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LR Baggs iBeam Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup System Reviews

4.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the LR Baggs iBeam Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup System?

Questions about the LR Baggs iBeam Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup System?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Upland, Ind. October 27, 2015

    LR Baggs iBeam active Acoustic pickup.

    After talking with my sales guy and CF Martin guru Greg Baum, I chose this acoustic pickup for my vintage 1974 D-35 Martin. I wanted something simple to install and use. This has proven to be a wonderful choice for me. The clarity of tone along with the richness of the guitars natural tone quality is projected through any sound system I have played through so far. I do recommend this system to anyone wanting up grade a fine acoustic without it looking like one. Bluegrass pickers love to plug in, but hate to admit it. Save the cost of some very expensive micraphones and get this LR Baggs system, you will be pleased. Mike.

  • from Indianapolis, IN March 30, 2015Music Background:
    Playing for 40 years but keeps a day job...

    Perfect for my Alvarez travel guitar

    I installed this in an Alvarez travel dreadnought I have had for years. The pickup actually enhanced the sound of the guitar! The baby Alvarez is one of the best guitars of this size, but it has the low volume and slightly boxy sound typical of travel-size guitars. The iBeam pickup allows me to open up the sound through a PA while providing all the presence and articulation I need for fingerstyle work. There is none of the quackiness of a piezo pickup, and I don't need to feed it through my Aura 16 to give it space and depth like I do my other guitars with piezo pickups. A little EQ and some reverb is all you need to make it sound as good as any electrified acoustic.

    There is a leaflet in the box that says that the warranty applies only if installed by a LR Baggs dealer or professional luthier. Since my subject was a "low risk" guitar, I did it myself. Installation was simple, but you need to have patience and not rush it to get the position of the pickup just right. Enlarging the end-pin hole for the jack was the scariest part, but a good 1/2" step drill bit ($20 at Home Depot) made this a snap without damaging the finish or splitting the wood. To me, the scariest part of installing undersaddle pickups is trimming the saddle, risking botching the setup -- there is none of that here. The saddle (and the acoustic tone) is unchanged. I lined up the pickup to be exactly under the saddle and it was perfect the first time, but your mileage may vary. The finished installation doesn't show at all except for a nice new endpin jack.

    Summary -- this is an amazing pickup that many people can install themselves.

  • from Miami, FL December 15, 2014Music Background:
    older guy, starting to get out of the house & play open mike nites & jams.

    IBeam Active: Fantastic sound & least invasive.

    Just had the pickup installed in my Larrivee parlour guitar, & love the sound, & that I didn't have to mess with the bridge/saddle at all! The guitar is a keeper, & if down the road I need to take the saddle down, I don't have to worry about it messing with the pickup. Did I mention that it sounds as good as the factory Baggs Element in my Gibson? Thanks Sweetwater!

  • from Chico, CA United States April 28, 2014Music Background:
    Singer-songwriter, Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer

    This is The One

    I went looking for a new pickup after I got tired of the quack I was getting with a piezo saddle pickup on my 1970s Gurian Jumbo Rosewood. The I-Beam had just been released. What persuaded me was a testimonial from a session player who used to place five Shure 57 mics in various locations to get just the sound he wanted. After playing with the I-Beam for a few minutes, he put all his mics away.

    It's that good. I have them in the Gurian and two Taylors, a 355 12-string and a GS Mini (too many bad reviews of the Taylor ES clip-in magnetic pickup). The Taylors have the later model with the soundhole volume control, which is an awesome feature. I plan to upgrade the Gurian to volume control as soon as the trust fund kicks in ;-).

    I've also installed two or three in friends' guitars, notably a couple of Martins that were cherished by their owners. If you're decently handy and work carefully, it's really pretty straightforward.

    What makes this pickup so great is that no one would guess that your acoustic guitar is plug-and-play ready to look at it. No cutaway or control panel or battery box on the outside. That, and the utterly natural acoustic sound that comes out of the speakers.

    I even did hot-and-cold tests with recording, playing through a Baggs Para-Acoustic DI vs acoustic with a Rode NT-1 large-diaphragm condenser. I liked the Baggs pickup better.

    The GS Mini in particular draws comments nearly every time I take it to Open Mic. It's a decent-sounding small box unamplified, but it holds its own with any acoustic-electric when plugged in.

    Be sure to unplug between playing sessions (plugging in turns on the pre-amp) and change the battery preventively every few string changes. I've been performing for nearly 50 years and a sound/recording guy for about 30 of those, and this is the best an acoustic guitar can sound through a system, bar none.

  • from United States November 18, 2013Music Background:
    Playing for 30 years and Still learning! :)

    EXCELLENT PICKUP!

    I love this system...My Martin did not have a pickup in it and when I started to play for Worship I needed one. Install was very easy...BUY A STEP DRILL BIT! Everything lined up perfectly and it plays beautifully VERY accurate sound re-production! Worth every penny!

  • from Aztec, NM July 14, 2013Music Background:
    Praise band leader--life-long guitarist.

    Amazed

    Installed the I-Beam in my Fender 12 string acoustic today and tried it out with my Fender accoustasonic 80 amp and I am absolutely amazed at the sound. Clear and sweet. Installation was fairly simple and the instructions were spot on. My 12 string sounds as good plugged as unplugged----maybe better and I don't think they recommend it for 12-string guitars!

  • from Cleveland, Oh October 6, 2010Music Background:
    guitar player

    Outstanding Sound quality

    Dropped one of these along with a iMix into a Gibson Hummingbird Artist that shipped with a LR Baggs Element from the factory.

    Wow the iBeam sounds great! I received many compliments on the sound.

    When a room full of of Fingerstylists with high end Martins and Taylors jaws drop you know it sounds good. An excellent sounding pickup that lets all the nuances of your tone wood shine through.

  • from Beautiful Ohio March 18, 2017Music Background:
    Playing Professional

    Great UST !

    I'm a Baggs guy anyway so I'm definitely biased. I have Anthem SL's in three other acoustics.
    The SL was going to be a little difficult to install in my OO so I went with this as suggested by my Sweetwater sales guy. Very impressive and natural tone...no quack! I would put it in any acoustic.

  • from Chicago Suburbs February 5, 2017

    Still Great After All these Years

    Needed to replace the 1st generation ES system that had died years ago in an old Taylor Grand Concert model, but didn't want to send the guitar back to the factory. Remembered how much I loved the Baggs iBeam Active in a guitar that I installed around 2000, and decided to give it another try.

    After removing the sensors and wiring from the old Taylor pickup, the installation of the iBeam went quickly and easily. I paid particular attention to pickup placement on the bridgeplate, following the suggestions provided in the instructions (available online from Baggs), and installed the output jack in the old ES endpin housing (after removing a small circuit board). End result was a very clean and solid install.

    Tone report -- Sounds just as good as I remember it! Very clear, natural and dynamic, and requiring only minimal EQ adjustment to achieve what I consider to be perfect tone. Cranked up the volume on my PA (Bose L1 Model 2) and had no problem with feedback. Outstanding pickup!

    Some folks complain that the iBeam is old technology (What about the original Fender single coil, Gibson Humbucker or P90 design?). I would counter with, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke"! Highly recommend the LR Baggs iBeam Active, particularly for smaller bodied acoustics.

  • from Kentucky July 10, 2014Music Background:
    45 year pro and studio musician

    My favorite Pick-up

    I own 3 of these. I would recommend it to anyone. Easy install yourself. Great natural sound with very little feedback. Better sound than those blend systems with multifunction preamps or undersaddle piezos. LR Baggs is brilliant. a lot of pros who have luthiers and plenty of money at their disposal still choose these. You could buy 50 other units and not find one you like better.

  • from Houston, TX May 9, 2013Music Background:
    Open Mic Night Superstar!

    Second time buying the iBeam from Sweetwater

    I bought an iBeam from Sweetwater about a year ago and put it in an Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500M (spruce/mahogany.) I've been very pleased with the quality of sound on a variety of different rigs from the 30 watt amp in the house to a full on performance setup at the House of Blues. So impressed I just ordered a second one for my Epi Masterbilt AJ-500R (spruce/rosewood.) The only reason I didn't give this pickup a 5 star rating is because I like the L.R. Baggs element just a little better but the iBeam is much easier to install.

    I could have gone to my local guitar center and gotten it off the shelf but the ease of online ordering is great, plus the service from Sweetwater is second to none and they always follow up a couple of times after the purchase to make sure you are happy. THIS IS THE WAY YOU DO BUSINESS! As soon as I can afford it, I'm buying a Gibson J-45 from Sweetwater!

  • from Dothan, AL July 19, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Very Impressed

    Just got this installed last night and took it for a short spin. I was replacing an active Martin Thinline that I was never really happy with due to the "thin" sound. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical but the Ibeam really knocked me out. The entire spectrum of my Yarii D74 finally came out. I would give it a 5 except it's so early... I'll update once the new wears off. Overall a best buy so far!

  • from glen cove, NY September 23, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Good and Bad

    Easy installation although the volume control requires a drop or two of super glue to actually hold, despite cleaning the area with alcohol and a light sanding, not really a major issue. The unit does a nice job of maintaining the acoustic properties of the guitar but seems excessively prone to feedback.

  • from Elizabethtown, KY November 21, 2012Music Background:
    Gigging Musician, 15+ years

    Disappointed

    I purchased this pickup after reading lots of reviews to the positive, saying how natural this pickup sounds. This was not my experience. Was installed on a '79 Yamaha FG340. Sound was muddy, and very prone to feedback. Took it out after one day. Found pickup was barely still sticking to the guitar, which could've been part of the problem, but the damage in my mind was done. This still won't shy me away from LR Baggs, its just this product wasn't right for me.

Questions about the LR Baggs iBeam Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup System?

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