Hi! I’m a newb. Been coveting a small therapy harp for years, and borrowing anyone’s I can in the mean time, and am finally about to get one. I’ve plumped for a Harpsicle Fullsicle because the tone sounds fab for the modest budget I have. My question is about amplification. I’m planning on playing at events, and am wondering how best to amplify: built-in pick-up, clip on pick-up or external mic? I’ve never tried to amplify anything before, I’ve always been strictly acoustic. The Harpsicle comes with a choice of two built-in pick-ups. Is there really a difference? And they imply it can only be installed at installation.l Is that true? Has anyone tried to add a pick-up later? Any advice or thoughts much appreciated! Thank you for reading.
I’m searching the posts for solutions to this question.
I’m in the same position as kentishlass: I’m playing at a market in a few weeks and wish to use a small lap harp with amplification. As I’m playing other acoustic instruments, I commonly simply apply a little piezo-contact with putty to the soundboards and off we go.. It’s not the optimal solution by any means – merely super convenient, cheap and easy (it’s not a concert, but merely a winter market). These little piezos do an amazing job for as simple and inexpensive as they are – the biggest concern is getting an appropriate amplifier and preamp system.
I’m just about to order a Fishman Loudbox Mini on the recommendation of DHC. I’m still undecided about a pickup though. Fishman makes the (SBT-HP) for harp; but the Big Twin at KK Sound has good reviews and includes two attached piezos.
I so would like one of those…or a Roland, or other…
I have some gear left over from guitar days – a little Crate CA15 acoustic amp. I just plugged it into a Mesa Boogie 115 cab and, lo!, it drives it! My little piezo – taped to the top – even does an adequate job on my charango..
I’ve installed a Dusty Strings pickup for celtic harps in my Silver Spear harp which sounds really good…it was installed later, some months after I’d bought the harp, by a harp tech who does some repair and installment jobs for the shop where I bought the harp. The pickup consists of a soundboard length rod which is clamped to the inside the harp, at the corner of the soundboard and the body. The rod has 4 dime-size pickup pads across the rod, from low to high, and they are attached to the inside of the soundboard. The 4 pickup pads all go to one output and you have to drill a hole in the harp to attach the jack output for the output cable which goes to your amp. The manual says installation can be done by yourself, but since I’m not a very handy person when it comes to this, I had it done by the harp tech.
The sound is a good reproduction of the natural harp sound and it’s way better than just putting a mic in front of your harp…no feedback problems (unless you crank the volume up very high while positioning the harp close to the amp but that’s just asking for it 🙂 So you just have to avoid that).
Check the link for some more info:
Nowadays I mostly play on my electro acoustic Camac pedal harp and this is really a higher level when it comes to playing amplified…of course we’re talking about a different pickup system and budget here. But the DS pickup is still a good solution for celtic harps.
Anyway, best of luck in making a choice Kentishlass!
Thanks for all that info! I knew that you would be the person to respond to this thread, and then YOU DID! How cool is that?
This is beyond my area of expertise, as I usually rely on a good sound engineer when I need amplification. I’m so glad you guys who know about this can be in touch with each other on this forum.
All of you have a great day!
Well I found my little 15W amp a little problematic – for convenience with all the instruments, I used a microphone – which wasn’t adequate signal. I have a keyboard amp that is perfect, except that the line-out isn’t functional.
I guess I’ll have to acquire something after all –
Although like Marco I am really spoiled by my Camac Big Blue (which is utterly fantastic and since I’ve only had it since Septemeber it’s still an exciting new toy!) I amplify my LH 23 for weddings. I didn’t want to get anything too flashy or expensive and just wanted basic amplification. It was important that my harp still sounded like my harp. I read DHC’s Gurls Guide to Amplification which is a great place to start. I got the Fishman SBT-HP and picked up a Roland AC 33 amp from ebay. It’s small, battery operated an designed for acoustic instruments but it sounds great. Although the Fishman pickup doesn’t need a preamp, and I used it happily without, I’ve just bought the new Fishman platinum stage preamp to go with it. It is brilliant. It really boosts the sound and gives lots more controllability, especially when mucking about with a loop pedal!
I obtained a Fishman SBT-HP last week, as well. It does a wonderful job of amplifying the lows – particularly- on my little lap harp through my little Crate cimmaron – which is probably about like the small battery-powered Rolands. It sounds pretty good on my hammered dulcimers too. However, I haven’t had much luck with it yet on my wire harps.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.