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M1 to M1a upgrade? [Archive] - LR Baggs forum


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Adam K
01-17-2012, 06:04 PM
Perhaps this is a silly question, but I just had a M1 wired into a dual source system with the K&K pure western mini. It sounds great, but the output of he M1 is much less than the K&K. Because I have he M1 wired to the tip (first in line p/u), I want more output. Can I just buy the M1a and plug it in to the mini plug that's in my guitar for the M1 or is there an issue with the potential output of the active version paired with that cable? Help...

01-18-2012, 03:46 PM
Hi Adam,
The problem isn't with the extra output of the M1A, the problem is with the battery. The M1A has a battery that is turned on and off by plugging in to the provided cable/jack. If you don't use the provided cable, and you wire the M1A directly to another jack, then the preamp of the M1A will always be "on". This will always be draining the battery, even when the guitar is not plugged in. There are also some crosstalk (signal bleed between sources) issues that come along with mixing active and passive signals. So it's not advisable to use the M1A in conjunction with a passive pickup without a separate buffer or preamp.

I hope this helps.
-Caleb E.
Tech Support.

Adam K
01-19-2012, 08:32 AM
Thanks Caleb. I appreciate it...

Adam K
01-19-2012, 03:24 PM
Theoretically, I could just unplug he mini plug to the pickup itself couldn't I? That would not direct power to the pickups battery as it wouldn't be hooked up... Correct?

01-19-2012, 03:53 PM
Theoretically, yes. You would still have some signal from the M1A getting into your passive signal though. This is only a problem if you are running separate signal chains though. If you will be blending the signals, then it doesn't make as much of a difference.
-Caleb E.

Adam K
01-19-2012, 05:11 PM
Ok, I am currently running both signals through a Dtar Solstice...

The M1 is the primary/mono source (first in line) which is why I want a hotter signal out of that pickup. Just to clarify... If I do upgrade to the M1A, I will have to unplug the pickup when not in use to keep the battery from draining as the signal comes from the 1/4" jack. I have that jack run in stereo with a TRS cable... Straight into the Solstice and control both channels separately. This in fact drains the battery even when there is nothing plugged into to jack? Sorry if I'm repeating myself... Just want to be sure I understand it...

01-20-2012, 07:50 AM
No problem, I'm happy to help.
The M1A comes with a Stereo Jack. The signal on the tip of the jack, the on/off switch on the ring (this allows the M1 to be turned on when a cable is plugged into it), and ground on the sleeve. If you replace the switch wire on the ring channel with another pickup, then it no longer functions as a switch. Then the M1A will always be "on". So you will have to unplug from the pickup when it's not in use if you want to save the battery, if you've added another pickup.

You can still use the M1A with a mono cable, but even then, you'll still have to unplug from the pickup to save the battery.

-Caleb E.

Adam K
01-20-2012, 05:27 PM
Got it. Thanks Caleb!