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Old 03-11-2021, 12:25 PM
merobin merobin is offline
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Default Used Emerald X20

Just took delivery of a 2018 Cocobolo X20. I live in Florida and wanted an outdoor (hot, humid) guitar. I will almost never play it unamplified. I gambled on a used one. I was shocked at the unamplified sound. Itís really good. Better than my Martin, better than my Yairi, better than a local custom. Way better than my overhead carbon travel guitar. A tweak of the truss rod was all that was needed. Amplified, with Baggs element is just OK. I have an Anthem SL in a box that I might try. I see posts of a few folks using that system. Has anybody swapped an Element for the Anthem SL....and noticed a big improvement?
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:56 PM
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Congrats on a wonderful guitar. I have one just like yours from 2017 and it still impresses. Mine has the Regular element and yes it's just ok through most amps/PA's. My friend has the exact same guitar only with the Anthem SL and it's an improvement for sure. It's output is not stellar but more natural from the git-go for sure. He did not install this himself as he ordered it that way. Mine was really for sitting out and grabbing to play and really not for plugging in but I wanted something in it just in case I wanted to.

I hope someone will direct you if it's worth the add.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:25 PM
merobin merobin is offline
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Thanks. Itís not a huge deal to put the Anthem in there....all the holes are drilled already. Sounds silly, but Emerald used stick on cable guides with zip ties around the cables. So...I can try to cut those cable ties without cutting the pickup leads, or I can pry the stick-on guides loose. I realize this is a ďfirst worldĒ problem, but I donít want to bother if the Anthem is not a big improvement. As is, it is bass heavy, with more quack than i like. With my own mixer, I can EQ it to a more acceptable sound. Plugged into the local festival or barís PA is another sound altogether.
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:12 PM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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I would expect that SL to be a huge upgrade in the plugged-in sound with minimal fuss.
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:24 PM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merobin View Post
Just took delivery of a 2018 Cocobolo X20. I live in Florida and wanted an outdoor (hot, humid) guitar. I will almost never play it unamplified. I gambled on a used one. I was shocked at the unamplified sound. Itís really good. Better than my Martin, better than my Yairi, better than a local custom. Way better than my overhead carbon travel guitar. A tweak of the truss rod was all that was needed. Amplified, with Baggs element is just OK. I have an Anthem SL in a box that I might try. I see posts of a few folks using that system. Has anybody swapped an Element for the Anthem SL....and noticed a big improvement?
Iím chuckling at your description because Iíve heard my friend who just got his X20 say virtually the same things. He bought it because I told him the same things about my X30.

I just want to add that Iíve had a lot of Baggs pickups and Iím a big fan of most of them, but just by chance when I bought the X30 it had a K&K Mini installed that he ordered when he specíd it with Emerald. I was shocked at how good it sounds in that guitar, running through my Baggs DI.

Just wanted to throw that out there.
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Old 03-12-2021, 06:53 AM
merobin merobin is offline
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Thanks...happy to provide a chuckle. If the X20 didnít sound so exceptional unplugged, I would probably be fine with the Element pickup thatís in it. But you notice what is missing. I installed a K&K in my Yairi, and it is OK, though I run it straight into the mixer, then to PA. Maybe Iím hopelessly trying to avoid a DI in the chain.
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Old 03-12-2021, 08:17 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Originally Posted by merobin View Post
Thanks...happy to provide a chuckle. If the X20 didnít sound so exceptional unplugged, I would probably be fine with the Element pickup thatís in it. But you notice what is missing. I installed a K&K in my Yairi, and it is OK, though I run it straight into the mixer, then to PA. Maybe Iím hopelessly trying to avoid a DI in the chain.
The K&K needs the DI, IMO. Give it a try, thereís not a lot to lose and itís just one more patch cord, right?
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:00 PM
BillCoplin BillCoplin is offline
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You may also want to try a LR Baggs VoicePrint pedal or ToneDexter pedal before changing the pickup. I have an Emerald X20 & X30 and both sound fantastic through the Baggs VoicePrint.
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCoplin View Post
You may also want to try a LR Baggs VoicePrint pedal or ToneDexter pedal before changing the pickup. I have an Emerald X20 & X30 and both sound fantastic through the Baggs VoicePrint.
I think any quality DI will help a UST type pickup. But the VoicePrint and ToneDexter are sooo cool.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:19 AM
merobin merobin is offline
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Before I installed another pickup, or bought a $400 box....I though I better check that UST. Well...it was not in the correct placement. It did not even extend to the treble ďeĒ string. Once placed to specs, the string balance improved dramatically, duh. Far less booming bass now, and go figure, those higher frequencies are now more pronounced. I guess my eagerness to string it up and play it got the better of me. Now to play it the way it is for bit before I jump off a cliff to change pickups, strings, voiceprint it. Thanks for the suggestions, I may still use them.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:45 PM
BT55 BT55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merobin View Post
.

I purchased a used unamplified 2017 X20. I added the Anthem. I had to drill for the output but that was not a problem. I roughed the area for the microphone and attached it without a problem. The sound is GREAT! An Anthem will be a great choice.
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:13 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodallboy View Post
The K&K needs the DI, IMO. Give it a try, thereís not a lot to lose and itís just one more patch cord, right?
Some mixers can handle the low output of the K&K without problems, others really need the DI in the mix.

Only thing I don't like about the K&K I have in the Rainsong. Never know if you are going to need the DI for the house system, so I always have to lug it around anyway.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2021, 07:07 PM
merobin merobin is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions.. I did a pickup transplant today. Out came the element and in went the Anthem SL. Very happy with the Anthem SL. Even with help from LRBaggs support, I could not get rid of the booming bass with the Element. Even though the UST is the same between the two pickups, the Anthem is fine.
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