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How to achieve percussive sound from Anthem in classical guitar?

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  • How to achieve percussive sound from Anthem in classical guitar?

    Hello, I'm new user of Anthem, I live in Croatia, so english is not my native language - excuse me for any mistakes. Last month I visited Switzerland and bought Antonio Picado 49, cutaway classical guitar without electronics, in Die Gitarre, shop in Winterthur, nearby Zurich. As I need amplified guitar I asked people from store what to install, and they suggest L.R.Baggs or K&K, and they offered installation, so I accepted it and choose Anthem. They also offered SL classical but I needed more control to avoid feedback in some situations when I have to play close to the speaker.

    I play in acoustic duo, steel strings and nylon strings guitars, mostly in hotels, restaurants and terraces in summertime, usually for 100-300 visitors, over small PA. Dynacord power mixer + D-Lite 12-3 speakers. Until now I played Yamaha NCX 700 with their own A.R.T pickup/preamp system, but this guitar is now little bit damaged after some years of gigging around, and I also wished some upgrade.

    Last two years I used more and more percussive effects in playing, to get more groove with only two guitars, without drums, percussion, looping, etc. Now, I'm very satisfied with Anthem, far more natural guitar sound then Yamaha, but I miss same level of percussion effects. I play it through TC Electronic Nova System (line input, without overdrive and distortion) to have Eq, Comp, Reverb, Delay, Boost function, Chorus, and sometimes little bit of Modulation effects. I tried different eq settings, but still I can't get percussive sound I want. Rustling over the strings is ok, but knocking, tapping on plate on upper side of soundhole, and on the edge of fretboard is not loud enough, not in balance with strings sound but much quieter. Of course I tried also different mix settings from onboard preamp, and different mic gains. Element can't give any percussive sound, mic is better but not enough, and I need both to have enough bass. Any ideas? To change mic position inside the guitar? Obviously Element pickup, UST, is not able to bring this sound. Maybe I made mistake - should I've choose IBeam or IMix Classical or Dual Source? Is it possible somehow to mix Anthem with SBT pickup instead of Element? Or it would bring big feedback problems?

    Thanks for answers!


  • #2
    Hi Banks,
    The Anthem's mic is usually pretty sensitive to the body of the guitar, allowing for good percussive response. However, if it is not sensitive enough for you, then setting the blend towards the mic side and turning the mic trim up (the screwdriver adjustment) should add a lot more sensitivity.

    If that's still not what you're looking for, then you may want to consider a different pickup or another combination system like the iMix. The other pickup options won't sound as natural, but they should give you a stronger low-end percussive response.

    I wouldn't recommend changing out the Element in the Anthem system, but that choice is entirely yours.


    • #3
      Thank you very much. Can you tell me is it even possible to replace element with iBeam, and to connect it to Anthem preamp? I mean, iBeam passive, classical model?
      Is it technically possible? Excuse me if it's stupid question, I'm not experienced in electronics.
      I'm very satisfied with Anthem, very natural, very good for every style - classical pieces, arpeggios, fingerstyle, strumming, picado solos.....only this percussive effect is
      missing somewhat. I know I can get this sound by turning blend towards the mic side, that's true, but then strumming becomes too harsh. Usually I use percussive tapping
      with strumming patterns. If I turn it little bit on pickup side, to make strumming warmer and softer, then percussion is not audible enough. So, I would like to have
      everything , if possible. This mic "air" and IBeam sensitivity. I know such a system with sbt pickup and mic could become very feedback sensitive, but I don't worry about
      this 'cause I don't play in loud bands, nor over big PA systems.

      Thanks for answers and Merry Christmas to you and all forum members.


      • #4
        I should have asked this before, but do you have the Anthem SL Classical or the regular Anthem?

        The iBeam is a very different pickup from the Element, so it is very difficult to predict how the iBeam will respond in a system that was designed for the Element. The iBeam has a hotter output level, so there is the possibility that it could overdrive the preamp.


        • #5
          Regular Anthem


          • #6
            I thought so, but wanted to be sure and cover all the bases. The Anthem really performs best on steel string guitars. However, switching to the classical model probably won't increase the level of low-end sensitivity that you're looking for.


            • #7
              Thanks for answers. So, SBT type pickups usually have higher output level and it could overdrive the preamp, which is designed for ust type. Is it possible to change
              input gain for pickup? To turn it down a little bit, to accommodate this hotter signal? I know it's not on control panel of Anthem, as mic gain, but somewhere inside?
              Or it's fixed and not possible to change? I have seen your Dual Source preamp has this hi gain - low gain switch. But maybe it's not enough to turn down input gain
              of pickup - because if anthem preamp is tailored to carries only the lowest frequencies from pickup input, then there's no sense to change Element for iBeam, because
              iBeam sound could be muffled, damped, with this default eq and crossover settings? In this scenario iBeam or any sbt pickup can't bring out all the richness of the
              sound? Or I'm wrong? If this what I need is possible - to replace Element for iBeam (or Dazzo, or any other sbt) - I will bring it to qualified, professional installer.




              • #8
                It's not necessarily that a SBT always has a hotter output than a UST. It's more that the Element in particular has a very different output level, and a very high capacitance, requiring a more specialized input. Since the Anthem was designed to accommodate the Element, and the Element alone, it doesn't have any pickup gain adjustments. The Dual Source, as well as some of our other preamps, have adjustable input gains to accommodate a wider variety of pickup options.

                As I mentioned, the Element channel input is unique, so any SBT would probably have varying degrees of the same issue.