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Taylor GT, Anthem SL and VPDI Journey

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  • Taylor GT, Anthem SL and VPDI Journey


    This is my first post anywhere, but I felt (hope) my experience may help some so thought I'd share.

    Firstly, can we all just agree that Caleb is an international treasure and that Baggs make the most incredible gear for acoustic guitarists?

    As I get (much) older, gigging with a full sized guitar is becoming quite uncomfortable for me so imagine my delight when I discovered the GT series of guitars from Taylor. With my wonderful wife's help and encouragement I recently brought home Gertie, a Taylor GT K21e, the all solid Koa beauty. I'm a lefty and this guitar was not available without electronics. I'm not going to bash anyone here but suffice it to say that in a very short time, with advice from Caleb (again!), I got my luthier to install an Anthem SL.

    Initially I was disappointed. I have a full Anthem in my Taylor 424 Koa which sounds beautiful......I just couldn't get the tiny screw balance right on Gertie and even considered swapping it for an Element as the low end just boomed, no matter where I dialled it in; otherwise the top end just literally shrieked when I added too much. I was making the mistake of playing this through my Bose L1 live system. When I eventually had a word with myself, I hooked it up to my DAW and managed to get a sweet sounding balance through my monitors. Now, how to replicate this in my live system?

    Enter Voiceprint DI, stage left. :-)

    I got the VPDI on the Thursday before a Friday gig so didn't have much time to experiment and the two VP's I made sounded thin and without character. I use backing tracks I create (mostly just drums and bass) through my Voicelive 3 Extreme.

    On Saturday I started experimenting. I made VPs with my full Anthem bearing Taylor Koa 424 (sounded good) and then with my dual system Takamine EF341 (which I had upgraded to the CTP-3 preamp and fitted my Baggs M80 in the sound hole). A great combination live, but the VP sounded bad.

    But… then I did the unthinkable. I used the Takamine VP with my new guitar and it sounded good!! So you can use VP's created with different guitars.... :-) This gave me hope. However, there was still something missing and, to be honest, I had begun to wonder if I'd made three very expensive mistakes. I do know that Koa sounds thin when new and I can attest to the fact that they warm up with use; this being my third. But I wondered whether the smaller body, together with Koa, would ever give me the results I was looking for.

    However, I was determined to make this work because Gertie is just such a beauty to play and I don't get painful shoulders gigging for four hours (which I typically do, even at 71 years). Here we come to my main reason for posting. Apart from Caleb's advice, I read everything I could from others who had posted their findings here (thank you!) and AGF and decided to try some out, going against the instructions. Many VP's later, I found that if I put my iPhone at least two feet away from my guitar, 16th fret, playing softly I get the best results. The Anthem is so good I only blend in about 30% with hardly any EQ. The Anti-feedback section works amazingly well as a boom reducing EQ.

    Every now and again I hit the bypass button just to get the thrill of hearing just how good the VPDI is. Realise too, that "clone" is your friend. If you get something you like but it's just not there yet.....clone it before making any other changes!! There is no undo button (I wish there was....Caleb!?). You can always go back and delete the ones you don't want.

    Sorry this has been long winded......that's just me. One of the reasons they call me Dangerous! :-)

    PS I'm on YouTube - Dangerous Derrick Meyer
    Last edited by DangerousDerrick; 04-05-2022, 11:03 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Derrick! I'm so glad that I was able to help you get a sound that you're really enjoying.

    Hopefully, your experience will be encouraging to the people who read it and who want to experiment with some alternate ways of using the VPDI.

    Also, thanks for the kind words. It's a privilege to be able to help musicians make music!