I played at a wedding that was located in a vineyard this weekend. When I contacted the venue and other musicians who had played there, the consensus was that I was going to need amplification. The time had come to finally invest in outdoor weddings.
I have had my harp mic’d (no idea how one would actually spell that) before with varying results. Since I’m not an experienced sound person and I have to set everything up myself, I decided to go with a pickup instead of a mic.
I purchased the Schatten CH-3 Celtic and Pedal Harp Pickup. I liked it because it can be fully removed from the harp easily, and you can put it in both lever or pedal harp. As I hope to have both someday I thought this would be a good choice.
Installation was relatively straightforward. The pickup itself can be mounted inside the soundboard with putty. It’s got a pretty strong hold. I’ve moved the harp a few times with it and it feels solid. I’ve taken the pickup off, too, and there is no damage to the wood. The pickup looks like a little bridge with pivoting feet that straddle the rib the strings run through.
It’s got a third little foot that picks up the treble vibrations and, I think, must add stability. The best placement I found was the between the 5th octave D and E.
The preamp included in the kit is in the base of the 1/4 jack. You will need a teeny tiny screwdriver to adjust the gain of the preamp. It has a 9v battery pack that you can stick to the inside of the harp with velcro. Yes, you have to stick velcro to the inside of the harp if you want to move it with the pickup inside. If you install on site, you can probably just place it in the harp body. You just don’t want it rattling around lose in there. I stuck mine to the inside of the base as far from the hole as possible.
The jack can be put on a bracket that clamps onto one of the sound holes.
I got a battery powered PA system from Behringer, and a used speaker stand since it can make a huge difference in projection if you get the speaker off the ground.
That’s it! Amplified!