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Para Acoustic DI and Taylor Expression System

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  • Para Acoustic DI and Taylor Expression System

    My current acoustic axe is a Taylor 214ce with their skimped down version of their Expression System pickup system. I believe they're undersaddle. I've had the LRB Para acoustic DI pre amp which has helped shape tone quite a bit (though I admit I haven't fussed with it too much and will need to really sit down to dial in a better tone). Though the DI has helped a bit with the tone, I'm still not totatlly happy. I have several friends who consistently tell me to ditch the Expression system that came stock in the Taylor for an upgraded system. My question is 2 parts: First which would you recommend out of the LRB pickup selection to replace and/or use in conjunction with the existing pickup, and secondly is this even the correct route that should be taken or could my existing set up still offer me more just with some more tweaking of the Para Acoustic DI and the Taylor pickup? Thanks in advance.

    edit: My main gripe is the "tin" like tone that still persists even with tweaking of the Para Acoustic DI. It's likely it's my lack of knowledge with the DI that I could solve my existing problem with my current set up, but I would still welcome advice whether or not an upgrade to the actual pickup system would solve it.
    Last edited by tmoney64; 09-20-2011, 03:24 AM.

  • #2
    Opinions about the Expression vary greatly. I've heard many say the system is noisy and more than a few have mentioned they are a bit on the bright(tinny) side, tonally. The Para DI can certainly help to dial in a better tone from a lot of different systems in various guitars.

    It certainly is optimal, however, if you can start with a more natural sound from the source. Given the advances in materials technology and electronic circuit design, I can recommend a more recent pickup system over the LB6-Series pickups.

    The most natural and accurate amplification of a given acoustic guitar can be achieved with any of the three versions of our Anthem system. They all pair our Element undersaddle transducer with a new application of mini-microphone, passing them through a custom-tuned crossover circuit that allows lots of mic usage without feedback for a much more natural amplified sound.

    Here are links:


    • #3
      Thanks so much Bryan for the advice. As I thought, going right to the source with a change in pickup system will be optimal. I hope to purchase one of the 3 options you referred soon.


      • #4
        I'm putting in the Anthem system right now on my 214ce. My taylor has been to the shop twice with pickup issues. So by tomorrow I will have LRbaggs anthem system installed. I will post pics if you like? I'm pirating the input jack and battery compartment of the expression system so I dont have to drill and I can have easy access to the battery.


        • #5
          Hi RedRanger,

          We'd be happy to see pics. This forum needs a little color.


          • #6
            Here is the taylor hack job I did. I removed the taylor input jack and installed the baggs jack into the taylor existing plate. Also cutting the battery leads and splicing the battery leads of the Anthem system into the box. That way I have an outside way of changing the battery.

            sorry it was late when I finished. Now to find out how to get more gain!!!


            • #7
              Thanks for adding the pictures. Nice use of the original jack/battery plate.

              Regarding gain as you mentioned, we are aware that, when compared to some other systems available and some of them made by LR Baggs, the Anthem system has "low-ish" output. Don't be alarmed. It's important, however, that you don't expect the exact same performance when connecting to a signal path that was previously dialed in for a different signal. If that other signal was hotter than the output from the Anthem, it can make the Anthem seem weaker by contrast than it really is. The trick is to start from scratch and optimize settings at each stage they are available for the Anthem signal specifically.

              The most important thing, though, is that you have a clean signal that sounds good.
              Last edited by Bryan McManus; 11-04-2011, 08:44 AM. Reason: spelling


              • #8
                Yes! I completely agree. The tone is great VERY realistic and the tone is PERFECT! I will be adding a Venue DI to aid in my pedal board in the next week. I did notice the undersaddle pickup was ALOT thinner than the taylor one. I need to pick up a new saddle. Other than that I'm WELL pleased!


                • #9
                  And to be honest...I'm more pleased with the fact that I did not have to cut into my guitar AND battery access is MUCHO better!


                  • #10
                    Ok, I bought a new saddle and BAM major gain. I had to dial back the mic input. So maybe folks having problems should get a new saddle?


                    • #11
                      Did you change the saddle material? If so, from what to what?

                      Were there significant differences in the way each saddle fit into the slot - was one tight and one less so?

                      I'm interested in situations where output and/or string balance change along with saddle materials.


                      • #12
                        yeah...the stock taylor saddle I assume is bone. The saddle I installed was from Georges music and it is plastic. I was in a hurry and needed to play yesterday. So $1 later new saddle and NEW gain. It was super tight fit versus the stock one being loose enough to drop out. I literally plugged the guitar right in and MAJOR gain.