M80 - Too Much Body?
I bought an M80 this week & I am getting some unwanted boomy tones that make my sound muddy and feedback prone. I have tried three amps and a few DI's with it and the problem is fairly consistent. I am afraid the M80 may be a bad match for the guitar, which is a jumbo. I can EQ it out but I loose some of the lows that I want. I can say that the M80 acts very much like a mic. You can even hear soft taps on the neck and headstock of the guitar which is impressive, but I am getting too much body.
Has anyone else experienced this?
I am thinking about trying an M1 instead, or adding some padding between the guitar and the clamps on the M80.
The pickup sounds nice, but I wonder if for this guitar I might br better of with a little less pickup.
If anyone has any words of wisdom on the matter I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks in advance.
-Grace & Peace
I can clarify that the M80 is very body sensitive. In fact, even the M1/M1Active are responsive to knocking on the end of the headstock or flicking your fingers against the back of the neck. The body sensitivity of the M1/M1A is most noticeable from about 1kHz and up while the M80's body response is apparent from 40Hz and up.
If you have never used a magnetic pickup designed with this level of body sensitivity, it can be tricky to get used to.
The jumbo guitar's body will contribute a bit more boom in the lower frequencies.
In some cases, direct contact between the body of the pickup and the edge of the soundhole can lead to an unwanted sensitivity to certain frequencies and/or overtones that has resulted in ringing overtones, distorted response to certain frequencies or a potential for feedback that wouldn't normally be there. To be sure that isn't a factor, loosen the clamps and back the pickup away from the fingerboard edge of the soundhole by about 1/16" and re-tighten the clamps.
Ultimately, though, the best way to tell if there's a problem is to compare your M80 to another in the same guitar. Do you have access to another, perhaps at the shop you bought the first one at?
Thanks for the advice. I checked and the there was some contact with the pickup body and the top of the guitar so I moved almost 1/8in and it did help out. The real test will be later this week when I try it out in the same real life scenario as last week. Without the mud I can tell how natural it sounds!
And for anyone on the fence, it does sound remarkably like the guitar does. Depending on your set up you may have to EQ, but that will more likely be because your amp/ect. aren't completely flat to begin with. I have been playing this evening through an active DI (Bo Hansen active DI-box) into a very flat board with studio monitors (not perfectly flat but they are close) and I think it sounds very much like it is close miced. Just my 2 cents, since there isn't a ton of info out there yet on this one I wanted to put that out there.
I was able to test my guitar in the same exact situation as last week and can report making the adjustment helped. With EQ the same I still have plenty of lows, but they are are the good kind. Last week they were mud on the verge of feedback.
All that was needed - move this pickup just a little towards the bridge, just enough so that the pickup wasn't touching the sound hole any more than it had to. The plastic housing on the side of the pickup where the mounting screws thread in were what was touching the top of the guitar.
A very nice and full sound now. Thanks Bryan!
You're very welcome and I'm glad to hear it's sounding much better.