LR BAGGS ANTHEM vs K&K pure mini

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
I have an LR BAGGS ANTHEM in my dad's old d18. I think it sounds ok but I hate the battery bag inside the guitar. I am contemplating taking it out and putting a k&k mini (actually a knockoff) in it. I REALLY like them. Have any of you compared these 2 and if so would you make the switch?
 

MCT

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
651
Reaction score
857
MUCH prefer the K&K mini to any soundhole acoustic pickup I’ve ever tried.
 

shark

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
673
Reaction score
1,636
the last LR Baggs Anthem I had in an acoustic i took it out and threw it in the trash.

now I have an LR Baggs piezo in an LP limited and its trash next
 

100thdeuce

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
18
Reaction score
41
I have a K&K Pure Mini in a custom built Keystone SJ. At the time of the build I had the choice to install pretty much anything available on the market. I know some great luthiers who do hand built acoustics so I made some calls. They certainly had opinions about several PUP's for their instruments, but overall the K&K Pure Mini was recommended above any other single brand and frankly the Baggs was never mentioned.

I really like the K&K in my Keystone. It seems to capture a very close sound profile that matches the resonance and tonality of the guitar unplugged. I also run the Pure XLR preamp. The Pure XLR is only used in my living room where I have an Epiphone Valve Junior 5W head and cabinet. It's a great sounding little amp, but only has one knob...volume. The Pure mini sound is very nice as it is, but the Pure XLR gives some sound contour options you would otherwise need to do via pedals or amp controls, and that is fine. I just don't have those controls on the EPI Valve Jr. In my studio I have all the processing I need and don't use the Pure XLR there.

That said, I do notice (could be all in my head) that the really subtle harmonics from the Keystone seem to have more life through the Pure XLR pre. The down side of this setup is that if you have an extremely responsive guitar such as mine, it becomes very susceptible to feedback. Side-by-side, my Taylor 714CE in Sassafrass with the Taylor Expression 2 electronics can take substantially more volume before feedback. On the far end of the spectrum for volume out of this little amp is my '55 Gibson J160e with a stock P90. In '55 Gibson put a ply top on the J160e specifically to make it a stage acoustic which resisted feedback....and it worked well. Net; it depends on the personality of your guitar.

So my input for you is, it depends on what you are trying to do with the D18. If installed properly, the K&K will definitely reproduce the voice of the D18 pretty faithfully. If that guitar has the deep full resonance associated with many D18's then a K&K Pure Mini may be lively enough to make stage volumes an issue. If you're recording direct or playing low volume 'coffee house' gigs, then the K&K is a beautiful option. I have run two channels simultaneously into my DAW using the K&K direct and a high end condenser aimed at the neck end of the sound hole, then blended them in the mix. It really couldn't get much better.

Overall, the K&K is a well respected PUP that does what it says. I'd be wary of any knock off's. There's a reason why K&K is so respected. Their engineering and QC is exceptional. If it's the PUP for the D18 is really dictated by your vision for the guitar. There are other quality PUP's out there that will perform well in situations that may be challenging for the K&K simply because it is so responsive.
Here's another forum discussion about the K&K in a D35.


Good luck in your search.
 

Zacknorton

Banned
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
203
Reaction score
233
I wouldn't go with a K&K knockoff. the real deal isn't crazy $$$. but they sound fantastic and are EASY to install.
 

IceGator8

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
518
Reaction score
48
I've tried almost everything going way back to the early nineties Fishman and LR Baggs. Now I use the Anthem SL exclusively. If you aren't getting a sound you're happy with it's either installed/adjusted wrong or you're doing it wrong. In my view, it's the best acoustic guitar pickup on the planet. It also sounds great with IR's. I like the K&K pickups but it's not superior to my Anthems.

I picked up a PRS SE P20E not too long ago. I've been pleasantly surprised by the Fishman GT1 pickup they cooked up for it. It sounds pretty great live when I use it with an IR in my HX Stomp.
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
I wouldn't go with a K&K knockoff. the real deal isn't crazy $$$. but they sound fantastic and are EASY to install.
I have a JOURNEY TEK installed in 3 acoustics and a k&k in one..... I think I need to record a side by side since I have two 000-15s one with the journey and one with k&k. The downside to the joirney is the transducers(think that's the right word) are bit bigger. The upside is they are modular and can have a preamp and internal mic added . I have done a side by side (not recorded) and actually prefer the journey tek.
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
I've tried almost everything going way back to the early nineties Fishman and LR Baggs. Now I use the Anthem SL exclusively. If you aren't getting a sound you're happy with it's either installed/adjusted wrong or you're doing it wrong. In my view, it's the best acoustic guitar pickup on the planet. It also sounds great with IR's. I like the K&K pickups but it's not superior to my Anthems.

I picked up a PRS SE P20E not too long ago. I've been pleasantly surprised by the Fishman GT1 pickup they cooked up for it. It sounds pretty great live when I use it with an IR in my HX Stomp.
I don't necessarily dislike the sound , I hate the battery bag inside. I do not like the sound as much as the journey tek, but it's more the battery thing for me.
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
Oh yeah.... for those with a k&k needing more "oomph" since it is a very low output. I put a cheap assed behringer EQ pedal on my board...... set the parameters flat (maybe take out a little bass) and turn up the boost. Just leave it on and the guitars sound great right into the mixer.
 

tele_player

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
49
Reaction score
108
I haveAnthemSL in one D18, and K&K in another. Both sound good to me, but I love having a convenient volume control.

I don’t mind changing the battery every couple of years. What else is objectionable about the battery?
 

Zacknorton

Banned
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
203
Reaction score
233
If you've got a K&K that's low output there's something wrong with the install. The one I have, and I don't remember the model... 2 transducers at least.... is loud as f**k. Very close to the same output as an average humbucker electric.

I have experimented with other placements with the single transducer K&K... and it's VERY sensitive to location. super loud in one spot... quiet in another etc..

I don't know Journey TEK... but I'm gonna check them out. Thanks! :cheers:
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
If you've got a K&K that's low output there's something wrong with the install. The one I have, and I don't remember the model... 2 transducers at least.... is loud as f**k. Very close to the same output as an average humbucker electric.

I have experimented with other placements with the single transducer K&K... and it's VERY sensitive to location. super loud in one spot... quiet in another etc..

I don't know Journey TEK... but I'm gonna check them out. Thanks! :cheers:
Almost every person who talks about the k&k mentions using a pre amp. I justnuse the EQ pedal to give it a little boost....or turn up the gain on the board.
What I like about the journey is that it uses a 1/8" jack to connect the transducers to the end pin jack. You can unplug this and plug it into a small pre amp that has a mic. So you add a soundhole mic and controls if you want to (I haven't yet) for $100.
 

benderb9

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
44
I put a K&K in an Epi EL-00 about 10 years ago and it was a very easy install. I use an old Fishman preamp for the controls it affords. This is a VERY loud system if properly installed. Having used these little piezo pups in cigar box guitars they are not all created equal. They probably reject 5 to get one good one. I'd shy away from off-shore copies of the K&K at $109 on Amazon for the real deal, it's a no brainer. I you want to go REALLY cheap go to CB Gitty get your discs and make your own, Output jack $6.49 + Piezo Disks $4-23.00. Good luck!
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
I put a K&K in an Epi EL-00 about 10 years ago and it was a very easy install. I use an old Fishman preamp for the controls it affords. This is a VERY loud system if properly installed. Having used these little piezo pups in cigar box guitars they are not all created equal. They probably reject 5 to get one good one. I'd shy away from off-shore copies of the K&K at $109 on Amazon for the real deal, it's a no brainer. I you want to go REALLY cheap go to CB Gitty get your discs and make your own, Output jack $6.49 + Piezo Disks $4-23.00. Good luck!
I agree that the k&k is cheap. I am however, really happy with the journeybyeks at $50. I don't think that anyone could listen to them and not think they are every bit as good.....now longevity, I have no clue on and when one goes bad I hear it's a bitch to get em off the bridge plate.
 

benderb9

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
44
I agree that the k&k is cheap. I am however, really happy with the journeybyeks at $50. I don't think that anyone could listen to them and not think they are every bit as good.....now longevity, I have no clue on and when one goes bad I hear it's a bitch to get em off the bridge plate.
If they're mounted with epoxy (like I did) you'd need a new bridge plate in the event of a failure. That is not an inexpensive repair. Those piezo discs are probably ALL made in the same place. There's probably a scientific way to match them up, I used to tape them to a cable plugged into an amp and tap on a table top as I used two discs in each CBG. Just tried to get the same relative output volume. SCIENCE! lol.
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
If they're mounted with epoxy (like I did) you'd need a new bridge plate in the event of a failure. That is not an inexpensive repair. Those piezo discs are probably ALL made in the same place. There's probably a scientific way to match them up, I used to tape them to a cable plugged into an amp and tap on a table top as I used two discs in each CBG. Just tried to get the same relative output volume. SCIENCE! lol.
Supposedly you can get em off clean with a razor blade slid under them. I hope to never have to find out.
 

Meatwad

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
11,344
Reaction score
38,237
I’ve heard of folks using a layer of masking tape under the plate to make removal easier down the road on the K&Ks.
 

100thdeuce

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
18
Reaction score
41
Almost every person who talks about the k&k mentions using a pre amp. I justnuse the EQ pedal to give it a little boost....or turn up the gain on the board.
What I like about the journey is that it uses a 1/8" jack to connect the transducers to the end pin jack. You can unplug this and plug it into a small pre amp that has a mic. So you add a soundhole mic and controls if you want to (I haven't yet) for $100.
The base Mini install on mine is plenty hot. I'm using the pre mainly for volume/tone/phase adjustability in the living room since neither the guitar or the Epi Valve Jr. have any sort of control (except volume on the Valve Jr.). Upstairs in the studio is a whole other story.

I like the idea of a soundhole mic. I had a Fishman Blend in a Larrivee all Koa dreadnought and had a lot of fun with blending the mic/piezo outputs. Sold it to my brother in-law and it has become his favorite acoustic for recording because of it's versatility. Interested how that works out for you.
 

OHIOSTEVE

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
10,417
The base Mini install on mine is plenty hot. I'm using the pre mainly for volume/tone/phase adjustability in the living room since neither the guitar or the Epi Valve Jr. have any sort of control (except volume on the Valve Jr.). Upstairs in the studio is a whole other story.

I like the idea of a soundhole mic. I had a Fishman Blend in a Larrivee all Koa dreadnought and had a lot of fun with blending the mic/piezo outputs. Sold it to my brother in-law and it has become his favorite acoustic for recording because of it's versatility. Interested how that works out for you.
If I ever try one of their preamps I will let you guys know how it works.
 

Latest Threads



Top