Looking for some advice and experience : I do hate having a forest of mike stands between me and the public, so I use pickups I stick to the instrument. Up to now I've been using AKG C401 or AKG C411 guitar pickups. It can be a satisfying solution, but it needs a lot of setup : finding the right place (on the side of the instrument, definitely NOT on the top or the underneath !) to avoid saturation due to the attack of the sound, and a lot of time spent on equalizing (mostly : no mediums, max of basses, a wee bit of trebel...)... so I'd like to change. Anybody got experience with other mikes ? I heard there's a new pickup designed for harps by Schechtler... anybody got experience in that one ?
Hi Nikita, By coincidence I just finished this short article this morning for our UK dulcimer newsletter, Nonsuch News, so it will be in the next issue. Hope you find it helpful. Jenny.
Dulcimer pickups. Dulcimer players wishing to amplify their instruments may be interested to hear about two pickup systems, one for hammered and one for mountain dulcimers produced by Schatten Design in Canada. Look at schattendesign.com/hamdulc.htm to read about the HD model, and at schattendesign.com/dulcimer.htm for the MD model. I purchased the HD pickups in November but haven’t yet had the chance to try them out in the ceilidh band situation. For a useful discussion about where best to position the two units look at www.everythingdulcimer.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?t=18010&sid=63610cf8e304681565238b2e400c7eb1 As you can see I’ve been doing a bit of research. I’m still debating about how best to attach the units and will write another piece for NN when I’m further on with my trials. If anyone else has these HD pickups, I’d be interested to hear what they think, and any useful tips. They don’t come cheap, I bought mine from Dizzi Dulcimer for £80, but they don’t appear on her website at present so you’d have to contact her to ask if she still has them for sale. I found some on-line prices: Schatten Design sells the HD model (HD2) for $189.95 (just under £130), and the MD model (D-3 Std.) for $144.95 (just over £99); Blue Star Music on ebay sells the HD model (HD2) for $129.95 (just under £89), and the MD model (D-3 Std.) for $99.95 (about £68.50).
Should have said - I currently use one Ashworth AJ41 piano transducer which I stick to the top edge of the instrument about half way between the treble and bass bridges. It works very well and picks up sound over the whole dulcimer; it can also more than hold its own in the band situation where I often play lead. I was interested to try the Schatten pickups which are dulcimer specific, but there is an issue about attaching them. The Ashworth just sticks on and peels off, leaving no mark. Jenny.
I'll let you know if I get any replies, and I'll also let you know how I find the pickups in use with the band - it won't be for some time as I'm having a hip replacement operation on 17th Feb so will not be playing out live for a while! Jenny