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Hammered dulcimer pickups


What kind of pickup do you use for your hammered dulcimer? Are there things you like or don’t like about it? What types of venues or performance situations do you use it for?


Hi…we use a “pick up the world” pick-up in the 550…with a “pick up the world preamp” (no longer part of their product line) to boost the signal…into a Samson Mixpad-4 (can run on batteries and supplies phantom power) into BOSE. With the shielded jack (from Ray)…this sounds pretty good. Sometimes also use a countryman ISOMAX microphone to add a little “roundness” to the sound. This has been quite successful.
We try to avoid the “percussive” sound that seems to easily get amplified when you plug in…Also, we tend to use the softer side of the hammers when we are plugged in…Anyone with a better idea? Please share your successes.
Also, in the smaller D35 we had a countryman mic put in…great sound and very easy “plug and play” set-up.
But, my question, what has worked for you? I would like to learn about other options…there may be better solutions. What amps are working for you? We practice- practice, but if what comes out in larger venues is not good, then we fail to share the beauty of the hammered dulcimer.
Thank you,


I have used early versions of “pick-up-the-world” run through a Baggs Para Acoustic DI, and it was easy installation and usable, but not the most authentic acoustic sound I was hoping for. I alsoexperienced a need to replace them from wear-and-tear getting the instrument out of the case for gigs.

I then added two K&K hotspots, with a K&K blender that then runs through the Baggs Para Acoustic DI…much more involved installation, but seemed to balance the highs and lows a little better.

I have a Nick Blanton instrument with a piano pickup under the treble bridge, also run through the Baggs in another instrument.

All of these mitigate wind issues when playing outside and minimize feedback issues when playing in a highly amplified environment on stage with monitors, however, I still prefer the actual, acoustic sound, captured by several good microphones and blended when I am recording. No substitute for them in gaining authentic sound, in my opinion!


Hi everybody,

when I’m practicing or playing in different jams I sometimes use a simple piezzo mic that I block in the resonating holes on the side of the instrument, at the top and/or at bottom depending on what type of sound you are looking for.

This method is quite effective if you’re not expecting to have the same sound as the original acoustic sound or furthermore if you want to experiment new type of sound through pedals and effects. It’s extremely fun to hear your HD sound just like an electric guitar :loudspeaker: ^^

If you want to amplify your acoustic sound without modifying it, I would recommend to use several microphones placed over the instrument (at least one near the high register and one near the lows) and blend the different captation as Steve explains on the reply just above.

PS. I would be interested to hear samples of HD sound modified through pedal and effects. We could share our badass recipe :stew: :grin: