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Old 03-09-2020, 07:35 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Default Martingitdave listens to AeroUSA and gets a Baggs Anthem

The title says it all. I purchased a McPherson Sable recently and you can read about it in the Carbon subforum. I've never owned a carbon fiber guitar before, and I'm very impressed with it. It sounds like a wood guitar. But, it has the supernatural ability to resist turning into a pretzel in Chicago weather. So... it's got that going for it.

The McPherson standard pickup is an LR Baggs element with a custom voiced preamp. My ears tell me that the custom preamp includes a wide, but gentle, mid cut. It's musical. However, I play a lot of fingerpicking tunes. And, frankly, I miss the airiness of a mic. My D-28 has a K&K pickup because I want to preserve it's organic goodness. :-) I use ToneDexter with the K&K, or add a mic, or live with less than "ideal" amplified tone.

AeroUSA (aka Aaron) and I have traded lots of correspondence on the topic. When I told him I got a carbon fiber guitar (and after he'd stopped laughing) he suggested the Anthem. This guitar can support the Anthem SL, and I figured, "what the heck."

I played out this weekend and can say that the Anthem system is really a treat to use. It needs to be expertly installed. Once it is balanced, you just plug and play.

I'm still not sure I'm ready to put this kind of system in a lightly built Martin. But, if I were playing every night for a living, I might. What I can say for sure is that a stage guitar, or carbon fiber, seems like a perfect match for a system like this.
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Last edited by martingitdave; 03-09-2020 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:58 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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The Anthem SL is great. I have it in my J45

What do you mean by "once it is balanced"? You mean the little screw adjustment?


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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
AeroUSA (aka Aaron) and I have traded lots of correspondence on the topic. When I told him I got a carbon fiber guitar (and after he'd stopped laughing) he suggested the Anthem. This guitar can support the Anthem SL, and I figured, "what the heck."

I played out this weekend and can say that the Anthem system is really a treat to use. It needs to be expertly installed. Once it is balanced, you just plug and play.

I'm still not sure I'm ready to put this kind of system in a lightly built Martin. But, if I were playing every night for a living, I might. What I can say for sure is that a stage guitar, or carbon fiber, seems like a perfect match for a system like this.
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:04 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
The Anthem SL is great. I have it in my J45

What do you mean by "once it is balanced"? You mean the little screw adjustment?
Yes, partly. With my Sable, the mic placement is very sensitive. I had to remove and reinstall the system to get it balanced right. The element pickup needs to be precisely set to avoid string to string balance issues. And, the mic needed to be moved to find the sweet spot. I suspect this is a function of the carbon fiber versus wooden bridgeplate. Then the mic gain adjustment needs to be made with a nice flat sounding speaker.

This is how someone with OCD would describe the "balancing process."

Normal people would just plug it in and play it. :-)
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:59 AM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Yes, partly. With my Sable, the mic placement is very sensitive. I had to remove and reinstall the system to get it balanced right. The element pickup needs to be precisely set to avoid string to string balance issues. And, the mic needed to be moved to find the sweet spot. I suspect this is a function of the carbon fiber versus wooden bridgeplate. Then the mic gain adjustment needs to be made with a nice flat sounding speaker.

This is how someone with OCD would describe the "balancing process."

Normal people would just plug it in and play it. :-)

So what was your starting point with the true mic and where did it eventually wind up? How did the sound change once you moved it. I have a rain song with a Fishman UST that goes through a barn door pre. Thinking about experimenting by putting the anthem SL in the guitar.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:04 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
So what was your starting point with the true mic and where did it eventually wind up? How did the sound change once you moved it. I have a rain song with a Fishman UST that goes through a barn door pre. Thinking about experimenting by putting the anthem SL in the guitar.

Itís hard to say. I thought I had it lined up on the center line of the saddle the first time. However, I must have missed it and had it just too close to the B string. I installed it more carefully the second time on the centerline between the D and G. And it worked. The first time it sounded hollow. My understanding is that small changes in position are not supposed to make a difference. Perhaps my experience is a fluke. Or, as I presume, the McPherson is sensitive in that area.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:51 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Since it's a "mic" and its picking up sound inside the soundhole, you wouldn't think small placement changes would have much effect?


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Itís hard to say. I thought I had it lined up on the center line of the saddle the first time. However, I must have missed it and had it just too close to the B string. I installed it more carefully the second time on the centerline between the D and G. And it worked. The first time it sounded hollow. My understanding is that small changes in position are not supposed to make a difference. Perhaps my experience is a fluke. Or, as I presume, the McPherson is sensitive in that area.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:54 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
Since it's a "mic" and its picking up sound inside the soundhole, you wouldn't think small placement changes would have much effect?
Agreed. But, it's also a pressure sensitive device that is help 3mm from the bridge plate. So, I think the mic acts like a sound board transducer as well. And, we all know those are highly sensitive to placement.
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2020, 12:09 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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I have the Anthem SL pickups in both my Mark Angus 6 and 12 string guitars, and those are the ones I use when I perform... I've said, many times, that I would NOT recommend the Anthem in an acoustic guitar unless it's going to be amplified a LOT, as I've found that the squishy Element covering seems to alter both the tone and volume of the guitar when playing acoustically...

However, like you, I find the system remarkably easy to use on stage (I'm basically a "plug-in and play" sort of guy!)... once you get the thing set to a balance you prefer, there's not a lot to it. For me, dialing in that balance between the UST and the Tru-Mic for MY SPECIFIC PA and amp was very important; I've found that my preferrence changes when I plug in to a different amp or system...

I really though I'd prefer mostly the mic in that balance, and was a bit startled to realize that i actually like a fair amount of the UST in the mix! Sounds smoother, less harsh, more full bass response... go figure.

Enjoy! Glad you found something that works well for you...

play on.............................>
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:25 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
I have the Anthem SL pickups in both my Mark Angus 6 and 12 string guitars, and those are the ones I use when I perform... I've said, many times, that I would NOT recommend the Anthem in an acoustic guitar unless it's going to be amplified a LOT, as I've found that the squishy Element covering seems to alter both the tone and volume of the guitar when playing acoustically...

However, like you, I find the system remarkably easy to use on stage (I'm basically a "plug-in and play" sort of guy!)... once you get the thing set to a balance you prefer, there's not a lot to it. For me, dialing in that balance between the UST and the Tru-Mic for MY SPECIFIC PA and amp was very important; I've found that my preferrence changes when I plug in to a different amp or system...

I really though I'd prefer mostly the mic in that balance, and was a bit startled to realize that i actually like a fair amount of the UST in the mix! Sounds smoother, less harsh, more full bass response... go figure.

Enjoy! Glad you found something that works well for you...

play on.............................>
Yep, that's my conclusion as well. My Taylor borders on being a bit too hi fi for me so subtle changes to saddle material or various pickups can alter the tone slightly but in a way that makes the guitar less pleasing. I found that with the Anthem, the unplugged tone was changed slightly but just enough to wreck the tone for me. I also didn't really love the Anthem so it was an obvious move to take it out.

In terms of the tru-mic placement, Baggs actually offers three suggestions for their Lyric that I bet could be used for the tru-mic as well. The standard is in front of the bridge pins but you can also try behind the bridge pins as well as along the x brace on the treble side of the saddle. Someone did a recording experiment once and although subtle, the three positions offered different tones. I personally preferred the treble side bracing spot. If I ever get the Anthem again, I will try the tru-mic there. I am still tempted at times to install the Anthem but use the Matrix Infinity vs. the Element.
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:32 PM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
In terms of the tru-mic placement, Baggs actually offers three suggestions for their Lyric that I bet could be used for the tru-mic as well. The standard is in front of the bridge pins but you can also try behind the bridge pins as well as along the x brace on the treble side of the saddle.
Placement made a huge difference for me. However the best sounding one overdrived the preamp.

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  #11  
Old 03-09-2020, 12:45 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by Cuki79 View Post
Placement made a huge difference for me. However the best sounding one overdrived the preamp.




This is correct. The best sounding position in my case (centerline under the saddle) was over driving the preamp at the factory gain setting. I had to cut the mic gain.

I think the element under saddle behaves differently with difference bridges, saddles, materials and installation. Iíd have to say the change is fairly small in the Sable. I tried the Anthem SL in an HD-28 several years ago and was highly frustrated with the acoustic degradation. Not so this time.
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Old 03-09-2020, 01:16 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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It has been my experience as a keen observer of the AGF,

that Martingitdave pickup epiphanies have a short half life... :~)
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2020, 01:48 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
It has been my experience as a keen observer of the AGF,



that Martingitdave pickup epiphanies have a short half life... :~)

Both cruel and technically correct. But cruel. :-)

I will also say, in my defense, I used no hyperbole in my posts. Lol
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2020, 02:09 PM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Both cruel and technically correct. But cruel. :-)

I will also say, in my defense, I used no hyperbole in my posts. Lol
Jon tells the truth this is not cruel at all.

I would add:

Martingitdave guitars epiphanies have a short half life...

Cuki
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  #15  
Old 03-09-2020, 02:15 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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I want to try repositioning my Anthem SL. Any idea what I can use for adhesive?
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