Mojotone NC-1 Soundhole Pickup

zcostilla

Member
Messages
174
I have been planning to buy a K&K pure mini for my Martin Custom Shop 0-15 12-fret at some point in the near future. I’m comfortable doing the install. But this soundhole pickup makes some bold claims and I’m now on the fence as to which way to go. I know a lot of people detest the idea of a soundhole pickup, but I was using the 1st gen Dean Markley back in 1995 and used it until I sold my 12-string. The aesthetics and looks wouldn’t honestly bother me a bit. I’m curious how you feel about the claims Mojotone makes, and if you have tried it to see if they got it right.

 

jklotz

Member
Messages
3,919
I bought one and really like it. The difference is it seems to be a little microphonic. It picks up tapping on the body and such. To my ears, it's the most natural sounding soundhole pickup I've tried. Plus it's very light weight, which is a plus in my book. It's super easy to install too. It's very quiet and they claim 500 hours of battery life. I was getting a bit too much bass in my rig, but a small amount of HPF and that was all it took. I did a gig in the park last weekend with it.

Why not get one from some place with a good return policy. You don't have to wire it in permanently to try it. Just let the wire hang off the guitar.
 

zcostilla

Member
Messages
174
I bought one and really like it. The difference is it seems to be a little microphonic. It picks up tapping on the body and such. To my ears, it's the most natural sounding soundhole pickup I've tried. Plus it's very light weight, which is a plus in my book. It's super easy to install too. It's very quiet and they claim 500 hours of battery life. I was getting a bit too much bass in my rig, but a small amount of HPF and that was all it took. I did a gig in the park last weekend with it.

Why not get one from some place with a good return policy. You don't have to wire it in permanently to try it. Just let the wire hang off the guitar.

I would be playing near a piano that is mic’d, and very loud. A microphonic pickup would not be desirable at all.
 

jklotz

Member
Messages
3,919
I would be playing near a piano that is mic’d, and very loud. A microphonic pickup would not be desirable at all.
Maybe microphonic was not the right word. It doesn't pick up external sounds like a mic would, and seems pretty feedback resistant. I'd imagine it would work for that application.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,255
I have been planning to buy a K&K pure mini for my Martin Custom Shop 0-15 12-fret at some point in the near future. I’m comfortable doing the install. But this soundhole pickup makes some bold claims and I’m now on the fence as to which way to go.
the K&K is so wildly different from any soundhole pickup that it's hard to even give any good advice here; it's like asking "i want either a motorcycle or a pickup truck, i'm not sure"

the K&K will translate a whole bunch of the natural acoustic tone of the guitar but is not so good with loud volume like standing in front of live drums. it's kind of like a mic in that way.

any soundhole pickup will be a lot less natural, it'll mostly pick up just the strings themselves for a sort of "electric-y" tone, but you can crank it into loud monitors without feedback.

(hell, plenty of really serious acoustic players will use both, combining something like the K&K with a soundhole pickup and using multiple channels of PA to mix the two sounds together outboard)
I know a lot of people detest the idea of a soundhole pickup, but I was using the 1st gen Dean Markley back in 1995 and used it until I sold my 12-string.
that tells me you're not too fussy about "pure acoustic tone", you just want something that works.

i'd actually recommend a good internal under-saddle pickup like the Baggs Element VTC; it'll sound way more "acoustic" than any soundhole pickup while still being easy to EQ and feedback resistant at louder volumes. it's a good balance of "pro sounding" and "plug & play" operation.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
8,441
I'm not keen on the idea of using a soundhole pickup that doesn't have adjustable pole pieces, because of potential string-to-string balance problems with acoustic strings, as they don't have "magnetic" windings, and this balance is partly personal preference. I've been using a Baggs M1 active, which has adjustable pole piece, for a long time. They are very sensitive to body sounds, which means they respond to the "acousticness" of the instrument in a way that could be particularly useful for percussive players. I've modified mine slightly by putting a switchable treble bleed across the output as a tone control.
 

zcostilla

Member
Messages
174
the K&K is so wildly different from any soundhole pickup that it's hard to even give any good advice here; it's like asking "i want either a motorcycle or a pickup truck, i'm not sure"

the K&K will translate a whole bunch of the natural acoustic tone of the guitar but is not so good with loud volume like standing in front of live drums. it's kind of like a mic in that way.

any soundhole pickup will be a lot less natural, it'll mostly pick up just the strings themselves for a sort of "electric-y" tone, but you can crank it into loud monitors without feedback.

(hell, plenty of really serious acoustic players will use both, combining something like the K&K with a soundhole pickup and using multiple channels of PA to mix the two sounds together outboard)

that tells me you're not too fussy about "pure acoustic tone", you just want something that works.

i'd actually recommend a good internal under-saddle pickup like the Baggs Element VTC; it'll sound way more "acoustic" than any soundhole pickup while still being easy to EQ and feedback resistant at louder volumes. it's a good balance of "pro sounding" and "plug & play" operation.

I appreciate the advice. I am very worried about feedback, because the baby grand piano at church is LOUD as it is, and then mic’d in stereo for livestream, and then pumped through the speakers for the c9 Greg action and the monitors for those singing. I would love to find a way to blend both, but my budget just won’t allow it. This is the first sound hole mic that seems like it would sound natural enough to work. My first option is to sit further away from the piano and use a directional mic. We’re actually testing it out Saturday. But my gut tells me that a mic is not the best choice in this setting. Might be great for a special piece without the piano, but only time will tell about how it mixes with the piano, especially when it’s just been the piano and a bass for years, so he’s had the luxury of being able to bang away and the responsibility to carry the weight melodically and harmonially himself. two of use have been playing acoustic guitars behind him for about a month, but only we can hear ourselves, because the piano is so loud.

I don’t like the way an under-saddle piezo sounds. My Cordoba GK Studio has a Fishman system that blends the piezo and and internal mic, the the piezo by itself sounds awful, and the mic is very prone to feedback. I play through an LR Baggs Para DI (1st Gen), and it improves the feedback if I lower the guitar volume and boost the preamp out, but it does affect the tone. I absolutely want to avoid that setup with my Martin.

I'm not keen on the idea of using a soundhole pickup that doesn't have adjustable pole pieces, because of potential string-to-string balance problems with acoustic strings, as they don't have "magnetic" windings, and this balance is partly personal preference. I've been using a Baggs M1 active, which has adjustable pole piece, for a long time. They are very sensitive to body sounds, which means they respond to the "acousticness" of the instrument in a way that could be particularly useful for percussive players. I've modified mine slightly by putting a switchable treble bleed across the output as a tone control.

Interesting. I’m not opposed to body sounds, because sometimes I do play percussively (because I do also play some flamenco on my Cordoba, albeit poorly, lol.).
 

feet

sexual visionary
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,065
sounds alright. there's a good amount of pick noise and a slight snap in the demo that was annoying. assuming it was the wire hitting the body, but maybe his hand or pick was doing it, i don't know. anyhow, that didn't sound bad. not amazing, better than the average single source sound hole pick up, i guess. this should also be a worthy vessel if you want to explore options like a fishman aura or whatever the baggs version of that is called. or if you have a nice eq, you can shape this into a plenty respectable tone with little issue.

mojotone is a solid company, for what it's worth. i got all my humbuckers from them over the years, and i had one of their cabs for a while. good people, great stuff. interesting to see them go this route.
 

csweldon

Member
Messages
900
I like the way it sounds, more in some demos than others. The high end sounds kinda thin in some of them, but that could just be variance in the installation. I definitely wouldn’t mind trying one out!
 

csweldon

Member
Messages
900
Just ordered one to try with my old LG1. I love the LR Baggs Anthem SL that’s in there now, but the guitar is so lightweight that it struggles with feedback from stage monitors.

All my other acoustics have the Anthem (it’s my favorite acoustic pickup to date) so if this sounds good it will be fun to have a different “flavor” of amplified sound. Plus it might be more forgiving for those times I want to experiment with effects.

Either way, I’m looking forward to trying it out!
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,776
plenty of really serious acoustic players will use both, combining something like the K&K with a soundhole pickup and using multiple channels of PA to mix the two sounds together outboard

I do this with K&K and Sunrise (flat top), K&K and vintage DeArmond (archtop & National), and K&K and Stimer (manouche guitar).

Sometimes two channel at the p.a., most often summed and mixed via two-channel preamp. On occasion, K&K to board, magnetic to tube amp.

Many options and sounds via two source set-ups.
 

csweldon

Member
Messages
900
Finally got my NC-1 today after a week hung up in shipping and did a quick temporary install in my LG-1(it actually fits easily even with the Anthem SL volume control in place). I’m thoroughly impressed, this thing sounds great and Mojo should be proud!

It doesn’t do what the Anthem does, which is “my guitar but LOUDER.” For example, there’s more bass than the LG-1 puts out (for those of you who record using a 2-mic setup, it *almost* sounds like the 12th fret mic, isolated.) The treble isn’t thin at all, which was one of my concerns based on some of the demos. It sounds balanced and natural, with a very acoustic tone. It’s also more feedback resistant than my Anthem in my limited testing. As the entire rhythm section of my band, I actually think the extended bass will be welcome. We’ll see what they think but if I’m honest they let me do whatever I want so they’ll probably like it haha

I think it’s worth mentioning is that it easily and immediately sounded WAY better than any of the demos Mojotone has put out (sorry, Mojo! No disrespect intended). I had hoped it would sound closer to what Doug Young had recorded, and I was not disappointed.

I’m going to need more time with it, but I can already say this much: this is the best soundhole pickup I’ve ever used. Tomorrow will be an experimenting day; how does it sound together with the Anthem? I wonder how overdrive will sound? I’m excited to see what new things I can try!
 

zcostilla

Member
Messages
174
Finally got my NC-1 today after a week hung up in shipping and did a quick temporary install in my LG-1(it actually fits easily even with the Anthem SL volume control in place). I’m thoroughly impressed, this thing sounds great and Mojo should be proud!

It doesn’t do what the Anthem does, which is “my guitar but LOUDER.” For example, there’s more bass than the LG-1 puts out (for those of you who record using a 2-mic setup, it *almost* sounds like the 12th fret mic, isolated.) The treble isn’t thin at all, which was one of my concerns based on some of the demos. It sounds balanced and natural, with a very acoustic tone. It’s also more feedback resistant than my Anthem in my limited testing. As the entire rhythm section of my band, I actually think the extended bass will be welcome. We’ll see what they think but if I’m honest they let me do whatever I want so they’ll probably like it haha

I think it’s worth mentioning is that it easily and immediately sounded WAY better than any of the demos Mojotone has put out (sorry, Mojo! No disrespect intended). I had hoped it would sound closer to what Doug Young had recorded, and I was not disappointed.

I’m going to need more time with it, but I can already say this much: this is the best soundhole pickup I’ve ever used. Tomorrow will be an experimenting day; how does it sound together with the Anthem? I wonder how overdrive will sound? I’m excited to see what new things I can try!

This is really good to hear. The bass EQ is noteworthy because I have a Martin Custom Shop 0-15 12 fret. It’s got a lot of midrange and decent low end for such a small guitar. I just don’t want to throw off the balance. I think I’m going to have to find a Mojotone dealer in Atlanta or Charlotte and make the drive from upstate SC.
 

csweldon

Member
Messages
900
This is really good to hear. The bass EQ is noteworthy because I have a Martin Custom Shop 0-15 12 fret. It’s got a lot of midrange and decent low end for such a small guitar. I just don’t want to throw off the balance. I think I’m going to have to find a Mojotone dealer in Atlanta or Charlotte and make the drive from upstate SC.
It’s a really sweet pickup, no doubt. Mine was a demo from Sweetwater but still had the return policy if it didn’t work out. Maybe one of the shops in your area will let you test it in your guitar? It was really easy to install without loosening the strings so you’d probably be able to see pretty quickly if it’d work for you.
 

zcostilla

Member
Messages
174
It’s a really sweet pickup, no doubt. Mine was a demo from Sweetwater but still had the return policy if it didn’t work out. Maybe one of the shops in your area will let you test it in your guitar? It was really easy to install without loosening the strings so you’d probably be able to see pretty quickly if it’d work for you.

If I had a spruce soundboard I’d have already ordered it. But not sure how the mahogany top will affect the EQ balance. Maybe I’m just being timid.
 

jklotz

Member
Messages
3,919
This is really good to hear. The bass EQ is noteworthy because I have a Martin Custom Shop 0-15 12 fret. It’s got a lot of midrange and decent low end for such a small guitar. I just don’t want to throw off the balance. I think I’m going to have to find a Mojotone dealer in Atlanta or Charlotte and make the drive from upstate SC.
If you want to try mine in my eastman om, shoot me a pm. I'm in Atlanta.
 

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,521
How is the output on this pickup? I need a pickup that has a lot of volume on tap without external equipment/preamps.
Thanks
 

Scooter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,369
Finally got my NC-1 today after a week hung up in shipping and did a quick temporary install in my LG-1(it actually fits easily even with the Anthem SL volume control in place). I’m thoroughly impressed, this thing sounds great and Mojo should be proud!

It doesn’t do what the Anthem does, which is “my guitar but LOUDER.” For example, there’s more bass than the LG-1 puts out (for those of you who record using a 2-mic setup, it *almost* sounds like the 12th fret mic, isolated.) The treble isn’t thin at all, which was one of my concerns based on some of the demos. It sounds balanced and natural, with a very acoustic tone. It’s also more feedback resistant than my Anthem in my limited testing. As the entire rhythm section of my band, I actually think the extended bass will be welcome. We’ll see what they think but if I’m honest they let me do whatever I want so they’ll probably like it haha

I think it’s worth mentioning is that it easily and immediately sounded WAY better than any of the demos Mojotone has put out (sorry, Mojo! No disrespect intended). I had hoped it would sound closer to what Doug Young had recorded, and I was not disappointed.

I’m going to need more time with it, but I can already say this much: this is the best soundhole pickup I’ve ever used. Tomorrow will be an experimenting day; how does it sound together with the Anthem? I wonder how overdrive will sound? I’m excited to see what new things I can try!

Still have it? Still liking it?
 




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