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Old 05-06-2011, 11:19 PM
jseth jseth is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon... "Heart of the Valley"...
Posts: 9,874

"So, how about the Anthem? Maybe. I love my Anthem. But, don't quote me here, I have the niggling suspicion the combination of an undersaddle element and the mic thing stuck under the bridge might have deadened the guitar some. I don't want to think that, but I sort of do. It was definitely deader when I got it back from the shop." ( from EPaul)

Funny, I just had the Anthem installed in both my acoustics; #35, my 6 string guitar, was built for me by Mark Angus in 1979... I have played the dickens out of that guitar for 32 years! And I had the same thought when I got her home and played her un-plugged.

Now, I am VERY familiar with the sound of this guitar - I'm lucky enough to have a sweet playing room at my house - mostly tile and glass, a weird trapezoidal shape, and it's PERFECT for guitar and voice! And when I play my old sweetie in that room, it is obvious that the sound has changed; actually a bit more "even" across the tonal spectrum, as #35 has a really HOT mid-range... and the volume is lower, as well; maybe only 5-10%, but it's noticeable to me.

I've had several techs/luthiers say that there is no discernable difference, but I sure hear SOMETHING... problem is, Mark had to add a shim to the saddle, as the Anthem Element is thinner than my old Fishman Matrix - so the action is a bit lower than usual. I don't know that the additional shim paired with the lower action, might have a lot to do with it...

I'm in the process of having James Goodall build me a guitar (as a 60th birthday present to myself! YAY!!!!), and James has a similar suspicion about the Anthem, although he has installed several in his guitars, as requested by the player. Both James and I are reluctant to "sully" the sound of my new guitar - so he's going to make a new saddle for my Angus, so we can see if it's the saddle/action/shim or the Anthem...

I'll let you know the findings...

All THAT said, I LOVE the Anthem! Very dynamic / touch responsive, a very pleasant acoustic sound... not as "direct" a tone as the UST I had been using, but airy-er and way more natural sounding. Took me a few hours before I got used to it, as the sound and response is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than the Fishman pick-up I had previously... but I really prefer it, already...

All of this is to say that finding a GREAT sounding acoustic guitar is a difficult chore; when you find one that really "speaks" to you, trust that you can always add electronics if you desire. As has been said, I would not discount ANY guitar, just because it has electronics - and I love the reply about Taylor, Yamaha and Takamine and their respective electronics. I've heard all of them sound very good, live... both unplugged and plugged!

I'm assuming that you already know that you'll be playing with the guitar plaugged in... if that isn't the case, I would just go ahead and try 'em until you find one for you!

Good luck! A great acoustic guitar is a joy for a lifetime...
"The ocean whispers through the cottonwood trees;
harsh winds have come and rustled all of the leaves,
and some fly...
some fall...
some don't fall, at all..."

"Autumn (at the end of the road)" (J.S.Sherman)
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