LR Baggs M1 pickup

I very highly recommend the L.R. Baggs M1 soundhole pickup, specifically the passive version, which I have installed as an upgrade to my VAMD-02.  After doing a lot of research, I simply can't think of a better electronics solution to use with a Voyage-Air.

The M1 is a stacked-coil design, but with the lower hum-canceling coil suspended inside the pickup's shell in such a way that it vibrates with the body of the pickup itself. That adds the vibration into the signal.  The result: this magnetic soundhole pickup genuinely senses the sound of the wood, similar to a good under-saddle or under-bridge pickup. Not just in the second-hand way that magnetic pickups sense only the strings, but the strings get influenced by the body.  The tone can compete with any under-saddle or under-bridge pickup system.

You can also adjust the pole-piece heights for each string, for volume balancing.  When you properly set it up (and put some time into the fine adjustment), it really can sound like your acoustic guitar, but louder.  Maybe the only way to top it would be a multi-source setup involving an internal microphone — which might not be as friendly to getting bounced around in the Voyage-Air backpack.

Finally: here is why the passive version of the M1 is ideal for a Voyage-Air.  This pickup comes with a cable that can hang from the soundhole, and can detach from the pickup when its not in use.  The passive version also has a groove on the bottom of the pickup, to secure the cable for stability.  The active version does not have this groove, as that space is taken up by the battery, and therefore the active model is best suited for a permanent installation with a hole drilled for an included jack.  (The jack installation can also be done with the passive version.)

Of course, you would have to carefully maneuver your hands around the strings in order to plug the wire in, and get into the groove, and to undo the whole process each time — but this is not a problem at all when you fold the neck over and get the strings out of the way!  If you're in a place where you're going to plug in, then you can simply do this setup when you first take the guitar out of the backpack, and then later remove the cable when you put the guitar away.

For this LR Baggs M1 passive soundhole pickup, you don't need to hire a technician or do any drilling at all.  You can keep the pickup in the guitar at all times, and then add or remove the cable as needed.  And if you ever buy another guitar, like a higher-end model, you can just unscrew the pickup and transplant it over to the new instrument.

Finally, if you wanted to have a permanent installation for your guitar, with a permanent jack and an onboard pre-amp control, etc, the M1 is a great place to start.

Eric Kleefeld
L.R. Baggs M1 soundhole pickupL.R. Baggs M1 soundhole pickupL.R. Baggs M1 soundhole pickup

Stories From The Road

Owner Testimonials

  • 5star-100
    I received my VAOM-1C and boy does it sing!  I am the proud and happy owner of several top-notch Martins: a D35 Johnny Cash, a HD28e, a solid DCPA4R as well as a 1973 00-18. I also had a 2003 D18 which I sold because it wasn't so good. I was expecting the VAOM-1C to sound ok but not more. "Can't have the best of both worlds" I thought. Well, now I do. It is just exquisite, so melodic and yet with a surprising sustain and expressivity. It is a true jewel at a more than decent price! All the Best and THANK YOU!
    Jean-Dominique Michel, Switzerland - VAOM-1C
  • 5star-100
    My wife and I travel a lot and in the past have had issues with taking a guitar with me......they're either too bulky for the overhead compartment, or I have to let the luggage handlers toss around my guitars like they're a bag of beans. I recently purchased one of your VAOM-04 guitars, and I'm totally impressed with the sound and the playability of this instrument. My first choice is my Martins, but since I received the VAOM-O4 I haven't put it down. I would recommend this guitar to any player, even if you don't travel that much. I'm looking forward to my next trip. I may just spend most of the trip playing this guitar.
    Great Job Voyage-Air.
    - Tony H. - VAOM-04
  • 5star-100
    It’s considered a “travel guitar,” and it truly is a remarkably portable instrument; however, that label does it a disservice, because honestly, it’s a damn nice guitar. It just happens to have a nifty set of hinges that allow the neck to fold over on the top, making it far more compact and transport friendly. I love my Telair!
    - Anthony K. Sandy, UT - VET-2SBB
  • 5star-100
    I am pleasantly surprised at the quality and genius behind this amazingly compact, but great sounding guitar!! I work in the movie industry and travel quite a bit, and being able to bring my guitar as a carry-on wherever I go is just what I've been looking for! The overall sound is amazingly rich for its size, and the folding mechanics work like a dream! If you’re wondering if it's worth getting, the answer is a big YES!!
    - Nancy F. Santa Monica, CA - VAMD-04
  • 5star-100
    I bought a VAD-04 strictly for travel and light use. The day I bought it I paid a visit to United Airlines. As I was walking up to the counter the clerk said that he had seen these before and that there was no problem taking it on as carry-on. .I think that this is a great value and a nice sounding piece All in all it is a winner in my book. I’ve heard less sound from much more expensive instruments. I may mike it because I think it compares to my Taylor 814ce and Breedlove it surprised me!
    -  Michael, Columbus, NE - VAD-04
  • 5star-100 
    I travel a lot, and for years, I schlepped my heavy Goodall Jumbo, always worried about it getting damaged and stolen.  I recently purchased a Voyage Air guitar and love it.  Its light, gets on planes, and sounds terrific. It has made travelling with a guitar a no-brainer.  Even after closing and opening, it stays very close to being in tune. I recommend this guitar to anyone who likes to play wherever they go.
    - Stewart, Santa Fe, NM - VAOM-02