LR Baggs Lyric vs Anthem: Getting the Right Voice from Your Guitar

Getting the true tone of your favorite guitar through an amp is quite challenging. You can have a sensitive audio mic, but the problem will be the audio feedback. On the other hand, if you’ll use piezo pickups, you may have high gain, but they don’t sound like an authentic acoustic guitar tone.

LR Baggs, a company established in 1978, is among the world-leading manufacturers of sound systems for acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments. From contact mics, soundhole pickups to microphone systems, they are all designed to capture the natural sounds coming from your guitar. Among its products are the Lyric and Anthem pickups.

Knowing your pickup system will help you better the setup to get the ultimate acoustic tone of your guitar, but amplified through an amp. So, now, it’s an LR Baggs Lyric vs Anthem discussion — a comparison of two microphone and pickup systems that promise to produce the right voice of your acoustic guitar.

LR Baggs Lyric Explained

A high-quality condenser mic is best to capture the sound of your acoustic guitar. However, if you crank the volume up, chances are, you’ll get more feedback or capture noise in a large open venue. Again, if you’ll rely on piezo pickups alone, though you get high gain, you don’t exactly get the true characteristics of the acoustic sound. 

How about, combining these two capabilities in a mic? This is how LR Baggs Lyric is — a pressure-zone acoustic guitar microphone that offers the fidelity of highly-sensitive studio mic but getting the feedback resistance from the piezo pickups. The positioning of the microphone — 3mm from the top of the guitar — ensures that you get the most resonance from your guitar.

Aside from reliable capture through the high-fidelity mic, it has soundhole volume and presence control to easily tweak the settings. It has a Tru Mic noise-canceling technology that eliminates the boxiness associated with under-saddle acoustic mic. You can get a tight low end with a sweet overall tone. Check out how it sounds by watching this YouTube:

LR Baggs Lyric comes in two types — Lyric and the Lyric Classical. Based on the name itself, you can tell that the former is for steel-string guitars, while the latter is for nylon-string guitars.

LR Baggs Anthem Explained

Combining the Tru Mic condenser mic and the Element under-saddle pickup, LR Baggs Anthem is designed to deliver a full range of guitar tones. You can get high-fidelity sound without any fancy shaping.

The preamp in Anthem has a crossover circuit. This means, that it allows the mic to carry the majority of the signals to produce the natural “acoustic” tone of your guitar. The under-saddle pickup carries the low-end (250Hz and below), while the mic carries the rest of the signal. 

Still got the noise-canceling technology, but it won’t get in your way of getting clear and clean notes. Like the Lyric, the Anthem pickup system also has soundhole mounted remote for volume, mix and phase controls. You’ll appreciate the Anthem more after watching this YouTube:

Anthem comes in three types — Anthem, Anthem SL and Anthem SL-C. Anthem is good for steel-string guitars with a mix control for mic and pickup blend. Anthem SL is still optimized for steel-string, but has preset the mic and pickup blend for better performance. Lastly, Anthem SL-C is perfect for nylon-string with soundhole controls and preset mix like the Anthem SL.

Feature Comparison

There’s only a slight difference between the two acoustic guitar pickups. And, although it has been quickly mentioned earlier, the table below will give you a more comprehensive side-by-side comparison.

Lyric Microphone Anthem Hybrid Pickup
High-fidelity mic from great acoustic sound Mic and under-saddle pickup system for more optimized guitar sound
Soundhole volume and presence control Soundhole remote with volume, mix, mic, and phase controls
Tru Mic noise-canceling technology Tru Mic noise-canceling technology to avoid boxy sound
Powerful lows and sweet high tones Clear and clear sound without annoying feedback
Not quite feedback resistant, but it’s getting there Feedback-resistant because of the under-saddle pickup
Optimized for steel-strings Optimized for steel strings

LR Baggs Lyric vs Anthem: The Difference

The main difference between these two systems is the under-saddle pickup on the LR Baggs Anthem. But, for you to better understand the two, here’s a quick discussion of how each differs from the other.

LR Baggs Lyric only has the high-fidelity mic. It isn’t just any type of mic. It’s designed to carry the full frequency range at higher volumes, which is totally different from other condensers or standalone mics. Since Lyric doesn’t have a pickup system, you feel like getting an acoustic sound from a studio setting. That’s why it’s important to have a preamp when using Lyric.

For the Anthem, on the other hand, as mentioned above, it has a preamp with a special crossover circuit that allows the pickup to carry the low frequencies (250Hz and below) while the mic carries the majority of the signal (250Hz and above). So, you’ll get a low-end punch without much feedback.

LR Baggs Lyric vs Anthem: Price

With the added pickup of the Anthem, there’s no question that it’s more expensive than Lyric. However, if you’ll compare the two, though Anthem is more expensive by around $100, they are all great acoustic guitar pickups. Whether you pick the Lyric to get the natural acoustic tone of your guitar or the Anthem to get full-range guitar tonality, these two LR Baggs mics are great for any acoustic guitars.

Conclusion

Getting an amplified sound from your acoustic guitar may seem simple with a mic. However, the biggest concern would be the feedback at a higher volume. If you mount the mic inside, the tendency is you’ll get boxy sounds. The guitar is meant to project great sounds on the outside, not on the inside.

LR Baggs has a perfect solution to this, through the LR Baggs Lyric and Anthem. These two mic and pickup systems offer great fidelity with and high resistance to feedback. So, whether you choose the Lyric or Anthem, you’ll surely get the best acoustic sound you can have from your guitar when projected through an amp.

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