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Microphone Month 2

LR Baggs M80 Acoustic Soundhole Pickup Reviews

4.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the LR Baggs M80 Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

Questions about the LR Baggs M80 Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

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  • from Kalamazoo, MI May 18, 2015Music Background:
    Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist

    Very impressed

    Finally have a pickup which provides sound which is very true to acoustic sound. I installed this in a Gibson J-45 in the hopes of capturing the booming low end and was not disappointed. The mids and highs are quite clear, as well. I made of few initial pole piece adjustments as I had a little buzz from them being too close to the strings, but the whole install was quite quick and easy. I run the guitar through an L.R. Baggs Venue DI, as well, and the combination gives me the sound I've been looking for, even through a conventional guitar amp.

  • from LONOKE, ARKANSAS December 24, 2014Music Background:

    I Like the M80 a lot on my D2H Collings, sound is natural and sweet

    I Play at nursing homes and Church, and jam with friends. I've been playing for years. Learned to play when I was a teen, I'm 72 now. I have tried 3 other pickups in the past and got rid of all. all sounded like electric Guitars to me. I like the acoustic sound this M80 produces, sounds like my Collings D2H. I can play softer and it sounds sweet and loud. I play thru a ULTRASOUND AG30 acoustic amp, with the Shape filter on and set at mid. range. Great sound for me, well satisfied. I run the M80 Volume on 3 and set the amp volume at 6. I use the M80 Volume control as a tone control because the tone progress toward slightly electric guitar sound, as you proceed toward higher numbers. This gives you different tone to your liking. This setting is my favorite for now. I'll be keeping this M80 for a long time. Just what I wanted!

  • from August 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician and entertainer

    Guitar got new life

    Installed the M80 on my '68 Gibson Hummingbird. The sound is absolutley fantastic and so beautiful. Also tried on my Ovation Legend Thin (why would you want to do that?). However the height of the M80 would touch the strings when playing hard. So be aware of this height issue when installing on your specific guitar.

  • from Missouri November 10, 2012Music Background:
    Live Performer

    Better than a pre-amp

    I 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 right

    I 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 me

    I 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 Tipton, IN April 21, 2017

    It's exactly what I expected - and wanted

    I have a Martin HD-28 that I wanted to plug in. With so many options, the features that the M80 offered really narrowed my search. I wanted a non-invasive pickup, with an easier way of changing batteries.
    The LR Baggs M80 was easy to install, and offers volume control, battery status, and an easily changeable and available coin-type battery. Also, if the battery should ever fail at the worse time possible, a switch underneath changes the unit from an active to a passive pickup.

    With all that said, the quality of the tone (to me) is exactly what I expected - and wanted. I run it thru an effects board, and use the ParaDI pre-amp to equalize my sound. Active or passive, it performs very well.
    The price was on the higher end of what I wanted to spend, but if you're considering the M1, for an extra $50 or so, you can get the additional features and the new technology.
    Aesthetically, the only thing that would have been nice is to have it offered in an optional tortoise to match the HD-28 pick guard and not be as noticeable. I like it... and would buy it again.

  • from New Orleans, LA June 1, 2016

    Great Pickup

    Beautiful sounding. Very-very little feedback....none when facing away from speakers. Just one minor issue: Installation, if your guitar has a small hole or close to the measurements of the M80, you will need to take off one, if not both, of the support pads. It took a little doing, but I got it to work and fit in the hole. If you have big-hands/fingers.....forget about it. Drilling the hole for the plug in was a little crazy (I was installing this on my first "good" guitar I purchased in 1980.....was nervous as hell). TAKE YOUR TIME. Start small and work your way up....little by little. No problems. Again, the M80 truly reproduces the sound of your guitar; clear and crisp sound! If you love the sound of your guitar, you'll love the sound of the M80.

  • from May 11, 2016Music Background:
    Part time musician

    LR Braggs M80

    I originally order a DiMarzio pickup for my acoustic, but I wasn't crazy about it. It just sounded like a middle pickup on an electric guitar. After talking to the very helpful Sweetwater Rep, he suggested the M80. This pickup is great! Sounds so much better. Love the handy volume control. My only small complaint is the dimensions. My acoustic's hole is 3.75 inches. The manual says this will fit in a hold 3.55 or larger. I couldn't get this to fit without having to remove one of the lower clamps, holding it inside the hole, then re-installing it. So a battery change will not be that simple.

  • from Missouri, USA August 29, 2012Music Background:
    Gitarist, Recording Engineer

    Excellent amplified acoustic sound

    I'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:
    starving artist

    Clean and workable

    If 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 Paris, TN May 23, 2017Music Background:
    Amateur guitar, piano, Ukulele/Home Recording

    LR Baggs M80

    I purchased this to install on an old Dorado Guitar that I have had for over 45 years. I had owned Martins and Gibsons and didn't like either of them. Came across this one in a friends music store and fell in love with it. It was just what I had been wanting so the Martins and Gibsons went on the market and I've had this one ever since. The only problem was that it didn't have a pickup and I hadn't found one I really liked until now. I installed the M80 about two weeks ago. I have a Peavy Vypr 2 amp and this thing turned my old Dorado into a classic. It has always had a great sound and over the years I've improved that with better tuners, string experimentation until I found the right match. lowered the action and now the M80.

    This is a great pickup. Coming through the Vypr it makes my Dorado sound like a custom made classic. The sound is wonderful. It was easy to install as well. I would definitely recommend this pickup to anyone wanting to amplify your guitar. In my opinion it is way ahead of an under saddle pickup but then that's just my opinion. Everyone has their own preferences but if your partial to the magnetics then I would definitely recommend this one.

  • from Waitsburg, WA September 18, 2013Music Background:
    Guitar Player in duo, Factory Rep, Retail Store Owner

    Best I've heard

    I only gave it 4 stars because I'm sure Mr Baggs is already working on the next generation that will sound even better.

  • from Portland, OR November 14, 2012Music Background:
    Semi Pro Musician. Not quitting the day job yet!

    First Test Great

    I 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.

Questions about the LR Baggs M80 Acoustic Soundhole Pickup?

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