Electroacoustic Pedal Harps

  • Participant
    Julietta Anne Rabens on #205378

    This has likely been discussed before, but I have a few specific questions about choosing one of these harps.

    1. What are your opinions on the different makes available. I’m mostly looking at Camac and L&H, but welcome information on any harps.

    2. How does the size of the harp affect the decision. Of course I’m aware of the effects on the acoustic nature of the sound, but if I buy one of these I will typically amplify it with two goals: amplify to obtain a relatively traditional harp sound for gigs, and amplify it and put it through effects pedals and explore electronic timbres for creative endeavors.

    3. How does the soundboard shape affect the electronic amplification? While I know there is an acoustic benefit to an extended soundboard, does this fuller sound benefit the electronic processing or does it add more overtones?

    For the purely electric instruments I know you don’t want extra acoustic resonance for processing sound, so the electroacoustic instrument is attempting to be two things at once, making it a complicated instrument. What size and shape helps to maximize the harps potential both as amplified for a tradition harp sound and for electronic experimentation?

    Right now I’m leaning towards the Camac Little Big Blue with the extended soundboard, as an overall smaller harp. This would be helpful to have a lighter weight harp for gigging, it is a little more economically feasible, but I still lean towards the extended soundboard because I do want it to be capable of a relatively full, traditional harp sound. I look forward to hearing your experience and insights on this topic.

    Participant
    jenharp79 on #205443

    The Camac little big blue is great! I’ve been told the quality of the pickups is bar far the most important thing, not the size/shape and the pickup on the Camacs (especially the bass) is really fantastic.

    Participant
    patricia-petersen on #205466

    I look forward to hearing the responses on this thread! I have a L&H Style 2000 CG, with a straight soundboard. The only extended experience that I have with another harp is with a wonderful L&H Style 23 Gold … so not an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Participant
    emma-graham on #205791

    I have the Camac big blue and also amplify my LH 23 with a simple soundboard pick up. I use looper and effects pedals with both.

    The Camac has a separate soundboard pick up as well as the individual string pick ups. You can amplify it using only the soundboard pick up which will give you the more natural sound of the harp, but louder. If you use the string pick ups then you always amplify the sound of fingers on the strings as well as the natural sound. The sound is quite different amplified this way. You will either like it or not like it!! If you want to use percussive effects like knocking on the soundboard then you will need a soundboard pick up. I don’t know if The LH electro-acoustic has that option. If you choose the Camac and want to use both the soundboard pick up and the string pickups then you need two leads and either two inputs into your amp (and/or any pedals) or some kind of mixer.

    I got my Camac as a second harp – mainly for teaching. It was going for a song so I snapped it up. It just happens to be electric. I love the sound of my LH 23 amplified using a simple fishman pick up through the fishman pro stage pre-amp. It does everything I want from an amplified harp (for not much financial outlay). While I do love the plug and playability of the Camac but I like using percussive effects (especially with the looper) so I find the need for two outputs slightly annoying.

    I also have the DHC light for pure electric playing. I LOVE it.

    Participant
    Barbara on #208307

    I have a Camac Clio (electro-acoustic) with an extended soundboard and am quite happy with it! The last several strings don’t have gears, but I don’t find that too difficult to work around. The light weight is really convenient too. 🙂

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