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  #1  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:51 AM
tochiro tochiro is offline
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Default Baggs M80 - Pole piece height adjustment?

Hi,

I have an M80 in my Martin HD28. Do you think it's possible to adjust the pole piece height so that it sounds better? I mean, less electric? What's the procedure to do so?

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2013, 09:59 AM
lmacmil lmacmil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tochiro View Post
Hi,

I have an M80 in my Martin HD28. Do you think it's possible to adjust the pole piece height so that it sounds better? I mean, less electric? What's the procedure to do so?

Thank you!
Email LR Baggs tech support. They are generally very helpful with questions like this. In general, soundhole pickups sound more electric that other types. It's just the nature of their design.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2013, 10:37 AM
Phelonious Ponk Phelonious Ponk is offline
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I have an M80 in my Gibson. Adjusting the pole pieces will only change the string to string balance, It won't make it sound less like a magnetic pickup. The M80 is a top-notch mag pickup that senses body resonances as well as strings. It's about as natural as a mag pickup gets. All pickups have their colorations. if you want a truly natural sound, you need a microphone, but then you'll have feedback issues. With that said, I personally will take the coloration of a really good mag over a piezo any day, but to get the most out of either, you may need some EQ. Are you using the M80 in active mode? From there to a good, quiet EQ pedal should give you enough flexibility to create a sound you like. If not, mags just aren't for you.

p
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phelonious Ponk View Post
I have an M80 in my Gibson. Adjusting the pole pieces will only change the string to string balance, It won't make it sound less like a magnetic pickup. The M80 is a top-notch mag pickup that senses body resonances as well as strings. It's about as natural as a mag pickup gets. All pickups have their colorations. if you want a truly natural sound, you need a microphone, but then you'll have feedback issues. With that said, I personally will take the coloration of a really good mag over a piezo any day, but to get the most out of either, you may need some EQ. Are you using the M80 in active mode? From there to a good, quiet EQ pedal should give you enough flexibility to create a sound you like. If not, mags just aren't for you.

p
That's very well said, I like to dual source with a mag, it tends to reduce the electric sound. But I really like the sound of just the magnetic.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2013, 09:05 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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In my experience and without pole piece adjustment, the M80 sounded thin and not at all like an acoustic guitar. After adjusting the pole pieces I got my mids more in the mix and then got to settle on a bass weight I liked.

Because of that I have to disagree with the idea that it only does a 'mag' sound. I think that pole piece height is necessary on the M80 to get a critically 'good' acoustic sound.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:13 AM
tochiro tochiro is offline
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What did you do exactly to adjust them?
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2013, 02:41 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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The pick-up comes with the proper allen key that you'll use to raise and lower pole piece height. You'll probably find yourself raising the G, A and D string poles a lot and lowering the B string (Some remove the B string pole entirely).

Test your setting by playing chords high up the neck and strumming them with some gusto. If it hits strings, it's too high. Listen closely for slight clicking sounds as strings can hit pole pieces slightly while fingerpicking or picking and not be overtly, visually noticeable. The click gives it away.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2013, 02:23 PM
tomana tomana is offline
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IMO the Baggs M80 is the most under-appreciated acoustic guitar pickup ever produced. Folks talk about running a Sunrise through a Sunrise preamp but I have yet to see a post (there may be some I missed) that mentions doing this with the M80, perhaps because it comes with a built-in preamp? But you need to adjust the EQ and the built-in preamp doesn't have those controls. I run my M80 through a Mackie 802-VLZ3 mixer but any quality mixer with Bass/Mid/Treb controls should work well if properly adjusted

Properly EQ'ed, the Baggs M80 sounds very good indeed and I think it has the tightest, most driving bass response I ever heard in a UST, SBT or sound hole pickup for acoustic guitar

Regarding pole piece settings, I removed the B & high E poles and the others I adjusted for what I thought was the best response. Honestly, I just lowered the G thru low E poles just low enough so the vibrating strings wouldn't hit the poles - for those times when I'm pounding the strings with gusto

Last edited by tomana; 11-10-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2017, 05:04 PM
wax tadpole wax tadpole is offline
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Wow this is an old thread. I recently picked up an M80 and have been trying to find its sweet spot. I agree that tweaking the pole heights really helps on string-to-string balance and I think that screwing the poles to a lower position helps to bring out the body resonance a bit. Anyway - after all that and a bit of EQ, the last remaining annoyance for me was that the b-string was still too present and metallic-sounding.

My solution was to take a little felt pad like what you'd find on the bottom of a vase or a coaster and stick it right over the b-pole location on the pickup. It seemed to tame the b-string harshness just enough to blend it nicely.

Insane the lengths we all go through on this stuff :-) Good luck out there.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2020, 05:01 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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thread revival....

Was looking for some guidance on where to start with pole piece height on an M80 you just put into a new and different guitar?

Should the pole pieces be as high as you can get them without the string hitting them on forceful strums? Or do you just leave out the B pole and adjust the rest so they sound equal in volume? Is there ever a case where you leave in the B pole?

Just looking for some general guidelines on how to set the height on these things.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2020, 07:04 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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The pole adjustments will help you match string to string volumes, but it won't make it sound less electric.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2020, 07:16 PM
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Ten Ten is offline
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Noledog has a great post on this topic. Basically remove the b and adjust the others to match that volume.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:53 AM
63telemaster 63telemaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten View Post
Noledog has a great post on this topic. Basically remove the b and adjust the others to match that volume.
Yep this is certainly the way to go.

I used an M80 in my D28 for a while and preferred the sound in passive mode. You'll need a preamp of course but you won't have the problem of having to re-eq the eq from the Baggs preamp while in active mode. Eventually I changed the M80 for a DiMarzio Black Angel which I much prefer and still use now.

I bought a Sunrise pickup and preamp to try which I actually preferred to the Black Angel but I lent it to my son and don't expect to be getting it back anytime soon
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:49 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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The manual says nothing about removing the B pole?? Does the pickup come
with the B pole removed? I got mine used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten View Post
Noledog has a great post on this topic. Basically remove the b and adjust the others to match that volume.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:12 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
The manual says nothing about removing the B pole?? Does the pickup come
with the B pole removed? I got mine used.
I bought mine new maybe 7 years ago, and it came with the B pole removed but included in the box. It was just a matter of balancing the rest of the poles to be even with the unadjustable B. I don't recall it taking much fiddling.

Veering a bit sideways, there's rarely much mention in these threads about strings with magnetic pickups. Unlike piezos and mics and whatever those K&K Minis are, magnetic pickups can be very finicky about strings. Due to their iron content, I guess. A set of strings that sounds both pleasing and balanced acoustically can be really bad in both respects through a magnetic.
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