1 vs 1 Comparison

Today's product comparison has Music Critic comparing the K&K Pure Mini to the Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking. You might think it all comes down to the price, but frankly there is a lot more to it. If you find this article interesting, you might also want to read The 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups in 2021

First, let's have a look at the K&K Pure Mini. This product offers a full-bodied, rich sound thanks to the three transducers that it's composed of. Each transducer is designed to pick up the vibrations of two strings. This translates into a defined, clear sound that impressed our team. They are placed further away than the surface transducers typically found in an under-saddle pickup. This gives a softer representation of the natural tone, as some pickup systems can sound tinny or percussive. Using the soundboard reverberations as well as sharing the strings between transducers, allows for a better balanced overall sound quality.

The challenger is the Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking. This magnetic, soundhole pickup from Fishman is a new and improved version of a previously popular model. This one has been designed to deliver a smoother treble response, and it certainly achieves it.

Taking a closer look at the features of the K&K Pure Mini

It's easy to install. It is mounted inside the guitar, underneath the bridge plate. This pickup comes with a useful plastic tool that ensures a simple installation. You also get an instruction booklet, so that you know exactly how to fit it inside your guitar.

Taking a closer look at the features of the Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking

Simplicity is key to its design. You just need to put it in your guitar and plug it in, then you're all ready to go. It offers a warm, humbucker sound that's very powerful indeed. But that doesn't come at the cost of clarity. We also found it to be very balanced across the whole sound spectrum, meaning that the lows are as impressive as the trebles.


K&K Pure Mini

Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking


+ Passive pickup.
+ No battery or on-board electronics.
+ Easy installation.
+ Can be used with steel or nylon strings.

+ Fits soundholes as small as 3 5/8” (92 mm) diameter.
+ Active 1 x 3V lithium / 2 x 1.5V Silver oxide.
+ Pre-wired output jack can also be end-pin mounted to keep it conveniently placed and hidden.
+ Natural tone


The K&K Pure Mini soundboard transducer is a brilliant, bare bones, lightweight system. It provides superb sound quality with minimal feedback. Installation doesn't require any drastic modification to the instrument, and if it is installed by a professional, then it shouldn't affect the resale value in the future. Another big plus is that this pickup can be used with steel or nylon strings.

This Fishman active, acoustic guitar pickup is accurate, great-sounding, and fits smaller soundholes. The ability to attach it to smaller soundholes also makes it versatile, as it can be used for other stringed instruments, like a mandolin. For an acoustic guitar, however, this product certainly does the trick.

The Bottom Line

Also see Music Critic's article The 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups in 2021 which includes even more information.

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