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Posts Tagged ‘celtic harp’

No point in blogging my harp student experience without actually posting progress so to that end we installed a pickup on the pedal harp for recording.  This anxiety-inducing endeavor was the product of several days spacing out in front of the computer comparing prices (in other words– not practicing) because once I decided to spend too much I had to find the most discounted “too much” around.  Ended up buying a Schatten Design CH-3 Artistic Celtic and Pedal Harp pickup for 159.95 + 14.00 shipping.   

The manufacturer is located in Canada and the pickup is handmade so it’s actually kind of pretty. Looks like two whirly maple seeds connected by a brass stalk.  I recommend the vendor Blue Star Music in SoCal both for their pricing and niceness.  The fact that they’re located about 20 miles from me has nothing to do with it because they don’t have a store front.  Just really helpful people.  

Figuring out how to attach the pickup wasn’t difficult at all and that’s really saying something because as an unrepentant directional dyslexic anything involving diagrams and printed instructions can get out of hand pretty quick.  As it turns out, a clever 8 year old can managed this installation and would probably do better than my husband and I because small hands move more easily in a soundbox.

The wings of the main element need to straddle the string strip about a third of the way up which isn’t possible on the Aurora because of the bowed shape of the soundboard.   We had to go a little higher.   Supposedly the putty included with the kit is removable so we used it instead of the tape strips which are also included.

The other placement issue was where to put the preamp/battery unit so it would be reachable with an output cord.  The kit comes with a velcro anchor but I was afraid that any kind of force would tear it right off the base.  Nothing more annoying than when velcro mates so fiercely it pulls away from the item it’s meant to be attaching and clings only to itself. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Turns out the velcro stickum is totally reliable and there’s  no problem removing the preamp so connecting the output cord is a non-issue.  I can pull the whole thing out of the bottom sound hole, attach/detach the cord or change the battery and velcro it back inside.  No rattle– extremely secure, don’t need to find an 8 year old with tiny hands.   

 

So I got my first taste of electrified harpifying this afternoon while my husband fiddled with buttons and dials on his old Carvin SX-200 to strange effect.  Can’t say I’m much of a threat to Keith Richards but it was fun to play through an old rock amplifier.  Next step will be to see what an acoustic harp pickup can really do…

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