In Focus: LR Baggs High-Fidelity Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System

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In Focus: LR Baggs High-Fidelity Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System

LR Baggs feature
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

The structural integrity of your acoustic guitar can make or break the sound it creates.

The LR Baggs HiFi Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System is one of the latest from LR Baggs. Acoustic guitars vibrate and amplify the sound of their strings by bouncing sound around inside the body and sending it out of the soundhole. Installing pickups sometimes involves cutting holes into the body, screwing preamps here and there, which create extra air holes for the sound to escape through, ultimately affecting the sound of your guitar. Cumbersome preamp controls are often screwed into the side of your acoustic guitar, and while convenient, create more gaps for air and acoustic energy to escape though. A second hole for the input jack is yet another place for your sound to fizzle out, ironically undoing all the work of the tonewoods in the interest of amplifying it.

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Non-invasive pickups are often the best solution, and with a name like the HiFi, it’s difficult to go past the LR Baggs HiFi Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System. Made up of a single input jack that fits into an existing strap button hole and doesn’t require any extra drilling, cutting of the precious wood that gives your guitar its own voice. The transducer design of the pickup makes for a great, isolated acoustic sound – doing away with the mini microphone design of some pickups that are more prone to feedback. The transducers respond to vibration, and are adhered to the inside of the soundboard to capture sound, without affecting the resonance or vibration of the guitar overall. The preamp itself, 9V battery and control are all installed using a peel-and-stick method.

The HiFi responds equally well whether using an Acoustic Soundhole Cover or not, the cover simply serving just to isolate the sound even more. The Vol and Tone of the preamp offer a balanced roll off for volume, steadily rolling high end off as you lower the tone. To my ears, the HiFi sounds best with everything dimed, letting your guitar sing.

The HiFi Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System works by using bridge plate transducers to pick up the vibrations of sound on the soundboard and treating them through the all-discrete, high-fidelity endpin preamp, complete with the volume and tone control that is secured, again non invasively, at the sound hole for easy access. For recording, the HiFi Bridge Plate Acoustic Pickup System offers a bright, consistent tone that can be complemented with a regular miking setup. For live use, you can’t beat a system that isolates the sound as well as bridge plate transducers, reducing screaming feedback and making space for the band to fall into line behind your driving acoustic rhythms.

For more information, head to LR Baggs. For local enquiries, head to National Music.