I need it for a DC-1 Martin.

For about 140$ or less what would you recomend?

I don't think I want an EQ, cause I don't want a chunk of my guitar taken out for it, EQ can be done "outside" too. but if I'm missing something please enlight me.

so what would you recomend and also - what are the differences between different pickups and which brands are considered good?

thx in advance.
Last edited by zoobooboozoo at Nov 11, 2008,
OK...I'm on my soapbox again. I agree with you that the whole "barn door" model is just doomed...ridiculous to cut a huge hole in the side of what is after all an ACOUSTIC guitar, and an otherwise perfectly good one at that. Of course, when the damn thing gives out, as electronic contrivances are prone, then you have useless dead weight and a big hole in your guitar into which the OTHER barn door installations won't necessarily fit.

Enter the K&K Pure Western. I know it sometimes sounds like I work for these guys...I really don't...but their basic, passive bridge-plate transducer is the best...pure and simple.

This is a piezo system, but doesn't suffer from piezo "quack" because it is under no compression from the strings/saddle. It consists of 3 piezo transducer pads which are glued to the bridge-plate adjacent to the holes where the string ball-ends emerge on the inside of the guitar. They pick up the vibrations from the bridge plate and the top of the guitar. The sound is warm and natural, with no gritty attack, unnatural harmonic output, none of the gremlins usually associated with piezo systems. Just the sound of your axe, only louder.

These are the most natural and balanced acoustic PUs I've ever heard in 40 years of playing (yep...old guy). They have the added advantage of being passive, so no batteries, extra wiring or junk in the guitar. Simple transducers with a short wire to a simple end-pin jack. They put out a surprising amount of level for passive units, such that an external preamp is generally not necessary, depending on your equipment. They cost about $85. I have one on a Larrivee L-03 and plan to replace the Fishman Matrix Blender system (that cost me $400) on my Taylor 412K with one.

I've found that using an inexpensive 2 or 4 channel mixer, such as a Behringer, that has decent-quality mic preamps does the job just fine, and that way you can plug in multiple guitars and patch in FX through the auxiliaries, sending one signal to an on-stage amp for monitoring and another to the house PA system.

K&K Sound also has much more elaborate systems, high quality pre-amps, blended source systems, etc., and systems designed for virtually all other acoustic stringed instruments...banjos, dobros, stand-up bass, piano...

Check the reviews on Harmonycentral.com...ask about them on the Acoustic guitar forum.. you'll get the same reports.
i have a pure western mini in my acoustic and yep for less than 100 dollars us you can have
the best under bridge transducer i have ever used or heard. it is reviewed in the electronics for acoustic sticky by me but like he said above it is the good stuff.
How is the fishman matrix pickups comparing to k&K western and l.bgrass ?

and what's the difference between active & passive one? (yeah I know actives have batteries, but I mean "soundwize")
Which LR Baggs? The type of pickup varies the sound you get by a lot.

The difference is that the active is powered, meaning that the signal is boosted and therefore loud enough to just run by itself without turning the volume really high. A passive system is not powered, meaning that the signal is weak. If you run a passive without some sort of signal booster, you'll need to turn the volume way up, which means you'll start getting a bit of distortion.

The fishman matrix is an active pickup system while the K&K mini western is a passive system(you'll need a preamp to boost the signal).
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
i have an lr baggs m1 (100 and some change) + lr baggs para acoustic di (100 and some change)

between having both i like the possibilities of sound
Taylor 314CE
Modulus G2T and G3CT
3 Warmoth Guitars
2 Fender MIA Strats--SRV & JM
Alvarez w/ Modulus Neck and EMG DG-20s
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50 w/ 1960a cab
Breedlove AC250/SM12
Gold Tone Weissenborn
Adrenalinn III & FCB1010
ALOT of pedals
My band uses will mainly be recording and some full band shows

I don't realy wanna do that myself, I'll spend some more on installation, shouldn't cost too much.

and I don't wanna buy a pre-amp also.

so what's my best choice in that case?

and btw- how's the Fishman Matrix Infinity?
You can buy a LR Baggs M1 Active. It has a built in preamp. I use it myself and can attest to how good it is.

The Fishman Matrix Infinity should be a pretty good pickup system. I actually want to get one for my next acoustic. John Mayer uses it as well.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Passive systems typically need some sort of preamp in order to boost the signal to a level that can be "seen" by the electronics of guitar amps or mixer channels.

By contrast, the K&K Pure Western puts out a LOT of level for a passive system, especially the Pure Western Standard. They also make a Pure Western Mini, made for guitars that are smaller or have more limited space between the braces under the bridge; these put out slightly less, but are still hotter than most typical passive systems. These often do not need to be boosted in order to be detected by amp or mixer electronics.

If your intended use is recording, then it is likely that any decent-quality mic preamp will work just fine (if boosted level is needed) including the on-board mic preamps in most modern mixers. In general, most modern mixers AND guitar amplifiers already have preamps built in to them. You can certainly experiment with different external preamps if desired.

For that matter, same goes for live playing...you should be able to go straight into the board, or use an on-stage mixer to send signal to the board and to your amp for minitoring.