January 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm #112175
We got a Roland amp from Sylvia Woods. We love it and we can both plug into it. We usually don’t turn up the volume very much at all.January 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm #112176
Yes, but don’t you use pickups? I tried several Rolands at the music store, and they just didn’t do much. I was plugging in my VHF wireless mike because I didn’t bring the UHF like I should have. I just went to Radio Shack to investigate PAs. Looks like a good option because if it doesn’t work out, you have 30 days to return it and get your $$ back. So that is my backup plan if my Marathon amp gets sick or dies. Also, I hadn’t thought of this before, but usually preachers at outdoor weddings (which I don’t have any scheduled right now) use PAs….and I’m going to ask to try it out next time I run into one.January 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm #112177katie-buckleyParticipant
Sylvia, what I mean is that sound engineers working at the concerts which I play at are in charge of amplifying my pedal harp. Hence, me being off the the side. I was only trying to offer what I know (which isn’t much) and mention that I found this conversation interesting.January 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm #112178MayaParticipant
I used to mic up my harp without a pickup but in that scenario I’d definitely opt for a PA system over an amplifier. I would never bring my own though & would just use what the venue had to offer & where the mics went would be dictated by the acoustics of where I was playing. Ultimately I find using pickups much easier & less fussy to create the sound I want. The Dusty Strings harp pickup is great because it has detailed instructions (a touch overly complicated imo) of where to place it so you shouldn’t hear the pedals. Also it is built specifically for the harp so it contains 4 different contact mics of different sizes connected to a thin rod running down the inside of the soundboard (so you don’t hear any wires moving about). These all go into a single jack output which you can secure to the inside of the harp, drilling a hole into your baby isn’t necessary like shown in the images. I’ve used a lot of pickups & this is by far the most effective one I’ve come across that doesn’t require lots of unsightly duct tape everywhere.
Don’t be alarmed by the superglue either. I found a bit of blu-tack/putty works just fine to secure the mics, like you would with any other pickup.January 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm #112179
OK, Katie, I see what you mean. Maya, here most venues charge the people giving the event for sound, so since they don’t pay it, I have to bring my own. In the old days, hotels, etc., I would just ask for the mike, and someone would bring me one. Now, at least in this area, it is a completely different scene…lots of events centers without sound. The bands and DJs bring those big speakers and blast away. I like churches because they will always provide me with a mike, and I don’t have to worry about the sound. Also, outdoor weddings have to be amplified, unless you just want to play to the wind….it just won’t be heard without amplification. I’ll look at the dustystrings thing again. If the wires are on the back of the soundboard, then how do they get to the output thingy, I wonder.January 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm #112180
Paul and Brenda, Last time I checked with Sylvia Woods, she said they didn’t sell amps anymore. How long ago did you get the Roland, and how many watts is it? What do you plug into it? Pickups, corded mikes, or wireless mikes?January 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm #112181
Our amp is the Roland Cube Street, stereo, 8 amps. We use it with our Grand Harpsicles, which came with built in pickups. They are stuck on the back of the soundboard. For our purposes, medium amplification, they work great. We use a little of the built in EQ, mostly to boost the bass a little, and we can EQ each harp separately. Here is a link —January 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm #112182AdairParticipant
I like this conversation. I have been researching portable, lightweight, batt powered amps and a pick up. Has anyone ever tried the Roland AC33? Only weighs 10# , 30 watts with AC plug or a little less with batteries. Lots of effects and includes a looper, which seems hard to find on these little amps. I would love to mess with a looper. OR the Roland BA55 – tho described as used for a PA system, hmm could it work for harp? its a batt operated amp with included batt operated mic (bonus), which i would have to boom micstand to the lower end of my harp (negative: carting around a mic stand). Other than that one I am looking at the Roland cubes (there’s a few styles) and Crate taxi and limo. Most of the Crates have a built in rechargeable battery (con: which will eventually wear out) and the Roland portables have actual little batteries ( con: cost). The Roland cubes and some Crates can be found on ebay or your local craigslist type listings pretty easily.
I am going to buy a Dusty Strings pick up or the Schatten. So far I have used mics & sound systems of venues, but rarely, because my harp is pretty great for big sound if I want it. But I am weary of tired fingers after a windy outdoor wedding. Also want to do some busking outside. BTW, i play a Musicmakers Gothic 31 which i adore for tone quality, big sound and sensitivity to touch. You are all welcome to have a look at my gathered research at my Pinterest page, where I have pinned many of my options to continue researching. If you are researching an amp, harp you want, or anything, try using pinterest to keep track, its picture based and very helpful. if you do go there, just click on an amp picture you are interested in, and it will first enlarge it, then click again on the pic and it will take you to the company website for full description. Tristan Adair.February 1, 2013 at 4:33 am #112183
The Roland is a stereo amp, 2.5 watts each channel. We got it at least 3 years ago. We use it with our Rees Grand Harpsicles, which came with pickups built in. For our purposes, small audiences, it is quite adequate. It also runs on 6 AA batteries, which last about 15 hours. Here is a link —
http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/900February 2, 2013 at 12:10 am #112184
Why does it say the last reply was by Paul and Brenda when it wasn’t? They replied, but it was way back there.February 2, 2013 at 12:13 am #112185
Oh, I just noticed way down there the next, previous, etc….didn’t realize that was there. Sorry.March 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm #112186robert-hansonParticipant
When buying an amp for a harp make sure it is a bass or keyboard amp. Not a guitar amp. The bass amp will pick up the highs with no problem but it will be able to handle the strong basses. A guitar amp is not made for the strong bass signals which will damage the speakers and over heat the electronics causing breakdowns and repairs.
If the cable between the amp and the harp create a swishing noise when moved someone sold you a speaker cable (not shielded) by mistake or you purchased a very cheap cable. A high quality harp and a high quality amp requires a high quality connection between the two. You CAN hear the difference.March 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm #112187
Paul and Brenda….I think Harpsicles don’t have pedals, so you can use just about anything…the pedal issue is a whole other world…and there are, indeed, pedal sounds inside the harp…at least there are inside my two pedal harps.
Robert, both of my amps are guitar amps. The Marathon is at least 25 yrs old…from the old days when the guitarist just stood in front of the mike….the guitar was not plugged in like they all are now. The Radio Shack amp was just plain luck. I bought it in ’04, and have no idea how long it had hung around the store, but it picks up the sound fine with my mike next to the harp on the floor (with padding under it). Now, the guitar amps seem to be built for only guitars that plug into them, and they don’t pick up when the sound is next to them. That’s why my next move, if necessary, will be to get a PA instead of an amp.April 13, 2013 at 5:42 am #112188robert-hansonParticipant
Hi Sylvia. Many people have found hidden gems at Radio Shack. Several years ago they had a $50 mike that was reviewed in Guitar Magazine and American Luthier’s Guild as being comparable to many mikes in the $500 price range. The trouble with Radio Shack is that they’re always changing suppliers.
A PA system can be bulky and heavy to lug around. You might want to look into a Fishman which has a Stick amp. It has a whopping 250 watts and weighs only 25 lbs and another 10lbs with the stand. On the other hand, if your Radio Shack amp works for you, why look any farther.April 13, 2013 at 11:02 am #112189
The PA I saw at RS was not big. I’m still using my two amps…so far, so good. I tried a Fishman, but it didn’t pick up much…not nearly as well as my Marathon 30 or RS 20.
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