LR Baggs M80 Acoustic Soundhole Pickup Reviews4.7/5.0 based on 6 customer reviews
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November 10, 2012Music Background:
Better than a pre-ampI was nervous about this soundhole pickup. I have been trying for months to find a guitar that I could get the exact sound I wanted, but I couldn't. I have a Gretsch dreadnought, that I love and am comfortable with so I decided to go with this AMAZING pickup (well worth the money)... The versatility with this pickup is equal to none.
from Bronte, TX
August 27, 2012Music Background:
Music worship leader
Acoutic pickup finally done rightI didn't dream 35 years ago when I bought my acoustic guitar that I would be playing it every Sunday as a worship leader. Clip-in sound hole mikes are OK but they never sounded like my guitar when it was un-plugged. I kept waiting for someone to get it right. LL Baggs finally did.
I am a very percussive player. The M80 picks everything I do up and feeds it to the acoustic amp. What comes out of the amp is what my guitar sounds like when I am playing it unplugged in a small room. From aggressively hammering on the strings to laid back finger picking, the M80 picks it all up just the way I intended it to sound. You can't ask for more than that from an acoustic pickup. It is a bit pricey compared to many other sound hole pickups but it was worth every dime.
The pickup can be switched to passive mode but I am perfectly pleased with the active mode and you can monitor the status of the battery so you can be assured it will not die on you in the middle of a gig.
I was a bit concerned about drilling out the tail block from the 1/4" hole used by the old strap pin to the 1/2' hole required by the M80 strap-jack. I used a variable speed drill so I could drill very slowly, used a set of good sharp drill bits, and worked my way up from the 1/4" bit to the 1/2" bit, cutting very slowly through the outer finish. It took 10 minutes but the finish is perfectly preserved, the strap-jack fits snug and the rest of the installation took another two minutes.
I have never been this pleased with an add-on product. My 35 year old gigging partner has never sounded better on Sunday mornings.
from State College, PA (USA)
July 23, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer and Pro Musician
No more under bridge saddles pick ups for meI have been trying for the past 6 years to amplify my 1950 J-200. It was refinished in the 60s, so there is no collectible value, but it sounds great. Over the past 8 years I have tried a Fishman Piezo, Shertler which made the low e-string boom, and finally a B-Band which did not pick the low string up at all. I read about the LR Baggs and bought it.
I played my first gig using this pickup and it was everything I wanted. I can not play my favorite guitar in public.
from Missouri, USA
August 29, 2012Music Background:
Gitarist, Recording Engineer
Excellent amplified acoustic soundI've been searching for several years now for a better way to amplify my Taylor 814ce. Love the guitar, hate the expression system. I've tried many different pickups and internal and external microphone systems without being able to achieve the realistic natural acoustic sound I've been wanting. This pickup has a wonderful natural acoustic sound especially in the high frequencies I think my search is over.
from San Francsico, CA, USA
July 8, 2012Music Background:
Clean and workableIf I were able to post a raw audio file right here on the Sweetwater review I would. In lieu of that, I'd say the M80 is pretty good and getting there. Without the B pole and subdued high E pole (as per factory specs) it has a fairly balanced sound, not mic'd, piezo, or electric, but perhaps all of the above combined.
It's hard for me to convey in words what it sounds like plugged directly into a decent audio interface and recorded uncolored, but it's not twangy like piezo, although it has piezo sonic characteristics without the brittleness.
My Martin OM-1GT is neither boomy nor boxy, so I'll report that the M80 does not introduce audio artifacts but tries very hard to represent the instrument accurately. Room for more R&D for sure, but the M80 could be tops for a while.
It's a hefty investment no doubt, and all the samples I heard on the internet before purchase were colored with an amp or preamp, showcasing a player's skill or band with the M80. Raw is probably more appropriate. Thus, trust me when I say it's good out-of-the-box and tonally clean and workable. From there EQ and effects can make the guitar shine.
from Portland, OR
November 14, 2012Music Background:
Semi Pro Musician. Not quitting the day job yet!
First Test GreatI have have the Element in an older Martin D35 and popped this M80 into a Santa Crus OM. The M80 creates a very rich sound and all the accoustic and percussive properties of the guitar are heard. The Element can't do that. I like it alot. Looks better than I thought too. Was a bit concerned about it being in the way and having the pick hit it, but not so. I had it professionally installed. They did some very minor adjustments to the elevation of the magnetic pickup screws. I have not gigged with it... but I did run it passively via an LR Baggs DI box and into a Yamaha DXL12 Powered speaker and cranked it loud without any feedback at all. Even playing affront the speaker. Sounded fantastic actually. Would surely recommend this amazing pickup.