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Thread: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

  1. #1
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I have internal pickups by K&K and JJB in my instruments, but I'm thinking of getting a second folk guitar and giving it a soundhole pickup.

    What are some good choices for an arguably natural-sounding soundhole pickup?

    I'd prefer a passive pickup but am willing to listen to reason.

    Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    The L R Baggs M1 is a good choice. Available as active or passive.
    Steve

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve L View Post
    The L R Baggs M1 is a good choice. Available as active or passive.
    Good to know. Just Googled and checked it out. Looks like a candidate. Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    https://www.musik-produktiv.com/tr/i...tic-stage.html

    Additionally you get some modding of the sound, calibration to exactly your instrument and 10 automatic feedback filters.

    You turn up the sound until you get feedback, push the button, turn up up etc.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
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    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...BŲhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs MÝller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I have a Fishman factory-fitted to my Lowden 0-32 and really like the sound. Powered by a couple of small lithium button cells. The pickups were originally designed and made here in Scotland by Mike Vanden but are now part of the Fishman Rare Earth series. Worth a listen.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I use an old Bill Lawrence pickup. Plug in and go, needs no batteries or preamps.

    A couple of years ago I started to carry a 12-string on some gigs and bought a better grade Seymour Duncan pickup, but only used it a few times because gigging went belly-up. I haven't made a final decision on it. On the last job, it didn't seem to be as bright as the Lawrence. Also plug in and go.

    I prefer passive systems. Less to fool with, less to go wrong.

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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    I have a Fishman factory-fitted to my Lowden 0-32 and really like the sound. Powered by a couple of small lithium button cells. The pickups were originally designed and made here in Scotland by Mike Vanden but are now part of the Fishman Rare Earth series. Worth a listen.
    Mike Vanden now produces a different pickup system - I think itís called the ďMimesisĒ or something similar. It comes either with or without an accompanying mic. and you can swap the mic. for something more exotic like a DPA if youíve a mind to (or the budget!) the one I heard was excellent.

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    . . . I prefer passive systems. Less to fool with, less to go wrong.
    Me three. Plus, no one in the audience is there to critique the fidelity of pickups.

    Thanks!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Another satisfied Baggs M-1 user. I used to use it on my Taylor with their Venue DI system with excellent results. I’d put it in on days our band was playing in church and take it off when we were done. I thought about adding the end pin Jack and leaving it on but didn’t want to drill the larger hole needed to make that work. My current guitars are already equipped. Sent you a pm.
    Chuck

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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I have the Fishman rare earth magnetic plus internal mic combo sound hole pick up. I like it on my Breedlove better than the under saddle piezo. You can toggle between the mag and the mic or infinite range in between with a little wheel control in the sound hole.

    I admit I roll the mic input way down because I think it sounds better with very little of the mic contribution. So I wonder if the version without mic is about as good and way cheaper.

    https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/ra...ndhole-pickup/
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I did a lot of reading on this recently. The Fishman Rare Earth blend and the Seymour Duncan Magmic seemed to be fairly consistently the best rated combination pickups that donít require much intrusive work to install.
    I went with the Fishman because the SD needed a separate chunky 9v battery to be glued to the inside of the guitar.

    I actually drilled out the end piece for a semi-perm installation without any trailing wires. Iíve paid for this service a couple of times and wanted to start learning to do it myself.

    It is very good quality and versatile with the mic adjustments.

    Problems:
    I decided to put it in my favourite parlour guitar and the sound hole was too small (my fault for not reading the specs), I got it in with a bit of ingenuity and a lot of tears.

    There is a lot of extra cable still bundled up with tape and thrown into the body of my guitar that will need sorting one day.

    The model was clearly the last one in the shop and had a couple of issues - some mechanical parts needed pressing back together, missing washers/strap button.
    They didnít seem at all surprised I wanted to send it back. But it seemed to be the last one in the country so dealt with it.

    Overall Iíd rate highly.

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    Question Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    In, across the sound hole? that's a good place for Magnetic ones .. otherwise a soundboard piezo on the top.
    (in a place that sounds best) should get the job done.

    IMHO
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    My '69 00-18 had a Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup already installed when I bought it a few years back. I would rate it as the best sound I've ever gotten with an after market pick up - the guitar actually sounds like a guitar with it!
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  24. #14

    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    K&K makes the double helix magnetic sound hole pickup which Molly Tuttle uses live for a good tone. Of course she's got some other pick-up or mic in the guitar also and runs them a Grace Designs Felix 2 which can't hurt.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    My '69 00-18 had a Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup already installed when I bought it a few years back. I would rate it as the best sound I've ever gotten with an after market pick up - the guitar actually sounds like a guitar with it!
    I tried a Fishman Rare Earth Blend years ago, soon after they came out. I was impressed with the sound. You get that nice big bottom from a magnetic pickup mixed with a mic for the "air" frequencies. A good system.

    I eventually stopped using it because I was doing some recording of the guitar with external mics, and I discovered that the weight of this pickup system clamped in the sound hole slightly damped the acoustic tone of the guitar in an A/B/X comparison. Not massively, but enough to notice. This is a very responsive guitar with a thin top and bracing (custom Santa Cruz FS in koa and spruce). I've had other guitars built heavier where you wouldn't know the difference. If you only perform live and never record it may not matter.

    I didn't want to mess with taking it in and out for recording vs. live playing, so I went to a clip-on DPA 4099 for live sound on all my instruments. A more natural sound than the Rare Earth and easier to put on and remove. Although I missed the "artificial bass" you can dial in with the magnetic pickup and it's more resistant to feedback than a clip-on mic.

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  28. #16
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    . . . If you only perform live and never record it may not matter. . . .
    Good info. Thanks!

    When I record folk guitar, I just mic it. The soundhole pickup would be for playing live.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    This is off-topic for general use, but I should mention one more fun thing about Fishman Rare Earth pickups. The non-mic Rare Earth version can be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise so it's oriented "vertically" under just the bottom two strings on the guitar. Run the output of the pickup into an octave divider pedal and you have instant self-accompaniment on bass (you need another pickup for the overall sound).

    Edit to add: Here's a YouTube clip with Heikki Bourgault accompanying Calum Stewart using this idea. The Rare Earth into an octave pedal, with a clip-on mic for the overall sound. The bass sound is mixed fairly low but you can hear it with headphones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R_YLmuPEmw

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  31. #18

    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    The best one i've ever heard is the l.r. Baggs.......you will probably have to have someone install it ......but they sound the way a martin should ...... Alot these guys these days are looking for there own sound ...and dont want a traditional sound... Cody kilby is one and i did not really care for the way his guitar sounds..... He also runs a lot of effects......if thats what your looking for ... But for a straight up sound THE L.R. BAGGS IS TOUGH TO BEAT.
    Last edited by jherm; Jul-09-2022 at 10:30pm. Reason: MISTAKE

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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    I shortly had an Fishman Rare Earth before switching to K&K on my guitar. If in a (not acoustic oriented) band, it can be okay but for otherwise, the sound remains quite electric especially while strumming but manageable if you fingerpick.

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  35. #20
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alban Havidson View Post
    I shortly had an Fishman Rare Earth before switching to K&K on my guitar. If in a (not acoustic oriented) band, it can be okay but for otherwise, the sound remains quite electric especially while strumming but manageable if you fingerpick.
    Thanks! Luckily, I'm not expecting miracles.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  36. #21
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's are some good guitar soundhole pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by jherm View Post
    . . . they sound the way a martin should ...... Alot these guys these days are looking for there own sound ...and dont want a traditional sound...
    Thanks! I'm not after a Martin sound, either. Very generally, Guilds are my favorites, I like some Gibsons (like the one I'm thinking of getting), and Larrivees make me smile. My two Martins — a D-28 and a D-35 — were disappointments.

    But maybe I'm just not a rosewood kind of player. I mean, rosewood is pretty, but who cares about pretty?
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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