Acoustic sound hole pickup recommendations

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by TedEH, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    A friend of mine is putting on a fundraiser / silent auction / open mic concert kind of dealie, and I was invited to play a couple of (acoustic) tunes. I'm trying to think ahead to what might make the night go more smoothly, and I'm considering picking up a sound hole pickup, since my acoustic is very old and has no electronics of any kind in it, and I don't want to spend any time fiddling with mics.

    For some extra context, if it makes a difference, my understanding is that the venue they're going with has a small stage area, but no actual PA, so the plan is probably going to be that they (and by "they", I might mean myself) will be renting or borrowing a small PA- probably just a couple of powered speakers and a small board, couple of decent stands and mics (58s), and it's very likely they won't have a sound guy (which means there's a good chance I'll have to fill that role too). There aren't going to be any full bands, no drums, etc., just guitar + singer for most of the planned acts, as far as I know.

    I tried to do some googling, and so far most of the suggestions point towards the LR Baggs M1 Active. I like the idea of it having the preamp onboard so that I don't need a DI- the less complicated the better. I also want to avoid anything permanent to the guitar. I don't plan on installing the end pin jack thingie.

    So some questions:
    - Does the sound hole pickup sound like a good idea/convenient way to go for this kind of small show?
    - Anyone have experience with the M1 Active (or the passive one)?
    - Any other pickups I should consider looking into?
     
  2. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    I have tried a bunch of styles. I do not like piezo at all. I have the seymour duncan soundhole thing that allows you to mix the coil pickup with a microphonic (both in the same soundhole pickup). This is far and away the best sounding acoustic pickup in my opinion. LR baggs with similar features should be G2G.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I thought the M1 was magnetic, not piezo?
    I'm not against piezo anyway, I don't mind the sound of them. We are also talking about a small room, where everyone is going to be able to hear the guitar itself anyway.

    I would assume that a fancier pickup with a mic would be more expensive as well. If something like that can be picked up for a similar cost, I'd consider it.
     
  4. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I did a similar thing over the holidays, and I can say this: do NOT use a single coil style. The hum was ridiculous, and we had to just mic the guitar. So I'm back in the market for a humbucking style.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ which one in particular did you use? Just so I can scratch it off the list of ones to look into. :lol:
     
  6. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    You're right, M1 is not piezo. I was just emphasizing that I think all piezo is garbage. I won't consider them at all.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Ah fair enough.
     
  8. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    I have a piezo bridge in my 12-string and would choose it again ... I hate those soundhole pickups.

    But if it's only guitar and singer, I would use a mic ... nothing beats a nicely mic'ed acoustic.

    Except you want to look cool ;)



    Best of both worlds :hbang:
     
  9. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I also don't want to be sitting or stuck in one spot if I can avoid it. A pickup also means maybe I can keep the rental price a bit lower (which will be appreciated since I'm probably not the one paying for it)- I won't have to rent instrument mics or DIs, and I won't need as many mic pres on the board. Although, I don't know what other people will bring, so I probably will need a DI or two anyway....

    Part of being able to move around also means that I can sound check myself if nobody else shows up who knows how to work a mixer- if the singer stays on stage, I can go out front and make sure it balances alright with the guitar. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing haha.
     
  10. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    I see it this way: A good mic is just a placement question, but an acoustic pickup, you never used before is a nightmare to setup right. In most cases you need a good DI and EQ is much more tricky, than a good mic. And you need to know, which DI works best with the chosen pickup.

    And renting one mic is cheaper, than renting a pickup and a DI, I guess.
     
  11. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I believe it's the Dean Markley Pro Mag SC1. Sounded great at home, but got to the church we were playing at and either the good lord wondered what the hell this blasphemer was doing in his house, or they had way more electrical/lighting stuff going on than I do at home. It was ridonkulously hummy/buzzy.
     
  12. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    If it has to be the pickup route, I would check out the LR Braggs stuff, where the preamps are really good, especially the Para Acoustic DI.
     
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    That's a lot of why I was considering the M1- cause it comes in an "active" version with the preamp built into it, supposedly lets you skip the DI.

    Also, a mic would be rental, but if I get the pickup, I'd likely just buy it for myself and have a month or so to mess with it before I need to use it.
     
  14. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    I fear, then a lot of research is advisable. I started this a while ago, because of my Godin bass, which has a piezo bridge pickup including a good preamp, but nevertheless caused a lot of recording trouble. From my research this Para DI got the best reviews.

    I myself skipped this DI topic, because I found out that I already had a solution ... the clean channel of my Blackstar amp and it's red box out :D
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Maybe a better idea would be to skip the acoustic altogether. I can get a pretty excellent clean sound from my electric setup (HSS strat, V:25, CarbonCopy, 1x12), which is extra gear to bring, but would be an easy setup- the cab is there for me to monitor myself, and the cabclone can go to the board if I need it. Edit: Added benefit, I guess, if anyone else brings a guitar, there will be an amp there for them.
     
  16. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    It might not help, but this sentence reminded me of Billy Bragg:

     

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