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The Anthem is Rockin it!

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  • The Anthem is Rockin it!

    So, This Summer, I decided to do some pickup tweaking on all my guitars. At one point I had one beater guitar that I use at school when I teach music. It didn't have a pickup in it so I decided to try one of the old pickup systems that I had taken out of old guitars I no longer owned. I happened to have a Lyric, a full version Anthem and a Dual source pickup from another company. First I tried the Lyric. I ended up positioning it in 4 different places. The best turned out to be the recommended spot. Even then, it still had the dreaded low mid honk that I experienced with the Lyric in the past. So I pulled it and tried a self install with the Anthem. Did it by the book. Now, This used to be installed on a previous guitar and it got pulled because the luthier who installed it just couldn't get the string balance right. I remember there was always a hot A string and a soft high E string. This time, NAILED IT! I got a very even string balance. Beautiful tight solid bass notes and crystal clear highs. It sounded great with no EQ through my Bose L1 and my Schertler amp. With some very minor tweaks on the Amp it could get even better. The guitar (a Taylor 310) is not necessarily a great sounding guitar either. When I add in the Session it brought it to life even more. Makes me wonder if I could repeat the success when I finally decide on a new main axe.

    Caleb, in your experience, (you seem to like the Anthem the best) can that be consistently installed without complications like I experienced the first time? Also, can the Element be swapped out for an LB6? If so, what would that involve? Just because this one was successful doesn't necessarily give me the best confidence for the next one since I am only batting .500 anyway. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Vancebo View Post
    Caleb, in your experience, (you seem to like the Anthem the best) can that be consistently installed without complications like I experienced the first time? Also, can the Element be swapped out for an LB6? If so, what would that involve? Just because this one was successful doesn't necessarily give me the best confidence for the next one since I am only batting .500 anyway. Thanks.
    First off that's great to hear about your success with the Anthem. Like you said, I love that system!

    In my experience, the string balance is usually the primary thing that may vary from guitar to guitar, like any system with an undersaddle pickup (including the LB6). However, balance issues are almost always fixable, usually by adjusting the existing saddle or changing it out for a different material.

    When the Lyric works, nothing beats it, but I've found the Anthem to be more consistent and more accurate from guitar to guitar compared to the Lyric.

    Sadly, the LB6 cannot replace the Element in any of our systems, due to drastic differences in output level and impedance. So, because of the specific tuning of the Anthem, the Element is the only compatible pickup.

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    • #3
      Thanks

      Good to know.

      I know that you know that the knock on any of the corded UST's on the market is that they somehow don't transfer the vibrations as well to the top and negatively effect the acoustic sound. Is that your experience? I think that in this particular case it works so well because the guitar is just okay. I am not looking for it to be a stellar example of an acoustic tone monster. I think it's good enough for the True Mic to amplify a good sound and the Session to beef it up and make it sparkle a bit. Now that is just my humble opinion. Thought?

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      • #4
        It's really hard to say anything about tone, acoustic or amplified. There are so many variables- the biggest one (I think) being people's own ears and expectations. Someone might say that a UST killed their acoustic tone, and someone else might say that putting a UST in their guitar actually brought it to life. Some people may even want to hear a difference, while others wouldn't even care. Tone is extremely subjective, but corded UST or not, all UST's interacts with the guitar, for better or worse.

        In my personal experience, I've installed a lot of UST's, mostly Elements, with a handful of others mixed in. I would say they in 95% of guitars, any before-and-after difference is entirely negligible. In a very few guitars, I've noticed a very small "softening" of some lower-end frequencies. In my 0-size guitar (which, I will admit, doesn't have much low end), I actually prefer the unplugged tone of the guitar with the pickup installed- which I was not expecting when I installed the pickup. I did notice a difference though.

        Overall, I have heard a difference in a few instances, so I know that the people who rave about it have some truth to their arguments. However, if you can get a good sounding pickup to pair well with a guitar that you want to use plugged-in, bigger differences than the ones I've heard would be well worth it.

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