Onboard Stereo Electric Pickups

Dampers on hammered dulcimers from Songbird Dulcimers

Onboard pickups are a good option if you will be playing amplified very much. In some environments, they are almost a necessity, like in church bands where the sound pressure from other instruments is high.  Then it is difficult to mic a hammered dulcimer and turn them up high enough to be heard without feedback. Our stereo onboard pickups solve this, being feedback resistant.  The dulcimer sound can be out front where it belongs.

Our system is not an off-the-shelf one bought somewhere else and just installed.  We hand build them in-house and they were engineered specifically for our dulcimers.  We believe they are just better.  Our system is stereo because it gives greater output as well as being able to individually control each pickup for the best balance.  The whole system is also completely shielded so it is studio quiet.  

Output is a 1/4" stereo jack on the far left of the lower rail, out of the way.  We include a stereo patch cord with the system.  The way we intend for it to be connected is from the jack into a stereo preamp (one with 2 channels) and then mono into an amp or soundboard or whatever you will be running through.  There are several good stereo preamps on the market, and if you have one already, great!  If not, we can supply the Schatten Mini Pre 2 which is a nice unit, it is stereo in, and mono out to the amp.  We are Schatten dealers.  Alternatively, you can get a stereo to mono adapter and run the signal from the dulcimer into a mono preamp and then into the amp. Running only one channel will work, but output will be slightly less, and you won't have the option of individually controlling the pickups.  Another alternative is to split the signal and run into 2 separate mono preamps, and then into 2 channels of the amp or board.  This would be more costly, but would give you ultimate control of your sound.

Electric pickups allow for more creativity

Another fun thing about onboard pickups is you can do things with them that you may never have thought of.  Guitar effects pedals are now a possibility, and there is a world of new sounds out there to be explored, some of which have never been heard before.  The things that you can do with it!   Check out the video, it'll give you ideas!

Installation of electric pickups

We can install our systems in any Songbird instrument, old or new having found retrofit to be the best option even with a new build.  It involves making 2 small access ports in the back with cover plates.  It will not affect the acoustic sound of the dulcimer at all, and except for the jack in the rail, and the two small access ports, you won't even know it is there.  So if you have an older Songbird dulcimer, and want a pickup system, no problem!  It'll be just the cost of the system plus shipping both ways.  Contact us for a quote.  Thanks!

Pricing  Onboard Electric Pickups installed  $200

Stereo Preamp

We are a Schatten dealer, and have the Schatten Mini Pre 2 stereo preamp which we get to go with our onboard stereo pickup system.  It is a nice little unit with a separate gain control for each channel as well as adjustable trim pot inside for each channel.  Runs on a 9 volt battery, which comes on when a plug is inserted in the output jack.  Input is 1/4" stereo, and output is 1/4" mono.

Pricing: $110

You can add a Schatten Mini Pre 2 stereo preamp to your purchase in the shopping cart.

We are also now dealers for K&K Sound and have their Dual Channel Pro ST preamp which has some advantages.  It has 2 outs so you can either run mono into an amp or each channel separately into 2 different channels of your system.  True stereo is possible if your system has 2 speakers.  It also has treble, mid and bass trim pots for both channels.  It is $150, get hold of us if you want one, haven't added it to the online store yet.

We also have the K&K Preamp Power Supply which will work with either their preamp or the Schatten preamp.  It is very nice.  No more changing batteries, it plugs right into the battery clip of the preamp.  It is $40, let us know if you want one.

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