The Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking sound hole pickup is a magnetic pickup similar to the pickups in an electric guitar. That doesn't mean it will sound like an electric guitar but it does mean you'll get a great tone thats warm and yet very well articulated. Situations you might need a magnetic pickup like the Rare Earth are when you're playing as part of a band and cutting through the mix is important, and also if you plan to use guitar FX like distortion or delays that would react badly to a microphone.
Here's what Fishman say about the Rare Earth Humbucking
The Rare Earth Humbucking pickup has been carefully re-voiced and fine-tuned to offer an even smoother treble response than their popular, category-defining predecessors.
Equipped with cutting-edge neodymium magnets, the new Rare Earth pickups offer a warmer, more naturally acoustic tone, along with exceptional accuracy and increased musicality.
- Humbucking—Warm and full humbucking sound
- Re-voiced and fine-tuned for smoother treble response and a warmer, more naturally acoustic tone
- Active electronics and neodymium magnet structure for exceptional string balance and sparkling acoustic clarity
- Miniature batteries mount conveniently on the underside of the pickup (batteries included)
- Low current design of the preamp allows up to 300 hours between battery changes
- Newly designed mounting system and ergonomic body shape
- Pre-wired output jack can also be endpin mounted
- Easy installation with no alteration – plug-and-play right out of the box