What pickup do you use?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by radiohead625, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    For those of you that don't have built-in pickups, what sound hole pickup up do you use?

    I'm looking for a good bang for your buck. I'm about to pick up a new acoustic in the $600-$700 range for a gig and it most likely will not have onboard electronics.
     
  2. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    Fishman Matrix Infinity and DIY or pro install is a smart choice. If you are thinking pickup, the Dimarzio Angel is supposed to be a nice value...but I've no personal experience on that one.
    Edit...to answer your question better, I have personally done two installations of the Matrix infinity and they both went flawlessly. The results were beyond expectation sonically. One install was my own Taylor 12-string, and one was a friend's small bodied Koa Taylor. It wasn't much more difficult than a permanent sound hole pickup install.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  3. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    The OP is asking about sound hole pickups. I use a Baggs M1A into a Baggs ParaDI and like it just fine. Somewhere around $160 new. Better is the new Baggs M80 (option to use active or passive), but not better enough to cause me to want to buy one. I've used Markley, Duncan, Fishman and other sound hole pickups that don't hold a candle to the M1A.
     
  4. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    I'll be checking that one out and return it if I don't like it. I forgot which one I bought a few years ago, but it was always coming loose and the sound sucked. Not to mention it had the shortest chord in the world. I always see people getting amazing sound from sound hole pickups so I thought I'd ask.
     
  5. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

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    I use the Baggs M1 (passive) and a PADI. Plug-and-play simplicity, consistently good sound.
     
  6. tochiro

    tochiro Member

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    I have the M80 and I'm not really satisfied - Too much mids, tends to feedback quickly, sounds a bit electric. I have to EQ it a lot to get acceptable results.
     
  7. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    I don't mind mids, I can't stand shrill highs that I get with a lot of them.
     
  8. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    I've used MANY over the years but I've recently (last few years) been hooked on the Fishman RareEarth Blend. Not only does it sound great and I can adjust the tone according to the show/session, but it's easy to pop it out and use it with other guitars.
     
  9. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    Have you tried the baggs Dave? If so, how does it compare?
     
  10. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    I have and I like the Baggs line, however, the first time I used the RareEarth on a radio interview/show with a highly respectable engineer, he went on and on about how incredible it sounded. What I love is how you can slide between the magnetic p'up and the microphone. So, in higher volumes, I move to the magnet...in more intimate environments (my favorite), I can get such a true acoustic tone - it really sounds like the guitar without much (if any) coloring.

    And again, it's easy to pop in and out. I'm not a big fan of p'ups under the saddle, under the bridge plate, etc. I've used all the Baggs p'ups except the one James Taylor uses (what's it called?) and I think they're fine - they're all high quality p'ups but the Fishman just works for me.

    My usual signal chain is guitar > Fishman RareEarth Blend > Korg PitchBlack > Fishman Platinum EQ (usually ran on phantom power, sometimes the EQ's bypassed and it's used strictly as a passive DI) > Bose L1. I try to use minimal EQ depending on the room...simplicity is bliss for me. I've had several sound guys/engineers ask me what my "trick" is but it's no trick - just try to get the acoustic to sound like itself as best I can.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  11. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    I use a Sunrise but I've read the Dimarzio Angel comes close for less than half the price at $139. I'm going to try the Dimarzio on a bud's new guitar in the next week or so and see.
     
  12. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    That's one I haven't gotten my hands on yet - the DiMarzio! I'll have to look into it...
     
  13. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    Thanks for the info Dave. I'll definitely be trying this one out. It sounds right up my alley!
     
  14. gratay

    gratay Member

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    Just moved from using K&K's to putting a Seymour Duncan SA-6 Magmic on my guitar.. Only done 1 gig with it so far but was pretty happy with it
     
  15. royd

    royd Member

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    I have both, both in Lowden guitars. I've been using Sunrises since the mid 90's and they are still my #1 choice but the Angel comes very very close at a much lower price point. I would recommend the D any reservation.imarzio angel without
     
  16. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Do the Angels come in any other color than "funk swirl?" Haha...
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's actually a fairly tasteful dark tortoise shell.
     
  18. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    Just looked into these suggestions a little more. The fish man looks like a similar mounting system that I already have. That's one of the big problems I have with my current one. It constantly moves and loosens.

    The Baggs looks more like the sound hole pickup I see a lot of artists use. I guess I won't know until I try them both though.
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    are you dead-set on soundhole pickups?

    even the best ones will sound kind of "electric" compared to other solutions. their main advantage (besides being easily removable) is that you can get stupid loud without feedback, which is why you see guys fronting big bands in stadiums using them.
     
  20. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Mine never moves and is quite snug. My only complaints are that the lead is far too long on the new ones for it to be used "permanently." I cut it shorter and soldered it in a way to where it would fit the dread I had at the time with a little wiggle room (basically what the older ones' length was). The other issue is the boom for the mic isn't as rigid as the previous generation either, so it tends to slowly move if you're not sitting still. I remedied that with a twisty tie - got it into place, wrapped the twisty around both side of the angle, and it doesn't move at all.

    About the Angel...I'd probably paint it flat black if I got one. Some of them look great with a darker pattern but others have the cheetah look going with far too much positive space for my tastes.
     

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