L.R.Baggs iBeam Active System Steel

Active Pickup System

  • For steel string guitar
  • Volume control
  • Incl. Endpin preamp

Further information

Pickup System Transducer
Microphone No
Preamp Installation End Pin

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i Beam active

Maurice397, 27.08.2013
Great pickup. Not as feedback resistant as some undersadle units but a great sound.
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Total
sound
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A lot of frustration, little harmony

10.03.2017
For over 40 years, I have been waiting for and repairing my guitars (as a former instrument maker). I also gained some experience with the installation of pickups from most manufacturers.
Although the first Piezos in the 70s (Shadow, Ovation) have changed a lot with regard to sound - but what can not be changed for technical reasons is the problems with the volume balance of the individual strings and the dynamic attack. Piezo sounds in my opinion simply hard, sharp and worthless, -even whatever brand you choose. The only exception is the B-band. But due to the extremely thin films are unfortunately the balance problems can never get completely under control. The pickup reacts very sensitively to the smallest unevenness in the groove, to string thickness and the different attachment angle or length between the bridge and the emndpin, which can only be influenced to a very limited extent. However, it is still the most authentic under-saddle pickup for me.

So I let myself be impressed by the good reviews and the fantastic sound samples in the net and decided to try the IBEAM once (it was all so easy to be so easy ....), - although 184¤ is now very much money for me ,

The guitar: a Gibson from Canadian production (great sound, processing 600% better than any new one from Bosnan USA!)

The installation instructions are very good and comprehensive. The included installation aid can be safely throw into the special waste. It is too complicated, wobbly, and even good for a single position.

So first attach the belt pin with the preamp and the battery. Then blindly in the body (probably the one with small hands!) With the help of the end pins the correct position: parallel to the bridge, check distance to the pins with the fingertip and especially make sure that the PU left and right of the bridge insert equidistant survives. Then press up until the wrists hurt and? the supplied adhesive tape does not hold! So again everything out and the bridge plate a fine grinding miss. The whole thing from the front, strings on it, tension, tune, plug and -e sound terrible! The highs I have amps (actually very high-pitched SR Jam150) strongly raise, which in turn raises the noise level also. The mids almost turn back and the basses to 0, -es still booms. In addition, it sounds very hollow, top-up and couples due to design-inherent self-resonance or interference in the guitar's interior.

Several hours of further experiments follow. Each time you have to cut on the guitar (the cable is very short) cut new tape (appropriate cutting underlay!) And at all work embarrassing carefully, not to crush the barely palpable, thin cable of the PU? S plugged directly into the center of the PU? s. Especially when pressing in the body the cable is very endangered. In the course of the process, the blank and the G-strings break off from the mechanical holes, and the wounded sound is matte, which is anything but favorable for the control of the sound.

After 30 attempts I give up. Great frustration and 184 ¤ for the garbage. I am disappointed and stinky. A few days later I dare a new attempt: this time in my old Stanford Mini-Jumbo from Furch? S beginnings of Czech manufacture.

Overall result: it sounds a bit better, but far from good. Too much bass, too little treble, interference. Even after another hours of fine tuning, various new string sets and bridge pieces I finally give up. To use this pickup so that it sounds as it is shown on [LINK], I now consider it impossible. If you need half-way interference-free operation an extra equalizer, Liniter and several notch filters, all of which distort the sound image, that can not be.

Conclusion: Expensive apprenticeship of 184¤, but the final realization gained, in the future really from all undersaddle or underbridge stuff consistently the fingers to leave. Next time, it will be a Fishman rare earth blend. It still sounds a bit magnetic, but it does not have all the other disadvantages.

To complete the whole thing: the tape on the loudspeakerpot for the soundhole did not hold synonymous. The support surface is simply too narrow, and there is a risk that the unprotected board will be damaged.

This PU is fully overpriced in my opinion, -made in China? - and should definitely not be built by somebody crafty inexperienced. The result does not justify the high price.
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180 €
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