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Thread: Anthem SL

  1. #1
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    Anthem SL

    The reviews for the amplified sound of the Anthem system have been positive on the various forums. However, all the various players have suggested that the acoustic sound of the instrument of their instruments have been been slightly dampened. One player suggested it was because of the contact mic on the bridge plate and recently someone suggested it was the UST itself and that was after noted builder James Goodall installed the unit. I have a Goodall KGC. Is there any validity to these claims and are there any plans to revise the UST or any other part of the system to eliminate any of these tone losses in the sound? Also, is the system compatible with the PARA DI I have?These are my main concerns and otherwise I would like to install one of these systems in one of my instruments. Thanks for any helpful information!

  2. #2
    If this is the forum thread you are referring to - http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=anthem - I am B-Mac and I posted this comment:

    "Any time something other than what the saddle or bridge are made of is put under the saddle, some change in the acoustic properties will result.
    Those who are more intimately familiar with the tone and resonance of their guitar will more readily notice the change in energy transfer from string to soundboard.
    To expect no change whatsoever in the acoustic properties is a little unrealistic."

    There are some players who want a natural and realistic amplified sound but who are given pause by the slight change in acoustic properties that is to be expected from installing an undersaddle pickup. An example would be the player with a very fine, expensive guitar or a not-so-expensive or fine but great-sounding guitar who only intends to play plugged-in occasionally or rarely. To them, it may not be worth it. A gigging pro or semi-pro player or one with multiple guitars of varying quality/value is more inclined to overlook any change in the acoustics to achieve a better live sound.

    Regarding the Anthem, the Tru-Mic could affect the acoustic properties far less than the undersaddle pickup would. There is a little weight to it because the mic capsule is held in a small weighted metal part that is shock-mounted in the fixture that adheres to the bridge plate but its affect on the acoustics is minimal or undetectable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan McManus View Post
    If this is the forum thread you are referring to - http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=anthem - I am B-Mac and I posted this comment:

    "Any time something other than what the saddle or bridge are made of is put under the saddle, some change in the acoustic properties will result.
    Those who are more intimately familiar with the tone and resonance of their guitar will more readily notice the change in energy transfer from string to soundboard.
    To expect no change whatsoever in the acoustic properties is a little unrealistic."

    There are some players who want a natural and realistic amplified sound but who are given pause by the slight change in acoustic properties that is to be expected from installing an undersaddle pickup. An example would be the player with a very fine, expensive guitar or a not-so-expensive or fine but great-sounding guitar who only intends to play plugged-in occasionally or rarely. To them, it may not be worth it. A gigging pro or semi-pro player or one with multiple guitars of varying quality/value is more inclined to overlook any change in the acoustics to achieve a better live sound.

    Regarding the Anthem, the Tru-Mic could affect the acoustic properties far less than the undersaddle pickup would. There is a little weight to it because the mic capsule is held in a small weighted metal part that is shock-mounted in the fixture that adheres to the bridge plate but its affect on the acoustics is minimal or undetectable.


    Here is the one that I've been following. Again the review is positive.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by throbert View Post
    Was Goodall impressed with the Anthem? I have Goodall KGC that already has a Fishman Matrix Infinity installed.

    throbert - James has been installing Anthems since they came on the market... he likes the sound of them, plugged in, and has been a little suspicious of whether the Anthem affects the natural sound of the guitar when played acoustically; that's why he was willing to do a new saddle on my guitar, to help either prove or disprove that suspicion. Naturally, he is loath to do anything to his instruments that affect their tone and volume.

    My conclusion is that my guitar is slightly quieter; I stand by the 5-10% figure... and the "hot" midrange on my maple 6 string has been smoothed out (not exactly a bad thing), sounds very different to me. I'm fortunate to have a room in my home that is tile floor, lots of glass and an odd shaped trapeziod - it is a premier room to play, unplugged - lots of reflective sound. That's where I made my determinations regarding the Anthem and "unplugged" sound and tone.

    After playing my guitar for a few weeks with the new saddle and nut, I'm really enjoying the way she plays; James did a wonderful job on my 32 year old guitar... and I'm growing accustomed to the "new" sound and tone, but I will not have James put an Anthem in the guitar he's building for me, not at first anyway.

    While I thought that perhaps the volume difference came from hanging the TrueMic off the bridgeplate, I've come to the conclusion that the culprit is the Element UST... the Element is a very thin ribbon, encased in a woven (almost looks like cloth) sheath of braided metal fiber. I believe that is what's "dampening" the sound and evening out the tonal characteristics of my Angus guitar... kind of makes sense, when I think of it - a substance approximating cloth, stuffed under the saddle. On the Acoustic Guitar Forum, someone had a link to a discussion of this very phenomenon, with regards to the Element. I kind of wish I'd read it BEFORE I proceeded with the installation, but...

    Again, I re-iterate, I LOVE the sound of the Anthem, amplified... it's not EXACTLY like my guitar's natural sound, but it is VERY workable, very touch sensitive, very acoustic sounding... so if you have to play your guitar, plugged in, it's a great way to go. I really like the fact that I have no need for any external pre-amp, EQ or DI box to get the tone I desire from my guitar...

    Hope this helps you!

    ps. I experienced none of the changes in volume or tone with the Fishman Matrix I had been using... and I used it for 15+ years... didn't sound as good as the Anthem, though...

    play on................................................ .......>

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    Hello everyone - I'm new to this forum, first post! AND, I'm the guy who wrote the preceding response to throbert on another forum... Funny, I came here to research the very issue discussed in this topic. I certainly agree with Bryan's assessment, however I really did not notice any change when I had a Fishman Matrix Natural (?) in the same guitar. The Fishman UST was harder and a bit thicker than the Element; perhaps that's why it transferred the tones and volume with less dampening efect on the acoustic sound of my Mark Angus #35, but I really don't know. (Of course, the Fishman UST also came with the incumbent "quack", as well...)

    And I still stand by what I wrote, that the Anthem produces a terrific acoustic amplified sound! Although a bit daunted by a slight change to the guitar's un-plugged sound, it is worth the trade-off to have such a great tone when I perform through my Bose system. Although I don't have any need for a DI or pre-amp/eq unit, I'm sure the Anthem would pair with those, admirably.

    The Anthem SL is a wonderful unit... It produces the sound of an acoustic guitar like I have always wished to hear it, amplified!

    play on................................................ ...................>

    John Seth Sherman
    Last edited by JSeth; 07-08-2011 at 10:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Hi JSeth,

    You are correct in that a rigid design of undersaddle pickup will conduct a bit more of the vibration through to the top. Flexible undersaddle pickups, like the Element, do damper some of the highest frequencies but are also more sensitive and more natural-sounding. It would account for the slight change in acoustics when using the Element.

    As you said, it is a bit of a trade-off. LR Baggs will keep working on both fronts - more natural amplified sound and less effect on acoustic properties.

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    This discussion (although a little dated) is exactly what I've been looking for. I'm looking for a good blending mic/UST active pickup system for two and maybe three of my guitars....but I don't want noticeable loss of the unplugged sound. I get very good results from using a Shure SM81 through a Fender Acoustasonic on the mic side out of the line out and through my PA, or mic the Acoustasonic with a Shure SM57 through the PA. My idea is that there are times that I don't want to lug a PA AND acoustic guitar amps around...if I could just carry the Acoustasonic and plug the guitar into the instrument side and then just mic vocals through the mic side, it would make life easier for me....

    Two of my guitars are already equipped with UST type pickups...a Tak 12-string (which sounds great) and a Taylor 6-string, which I am not impressed with at all. The unplugged sound of the Taylor is great, but the UST is horrible.....it is extremely difficult to make this guitar sound good amplified unless you mic it as above. I also have a Martin HD-28 that has no pickup whatsoever, but it's my main guitar for steel string acoustic. Then I also have a Johnny Walker Concert classical with no pickup....I've always just mic'ed the Walker and the Martin.

    Right now I'm looking at the LR Baggs Anthem system for the Martin and the Taylor (I want to replace the Taylor UST system) and maybe the Walker, and also in consideration is the Fishman Ellipse Blend. Whatever I use I'll use the same on all of the guitars....so I'll buy 2 or 3 at once (3 if it will work with nylon strings).

    From what I'm reading (here and other forums), the Fishman UST might have less effect on the unplugged sound (therefore the direct mic sound), but the Anthem provides a better plugged in sound.

    Is it possible to use some other UST with the Anthem? Maybe one of the stick types like the Fishman as opposed to the rope style like the Element? Since the blend really only uses the lower frequencies from the UST and the mic is the main pickup, what problems would that cause?
    Last edited by GeraldG; 07-16-2011 at 08:33 PM.

  7. #7
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    Anthem SL is all it is reported to be. I sent my 45year old Martin D 35-S up to my luthier who is a mic freak....for over 50 years he's only used a mic and claimed that that's the only true acoustic reproduction.........well he installed an Anthem SL in my Martin and has now eaten his words. Truly plugged inthe guitarsounds exactly the same as unplugged just louder....to me this is perfection.....ya' can't ask for more. I thinkm intallation is specific also you need to adjust mic-to-ust to taste.
    I want an Anthem for my nylon string but appearantly Loyd is still working on that.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldG View Post
    Is it possible to use some other UST with the Anthem? Maybe one of the stick types like the Fishman as opposed to the rope style like the Element? Since the blend really only uses the lower frequencies from the UST and the mic is the main pickup, what problems would that cause?
    The Anthem system's pickup channel is specifically tuned for the Element undersaddle pickup only. No other pickup can be expected to match the preamp as well or be crossover mixed with the Tru-Mic as well as the Element.

    That being said, it should not hurt anything if someone wishes to plug another transducer into the pickup channel of an Anthem preamp and see how it sounds. The Anthem system, however, is only available as a complete system.

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    Bryan......a question for you.

    Hi Bryan,
    So, I love the Anthem SL in my old Martin. I have not noticed any deminishing of tone unplugged. And plugged in it does exactly reproduce the true acoustics ....it's kust louder.

    My question is how close are you to having an Anthem for nylon string guitars?

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Bryan. I think the thing to do is just to buy an Anthem and install it in my HD-28 and see for myself how it affects the unplugged sound. If it's too much difference for me, the worst part of taking it out is getting an oversized endpin and cutting a new bridge saddle.....no biggie.

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