Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole review by Fishman

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.3 (3 votes)
Fishman: Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole

Price paid: $ 60

Purchased from: Internet

Sound — 8
Since the pickup itself is just a soundhole pickup you fasten in, it does not possess any tone controls of its own. This makes it rather hard to manage given my amplifier. I'm currently using a Roland Micro-Cube so all I have is a "tone" knob. The sound overall is relatively well balanced, although seems a bit biased towards the mid/treble side. The bass sounds a little muddy and weak, but on the other end of the spectrum, the treble and mid are quite strong and bright. The higher end has excellent sound quality despite the lower end lacking. Overall the sound quality is excellent. I have only used the pickup by fastening it parallel to the bridge, as close to the neck as possible, so I cannot make any real comments about the positioning of this pickup. However, the sound is excellent when in this position (which I believe it is designed for). Since this is a magnetic pickup, electric strings would actually work best for it. I have used heavier gauge electric strings on my acoustic and compared them to acoustic strings. The result was that the electric strings gave higher output, were overall louder and of better sound quality and sustain with the pickup. Acoustic strings sound very muddy with the magnets and the volume needs to be jacked up a lot.

Overall Impression — 9
This is a great pickup. I currently have it on my el cheapo Ashton DM25-NT, but with electric strings currently on there so it sounds quite decent. The nature of the pickup means that it is lightweight, portable and most importantly, easily removable and replacable when I want it or don't want it on my guitar. If it broke or was stolen, I would definitely purchase another.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The main pickup itself seems like a rock. It's finished nicely, and seems sealed up really well. The strength of the pickup seems like you would be able to drop it and it would survive (although this is not advisable because dropping it could make the magnets inside lose magnetism). It attaches via two clamps on the sides, which are cork lined so it doesn't wreck your guitar. These clamps are fastened by screws. This method of attaching feels extremely stable, as once fastened, I can't even move the pickup when trying to shift it with my hand. This seems a very strong, reliable method of fastening the pickup (plus it's removable for when you don't want it). However, the lead itself seems a bit flimsy. The wire and it's insulation doesn't feel like its too great quality, and the plug feels looser than other leads (although it holds). The lead itself goes into the pickup, and is not attached to the pickup where it enters so it seems like if you pull too hard, it may break. I haven't used it much outside my home, but I feel like I can really depend on it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I purchased my first neo d about 3 months ago and tried it in all three of my acoustics - a d body mahogany, a concert body koa and a jumbo maple. Even though it is a sound hole pickup and is only amplifying the 'strings' it somehow managed to pick up the different voice of each guitar to some degree. I was very pleased. I agree that the 10 foot chord is less than desirable and after a short conversation with a good friend that is a luthier I decided to have him mount the pickup permanently in the soundhole of my d body mahogany and use a fishman endpin jack. Problem solved. I purchased a fishman g II preamp in order to control tone and volume and was so pleased with the result that I just bought the second neo d to put into my maple 12 string, it really shines in that one. I will have it permanently mounted as well. Due to the fact that the pickup is so small and that it mounts as mentioned in one of the other posts with a very small footprint on each side of the sound hole I cannot hear that it makes any difference in sound when played unplugged. Sounds good, looks good, and I would suggest that you do purchase the neo d which is the humbucker because it has no radiated sound coming from it at all.