The Baggs Anthem systems combine the tried-and-true Baggs Element undersaddle pickup with a revolutionary new microphone. Anyone who has used an onboard mic knows that the inside of a guitar is not exactly the best place for a microphone. It gets woofy in there, and they tend to feed back quite a bit. But there's nothing like a mic for capturing the true acoustic tone of a guitar, so we keep putting mics in our instruments, even if it involves a few compromises in terms of volume, monitoring, etc. Enter the Anthem: It's unlike any mic you've had in your guitar before. It attaches to the bridgeplate, where you'd normally stick an Ibeam or a K&K Pure Mini. The mic is suspended just millimeters above the bridgeplate, so you capture the full acoustic tone of the guitar, with a heavy influence from the top, but with none of the woofiness that comes from sticking the mic right in the middle of the internal airspace. It really is an inventive approach, and the proof, as always, is in the pudding: The tone of this setup is fantastic, and we've had great results with it.
All Anthem systems pair the Anthem mic with the Element, to give you the cut, immediacy, and feedback resistance of an undersaddle. These systems come in two configurations—the standard/full version, and the SL. The SL includes a soundhole-mounted volume control, but no blend controls. The full version listed here includes soundhole-mounted volume and blend controls as well as a phase switch.
I have this pickup in a couple guitars. I ordered this pickup for my Lowden style guitar (maker is Balazs Prohaszka). Be sure, if you are ordering for a split saddle guitar (like Lowden or Takamine) that you request the split saddle version. I ordered the wrong one and had to get the split saddle version.
I have tried several pickup systems over the years- many with dual sources. So far, I have used Baggs Element, Baggs iMix, K&K Trinity, Fishman Dual Source, MiniFlex Model 7, Baggs Ribbon, B-Band and I am sure some others I am forgetting. The Baggs Anthem outplays them all, in my opinion. It has the ability to blend the mic and UST. Is the mic perfect? No. It's not the same sound as a condenser mic in front of your guitar in a studio. But that is hardly realistic for a live setting.
The Anthem allows for a nice blend. I try to put in as much mic as I possibly can. It's not too bad on feedback, even with the mic turned up a bit. It gives a good natural sound for my Santa Cruz Otis Taylor. Other than the MiniFlex Mic, it has the most natural sound of all my guitars. However, it has the advantage of not howling with feedback like the MiniFlex does at high volumes.
I purchased this one as opposed to the SL version of the Anthem, because it allows you to completely remove the mic, if needed. This allows me to model with the Tone Dexter. The TD apparently does not like the SL, because it has a crossover in it that cannot be changed.
If you are looking for a nice, natural sounding pickup that is reliable and easy to use, this is your pickup. It is, by far, the best one I have had. Every guitar I buy from this point forward will have this system installed.
Start off with a funny OK!? The truth is L R Baggs is the best and if you have Martins, old Guilds, Stonebridge 12 string, Boucher Wild Goose or the latest one to get an Anthem my 94' Gibson J-100 cutaway, they all have the Baggs, either the Anthem or the I-Mix, these are the best of the best in my opinion. Easy to set and forget, great tone and transparency. If you play well and have a good guitar this will just amplify it, no more no less! I use other preamps like the K & K which are good, but not a Baggs. I also have a Cole Clark Fat Lady 3 and their system is amazing, but not available as an add on preamp. John is a great rep and always takes good care of me. I have sent many of my friends to him and Shoreline is my go-to for pickup's and other guitar needs. Thanks again guys; Robert Trice Jr, Rockwell, NC
It's a challenge amplifying baritone guitars. It's hard get the richness - I've tried with varying results. I tune my Lowden Old Lady D-D, and as far down as open B. The Baggs Anthem gets as close as anything to capturing rumble and sparkle. I use it in combination with a Baggs Session DI, and make use of the notch and compressor to round out the bass without squashing it. It's also amazingly feedback resistant at moderately loud stage volume sitting in front of my Bose tower with double subs.