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Amazon Gift Card...Time to purchase Baggs Items

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  • Amazon Gift Card...Time to purchase Baggs Items

    For Christmas I got a generous gift card to Amazon. With that gift card I've decided to buy some LR Baggs gear. I will start with the background info., and then the question portion.

    Background: I have a Martin D-18 Authentic that I intended to play in an acoustic duo and/or at open mics. When we play in the duo, we play on small stages and usually have a monitor close by. The venues we play are restaurants & bars. Most often I plug in to a Fishman SA220 ("Fishstick"). At times, I use the TC Electronic looper pedal.

    Pickup: After doing a bunch of reading all over the, there, everywhere, it looks like the LR Baggs Anthem SL is the way to go.

    Three Questions:

    1) I read somewhere that the undersaddle aspect of the Anthem has a negative effect on unplugged tone because it places a soft barrier between the bridge and saddle. Anyone have experience with this?

    2) How would I go about installing the undersaddle aspect of the pickup with the long saddle. For those unfamiliar, most guitars have drop in saddles which are the same length as the pickup. My guitar has, lets call it, an extra long saddle. That would leave a big gap on both ends of the pickup. Ideas?

    3) The second portion of getting the best acoustic tone seems to be to pair the anthem with a LR Baggs DI. Based on the background info. above, would the Venue or the Session DI seem to be a better fit?

  • #2
    Hey Rexfordbridge,
    To answer your questions, I would say that every pickup will alter your guitar's tone in one way or another. Different types of pickup will effect the guitar differently.

    With that said, the Element pickup that is in the Anthem SL has been said to change the tone of some guitars. In my experience, the extent depends on the guitar, and only a few people notice any negative change at all. Of course, this can be a highly debatable subject, so this is just my experience with the matter. I can say that the Anthem SL is easily the best sounding pickup that I've ever installed or played. And if you notice any negative effect on your unplugged tone, the ability to get the sound of your guitar played through a full PA is entirely worth it for any live player.

    As far as installing the Element under a longer saddle, it can be done pretty easily, but it largely depends on the skill of the installer. When I install the Element in that kind of guitar, I will take about .020" off of the bottom of the saddle, making a notch a little bit wider than the string spacing of the guitar. So under string pressure, the ends of the saddle are almost perfectly flat on the ends. In the middle there is still enough pressure to get good response from the pickup.

    It's hard to explain, but I hope that gives you an idea of how I do it. There may be other methods out there too.

    For the Session vs. the Venue question, that is definitely a matter of preference and the amount of control that you want over your sound. If you want a simple(er) DI that will give you a good amount of tone shaping in only a few controls, the Session does a wonderful job. It's compact, effective, and once you understand the controls, it's very easy to set up for any gig.

    The Venue has much more precise control in the form of EQ. So if you want to be able to shape your sound to your liking, with a lot more tweak-ability, the Venue definitely allows for that. Of course the Venue also has the built-in tuner, boost foot-switch, and FX loop. So if those are features that you would use, the Venue might be a better choice. But again, it comes down to personal preference. For my own preference, I would choose the Venue if I could only pick one, but I love the Session for certain situations where simplicity is key.