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Volume much quieter in louder guitar...

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  • Volume much quieter in louder guitar...

    I'm very satisfied with the Anthem in my Gibson J-45. I installed it myself and had to futz with the saddle a fair amount to get clear and even signal on all strings, but it worked out. I run it through an equalizer to cut out the honkiness around 400-600hz.
    Just bought a used Eastman E20D with Anthem installed (supposedly professionally). The Eastman is a lovely clone of a Martin HD-28. tI has a bone saddle, like the J-45, and is louder acoustically than the J-45. But the plugged-in output of the Eastman is MUCH quieter, like 65% reduced, and the tone slightly less pleasing. I also futzed with the saddle on the Eastman to get get string balance. Added a little pocket for the end of the Element to slide into. Made sure the black dot is facing up. Went through every line in the installation guide carefully. Filed side of saddle a bit to make sure it slid in, not binding significantly. I read other posts here that referenced differences in woods and bracing, etc. re. volume differences, but the louder guitar is 65% QUIETER than the quieter guitar? Crazy, man. What else should I be looking at? Thanks a bunch!

  • #2
    OP again: Forgot to mention that I also smoothed the saddle slot on the Eastman to get good and even contact for the bottom of the Element.

    The only other thing I can think to do is to compare Element-only to Element-only on the 2 guitars and mic-only to mic-only, but my memory is there are no surprises there.

    Any help greatly appreciated! I had hoped to be able to gig with the 2 guitars, easily switching, but that'd be tough as is.


    • #3
      I would personally try a different saddle or saddle material. Bone is an organic material so you can get a lot of variation from one bone saddle to the next. Even if the Eastman is louder acoustically, the saddle might not be transmitting sound to the pickup in the same way. A Tusq, Micarta, or even a different bone saddle might make a nice difference.


      • #4
        Thank you, Caleb. I had been skeptical that saddle could make that much difference, but you were absolutely right! I put in a sacrificial saddle that I had lying around, and the volume jumped up! That wasn't a keeper 'cuz too low. I've replaced it with a new bone saddle. I did have a lot of trouble with string balance, as I did with installing the Anthem in my J-45, but I kept filing tiny amounts off of the new saddle until the string balance was tolerable. Not great, but workable. Thank you.


        • #5
          Glad to hear that you got it working better. The saddle and saddle material really can make a big difference in the tone and output of the system.