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Old 04-10-2020, 08:42 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Default Best upgrade option for Martin with Fishman Matrix VT Enhance

OK my Martin 15 has a Fishman Matrix VT Enhanced pickup system, which isn't bad, but I would like to upgrade it to something better. The Enhance transducer adds body sounds but it also makes the overall sound of the guitar too bright for my tastes.

Since its already got the Matrix undersaddle and the Enhanced transducer, what would be the easiest upgrade? I would love to just replace the enhance transducer with a microphone like the one that comes with the Anthem, but I don't think it's possible to mix an Anthem mic with the Matrix undersaddle pickup. So is there any way I can add a Fishman mic to this system and reuse the existing connections and battery compartment? Maybe I could disconnect and remove the Enhance transducer and connect a Fishman mic instead?

or....

leave everything inside the guitar alone and add an external pedal to improve the sound? I know the Tonedexter works well with the Matrix, but if I went that route, should I disconnect the enhance transducer?
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:30 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
OK my Martin 15 has a Fishman Matrix VT Enhanced pickup system, which isn't bad, but I would like to upgrade it to something better. The Enhance transducer adds body sounds but it also makes the overall sound of the guitar too bright for my tastes.

Since its already got the Matrix undersaddle and the Enhanced transducer, what would be the easiest upgrade? I would love to just replace the enhance transducer with a microphone like the one that comes with the Anthem, but I don't think it's possible to mix an Anthem mic with the Matrix undersaddle pickup. So is there any way I can add a Fishman mic to this system and reuse the existing connections and battery compartment? Maybe I could disconnect and remove the Enhance transducer and connect a Fishman mic instead?

or....

leave everything inside the guitar alone and add an external pedal to improve the sound? I know the Tonedexter works well with the Matrix, but if I went that route, should I disconnect the enhance transducer?
Leave the Enhance transducer where it is and just dial its signal out with your onboard control. Get a Fishman Aura Pedal or a ToneDexter and route your Martin's Matrix's output through one of these devices with an appropriate Aura Image or ToneDexter WaveMap. Then, if you want, just for kicks, try dialing-in a minimal amount of the Enhance transducer just to hear what the total blend sounds like.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-10-2020 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:38 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Leave the Enhance transducer where it is and just dial its signal out with your onboard control. Get a Fishman Aura Pedal or a ToneDexter and route your Martin's Matrix's output through one of these devices with an appropriate Aura Image or a ToneDexter WaveMap.
yes, agree w/SpruceTop, probably the best way to go.

Eliminating mods to your guitar to me is the first path to take. Especially if the preamp is mounted on the side wall (Barn door..) no idea if yours has that...

I use a tonedexter with 5 different acoustics, including a nylon and a 12 string.

IMHO it is the GREAT Equalizer (Pardon the pun) in the battle to get USTs to not sound like USTs.

I usually don't leave home with out it....
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:58 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Wouldn't it be better to disconnect the enhance part so that the aura or tonedexter is getting a 100% signal from the Matrix undersaddle? Im not sure if just dialing it out completely takes it out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Leave the Enhance transducer where it is and just dial its signal out with your onboard control. Get a Fishman Aura Pedal or a ToneDexter and route your Martin's Matrix's output through one of these devices with an appropriate Aura Image or ToneDexter WaveMap. Then, if you want, just for kicks, try dialing-in a minimal amount of the Enhance transducer just to hear what the total blend sounds like.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:20 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Wouldn't it be better to disconnect the enhance part so that the aura or tonedexter is getting a 100% signal from the Matrix undersaddle? Im not sure if just dialing it out completely takes it out?
Good question! Going by the Fishman Aura VT Enhance that I had in my long-gone 2016 Martin GPC-18E, if I remember correctly, the onboard control would completely dial-out the Enhance signal. I don't know if the same applies to the Matrix VT Enhance. The Enhance transducer could likely be disconnected quite easily, though.

My disappointment in the Enhance transducer was that it only seemed to deliver midrange and treble vibrations to the signal mix and gave the overall output a brittle tonality. I was thinking that the tonal spectrum of the Enhance could maybe be adjusted by a trim pot or choke on the main preamp circuit board that could add in more bass response but I never got around to contacting Martin or Fishman about any circuit board provision for doing this. The way the Enhance is factory set up is to deliver body percussion without increasing the feedback potential that is associated with the full-range output of an SBT. I wish the Enhance's frequency response could have been easily adjustable to player taste, and I think Martin missed the boat on making these VT systems sound really good.
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:45 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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I agree. The enhance function is a double edged sword. Yes it increases the presence and body sounds but it also makes the overall sound too bright or "brittle" as you say. What I've been doing is turning it up for tapping loop sounds and then turn it down for normal chord playing. Like you said, I wish it was more adjustable. It is a good idea but not implemented in the best way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Good question! Going by the Fishman Aura VT Enhance that I had in my long-gone 2016 Martin GPC-18E, if I remember correctly, the onboard control would completely dial-out the Enhance signal. I don't know if the same applies to the Matrix VT Enhance. The Enhance transducer could likely be disconnected quite easily, though.

My disappointment in the Enhance transducer was that it only seemed to deliver midrange and treble vibrations to the signal mix and gave the overall output a brittle tonality. I was thinking that the tonal spectrum of the Enhance could maybe be adjusted by a trim pot or choke on the main preamp circuit board that could add in more bass response but I never got around to contacting Martin or Fishman about any circuit board provision for doing this. The way the Enhance is factory set up is to deliver body percussion without increasing the feedback potential that is associated with the full-range output of an SBT. I wish the Enhance's frequency response could have been easily adjustable to player taste, and I think Martin missed the boat on making these VT systems sound really good.
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2020, 02:33 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I haven't heard many good reviews of the Enhance body sensor. I was intrigued by the new Power Tap systems but if the enhance is that bright/thin then I can't see it being all that useful.

I agree though, the easiest thing would be to turn down the Enhance and then use a TD or Aura. Currently I am using an Aura/Matrix set up and it's quite nice. It's probably a better set up than the TD to be honest and it really is about as plug and play as it gets. I find that with the TD, I need to turn the wavemap up quite a bit to get rid of the quack of the Matrix but by that point, the wavemap cuts too much low end. I don't fnd the same issue with the Aura imaging. The Aura is a lot easier to dial in.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:14 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Which Aura pedal do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
I haven't heard many good reviews of the Enhance body sensor. I was intrigued by the new Power Tap systems but if the enhance is that bright/thin then I can't see it being all that useful.

I agree though, the easiest thing would be to turn down the Enhance and then use a TD or Aura. Currently I am using an Aura/Matrix set up and it's quite nice. It's probably a better set up than the TD to be honest and it really is about as plug and play as it gets. I find that with the TD, I need to turn the wavemap up quite a bit to get rid of the quack of the Matrix but by that point, the wavemap cuts too much low end. I don't fnd the same issue with the Aura imaging. The Aura is a lot easier to dial in.
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Old 04-11-2020, 10:11 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Which Aura pedal do you use?
Just the Spectrum DI. Itís still a great unit!
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2020, 11:18 AM
Coop47 Coop47 is offline
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Another vote for the Aura Spectrum, though I'm annoyed it appears they stopped adding images to download. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.) Great unit that allows you to blend in the image. Also a decent tuner, EQ, compressor and feedback suppressor. Should work well with your current set-up.
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2020, 02:45 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Aura Spectrum DI, here too.
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Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-05
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2020, 09:06 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Thanks guys. Seems like the Aura Spectrum DI is a good choice here.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2020, 06:27 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned ToneDexter. Then you are not a slave to the Fishman library and can also load third party IRs, such as mine, if you like.
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2020, 10:38 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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I think it was mentioned, but I heard that the Aura does a better job of taming the quack from the Matrix undersaddle p/u. Also with the Tonedexter, you also need a quality condenser mic, which would be an additional expense for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned ToneDexter. Then you are not a slave to the Fishman library and can also load third party IRs, such as mine, if you like.
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:47 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
I think it was mentioned, but I heard that the Aura does a better job of taming the quack from the Matrix undersaddle p/u. Also with the Tonedexter, you also need a quality condenser mic, which would be an additional expense for me.
Both will tame the quack. The big difference for me is that the Aura is far easier to set up. The Tonedexter takes experimentation and in some situations it can be difficult to dial in live.
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