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Recommended After Market Pick Up


steve_d

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Hey Everybody! As I still search for that elusive Epiphone J-45 (Did have one on ebay that just ended, sold for $999) or AJ-500 in VS I have a question. I currently own an Epiphone DR-500M. I'm considering putting in a pick up. Does anybody have any recommendations? Under the saddle? LR Baggs? Shadow? etc... you get the picture. I would appreciate any comments and/or recommendations. Thanks!

 

Steve_D [cool]

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I have a Yamaha acoustic guitar pickup that is the most sophisticated one I've seen.The pickup consists of a transducer bar that goes under the bridge saddle and a no-hum single coil the mounts in the soundhole.The only control on the pickup is a blend pot located on the soundhole pup and that controls the balance between the ransducer and the single coil.I don't know the model No. of the pup as there is nothing printed on it but the Yamaha name.The sound reproduction of this pickup is very very realistically acoustic and it's powered by a single 9V battery.The only drilling involved is a 3/8 hole in place of the endpin for the input and a 1/8 hole for the transducer wire under the saddle.

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Thanks MS. Is that the active LR Baggs you speak of? Was it difficult to install?

 

ya it's active. I don't mind sanding down a saddle a bit or tweaking a truss rod a little, but any drilling I'd rather leave up to a pro, even the tiny hold to put the pickup under the saddle I'd rather not try at home! I looked up the authorized dealers/repairs places on tbe Baggs website and took it to one of them to install it.

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I guess my own opinion is to leave an acoustic alone and get an acoustic-electric that comes that way from the factory. The options are different if you've gotten a very low-cost guitar such as my cheapie 12 that has a decent action and, as I got it used, I added a mag pickup to it. I wish I'd gotten a bit better one not because I dislike the sound, but because I wish I had a volume knob on it. That said, it sounds great for Byrds type stuff or, depending on amp setting, very acoustic for folkie stuff. My whole rig, complete hard case, cost me well under $200 - and I played the guitar before I bought it.

 

A cupla reasons to get an AE rather than an acoustic and doing an add-on for a new Epi I'd consider buying.

 

1. You lose your warranty by add-ons.

 

2. Even if you get the higher quality bits to add on, the guitar is almost always changed and then one must consider #1, especially on a new instrument. The "rule" obviously would be somewhat different considerations on a bargain used guitar of any quality. But some add-ons may lessen the strength of the guitar, depending on how they're installed.

 

3. In theory, at least, the manufacturer has figured a pickup combo that will suit a wide range of users. So yeah, you may find something "better," but the cost of purchase and installation will be far greater than an AE version of the same guitar if available.

 

On that last, let's say it costs $250 to buy and install a quality acoustic pickup of any sort. It could run higher or perhaps a bit lower, depending. It looks to me that a factory AE probably is only roughly $100 more, if that, on Epi and its price competition. So it makes better sense to me to get the AE version.

 

m

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One weakness I can see is a lack of a volume control, though.

 

That's my own criticism of some of my add-ons through the years. The one exception was an aftermarket archtop pickup I got ages ago - in the 60s - that had both volume and tone controls and didn't require any mods to the guitar.

 

m

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One weakness I can see is a lack of a volume control, though.

 

That's my own criticism of some of my add-ons through the years. The one exception was an aftermarket archtop pickup I got ages ago - in the 60s - that had both volume and tone controls and didn't require any mods to the guitar.

 

m

 

 

L.R.Baggs M1 Active....

 

[thumbup]

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I dunno...

 

I still tend to think that unless you're a luthier, I'd prefer in general to buy the AE version of a guitar rather than a new guitar and then add my pref of pickup(s) to it.

 

Yeah, you don't get your own preference. No question about it. But... I'm kinda the same way, though, on electrics; unless something's broke, I figure don't fix it.

 

I know that goes against current wisdom. I've added various sorts of mag pickups in the old days both onto archtops and into sound holes on flattops - but except for a little hole on the side to plug the thing in (I don't care much for end pin plugs myself), a lot less messin'. And that was pre piezo types of pickups and AE guitar availability. I got my first AEs as soon as I could find one. Still have both.

 

m

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  • 1 month later...

For MY ears, my audiences, my P.A. and my weekly performance pay, LR Baggs I-Beam (active) in my Dr-500RNS and an LR Baggs M-1 soundhole pickup on my EPI 12 String going into a LR Baggs ParaAcoustic D.I.

I don't use a dedicated amp ... just direct to P.A.

 

I've had at least a dozen different kinds in the past 10 -15 years but I must say, for the money and for the return, LR Baggs is the acoustic guitarists' best buddy.

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I've used B-Band AST and AST/UST combos, Fishman active UST, Fishman RE humbucker Mag in blend and non-blend versions, Duncan Mag-Mic, K&K PWM, Pickup The World SBT and UST models, Baggs Element, Miniflex 2mic, and last installed a Baggs Anthem SL.

 

The K&K sounds pretty darned good, is minimally invasive, and fairly easy to install. You can add a passive soundhole volume control to it, or control it with an external preamp.

 

The magnetics, especially the Fishman RE Humbucking non blend, is an easy way to add a pickup that is resistant to feedback and sounds decent. The latest version has a volume control on the pickup.

 

I think the Baggs Anthem takes the Element to the next level. Of the pickups I've used it's my current preference. There are still many pickups I haven't tried, and new ones coming out all the time, so the next big thing could be out there already.

 

I have some pretty strong preferences in the playing geometry that works for me. 1 3/4 nut, minimum 2 1/4 but prefer 2 3/8 bridge, minimum 2 1/4 neck width at the 12th fret. I haven't found a factory A/E with those specs, except for the EF-500 RCCE, and I bought mine as a second with the factory pickup replaced by a piece of junk. I'd like to try an RCCE with the Sonic2 some day, but the number of people complaining about DOA or early failure on the Sonic2 units isn't very encouraging.

 

Fran

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I went ahead and added the L.R. Baggs iBeam to my DR-500M. It's very nice, still has the little soundhole volume control like the element, but a slightly different sound going on. A bit more bass, but that may have more to do with the shoulder shape than the P/U. I do think the element sounds a bit clearer when picking one string at a time, but again that could just be in my head lol. I love em' both and play both regularly. Now I want to get a new Fender Acoustasonic Jr too!

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