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Lightweight amplifier?

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  • #112160
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I’m trying to find a lightweight amplifier 30 watts or above, for a pedal harp. This was discussed in an old thread, but I thought maybe someone had discovered something since then. Thank you.

    #112161
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I’m interested only in an amp that is not connected to the harp.

    #112162
    katie-buckley
    Participant

    I’ve played a few times with this amp on my electric harp. Its not bad, though I’m not sure it has enough in the low end. The size is great! Maybe worth checking out…
    http://www.aer-amps.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=374&Itemid=100402&lang=en

    #112163
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Where did you place your mike? I’m assuming your harp was not plugged into the amp.

    #112164
    katie-buckley
    Participant

    Oh, I used it with my electric harp. But when I mic my acoustic harp, I use a contact mic on the soundboard at the biggest (widest) part, on one side. I attach it with the gummy stuff you use to hang posters? Its called sticky fix here. It never leaves any marks or causes any problems. It seems to work pretty well.

    #112165
    Sylvia
    Participant

    But doesn’t it pick up the sound of pedals moving? I had one years ago, and it amplified the pedals, plus the cord made a swishing sound every time I moved.

    #112166
    Maya
    Participant

    I use a Vox Valvetronix with a Dusty Strings harp pickup & it works great for me. It can sound a touch boomy in the low end but that will always be an issue when amplifying an orchestral harp. Overall, it’s a great little amp with lots of features for the price.

    #112167
    Sylvia
    Participant

    But where do you put the pickup, and doesn’t it amplify the pedal sounds and…if it has a cable, doesn’t the cable make sounds moving around?
    Doesn’t anyone but me use a separate microphone with an amp?

    #112168
    katie-buckley
    Participant

    I’ve never had the pedal sound problem with a contact mic, at least, I’ve never heard it. Hmmm. Not sure how to remedy that. I have used a microphone set up with an amp, but, they were never my microphones. Its either aimed directly at the sound board, in close (for when you are surrounded by louder instruments) or a little further back, kind of facing the column, but still down very low.

    #112169
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Actually, I’m whining because my 30-watt is a Marathon I got from Sylvia Woods at least 25 years ago (they had tried many and decided it was best), and I’ve had it worked on twice. My other is a Radio Shack 20-watt…. (don’t sneer…it is a great little trooper…sound goes in, and lots of sound comes out…I got it in an emergency when my Marathon broke down once…my only regret is they don’t make them anymore…I guess they used to make bigger ones…and this was the only one they had) I use them both at the same time and point them in different directions. I’ve gone to two stores and tried out lots of amps, but they don’t pick up well (except for a plugged-in guitar). Granted, I probably need an Audix microphone…one of those $600 things…. I thought I could just go in and get a new amp ….hah. (I tried old used ones, too, hoping they were more like my Marathon, but no). I’m not picky about sound quality….,I just want it loud. (gasp, I hear you from here) I use either a corded or wireless mike and put it on the floor (with padding) because the sound comes out of the bottom of the harp, not up by the strings. I’ve recorded with a small tape recorder near the same place while playing, and I don’t hear pedal changes. I’ve wondered if the audience could hear them, but if the recorder doesn’t, maybe not. Well, I’m sure this blog is not of interest to the young moderns who have different ways of doing things. I’m just venting, I guess. I’m sure something will work out. I’m going to investigate PAs…. All I want is sound in, sound out louder, so maybe something like that would work.

    #112170
    katie-buckley
    Participant

    No! Its very interesting. I’m by no means any expert. I always let my friends or the sound engineers do it for me 🙂 I only had experience with the AER on my electric harp (DHC light), which is made to be plugged in. Otherwise, my pedal harp in amplified with me just observing off to the side. So, its interesting to hear your system. I was talking to a girl who amplifies her pedal harp a lot. She loves the old tube amplifiers. However, they aren’t light at all! But its all very interesting to hear about your set up!

    #112171
    stephen-vardy
    Participant

    This may be worth exploring.
    http://goo.gl/1cjbL
    plus this
    http://goo.gl/gWwPT

    Do not buy unless you get to demo/use it in a gig setting
    probably the 1S is a good fit – expandable in many different ways etc
    the Compact does not upgrade well.

    loud will no longer be an issue
    nor feedback – the bain of all harpists
    works for solo gigging harpists
    you do not necessarily need a gig partner

    Whole different way of doing things
    Suits those that actually actually “get” that amplification is important.
    Provides good overall sound
    Very versatile
    Stephen

    #112172
    katie-buckley
    Participant

    Interesting!! I might check this out as well!!

    #112173
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Katie- I don’t know what you mean by this…..Otherwise, my pedal harp in amplified with me just observing off to the side.

    #112174
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Sorry, I put Katke instead of Katie. Then I went back to edit. I wish we could edit BEFORE we post, like we used to.
    Stephen, I figured out very early in my career that people who paid for music wanted to hear it. Anyway, about the pickup, as I said earlier…what ELSE is it picking up? I don’t see how a pickup can NOT pick up the sound of pedal changes. I had a Dean Markley years ago, and no matter what I tried, I got those sounds plus the sound of the cable every time I moved…swish, swish. It was just unacceptable…that’s why I’m very skeptical about anything that’s actually in contact with the harp. As for the other one, 1K is a lot of money. You’re a big businessman, but I’m here in Podunkville where things happen on a smaller scale. Meanwhile, I did try my UHF wireless, which I had gotten for an amp that didn’t work and I had to sell, and it amps up my Marathon louder than the VHF, so I think I’m OK for right now.

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