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June 2017 Giveaway

LR Baggs M1 Active Acoustic Soundhole Pickup Reviews

4.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the LR Baggs M1 Active Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

Questions about the LR Baggs M1 Active Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

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  • from Upstate, NY August 18, 2016

    Perfect representation of my guitar!

    Incredible! If you've ever thought about adding a pickup to your acoustic guitar then you owe it to yourself to check out the L. R. Baggs M1 active pickup. My 70's Alvarez has a very distinct sound and I'm blown away by how the pickup sends out such a beautiful representation of it. I've never plugged in an acoustic and heard that nice bottom end that they sometimes have. My Alvarez has a really great low end sound and the M1 picks that up without me needing to quite down the lower frequencies to balance it. It really sounds like my guitar to a "T", and that's exactly what I was hoping for. What a great pickup. I couldn't be happier to start using my girl for the next string of live shows. It arrived today and I step drilled the guitar (I have an incredible amount of experience using a drill so do so at your own risk. I can easily see how it could have ended badly) and had it in within twenty minutes. Just an amazing pickup. I've used the Fishman Matrix blend and several others over the years and I have never heard a pickup that made such a wonderful, transparent sound. I was less than impressed by the Fishman in my friends Martin as well, and after he heard mine today he's planning on swapping over immediately. If you're worried about the look, don't be. If you care more about how your guitar looks than how it sounds, you have a serious problem. That's like saying "Yeah, that's my '69 GTO over there with original paint. Nah, of course it doesn't run. Why would I care if it'll start when it looks this good?" I will be using L.R. Baggs products from here on out. I play about twelve shows a month and I've just gotten sick of miking my Alvarez in a live environment. This sounds so much better than the condenser that I was using and I want to kick myself right in the %&# for not making this switch to this exact pickup years ago (or at least another Baggs pickup). The quality is fantastic. Don't waste your money on some stupid, expensive, hidden pickup that sounds like garbage when you can pick this and actually love your sound every night.

  • from Lander, WY May 20, 2016

    Great pickup

    I have a very inexpensive guitar which came with an undersaddle pickup. After having horrible problems with string balance, I tried an inexpensive magnetic pickup. I liked the feedback resistance of a magnetic pickup, but the sound was not ideal. I upgraded to the m1a and I'm very happy with it. It has a great acoustic sound and is a big improvement over my old pickups. The sound is more natural than a lot of piezos, which was a pleasant surprise. When I upgrade guitars it will be easy to reinstall. As an active pickup, it has good output. The volume knob is convenient for making adjustments when away from a mixer. It's definitely a quality product.

  • from Alberta January 25, 2016

    Best way to make your acoustic an electric

    Easy to install, once I got the courage to drill a hole into my guitar, and great service from the sweetwater team. They were easy to deal with and hands down one of the best prices out there.

    I installed this pickup into my Martin 000-15SM and in about 10-15 minutes I was plugged in and playing. This pickup easily captures the warmth and tone of your guitar allowing you to amplify your sound and not to mention it looks amazing. The volume control wheel is also a handy addition. I couldn't be happier with this pickup as it was the final piece that my guitar was missing and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone asking.

  • from Kentucky January 15, 2016Music Background:
    Performer, songwriter, guitarist

    sounds amazing

    I put this in a cheap guitar I found at a garage sale. Slapped some grover deluxe tuners and this pickup and it sounds very very good.

  • from Georgia September 17, 2015Music Background:
    Played acoustic guitar for 40 Yeras

    Cleaness Sound Out There

    Pickup is easy to install. 10 Minutes and done. Only pickup I've tried that produced the sound of my '52 Martin right out of the box. Run it thru a BOSS preamp and the sound is awesome. Other cheap pickups are just that. The LR Baggs is the real thing.

  • from September 15, 2015


    I have a Breedlove Custom Revival series OM. I wanted a pickup that gave my guitar the same sound plugged in as unplugged. This one does that. It's well balanced and I can sit practically on top of my amp and no feedback. A volume control is a nice touch too. I would recommend it.

  • from Kansas City, MO August 27, 2015Music Background:
    professional musician, swing/jazz, folk, rock

    Great sound and easy install

    I've owned mine for quite some time and I have a pretty good idea of how well it works, and boy does it. Great tone at almost all volumes. Easy installation. Looks good. It's out of the way.

    A couple of observations that in no way distract from this product's awesomeness:
    1) The flat batteries require you remove the pickup to change. Not a big problem, but my guitar has a smaller sound hole and this thing is a tight fit.
    2) As I said, it's a tight fit in my parlor (Loar LH-300) guitar.
    3) I would have liked a non-strap button jack option.

    I still recommend this as a low cost, minimally invasive alternative to the bigger systems.

    Oh, and after you get it installed, plug it into an electric amp. Trust me. It sounds really cool in an electric amp.

  • from St. Louis, MO June 18, 2014Music Background:
    Retired weekend warrior, recording engineer, Grandpa's still Rockin

    A good alternative to under saddle transducers

    I really like this pickup! After installing a Matrix transducer under the saddle of my old Ventura dreadnought, I noticed uneven response from the strings when plugged in, more specifically, my G string was much quieter than the other strings. Strumming the sound was pretty good, but go finger style or into a solo and it just drove me nuts when the G string was so much quieter. Tried everything from sanding the saddle perfectly flat, with a slight angle, and shims all to just make other strings respond unequally. Installed the M1 easily as I already had the endpin hole . Adjustable pole piece for each string means you can fine tune each strings response, although mine was pretty close right out of the box. Sounds really good straight into my Acoustic 120s . Added a Trace Elliot preamp and now sounds GREAT! Love the volume control too. Very good alternative to under saddle transducers IMHO. Thanks sweetwater for excellent service as usual.

  • from Michigan April 14, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Worship Leader


    This thing puts out! I was completely surprised by the tone. I thought this was gonna sound tinny, harsh & unnatural. It was just the opposite! Very natural, warm yet bright, full-bodied tone and huge amount of gain before feedback. (Honestly, I haven't even been able to make it feedback.)

  • from Columbia, NC February 28, 2014Music Background:

    Great Sound

    Installed this on my granddaughter's Seagull and the sound quality is comparable to the m80 that I recently installed on my Martin D28, plus the battery lasts 3 times longer than the m80. It was a snap to install. I had to raise the pole under the e string and lower the poles under the E and A strings to get balance in volume over all strings. Adjusting the magnetic poles is very simple. The sound of the m1a and M80.has more punch than the expression system that is on my two Taylors. I like this "punch" sound on drednought guitars.

  • from St. Paul, MN August 13, 2013Music Background:
    Guitarist, Singer Songwriter and performer for over 20 years.

    Best sound I've found yet.

    After being really disappointed with the piezo Martin Thinline Pickup I had in my '93 Guild a friend recommended I try the M1a. I can say I'm very pleased with the sound I get on stage with this pickup.

    I plug it into a Para Acoustic D.I. and direct into the board and it sounds great every time. Only complaint is you have to take it out of the guitar to change the battery, but thats pretty rare since the battery lasts pretty long.

    Consider the M1a if your looking for a great pickup on stage.

  • from Cambridge City, In April 23, 2013Music Background:
    20 years in southern rock band for the past 13 playing gospel music.

    New to accoustic pickups

    A close friend of mine tried one of these for his Taylor accoustic and loved it. He placed it in my 1970's Yamaha 365s and I did an hour and a half stage show running through the house PA and it was awesome. I own a Godin acousti-caster twice the price and am going to sell it now and keep the Yamaha. Simply because of the pickup. I own a Bose Tower L1 PA and it sounds great. I will be purchasing one right-a-way.

  • from November 20, 2012

    Great Pick Up

    Love the tone that I get with this pickup, will definitely be getting another when I get my next acoustic.

  • from New Orleans October 23, 2012Music Background:
    35+ years pro musician

    M1 Pickup by LR Braggs

    My 1982 Guild has never sounded so good on stage. Instillation was easy - right out of the box. Sweetwater made it convenient and affordable. The volume control on the pickup eliminated the volume pedal, simplified the connections, and reduced potential problems. For my setup I had to EQ to drop a little mid and boost a little low. This probable could have been achieved with resetting the polls (Allen wrench provided).

  • from Fl December 9, 2011Music Background:
    active musician

    Great Pickup

    Great pickup, install is a piece of cake. I put it in a 1984 d1228 Martin and it absolutely sings. No feedback, no deadspots, no problems. Wish I had put it in a long time ago.

  • from Kissimmee FL USA January 27, 2011Music Background:

    I am Impressed Amazing Sound

    I am very pleased with the LR Baggs M1A I was searching for a good sound hole pickup with easy installation. Absolutely no outside interference or noise. Sharp, clear, and precise sounds from this pickup.Its just the sound I was looking for I don't like having the chord sticking out though. Also I chose to hardwire mine I also recomend you measure your guitar first and make sure this thing will fit before you by it I put it in my Hagstrom and love how it sounds. I like a low but crisp tone this thing delivers.This is HANDS DOWN the most natural sounding pickup I've heard .so there really isn't any reason not to buy it. So yeah buy it

  • from Butte, MT May 20, 2016Music Background:
    40 years

    LR Baggs M1 Active- surprised me.

    I put this on my Martin D-28 because I didn't want to use an under the saddle. This fits the sound hole and is a great fit. There are adjustments for different sound holes. You do need to drill out the end pin in order to install it. Be sure tape off the area, and use a step drill bit. That is the only thing that you have to do to your Guitar, is the end pin.

    Frankly, the sound surprised me. I use this for worship and music at church, and we go though a PA sound system. The pickup was impressive. We could still get the classic Martin guitar sound. Plenty of room for volume. No feedback or distortion, just pure clean Martin guitar sound.

    The M1 Active is a great pickup with minimal setup, then plug and play.

  • from February 1, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    I recently got a Fishman Undersaddle pickup for a gig coming up and was horrified by the sound. There was no way I'd play in public sounding like that. So I ordered this LR Baggs M1 and this saved the day! Sounds very good. Captures pretty close the actual sound of my acoustic. I definitely recommend it.

  • from Rexburg, Id August 26, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist performer and hobbyist recording engineer.

    Sounds So Natural!!!

    The other guitarist in my band recently installed this pickup in his Martin 000-15m. I was blown away by the natural acoustic sound of this pickup. There was no "quacky" sound that most acoustic pickups have. It just sounds like an acoustic guitar. I'm not surprised, L.R. Baggs is amazing. I recently purchased an L.R. Baggs mandolin pickup from Sweetwater (Thanks Mike Soper) and my mandolin sounds like an actual mandolin when plugged in. This pickup has a lot of presence, and unlike many acoustic pickups I've tried, it's not difficult to get loud volume out of it that still sounds natural. I am looking to replace my current acoustic pickup with this pickup.

    Also, for small gigs, where you may not have a sound man, this pickup has a volume control that is super handy.

    Short of miking an acoustic guitar, you can't get a better acoustic sound than L.R. Baggs.

  • from Kountze, TX July 28, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    LR Baggs M1A its my favorite...now.

    This pick up was easy to install and sounds great!

  • from Columbus ohio July 18, 2011Music Background:
    Musician/recording engineer producer

    What I was looking for

    I went through a couple fishman models and they made my Martin sound tinny and electric. This pickup does a great job of picking uP the natural tones of your instrument. Very pleased

  • from February 2, 2016

    great pick up for 12 string

    came in the mail yesterday, installed today, excellent sound and string separation on a Takamine 12 string, headed out this evening and played an open mic doing 3 songs, strumming and finger picking, response was unreal from the audience, can't wait to jam with others and do a few gigs

  • from Bellmore, NY November 7, 2015Music Background:
    Part time gigging musician.

    LR Baggs M1 Active Acoustic Soundhole Pickup

    Very easy to install the pickup in my acoustic guitar. The use of a #1 "Unibit" drill bit made the drilling for the input jack very easy, with an end result of a very clean 1/2 inch hole for the strap peg input jack.

    The sound of the pick-up through a PA is excellent (warm & natural). The guitar sound is EQ'ed via the PA board for my particular set-up. Volume control on the pick-up functions fine. The pick-up works very well with stomp box pedals as well. I am very pleased with the sound and the price was quite reasonable in my opinion.

  • from Bumpkinville, Maine May 1, 2012Music Background:
    Gigging musician, worship leader, playing for 18+ years. Acoustic finger style, acoustic blues, etc.

    M1 Active

    This is a great pickup.... if you are a great player. Like all L.R. Baggs pickups, the M1A is very sensitive. If you are playing sloppy, it will let you know it! Touch sensitivity, well balanced, dead quiet, and great volume are just a few of this pickup's shining features. It will take some tinkering to adjust the pole pieces to the right heights. Also, felt or cork is well suited between the pickup and guitar top to control the body sensitivity. Best of all, no piezo quack! Compared to other pickups on the market, I would suggest it is one of the best, if not the best, in its price range.

  • from Central IN January 17, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Great sound for a soundhole pickup!

    OK, I am actually blown away, but only rate a 4 because it doesn't include the "temporary" 1/8" to 1/4" instrument cable like the passive M1 does.
    I came across an older early 90's Samick at my in laws house that had been unused for some time. Fed up with the crispy Piezo sound and horrible unamplified tone from my mid 90's Ovation, I thought the Samick sounded killer by comparison...In contrast to acoustics I was contemplating buying (800-1200 dollar range) I couldn't justify the cost in comparison to how great the Samick sounded...I wanted to be able to play it through the PA at church and started looking into solutions. In everything I read, the M1A sounded like the easiest and possibly best sounding solution and I couldn't be happier. The low end is incredible and natural, the high end sparkles and the mids are just right for my needs. Coming from a really mid heavy sound with the Ovation, through the M1A this sounds more like a real acoustic.

    I just don't understand why they don't include the 1/8" to 1/4" cable for "temporary" placement like they do the M1 passive. Having the onboard volume is critical in environments where you have to "run your own sound", but the portability of the pickup is also important. Including only the end pin jack (which requires drilling) in my opinion is the only misstep for the M1A. In terms of tone, this is a great, great product.

  • from Cambridge MA December 11, 2010Music Background:
    Working Acoustic Guitarist/ Teacher/Writer-Songsinger.


    I have tested the M1 on a gig. I am onstage weekly with the same PA for the last three years, and tried all kinds of Pickups. Also the gig is Improv Musical Theater . That means that I need to give the actors all kind of musical beds in all styles, all kinds of dynamics, textures, percussive effects, a good testing ground.
    First of all, I am used to the amazing KnK Trinity, so my bar is set really high. It is the most Mic like set up ever, but might be sensitive to really loud stage levels. It is set up in the excellent Epiphone Masterbuild 500mns, which I bought as a road guitar, leaving my breathtaking Goodall at home for writing & recording.
    I ended up with the M1 because I bought another Masterbuild 500 as a spare on Ebay with the M1installed. Three weeks later, I crack the top of the Knk one, so I grabbed the M1 one.
    First impressions is that the M1 feels really microphonic. Rubbing the satin finish or knocking the back and side will give you wooden percussive tones. A real good sign. It felt that it was better at reading the top than the Rare Earth (I love that pick up too, specially the highly recommended R.E Blend. I shall AB these two at some point). The PU feels more like porcelain than plastic and does behave like a microphone. It took me a while to fiddle with the EQ via my BBe Acoustimax. Then it was show time. I realized quickly the great dynamic response of the M1. Pick style country ballad was shimmering,
    Rock tunes were chunky, and soft fingerstyle passages were detailed: you could "hear my fingerprints", though that is surely also due to the BBe articulation.
    At the end of the day, what matters is that it was a truly inspiring night. I totally forgot about the gear end of things and felt free to roam all over the place. So, yes I absolutely do recommend this.

  • from Nashville, TN August 15, 2010Music Background:
    songwriter / singer

    Only if you have to

    I bought this thing after watching some youtube clips that sounded impressive. I was let down, my fishman pickup was much better. I'm hoping to take it back. may be okay if you have a vintage insurment that should be drilled on.

Questions about the LR Baggs M1 Active Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

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