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Old 12-13-2019, 07:37 PM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Default K&K + Tonedexter vs Anthem

Can you anyone on here directly compare a K&K equipped guitar into a Tonedexter vs an Anthem SL equipped guitar into a more basic DI? I have a Larrivee OM-40r with a K&K that I like a lot and I have a J-45 with an Anthem SL that I feel like I'm struggling more than I should with. Everyone says they're plug and play, but I can't seem to find a mic gain setting that's not either too boomy or too thin. I'm considering putting a K&K in the J-45 as well and then getting a Tonedexter to be able to run them both through.
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:51 PM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Default K&K + Tonedexter vs Anthem

Hard to argue with that plan. Go for it. Your J45 will sound better acoustically to boot. Maker sure you have a new saddle made and save all the parts in case you want to put it back. But you wonít.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:22 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameadows View Post
Can you anyone on here directly compare a K&K equipped guitar into a Tonedexter vs an Anthem SL equipped guitar into a more basic DI? I have a Larrivee OM-40r with a K&K that I like a lot and I have a J-45 with an Anthem SL that I feel like I'm struggling more than I should with. Everyone says they're plug and play, but I can't seem to find a mic gain setting that's not either too boomy or too thin. I'm considering putting a K&K in the J-45 as well and then getting a Tonedexter to be able to run them both through.
I'm currently a big fan of the Anthem SL, but that wasn't always the case. I initially had a problem similar to yours in that there simply wasn't any mic level setting which would give me satisfaction. I finally figured out, however, that the signal from my particular rig (cedar-topped OM/Anthem SL) was way too strong in the low mids around the Anthem SL's crossover frequency of 250 Hz. After making a deep cut of those low mid frequencies and a much shallower treble cut, I got a nicely balanced signal. I used a Zoom A3's very flexible EQ capabilities most of the time, but found that a Boss GE-7 graphic EQ was also capable of good results.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:47 AM
RogerPease RogerPease is offline
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Don’t give up on the Anthem SL yet. At least not until you get it adjusted.
I have an SL in a J45. It can be a good pickup. The mic level adjustment is a bit touchy to locate
The good news is once you get it set you will seldom have to change it and when you do it’s only
a tiny tweak. (Don’t lose the little plastic adjustment tool supplied.)

When the mic level is too low it sounds boomy. Too high and it’s brittle.
The point where it sounds balanced is over a very small range of movement.
It’s such a small range that without a systematic way of homing in on it it is very frustrating to find.
I recommend you use a “divide and conquer” strategy.

Here’s how:
- Start with adjustment pot turned all the way down, counter-clockwise (ccw).
Let’s call that point 0%. Play some. Sounds boomy, right?
- Turn the pot all the way up, clockwise (cw). Lets call that point 100%. Play some.
Sounds brittle, right?
- Now turn the pot ccw as close as possible to 50%. Play some.
Does it sound boomy or brittle?
If 50% sounds brittle, the magic spot is somewhere between 0% and 50%.
If 50% sounds boomy, the magic spot is between 50% and 100%.
Let’s say 50% sounds boomy.
- Turn the pot cw to 75%. Play again.
Does it sound boomy or brittle?
Let’s say it now sound brittle.
So the magic spot must be somewhere between 50% and 75%.
- Turn the pot ccw to 62.5%. Play once more. Boomy or brittle? Get the picture?
- Keep going like that with the amount you turn the pot getting smaller by half each time until
you’re just bumping the pot the smallest amount you can manage.
The amount of sonic difference between boomy and brittle will decrease, too.

The magic balance spot will be over a range of just 2 or 3 of these tiny bumps.
Try it! :-)

_Roger

Last edited by RogerPease; 12-14-2019 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:09 AM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
I'm currently a big fan of the Anthem SL, but that wasn't always the case. I initially had a problem similar to yours in that there simply wasn't any mic level setting which would give me satisfaction. I finally figured out, however, that the signal from my particular rig (cedar-topped OM/Anthem SL) was way too strong in the low mids around the Anthem SL's crossover frequency of 250 Hz. After making a deep cut of those low mid frequencies and a much shallower treble cut, I got a nicely balanced signal. I used a Zoom A3's very flexible EQ capabilities most of the time, but found that a Boss GE-7 graphic EQ was also capable of good results.
Thanks for the advice. I currently run through an LR Baggs Para DI. I think the only way to cut around that crossover point with a Para Di would be to use the notch section as an EQ. Is that how you would approach it?
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:13 AM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerPease View Post
Don’t give up on the Anthem SL yet. At least not until you get it adjusted.
I have an SL in a J45. It can be a good pickup. The mic level adjustment is a bit touchy to locate
The good news is once you get it set you will seldom have to change it and when you do it’s only
a tiny tweak. (Don’t lose the little plastic adjustment tool supplied.)

When the mic level is too low it sounds boomy. Too high and it’s brittle.
The point where it sounds balanced is over a very small range of movement.
It’s such a small range that without a systematic way of homing in on it it is very frustrating to find.
I recommend you use a “divide and conquer” strategy.

Here’s how:
- Start with adjustment pot turned all the way down, counter-clockwise (ccw).
Let’s call that point 0%. Play some. Sounds boomy, right?
- Turn the pot all the way up, clockwise (cw). Lets call that point 100%. Play some.
Sounds brittle, right?
- Now turn the pot ccw as close as possible to 50%. Play some.
Does it sound boomy or brittle?
If 50% sounds brittle, the magic spot is somewhere between 0% and 50%.
If 50% sounds boomy, the magic spot is between 50% and 100%.
Let’s say 50% sounds boomy.
- Turn the pot cw to 75%. Play again.
Does it sound boomy or brittle?
Let’s say it now sound brittle.
So the magic spot must be somewhere between 50% and 75%.
- Turn the pot ccw to 62.5%. Play once more. Boomy or brittle? Get the picture?
- Keep going like that with the amount you turn the pot getting smaller by half each time until
you’re just bumping the pot the smallest amount you can manage.
The amount of sonic difference between boomy and brittle will decrease, too.

The magic balance spot will be over a range of just 2 or 3 of these tiny bumps.
Try it! :-)

_Roger
Thanks, Roger. I appreciate the advice. I actually feel like I already basically tried what you're suggesting. I was a little rushed when doing it though so maybe I'll give it another shot and take my time trying to dial in that sweet spot. Right now, the high end sounds awesome but there's just too much "thump" coming through.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:15 AM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Hard to argue with that plan. Go for it. Your J45 will sound better acoustically to boot. Maker sure you have a new saddle made and save all the parts in case you want to put it back. But you won’t.
Thanks for the advice! Curious...did you ever try one of the anthem systems in either of your D28s?
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:32 AM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Hard to argue with that plan. Go for it. Your J45 will sound better acoustically to boot. Maker sure you have a new saddle made and save all the parts in case you want to put it back. But you wonít.
This is an issue for me as well. I love the plugged in sound of my Anthem SL equipped guitar. Itís deep rich and open sound is perfect for both solo and ensemble gigs. But every time I pick up the guitar and play it acoustically Iím now underwhelmed. Where once I could not put it down I now pick up another guitar. If it were my only guitar I would rip it out. Still might.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameadows View Post
Thanks, Roger. I appreciate the advice. I actually feel like I already basically tried what you're suggesting. I was a little rushed when doing it though so maybe I'll give it another shot and take my time trying to dial in that sweet spot. Right now, the high end sounds awesome but there's just too much "thump" coming through.
It did take a bit of experimentation for me to get the Anthem SL dialed in. I went though about an hour of very small adjustments until I found the right balance. I would say i have it between the 85% to 90% mic mark. Since there are no reference markings itís hard to tell.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:41 AM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Default K&K + Tonedexter vs Anthem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameadows View Post
Thanks for the advice! Curious...did you ever try one of the anthem systems in either of your D28s?

Yes, in an attempt to eschew any kind of pedal preamp requirement, Iíve tired every mainstream (and most of the boutique) pickup options on the market. Iíve tired all of the LR Baggs products. The LR Baggs products are designed with components that will give you a high percentage likelihood of getting a decent amplified tone. However, those components, in my opinion, are detrimental to the acoustic tone of the guitar. Some disagree with this conclusion. But, I tried (obsessively) to make those pickups work and they all degraded the acoustic tone of my instruments.

My inevitable conclusion is that a lightweight passive pickup, with proper preamp, wireless systems, amplification, etc. (outside the guitar) is the best compromise for me.

There are some passive/active soundboard transducers that give similar results with different tonal benefits: Trance Amulet, Dazzos, Schatten HFN, McIntyre, etc. These reproduce/artificially produce more high frequency resonances, harmonics, reverberations, etc. because of their three dimensional shapes. You can listen to demos of these on Doug Youngís pickup website. Iíve tried these all too. Some worked better for me than others. I can recommend Dazzos if you are comfortable with the installation process using epoxy. HFN is simple, light and cheap, and can sound very nice in some guitars. Some report less bass.

The reason Iíve landed on K&K, for now, is the rugged installation, relatively flat sound, and predicable response. I know how to EQ these to get what I want. Plus, you can get a decent/usable tone into just about any amplification system with high or low impedance, without a pedal, in a pinch. I can plug it into anything from 5M Ohm to 400K Ohm and get a very usable sound without too much EQ. For instance, K&K will sound great using nothing but a wireless system into a PA. Thatís a real advantage. Of course, pairing it with ToneDexter results in a sound that is about as good as it gets.

The Dazzo had a slightly more interesting tone without processing, but you had to be careful about what you plugged it into. It needs more impedance load to sound good 5-10M Ohm. That means you need a pedal or preamp whenever you plug in. It sounded poor into low impedance PA equipment that I occasionally have to use. Also, a passive Dazzo using a wireless system was not as successful. I needed more EQ. So, for me, Dazzo was a little more finicky. However, itís a small distinction.

The way K&K was designed resulted in a piezo pickup that can sound decent at impedances 10X lower than most other piezo pickups. That makes it more practical for me when I plug into a wide variety of amplification systems that donít have dedicated 5-10M Ohm preamps. This, of course, is the same trick that all active pickups can do. But K&K is the only passive pickup Iíve used that can do the same trick.

And, for me, the wireless system direct to the PA is the most simple and convenient solution. All that points to K&K for my use case.
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Last edited by martingitdave; 12-14-2019 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:17 AM
jamison162 jamison162 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameadows View Post
Thanks for the advice. I currently run through an LR Baggs Para DI. I think the only way to cut around that crossover point with a Para Di would be to use the notch section as an EQ. Is that how you would approach it?
Don't forget the PADI has a TRS FX Loop. Easy to insert a 7 or 10-band graphic eq pedal in the mix, or even a parametric like the Empress.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:03 PM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Yeah I actually already a tuner in the loop but I don’t own an EQ pedal at the moment.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:04 PM
ameadows ameadows is offline
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Thanks for all the info, martingitdave!
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:26 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameadows View Post
Thanks for the advice. I currently run through an LR Baggs Para DI. I think the only way to cut around that crossover point with a Para Di would be to use the notch section as an EQ. Is that how you would approach it?
Yes. That notch would probably do the job. You'll likely find the "sweet spot" somewhere between 200 Hz and 300 Hz. My own PADI is currently being repaired, but I recently found that the sweepable mid controls on my cheap little Behringer ADI 21 can do the job nicely. Beyond that, a smidgen of the ADI 21's tube/mic effect seems to thicken the Anthem SL's trebles a bit.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:31 PM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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I have compared the full Anthem with K&K with tone dexter and they are very similar. It just depends if you want to carry the extra pedal around with you or not but like Dave said itís nice to not have all the stuff in your guitar.
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Old 12-14-2019, 01:05 PM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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I use the full Anthem in my guitar, and at first (which was nearly two years ago), I almost pulled it out for the change in sound acoustically. However, now, I really can't tell. It still sounds amazing. I think that at some point the sound adjusted and went back very close to original, but perhaps my ears are all that adjusted. Either way, in time, I didn't find the tone change to be a lasting effect. However, I can't speak as to how scientificly accurate that is or if you will notice the same.
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