Review: L.R. Baggs Lyric Acoustic Guitar Microphone

This video is bonus content related to the March 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

When it comes to amplifying an acoustic guitar, a microphone may be the best way to capture the instrument’s natural sound and nuances, but it’s not the easiest.

Miking an acoustic guitar in the studio involves placing several mics in strategic locations and using a variety of preamps and limiters as well as EQ. Onstage, it inevitably involves compromises to prevent feedback and avoid unwieldy setups that can restrict a performer’s movement.

The new L.R. Baggs Lyric acoustic guitar microphone has been developed exclusively to address these difficulties. It’s a compact mic that mounts inside an acoustic guitar, to its bridge plate. And despite its diminutive size, it incorporates numerous innovations that provide the performance of studio processors.

The Lyric pickup system is small and unobtrusive, consisting of an internally mounted microphone measuring less than two inches wide, a remote volume/presence control unit that mounts along the edge of the sound hole, an output jack that mounts to the guitar’s tail block, and a battery bag. The wiring is minimal and simple, running from the mic to the preamp to the output jack, and clips are provided to hold the wiring in place. To affix the mic to the bridge plate, simply peel off the mount’s protective cover and press it in place—no additional glue is necessary. The control unit uses the same peel-and-stick mounting. The control unit has a thumbwheel volume control and a set-and-forget presence control that is adjusted with a tool provided for this purpose.

Internally mounted microphones offer the best means of capturing a guitar’s natural resonance and harmonic overtones, but they are susceptible to excessive bass and reflections that can kill finer nuances and lead to feedback. Because the L.R. Baggs Lyric is mounted to the bridge plate rather than suspended in air like many other internal mics, it captures the full range of the soundboard’s projection in addition to resonance, while its unique design and circuitry allow for maximum gain, tighter low frequencies and rejection of excessive reflections. Simply put, the Lyric delivers warm, natural and dynamic tones that are impressively close to a guitar’s inherent acoustic sound.

As a result, the Lyric is as useful in the studio as it is on stage. Recording warm, natural acoustic guitar tracks is now a simple plug-and-play process, especially when you use a preamp like the L.R. Baggs Venue DI or Para DI. Better still, guitarists no longer need to struggle to duplicate complex mic setups and signal paths when they want to re-record the same acoustic guitar tone later.

List Price $289
Manufacturer L.R. Baggs,

The specially designed internal mic mounts inside the guitar to the bridge plate to capture top movement as well as natural resonance and harmonic overtones.

The volume control mounts along the edge of the sound hole and features a “set and forget” presence control that dials in optimal response for different types of guitars,

The Bottom Line
L.R. Baggs’ Lyric microphone makes it easier than ever to achieve studio-quality sound from an acoustic guitar both in the studio and onstage.

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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.