Element upgrade to Anthem?
I just bought a Gibson Southern Jumbo which I think has an Element undersaddle pickup, but considering to upgrade to the Anthem system. From what I understand the Anthem system builds on the Element pickup, so my question is if it would be possible to add the Tru-Mic, controls etc or do I have to change the whole system?
The existing element in your Gibson is compatible with the Anthem, however, I would take it to a good repairman to be sure it (the Anthem) is properly installed. The Anthem system comes with an Element pickup anyway, so all parts being new is not a bad thing. I don't believe you can just buy the Anthem pre-amp and True Mic by themselves. Btw, I use the Anthem in a professional setting every night, and it is truly amazing indeed. www.bobminnerguitar.com
Bob is correct. The Anthem will only be available as a complete system, Element pickup included. It allows you to use the complete Element Active System(EAS) in a different guitar or sell it to offset the total cost.
Also, a complete Anthem system will be more readily available in Sweden.
Thanks for that information Bryan!
I was wondering the same thing. I currently have a Dual Source which is about 6 years old (and I get a lot of feedback). I'm thinking about upgrading to the Anthem. After a few phone calls to various resources (including my local guitar shop/LR Baggs dealer), I was told that the Element has been upgraded a couple of times over the years and why wouldn't I want to replace the whole thing? Good point. I just wanted to unplug my Element from the Dual Source and plug it in to the new Anthem, and then just install the new Tru-Mic., and avoid having to remove the existing Element and reinstall a new one. Now I'm thinking I'll just install all new parts. It makes sense to me.
First, it's good to determine whether the feedback you encounter with the Dual Source(DS) is due to mic usage or if the Element undersaddle transducer is not anchored properly, or at all, to the underside of the soundboard. If the Element is not anchored to the underside of the bridge area within a short distance(1" - 1.5") of the hole from which it exits the saddle slot, it can present a microphonic response to soundboard resonance.
Originally Posted by cherylguitar
You should be able to see whether the pickup is anchored by viewing its reflection in a mirror placed inside the body or you may be able to take a digital photo with a small camera that fits through the soundhole.
If the Element pickup is properly anchored, and the feedback is coming from use of the internal microphone, the Tru-Mic in the Anthem system will be much more stable due to the system's crossover circuit preventing it from operating in lower frequencies.
If you get a complete Anthem system, you certainly can leave the Element pickup in place from the DS installation. As long as it's well-installed and properly anchored, it should do as well as the new Element provided with the Anthem. Then, you have a brand-new Element to use with the DS parts removed from that instrument.
Bryan, thank you for your quick and thorough response. One more reason why I own three LR Baggs pickups and thinking about a fourth! I will definitely check the installation of my Dual Source. I have one more question that may help others too. My Element connects to the DS with a 1/16" jack. Will it connect to the end pin if I were to get the Anthem SL? I saw the Anthem SL at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival, but just didn't look that closely.
With the Anthem-SL, the Element transducer is soldered directly to the endpin preamp circuit board. If you plan to switch from the DS system to the Anthem-SL, I recommend uninstalling the Element along with the DS and installing the one pre-soldered to the Anthem-SL.
Originally Posted by cherylguitar
I spoke to a LR Baggs dealer today, and he told me that iMix might be a better alternative for me just adding the iBeam and preamp/mixer to my Element pickup that is factory installed. Any comments on the differences between iMix system compared to Anthem?
The iMIX is a great system but the Anthem is greater. Here's an outline of the similarities and differences:
Originally Posted by Dava
Both systems use the Element undersaddle transducer. The iMIX has the iBeam which responds physically to soundboard resonance at the bridge. Because it's a physical response, the iBeam is more sensitive to things happening closer to where it's attached(opposite the saddle). It means that, if you use the body of the guitar for percussive accents or to make beats to loop and play along with, such activity around the bridge will be conveyed more strongly than from other parts of the guitar.
The Anthem utilizes the "Tru-Mic" which is an actual microphone in a specially-designed fixture meant to hold the mic at a specific distance from the bridge plate surface. It is normally placed in the same location as the iBeam but, while the iBeam responds physically, the Tru-Mic is actually listening to the resonances as they emanate from the wood, not from within as the iBeam does. The Tru-Mic, not feeling but listening to the resonances, is not noticeably more sensitive to physical manipulation around the bridge and is more conducive to accurately amplifying body contact.
The way the two circuits mix each of their two sources is considerably different as well. The iMIX pairs the Element with the iBeam but each is responding to the entire frequency range of the guitar. It means the iBeam can be prone to boominess and a potential for feedback at higher volumes. The iMIX does have a low-cut filter for the iBeam channel and you can skew the mix toward the Element in those higher volume situations. The iMIX is also capable of stereo output, where the Element and iBeam signals are accessed on separate output jack contacts.
The Anthem system does not allow the Tru-Mic from ever, EVER working below 250Hz(where it would also be prone to feedback). The bottom end of the frequency range is handled exclusively by the Element and, in the two adjustable models of the Anthem(Anthem and Stagepro Anthem), you are able to pan between Element and Tru-Mic above that 250Hz crossover point. The Anthem-SL is preset to all Tru-Mic above the crossover.
Regarding the Element and why it's good to keep them attached to their respective systems: The lead the Element sensor is attached to is not a typical coaxial wire. It can be easy to damage or destroy the wire without the proper tools and procedures we utilize here. For that reason, we highly recommend keeping the Element attached to its endpin preamp and installing the complete Anthem or iMIX system. Chances are high that any savings from purchasing a system sans-Element would be absorbed by labor and possible damage to the Element causing need for replacement.
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