Amplification for a small harp

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #148213


    I have a Triplett Christina therapy harp, and this spring I’m going to be playing it in a worship band (piano, guitar, bass, drums, and harp). I’ve never had to amplify a harp before. Any advice on the best pickup to use for a small harp? I just need something that will plug into a bigger sound system and give a good overall sound.


    adam-b-harris on #148214

    If your worship band has a spare mic lying around try mounting it on a small mic stand in front of you and see how that works for you. Might save you some dollars.


    tony-morosco on #148215

    If you are going to go the route of putting a transducer in the harp I like the ones by Fishman.

    However I personally think the best sound comes from using a decent, well positioned mic. I think they get a much better natural sound. For live performance a decent dynamic mic is good. The Shure SM57 is pretty much a music industry standard. They sound good, are affordable, and are almost impossible to damage.

    stephen-vardy on #148216

    Check with Triplett they may have other customer’s amplification success stories.

    The SM57 needs to be closer to the soundboard SB to function well.
    Possibly a mid level condenser mic will give you a greater distance so you cam move more.

    See what your sound guy has.

    Always rent audition before you buy if you can.
    after a little experience you will probably rebuy something more suitable.
    Make haste slowly.
    You will end up spending more than you expect to get good sound so experiment first if you can.


    tony-morosco on #148217

    I agree that a condenser doesn’t need to be as close. The problem with condensers is two fold.

    One is that they need phantom power, so you either need a separate phantom power source or you need a sound board that provides phantom power. Not too hard to overcome, but an additional expense.

    The other is that they are much more delicate.

    Knock over a mic stand with a SM57 on it and you

    adam-b-harris on #148218

    I have a shure sm57 that I just stick inside the back of my floor harp. Reliable and works great. For my lapharp I use a fishman transducer and preamp. Works ok too, a bit more of a hassle as you are dealing with batteries. Just about anything will do the trick, provided its not too cheap.


    steven-todd-miller on #148219

    Go to Radio Shack and get a small $20 lapel microphone, then get a small amp like a Peavy Audition (they have battery operated cordless amps now- I’d go with one of them). The radio Shack guys will help you get the right cords to connect it. Stick the lapel mic into the sound box though the back and loop it around the 2nd or 3rd octave hole to keep it from moving- leaving the mic in the harp. This is what I’ve used for 20 years and have had professional sound technicians ask me what I’m using. (PS- the battery in the lapel mic only lasts a couple of months- change it often.)

    Sarah Mullen on #148220

    I love the K&K Big Twin.

    barbara-brundage on #148221

    Check out the Roland cube amps: microcube and mobile cube.

    Sarah Mullen on #148222

    I also like the Roland Microcube.

    Rachel Redman on #148223

    I would recommend the Fishman SBT-HP Soundboard Transducer. I have a Lyon & Healy Troubador VI, and this pickup has done a great job for me. It attaches very easily with some included adhesive and does not damage the finish of the harp. I also use a Crate TX15 Taxi amplifier and have been very pleased with it. The Troubador has thirty-six strings; therefore, I needed an amp that would effectively capture both the low and high ranges and project them well; the Taxi does just that. At home I practice with my harp in my fairly large dining room (20’x20′, and at least 20′ tall ceiling), and so far I’ve only had to turn the Taxi’s volume up to 3, and it projects extremely well throughout two stories of my home. It’s also powered by battery and an AC wall adapter. Another thing I like about the Taxi is that it’s very user-friendly, and quite affordable compared to numerous other amps. The Fishman mic is on the expensive side (I got a deal on it), but really, you get what you pay for, and if you are playing in a band you really want to make sure your Christina is going to be heard.

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