Amplifiers

Posted In: Coffee Break

  • Participant
    Nancy Edwards on #218995

    I have a L&H Prelude (38 strings), what is the most simple way to use it with an amplifier? It would be for ambient music at an art show, so not a performance. I don’t have any pick-ups attached to the harp.
    Would a simple mic attached to an amp be the best way to go? What amp would be recommended (relatively inexpensive amp preferably)? An acoustic guitar/instrument amp, or bass or keyboard amp?
    Would pick-ups that aren’t permanently attached or built-in to the harp be much better than a mic? If so, would one pick-up be enough, and what brand, and again what amp would work best with a pick-up?

    Participant
    harpist123 on #218997

    I used to also have a Prelude…For the past several years I have been playing a Pratt Chamber Harp (36 strings). I have a couple gigs that I thought I’d need to be amplified for each year. One is for background music during cocktail hour as well as dinner for about 200 guests. The other is an art show reception that has 50-100 people milling about, eating appetizers and sipping drinks, as they view the artwork. As it turns out, I am heard “above the crowd noise” without amplification! Perhaps it’s the acoustics. Or my harp. Or simply the nature of the beast 🙂 In any case, you would be amazed how the harp permeates a crowd (indoors), as the music floats above their heads…However, I did amp this harp when playing outdoors once (and probably would amplify again if playing outdoors). Sound pretty much stops dead in its tracks when outside with a harp. I used a “Big Twin” K&K pickup (2 small disks that are affixed inside and against the soundboard, 1/3rd distance from top, 1/3rd distance from bottom, near the center. I had them connected to a Dusty Strings “Jack Clamp” which sandwiches around the edges of one of the back-holes of the harp, where the 1/4″ plug-in goes. The 1/4″ plug-in goes into this, then gets plugged into the preamp, and then another 1/4″ plug-in goes into the other end of the preamp and out to the sound system (either your amp, or the “house” furnished system). It worked very well, and picked up the strings high to low. I have since ordered a Triplett Eclipse and ordered the built-in pickup which extends the entire length of the 38 strings on that harp, and comes with a preamp, but needs to be installed when ordered…cannot be added later…I have also been mic’d externally to a sound system that had an operator to mix it, and it was very excellent. So, perhaps you might think about how much you need to be heard before you decide to amplify yourself. Because in my experience, it isn’t always necessary, depending on the situation. If you are background music to this art event, place yourself away from the people who are milling about. If you are on the same floor “level”, place a ribbon block-off between you and them, allowing enough room for your sound to resonate. You may not need any amplification. If the room is carpeted, use a board for you and your harp to sit on, and the sound will resonate instead of getting buried in the carpet. Yes, I have done this, and didn’t need any amplification.

    Inactive
    Anonymous on #219273

    nice job!

    Inactive
    Anonymous on #219297

    great

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