NAMM 2024: LR Baggs has unveiled the HiFi Duet system, an all-in-one acoustic guitar pickup and microphone solution that can be fitted to the precious acoustic guitar in your life without worrying about damaging it.
The HiFi Duet is one of those non-invasive – and dare we say easy? – modifications that we like. You simply peel and stick the lightweight HiFi pickups and Silo microphone to the underside of your bridgeplate, mount the preamp controls discretely in the soundhole, et voila! You are off to the races. Or the local open mic night, gig, wherever.
As with all good acoustic electronics, the HiFi Duet system comes with the promise that it is not going to step all over your acoustic tone, which is music to our ears. LR Baggs says describes the pickups as “non-intrusive bridge plate sensors that provide exceptional tone, balance, definition, and dynamics”.
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And non-intrusive is the word. This evolution in the HiFi pickups series follows a similar principal, whereby the pickups are fastened to the bridgeplate rather than the soundboard, freeing up the latter to vibrate and resonate as it should.
The Silo microphone is the next part of this delicate equation. It was developed using the Californian acoustic pickup specialist’s Tru Mic technology. The Silo’s capsule has been redesigned from the ground up, with the microphone design’s tuned suspension “enhancing ambience and dimension”.
In other words, this system isn’t just translating raw vibrations and presenting them flat and dry, and invariably a little quacky as sensors can tend to me. LR Baggs are not being shy with the Silo microphone’s quality – they say it compares favourable to studio microphones.
The signals from mic and pickups are then processed through the studio-grade preamp’s multi-pole crossover system, which blends them so that what comes out your acoustic guitar amp is your tone, straight and uncut, with plenty of feedback resistance and isolation where you need it, and scope to fine-tune your sound for the room you are in.
Preamp controls comprise volume, mix, battery check and mic level. The whole kit and caboodle includes everything you need to mount the unit. The system is powered by a 9V battery, which by LR Baggs’ estimates should give you over 180 hours of playing time. That’s a heck of a lot of playing.
There are no confirmed prices for the system yet. The original HiFi setup was priced $199 street. But expect these to start showing up for pre-order soon, shipping this summer. See LR Baggs for more details. And if you are visiting NAMM, you might be able to speak to Loyd Baggs himself, and hear the system in action. The LR Baggs booth is in Hall D, 5406.