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Old 11-12-2017, 02:25 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is offline
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Question Fishman Aura VT Enhance vs LR Baggs Anthem in Martins??

for folks who own either and/or played both, which have you found you prefer and why?

a martin I'm looking at is offered with either-I don't have opportunity to play the guitars.

thanks for your sharing your experiences with either
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:46 PM
OjaiAndrew OjaiAndrew is offline
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Default My experience

I havenít tried the fishman but I have a Martin CEO-7 with the Anthem. Itís very good but I vastly prefer the K&K pure mini on Martins. You donít have to modify your guitar other than the end pin hole and it sounds amazingly clear and a close repro of my guitars acoustic sound. I have it in several Martins. Iíd highly recommend you check it out. It might be worth getting the martin without a pickup and then installing the K&K
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:52 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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I find the Fishman seems to sound more natural through my Loudbox Mini than through a board. The Anthem SL's I have in two guitars work well with either.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:24 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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I have a GPC-35E with the Fishman Aura Enhance VT, and am very pleased with it. I can't comment on the Baggs, never played a Martin with one.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:07 AM
doublescale1 doublescale1 is offline
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I have the Fishman Aura 1 system in my Martin GPCPA3 and I just got a new-to-me '14 Martin 000-18 (came w/no pickup) that I put a Fishman Ellipse pickup in - the Ellipse will store 4 Aura Mic images (2 Neumans and 2 Schoeps). I have to say that the Ellipse pickup sounds as good as the factory installed Aura 1. Once you blend in maybe 30% to 40%, depending on the room, of the Aura mic image, any issues you have with the undersaddle pickup tone disappears and you are left with simply very nice mic'd guitar tone. To me the Fishman Aura system is one of the better acoustic pickup systems out there for mere mortals. I did have a Martin D-15 that I put a full Anthem in and that was a pleasure to use - very organic mic'd tone, very good feedback resistance, and very easy to dial in quickly. I moved the D-15 to make room for the 000-18.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:49 AM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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I have the Aura VT Enhance in my Martin GPC-28E and as spectacular as the guitar is, the Aura VT Enhance is one of the greatest things about it. As you probably know it has one image and the blend control for mixing the image and the pickup to varying degrees. I've gotten many compliments on my ampilfied sound including through a bar PA system. I recently did a quick-and-dirty recording of a few songs into a Tascam DP-32 Portastudio (the current-century digital version) and thought that sounded great too, though I might have fiddled with EQ a bit if I'd had the time. But this was direct-injection into the board--I bypassed the rack tube amp that's part of my very basic home studio.

One funny thing about this Enhance, at least to me, is the mix between image and pickup has a major effect on the volume out of the guitar. The first time I played out I didn't realize that, thought my battery was dead, and ended up playing the guitar mic'd. I also feel the basic gain out of the guitar is a little weak, especially when the mix is majorly or all the way in one direction (I forget which). However, I don't have much experience in this area--this could be standard behavior for all I know. It'll definitely play, even when skewed 100%, once you know about it--just turn up the dang volume. Even less of an issue for me now since I play through a VE-8.

I also find the soundhole controls a bit gross--that is, a minor turn produces a major change. I guess that's the price paid for soundhole mount instead of barn door, but maybe they could make the wheels larger.

One definite drawback for me is that the pickup is powered on when you insert the 1/4 jack, so it's draining the battery even while not playing. It'd be simple to design an on-off switch. The location of the 1/4 jack on this guitar also annoys me (I can easily be annoyed). It's just south of the bottom strap button. I find it very hard to locate when the guitar's strapped over me and sometimes the strap gets in the way when I'm trying to find it. It should either be routed directly through the strap button or, like my Martin GPRS1, located a bit further up the bout.

Great to hear feedback about the Ellipse--I have my eye on that for other guitars in my fleet.

No experience with the Baggs but I've read great things about it.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:32 PM
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Contact AeroUSA on AGF for his opinion too. He switched from Aura to the LR Baggs Anthem, and now back to Aura. All pickups are a compromise, but it seems Fishman gets a lot of things right in electronics department and their system doesn't appear to degrade acoustic tone.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:49 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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I,found the Aura to have a steeper than expected learning curve and a bit of going back and forth between settings and knobs, but it sounds great. I think later, more current, models resolved this to a point.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManyMartinMan View Post
I,found the Aura to have a steeper than expected learning curve and a bit of going back and forth between settings and knobs, but it sounds great. I think later, more current, models resolved this to a point.

Thatís correct. The Aura F1 system can be complicated, but gives you a ton of onboard control. The new models eschew all of that for a single mode with volume and tone wheel. Fishman did their best to pick a one size fits all tone. The results seem to be positive. That said, Iím a bit of a geek and like the onboard controls. But, I wouldnít turn down one of the new systems. The biggest benefit is that it requires no holes so it is replaceable, in theory.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:46 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I wasn't impressed with the amplified tone of my early 2016 Martin GPC-18E with Aura VT Enhance and I traded-in the guitar toward my Huss & Dalton T-DR. Acoustically, the Martin GPC-18E was stunning and had nice playability but I couldn't hack its rather brittle amplified tone as a standalone system. Likely, rather than its single Neumann KM84 Aura Image, an Aura Image generated using a ribbon mic would have added more warmth to the signal as would external signal-processing. Perhaps, newer renditions of the Aura VT Enhance sound better than what was likely my first generation system?
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:15 PM
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Default Fishman Aura VT Enhance vs LR Baggs Anthem in Martins??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I wasn't impressed with the amplified tone of my early 2016 Martin GPC-18E with Aura VT Enhance and I traded-in the guitar toward my Huss & Dalton T-DR. Acoustically, the Martin GPC-18E was stunning and had nice playability but I couldn't hack its rather brittle amplified tone as a standalone system. Likely, rather than its single Neumann KM84 Aura Image, an Aura Image generated using a ribbon mic would have added more warmth to the signal as would external signal-processing. Perhaps, newer renditions of the Aura VT Enhance sound better than what was likely my first generation system?

I think you hit the nail on the head. With one image, youíre limited. With the Aura Plus you can choose from 9 and customize them. I think if someone auditions a guitar with the VT Enhance system, they should also audition the pickup, because it is a one size fits all solution. If you happen to like both, then youíre set for the life of the guitar or system. Or, they should at least give you 3 or 4 options through their website to choose from that can be uploaded via USB / Bluetooth port, or something. They can call it the Aura VT Enhance Plus. :-). I bet it would be a big seller. People could get the ability to change without the holes in the guitar. Iím sure itís in the works!
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I think you hit the nail on the head. With one image, you’re limited. With the Aura Plus you can choose from 9 and customize them. I think if someone auditions a guitar with the VT Enhance system, they should also audition the pickup, because it is a one size fits all solution. If you happen to like both, then you’re set for the life of the guitar or system. Or, they should at least give you 3 or 4 options through their website to choose from that can be uploaded via USB / Bluetooth port, or something. They can call it the Aura VT Enhance Plus. :-). I bet it would be a big seller. People could get the ability to change without the holes in the guitar. I’m sure it’s in the works!
+1 Dave...if the OMC18e had the option of the F1 Aura+ I'd get it.
The VT Enhance won't cut it for what I need and do. I still prefer the Tak Cooltube and/or M80 over most systems until the F1 Aura+ came out on the Retro series of which I've dug into that system a lot, BUT no cutaway is a deal breaker for what I do.

"Aura VT Enhance Plus" > good call bro, give me the option for the warmer ribbon mic images! ...and I would still take VT Enhance over Anthem both for unplugged reasons and plugged in tone for what I do, tho the sound of the Anthem is nice.

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Old 11-14-2017, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noledog View Post
+1 Dave...if the OMC18e had the option of the F1 Aura+ I'd get it.
The VT Enhance won't cut it for what I need and do. I still prefer the Tak Cooltube and/or M80 over most systems until the F1 Aura+ came out on the Retro series of which I've dug into that system a lot, BUT no cutaway is a deal breaker for what I do.

"Aura VT Enhance Plus" > good call bro, give me the option for the warmer ribbon mic images! ...and I would still take VT Enhance over Anthem both for unplugged reasons and plugged in tone for what I do, tho the sound of the Anthem is nice.

eric

Are we possibly related? LOL. Well... except for the cutaway part. Iím not that nimble high up on the olí fret board.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:30 PM
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I gigged last night and brought my OMC18E with Fishman Aura VT Enhance and Collings OM2H With Baggs Anthem.

Both were great and totally Pro gear. The Aura VT Enhance is however a little more balanced and easy to get a great balance. The Difference might Be Guitar related too.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:17 AM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
That’s correct. The Aura F1 system can be complicated, but gives you a ton of onboard control. The new models eschew all of that for a single mode with volume and tone wheel. Fishman did their best to pick a one size fits all tone. The results seem to be positive. That said, I’m a bit of a geek and like the onboard controls. But, I wouldn’t turn down one of the new systems. The biggest benefit is that it requires no holes so it is replaceable, in theory.

I don’t think Martin have sold that many Retros - the word was out from the beginning that it was ‘complicated’ - I already owned the Aura Spectrum and the onboard preamp is pretty well the whole Spectrum and controls PLUS! So it is Dave, me and Bob.... I was explaining it to a friend I thought might want one but he went cross eyed and didn’t want to mention it ever again - maybe the new model is more to his liking?

Now I love fooling around with the 9 images made by using vintage mics on a 1930s D18...pretty cool! Just before, I plugged into my mixer and used the mic image no 3, which is an old RCA mic ala what Elvis would have first sung in! And there is my D18 mic’d with it, algoririm’d and locked and loaded with vol, eq, comp, feedback blaster etc....all ready to plug direct into my mixer. Fabulous!


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