Amp recommendation?

  • Member
    katie-lynch-koglin on #188495

    I apologize if this has been asked too often, but I couldn’t find a thread through the search.

    It looks like I need a new amp. Any recommendations? I’ve been using a Roland KC-150 for years and was pretty happy with it. Before I get a duplicate I figured I’d ask around.

    Used primarily for harp and voice.
    Needs at least one 1/4″ and one XLR input. (I also have a mixer.)
    Looking for VOLUME and portability.

    I’m looking at a Roland Street Cube Ex. Any experience with this?

    Views on Bose systems? Is it worth this price increase?

    Sylvia on #188497

    My old Marathon gave out a few years ago, and the repair department at a local music store rebuilt it for about $100.
    So in case you can’t find one you like, you might consider a rebuild.

    Gretchen Cover on #188498

    My guitar partner and I use the Schertler “David.” I installed a pick-up mic in my harp to use with the amp. The guitarist uses an external mic. I also bought the carrying case for the amp. I got this set-up through Dusty Springs. Their price is competitive with anything on the internet, and I wanted to support a harp vendor. As far as volume, the David is intended for large rooms but not a concert hall. You can use the amp to hookup to a PA system. You could check with Dusty Springs to see if you could try before you buy and for specifics on volume. The reps there were very helpful. The David is a little on the heavy side for me so I keep it strapped onto a collapsible luggage rack to move it.

    We did not like the Bose systems in a comparable price range.

    If budget is a big concern and/or you like your amp, I would certainly check into a rebuild.

    katie-lynch-koglin on #188500

    Thank you for your responses! Unfortunately mine was stolen so a rebuild is not an option. I’m looking at the Roland Street Cube Ex right now.

    Marco Hilgeman on #188516

    Hi Katie,

    From reading your post, I sense a slight contradiction in your demands: you’re looking for volume AND portability. Now assuming you want sérious volume, since you write that with caps, that usually doesn’t mix with portability. I play a Camac electro-acoustic harp so that’s quite a full range harp when it comes to bass levels, but any electrically amplified harp needs decent bass amplification if you ask me, otherwise why bother amplifying it anyway…which means serious volume usually requires a relatively bigger amp.

    So my advice would be to look at a bass amp; these amps are capable of covering the full range of the harp frequencies. You would say they emphasize on bass frequencies, but they’re very well capable of covering the whole range.
    I recently bought a serious 4 x 10″ Markbass speaker plus Markbass amp; this is set with quite a lot of power! I guess that might be a little too much for you, but Markbass also offers some smaller combos which are relatively light weight (that’s in fact one of their selling points) but have good sound quality and are affordable. You can check them out at > You can also just google markbass and find some result for local instrument stores that sell them.

    Maybe you end up choosing something else in the end, but from my 30 years of experience being a musician and amplifying harp for quite some years now, my ears can tell that bass amps definitely reproduce the harp sound quite well.

    Best of luck in making your choice Katie!

    Gretchen Cover on #188518

    Kate, the Roland is half the price of the David, and I like the option of being to use battery power as well as electric. That would have come in handy a couple weeks ago when the power went out at a wedding ceremony:) If the Roland has worked well for you, stick with that setup. I am so sorry your amp was stolen.

    HFLINN on #188934

    Kate…my harp duo partner and I use Roland AC-33 It is super portable, 10 lbs, has every conceivable input/output, EQ, chorus, looper, antifeeback, plus more and it is Battery or AC. It is great for most venues that a harpist would play and works well as a monitor if you need to go through the house PA in a large hall. 15W + 15w on AC – this is perfect for us but I’m not sure how much power you need.
    Cheers and good luck…H

    Sylvia on #188935

    Heather, are you using a pick-up (something attached to your harp), or do you place the mike next to your harp?

    katie-lynch-koglin on #189036

    Heather – That sounds great, and I’d like to play with the looper (on my some day wish list).

    I actually already got the Roland Street Cube (I was on a deadline). After figuring out I needed to use the second input designed for guitar set on “clean” it seems to have plenty of power. I’ve only used it for one wedding so far, and haven’t tried the batteries yet, but so far so good. It’s considerably lighter then the AC-150 which is very nice. Thanks so much!

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