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Old 11-24-2014, 09:03 AM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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Default Anthem + K&K

Hi,

I started digging into this a while back in this thread. I finally got all the parts and am going to experiment with the LR Baggs Anthem by adding the K&K pure mini to it, in 3 different configurations:

a) Mono out: K&K instead of the Element
b) Stereo out: normal Anthem with K&K out the RING
c) Stereo out: K&K into Anthem instead of the Element, then Element out the Ring.

What makes this possible is the use of the 2.5 mm connectors that they use for the Element and Mic that plugs into the Anthem. Part numbers:
502-850X
693-4831.320



So I solder the male plug onto the K&K so it will plug into the Anthem. Notice I used a short section of wire between the K&K and the plug. The length doesn't matter much, just can't solder the plug directly to the K&K. And FWIW, the tabs on the plug ware pretty small.



The other caveat is that the Anthem jack is a TRS, which means it can only be used for MONO out since the Ring is used as the switch for power. I need to replace it with a TRSS (Tip Ring Switch Sleeve). When I do, I'll add the female 2.5 mm plug to the Ring. This allows me to plug either the K&K or the Element into it.

More later...
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:32 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I am very excited to hear how this all turns out. I watched a YouTube video done by Jason Swanson some time ago where he blended 40% K&K pure mini with 40% Lyric and then 20% Fishman Matrix. I thought the sound was extremely round, big and natural sounding. I wish he had done a K&K + Lyric mix to compare but it was still neat to hear

I am with you though, I want to try the K&K + Lyric set up but I really feel as though I need the attack of a UST in a live setting. I wish I didn't need this but it just works for me.

One question though, can this set up be done with the Anthem SL?
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:33 PM
janmulder janmulder is offline
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I look forward to hearing your findings
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:40 PM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
One question though, can this set up be done with the Anthem SL?
Theoretically it is possible and maybe easier since the Anthem SL comes with a stereo jack. The problem is fishing the wires in endpin jack with all the circuitry. See my thoughts in the previously mentioned thread.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:11 AM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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A pictures of the cable I made, replacing the mono jack that came with the Anthem and replacing it with a stereo TRSS jack. Then I wired in the 2.5mm female jack to accept the K&K or Element using the RING terminal.

In hindsight, I should have just left the cable alone and made a completely separate one.

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  #6  
Old 11-27-2014, 10:58 AM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Initial thoughts on this combination, sticking the K&K into the Pz port of the Anthem, mono out, no element UST.

I think it sounds very similar to the Lyric + K&K that I have a lot of experience with. The Anthem manual suggests that it takes a little effort to get the mic level right, but honestly with the signal strength of the K&K, I just turned the mic full on... ended up backed it off a little but it's probably still 90%. The mix level changed the sound as one would expect, 50/50 seemed pretty nice - all that does is change the crossover frequency. I think there is a lot of play here depending on your preference.

I do notice a different dynamic between the Anthem mic and the Lyric. As others have pointed out, they are different. The Lyric seems more live. One of the difficulties with the Lyric is that it is so sensitive and picks up all sorts of handling noises. If you brush it against your shirt, you'll hear it. Anthem mic isn't as sensitive to that, but also isn't as live and sensitive when you play.

The problem is that I have found I need different EQ between the Lyric and K&K. So having an amp that has these in separate channels and both having sweepable mids allows this. Anthem + K&K (mono) doesn't allow for separate EQ. Maybe this is the guitar, YMMV.

After playing the mono Anthem + K&K for an hour, I switched over to my other guitar with the stereo Lyric + K&K and found I liked it better. Not a lot better, but it's easier to clean up and EQ and get the pure tones I want.

I'm moving forward with phase 2, putting the element in as the Anthem was intended and having the K&K in the RING, stereo out. Should have something in a week or so. I want to buy a TUSQ saddle, those seem to work better with UST's than bone.
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Old 11-27-2014, 05:54 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Thank you for the update! I am definitely interested in hearing your thoughts on the Element paired with the tru-mic and K&K. I have a feeling that you will really like this setup. I know a lot of people dislike UST pickups but that immediate attack is quite nice, especially if it's only partially mixed in with other sources.

That's an interesting point about the Lyric vs. the Anthem Tru-mic. When I tried the Anthem I was actually very surprised by the fact that the Tru-mic really didn't pick up much of my body movement. I expected it to be sensitive to my shirt rubbing the top or back but it didn't seem to have this problem. I thought that was a great feature.

Anyway, I am even more excited to try the K&K + Lyric set up.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:54 PM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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I finally got a chance to install the Element, which required adjusting my saddle and drilling a hole for it. I plugged the Element into the Anthem preamp and the K&K into the RING terminal using the 2.5 mm jack.

First impressions: Wow.
First of all, the Anthem is really great by itself. I messed around with the mix knob, but honestly I just like rolling it all the way up to get as much mic as possible. Then it sure sounded a lot like my Lyric + K&K experience, only the low end had more ATTACK (because of the UST). But the UST doesn't really seem as bad as I remember them in the past... probably because it's only covering the low end.

Adding in the K&K: it's going to take some time to see how much I want. Having it in a separate channel allows me to EQ it separately from the Anthem, which is necessary I think. It feels to me there may be a sweet spot where the Anthem dominates on strumming, while the warmth of the K&K may become more apparent for fingerpicking and lead work. Not sure yet.

I'm playing for the Christmas service on Dec 21, so I'll get a full band experience then. I'm very excited about this combination.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:56 AM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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I've played on stage now with this combo a few times. The Anthem sounds so great, I really haven't dialed in the K&K much. But it does seem that the low end might seem a bit weak by itself. Regardless, I was so impressed that I ordered ANOTHER Anthem for my cedar topped Taylor. While I would have been happy with just the Anthem, since it already had the K&K installed, I wired the whole thing up with a new stereo jack and cable so I had the option.

First impressions, again I thought the Anthem sounded pretty good by itself. And like my past experiences I thought the K&K sounded good and natural by itself but a little bland on the high end, really needs a mic over the top. But once I took the time to adjust the K&K in, it sounded great. The K&K was at about 10 o'clock and the Anthem at noon. But it gave it such a full low end, not woofy, just big and round and the two together sounded very live. After I got used to the two together, I turned the K&K off and it sounded weak and dull. Amazing how things change once you get used to them.

Another note, I've been running the presence at about 1/2, then the blend about 2/3 up. But I reduced the presence to about 1/3 and then rolled the mix up all the way. I think this sounded better. Too much presence can make it sound like a mic gained too high. YMMV.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2015, 03:21 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Thanks for the report, rschultz.

Regarding substituting the K&K Pure Mini for the Element, its interesting to me that the K&K output is close enough to the Element output that a) its possible to set for a good Pure Mini/Tru Mic balance, and b) the Pure Mini doesn't overdrive the Element preamp, which is undoubtedly fixed at a gain which is appropriate for the Element.

I've read that some folks have successfully substituted a Pure Mini into a Fishman Prefix system, so it appears that the Pure Mini output is safely in the neighborhood of a film UST's output. I can't say the same for the Baggs LB6, a pickup which grossly overdrove (causing severe distortion from) the Prefix system which my tech wired it into. (We could have solved the problem by wiring a correctly sized capacitor in parallel with the pickup, but we weren't knowledgeable enough to manage that.)

How does the Pure Mini sound when the mix control is in full pickup position? I would have guessed that any "tone shaping" in the Element circuit would be overly bassy for the Pure Mini.

Regarding your comment that the mix control changes the crossover frequency, it was my understanding that the mix control blends in the full spectrum of the pickup frequencies. I thought the crossover frequency was fixed at 250Hz. In other words, when the mix control is on full mic, the mic supplies all the frequencies above 250Hz and the pickup supplies all frequencies below 250Hz. Have the Baggs folks stated that the crossover frequency changes somewhat with the mix setting? Ido recall Lloyd Baggs saying that they do something a little tricky with the mixer.

Regarding the handling noise issue, the Anthem doesn't pick up nearly as much handing noise as the Lyric because the Anthem's lower mic frequencies (below 250 Hz) are filtered out of the output signal (and replaced by a less top-responsive UST signal).
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:00 PM
rschultz rschultz is offline
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Yes, the tone shaping in the element circuit didn't work so great with the K&K in the Anthem. I think if I had a Venue (2 sweepable mids + bass, etc), I probably could have made it work. But it would have required a LOT of EQ, compared to the K&K + Lyric where I had them on separate channels... a lot easier to EQ.

There are countless threads explaining the Anthem crossover... it's something like you explain. When the mix is 100% toward the mic, it's only everything above 250 Hz and the Element covers the low end. But when it's 100% Element, the mic is OFF. That's a generalization, I'm sure they do something tricky...

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
How does the Pure Mini sound when the mix control is in full pickup position? I would have guessed that any "tone shaping" in the Element circuit would be overly bassy for the Pure Mini.

Regarding your comment that the mix control changes the crossover frequency, it was my understanding that the mix control blends in the full spectrum of the pickup frequencies. I thought the crossover frequency was fixed at 250Hz. In other words, when the mix control is on full mic, the mic supplies all the frequencies above 250Hz and the pickup supplies all frequencies below 250Hz. Have the Baggs folks stated that the crossover frequency changes somewhat with the mix setting? Ido recall Lloyd Baggs saying that they do something a little tricky with the mixer.

Regarding the handling noise issue, the Anthem doesn't pick up nearly as much handing noise as the Lyric because the Anthem's lower mic frequencies (below 250 Hz) are filtered out of the output signal (and replaced by a less top-responsive UST signal).
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'10 Wechter 5712c - Fishman Rare Earth
'13 Jaffrey #26 - Malaysian Blackwood! - K&K + Rare Earth Blend
'16 Gretsch 6122T Players Edition
17 Taylor 714ce
Helix Floor for all 4!

Last edited by rschultz; 01-18-2015 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:01 PM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Thanks! I am posting to your other thread with some addition question son the SL system.
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