I'm assuming it's not an M1), by Wilco. There's soft strumming and a lead on a small-bodied acoustic with a capo.

 

MIX80

Member
Messages
27
I've had many acoustic pick ups. I currently have a M1 passive which I run to a LR Baggs Direct box. I couldn't be happier at the moment and have had it in for over a year now.
I personally would rather go into a preamp that is "tweakable" regardless of passive or active before running to the sound board. That's just me though.
 

McStrats

Member
Messages
1,990
I brought two guitars to my last gig. A Martin 000C-16C-RGTE with Prefix Blend, and an Aura 16 for the UST, and Martin D-1 with a Baggs M1A Active. The 000 sat in the stand all night because the D-1 with M1A sounded and felt so good. It was plugged directly into a Allen & Heath ZED10FX with a TC Electronic HOF reverb. I set everything flat and it sounded great.

I highly recommend the active over the passive.
 
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paulo_crunch

Member
Messages
162
thanks for the review guys!

it's just for using my baby taylor on small gig's.

in new year's eve i played my baby with a mic on the front... disliked!

i think i'm going for the active. dont' want to pay more for a DI.
 

seba

Member
Messages
1
HI, paulo, just a question. The baby taylor has a soundhole diameter of 3.5" and the M1 is 3.55''. Do you know if there is possible to use? Do you finally buy the M1 and install in the baby? Im looking for the same solution for my baby
 
M

Member 37136

I use an M-1 passive through a Baggs PADI, and it sounds wonderful. The PADI has great EQ and feedback reduction controls, fits in the case, and is built to last.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
Just a note ... you can get the Baggs M-80 ... works as passive or active. And the Takamine Tri-Ax is just like the M1, but can also be used passive or active.
 

Motoneta

Member
Messages
1
Sorry i know its an ol trend, but i have a fishman mini, and a boss da3 (which i dont use really) i just run my guitar to the fishman, if i want the m1 for my guitar what is the benefit of the active? Do i really need it? Im happy with the amp eq. Thanks in advance for your advice.
 
Messages
6,361
I have the Takamine Tri-Ax. Same pickup, but the preamp is switchable. Excellent unit, but not tonally my cup of tea. I have mine in my slide guitar.
 




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