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  #1  
Old 03-06-2018, 07:36 PM
vadare vadare is offline
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Default McPherson Sable Pickup

I love the McPherson Sable, but am unhappy with the sound of the factory installed pickup (Baggs Element). Has anyone swapped out their Element? If so, what did you install? Were you happy with the result? This guitar will be on stage with substantial volume.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:47 PM
Matt McGriff Matt McGriff is offline
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Do yourself a favor and call Larry Klenc at McPherson. I had some balance issues with the pickup on my Sable and wanted to install an Anthem unit and he had some good insight. I ended up sending it to them and they put another Element in it and it sounds great.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:31 PM
vadare vadare is offline
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I worked with Larry and McPherson replaced the pickup on my guitar as well - the balance was not quite right across the strings. That issue is resolved but I'm still not getting a great sound running in through a Fender acoustic amp - I am even going through an LR Baggs preamp. The issue is with bass response -- it sounds a thin or harsh.

Any insight?
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:02 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Usually, tonal imbalances in UST's are due to fit problems. Both the slot and the bottom of the saddle have to be perfectly flat to get even response.

FWIW I just acquired an Emerald with the more deluxe Baggs Anthem pickup (UST and internal PZM mic) that sounds really good through a decent amp.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:46 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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I haven't plugged in the Sable I have laying around here somewhere... still doing some photos and acoustic only recording... will be having at it next few days plugged in.
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I have a battle on my hands..my thumbs are opposing my fingers.

Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, and keyboards and wind controllers.. etc
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:41 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadare View Post
I worked with Larry and McPherson replaced the pickup on my guitar as well - the balance was not quite right across the strings. That issue is resolved but I'm still not getting a great sound running in through a Fender acoustic amp - I am even going through an LR Baggs preamp. The issue is with bass response -- it sounds a thin or harsh.

Any insight?
I would experiment with putting a 1-3 layers of post-it note under the low E & A strings to see if that helps. My experience with Baggs Elements (and I've installed probably half a dozen over the years counting in Mi-Si's too) is regardless of how perfectly flat everything is, that each guitar needed a small tweak, and that tweak would need updating if a major change in string gauge was made (like going from 12s to 10s). Painting the saddle bottom with crazy glue to get the buildup where required is another technique I've used, but lately I'm too lazy and go the post-it route. There are three layers under the high E in my Mi-Si Trio equipped RainSong CH-PAWS1100NS right now.
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RainSong CH-PA1100NS, MiSi Trio (Baggs Element), Elixir PB 10s, TKL 8975 Case, primary guitar set up to cover electric guitar riffs
RainSong CH-WS1100NS, K&K Pure Mini, Red-Eye, Elixir PB 11s, quiet gig guitar
One Yamaha DBR10 (23 lbs) high/behind & Yamaha MG10XU

www.justsoduo.com
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:24 PM
Matt McGriff Matt McGriff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadare View Post
I worked with Larry and McPherson replaced the pickup on my guitar as well - the balance was not quite right across the strings. That issue is resolved but I'm still not getting a great sound running in through a Fender acoustic amp - I am even going through an LR Baggs preamp. The issue is with bass response -- it sounds a thin or harsh.

Any insight?
Not really, but I have seen one guy gigging with a Sable on YouTube (Juan John) and he has an Anthem onboard even though they recommend against it. Iím using a Boss AD-2 preamp and am getting a usable tone. It is frustrating as the pickup, which is essentially aftermarket (not proprietary) is the only disappointing aspect of this guitar. I love the thing, but bought it specifically for playing worship and the tone I am getting is a compromise compared to my Taylor with an installed Anthem or my Yamaha that has a modeling preamp.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2018, 02:46 PM
juanjohnmusic juanjohnmusic is offline
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Default Hi From McPherson Artist, Juan John!! Questions? Happy to help

Hello Everyone!
Great to read everyone's posts about McPherson Guitars and more specifically the carbon fiber series. I am a signed artist with McPherson Guitars and tremendously enjoy touring all over the country and the world with my McPhersons. I would be happy to connect with with anyone that might have any questions on either the wood or carbon series instruments... pickups, setups, frets, and any other craziness that players go through on any tour situation.
www.juanjohnmusic.com
I LOVE playing guitar!! 🤣 And would love to offer up any experience that might help. I currently tour as a solo entertainer with the Sable, Touring, Camrielle, and now recently acquired wooden McPherson 12 string. I have put these guitars through the ringer and continue to do so. Feel free to ask anything regarding these instruments... especially Carbon fiber related. I rely heavily on the Sable and Touring Models. I have used them both in studio and live.
I hope you all have a great day!
Juan John
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:27 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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Originally Posted by juanjohnmusic View Post
Hello Everyone!
Great to read everyone's posts about McPherson Guitars and more specifically the carbon fiber series.
Juan John
Nice to see you on here...I was just talking to Larry today...anyway... Your photo pops up in my McPherson Touring and soon to be released Sable videos with my friend Nichol (who was working the EAE amp booth). And at NAMM you sure were having fun and very helpful at the McPherson booth thingy. Just sayin'.

..............⬇️..............





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I have a battle on my hands..my thumbs are opposing my fingers.

Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, and keyboards and wind controllers.. etc

Last edited by kramster; 03-28-2018 at 03:42 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2018, 04:12 PM
juanjohnmusic juanjohnmusic is offline
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Default Sable pick ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt McGriff View Post
Not really, but I have seen one guy gigging with a Sable on YouTube (Juan John) and he has an Anthem onboard even though they recommend against it. Iím using a Boss AD-2 preamp and am getting a usable tone. It is frustrating as the pickup, which is essentially aftermarket (not proprietary) is the only disappointing aspect of this guitar. I love the thing, but bought it specifically for playing worship and the tone I am getting is a compromise compared to my Taylor with an installed Anthem or my Yamaha that has a modeling preamp.

Hey Matt,
So it is true... I do have the Anthem SL systems in both the Camrielle, and the Sable. I have performed as well with the standard element and I love them both! 😀 Here is why.
The reason I chose the Anthem SL for the Sable is for the dimensions and largness it adds with the mic when performing solo. I have a 13 gauge phosphorus bronze Elixer string, I use a Dawg pick, and I run through an L.R Baggs Venue D.I. I find that on any stage I have played, large or small that sounds amazing! Upon the initial install I worked a bit with the blend knob for the anthem SL. There is definitely a sweet spot when diling in the blend, and once you find it it will sound great. I do not have any effects, compressor, or anything of that nature. Just the guitar and the pre amp. The Sable is built with a bridge plate under the top that is put there for players to install a mic if they desire.

Now as a soloist the Anthem SL as well as the standard pick up sounds fantastic to me! Side note... The standard pick up I find works quite a bit better in a band situation. It cuts through a bit more. The Sable and Touring are super active... Long sustains and beautiful overtones that come from these guitars naturally. So as you utilize the standard pickup the settings are very important. Especially the tone knob on the sound hole. I perform with the standard pickup at all the NAMM Shows with Mcpherson Guitars. Start with just the guitar... Nothing else in the line. Turning down the volume on the guitar is a must. As well as the tone. Start flat, but bring down the tone a bit or up... to your preference. Dial in that tone first. As far as the volume goes you don't need much to get that guitar to sing as it has a strong pre amp built in. I have found wonderful voices and overtones with the Sable while performing at the NAMM shows with the standard Element pickup. I also learned that pick choices, strings, and dynamics on these guitars are super important to the sound. So depending on your style and taste experiment a bit and find what suits you. This guitar taught me a lot about that, and I feel that I've become a better player for digging deep into the tonal intricacies of these guitars. For me the Phosphor bronze works great solo. But the 80/20 work wonderfully in a band situation.
The Sable is an amazingly strong instrument and has a large full sound naturally. So I would recommend starting with the guitar itself and bypassing effects / compression. A basic pre amp with no pre set tones or compressors would work great! But find that voice first. You won't need much passed the guitar. I hope this helps!
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:40 PM
Skeeteroo Skeeteroo is offline
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Smile Sable amplification

Hi guys! Iím new to the forum. Although Iíve played everything acoustic from Ovations to Martins and Taylors etc. to my old Strat over the last 45 years, I acquired a McPherson Sable last May, and it has become my go to guitar. I play very percussively and whack it pretty hard, and itís perfect for that non-nuanced style. A close friend and I ABíd it to his wooden McPherson and my stellar Martin JC-40, and without visual input it sounds like a high end wooden guitar. Iíve been extremely impressed with its stability/sameness every time out of the case and how that affects my playing.

Now, although I appreciate those who try to achieve an acoustic amplified sound similar to that of the un-amplified guitar, I also want to use this in a band setting in roles that I might have previously filled with an electric. I realize that this may be a bit of heresy here, but Iím looking for advice from any who have tried different compressors, DIs, drives, and modulation devices, and other effects with this critter, as well as tube amps that have been tried. I havenít been happy with my old DynaComp and Boss Comp so far, but do want a little compression in the chain. Think Monte Montgomery guys. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:56 AM
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kramster kramster is offline
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Welcome Skeeterooooo,
Thanks for posting that...intreresting!
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I have a battle on my hands..my thumbs are opposing my fingers.

Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, and keyboards and wind controllers.. etc
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:41 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Skeeteroo View Post
I also want to use this in a band setting in roles that I might have previously filled with an electric. I realize that this may be a bit of heresy here, but I’m looking for advice from any who have tried different compressors, DIs, drives, and modulation devices, and other effects with this critter, as well as tube amps that have been tried. I haven’t been happy with my old DynaComp and Boss Comp so far, but do want a little compression in the chain. Think Monte Montgomery guys. Thanks!
I've been using a Tech21 Acoustic Fly Rig since last November to gig (RainSong CH-PA w/MiSi Trio preamp and Baggs Element UST). I am using the switchable compression for solo boost and to give me the extra sustain to make single note lead lines work more like an electric guitar. It is very small which makes hitting the right footswitch on the fly a bit of a challenge and I disabled the boost function by surrounding its footswitch with stacked washers held in place by poster tape. Here's a picture:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gY...AfnPpI4CpIL7Yv
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Jon Fields

RainSong CH-PA1100NS, MiSi Trio (Baggs Element), Elixir PB 10s, TKL 8975 Case, primary guitar set up to cover electric guitar riffs
RainSong CH-WS1100NS, K&K Pure Mini, Red-Eye, Elixir PB 11s, quiet gig guitar
One Yamaha DBR10 (23 lbs) high/behind & Yamaha MG10XU

www.justsoduo.com

Last edited by jonfields45; 03-29-2018 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:25 AM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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My Emerald Opus X20 is equipped with a Baggs Element pickup that has bugged me from time to time with an overly amplified bass E string. I found the on board preamp tone setting wheel had been set on full bass...by accident. Readjusting that fixed my problem. Hope your fix is as simple.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:24 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadare View Post
I love the McPherson Sable, but am unhappy with the sound of the factory installed pickup (Baggs Element). Has anyone swapped out their Element? If so, what did you install? Were you happy with the result? This guitar will be on stage with substantial volume.
My ears don't like any 100% UST setup. They work, but it's not as acoustic sounding. I'd go with the Anthem. Very noninvasive as you already have the UST part installed. I would get the bigger version for better control. Very nice live as you COULD run 100% UST if you're having some severe feedback issues. The tone would suffer, but you could at least finish the show.

You could also go more complicate and add a K&K. At that point you would have to run a 2 channel setup to get the most out of it. The K&K has completely different eq needs verses a UST, so separate eqs as well. You would also need a 2nd output jack. Many MANY players run dual or triple source systems with the K&K being the common part. The K&K has the exact opposite problem you're having... HUGE bass (easy to dial it back).

I'm often shocked how many people still run a full quack setup live. I see big performers on big stages with horrible tone... but the screaming crowd doesn't care. So it all depends on venue and personal preference in the end. I can't tolerate it at all, I just change the channel or switch the song as soon as I hear those UST tones.

I should add that I have super sensitive hearing, so the tones are quite grating to me. I didn't mind 100% UST when I was 20. However even in my mid 30's (before my hearing went wonky) I could not tolerate 100% UST anymore.
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