I saw this video on Rick's RingingStrings website:




It sounds so beautiful!


I don't know ANYTHING at all about amps, but I'm very interested in the psaltery/amp combo! 


(I realize the "plug-in" for the amp must be added during the construction of the psaltery and can't be added later.  Correct?)


What kind of amp was used in this clip?

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Keep us up to date! If you can't get it in an auction, there are lots of legitimate dealers with decent bargains.
After getting out-bid a second time, and waiting 3 days, I finally bought one on eBay yesterday with the "Buy It Now" option. Says it's "Brand New" in box, with the adapter and instructional manual. Was used once at a school function. Cost: $79.95. (The most frequent cost was $129). Hope that was a good price!

Now, the wait begins....................:D
Sounds good to me. So for around a hundred bucks to get to play around with special effects. That's not a bad deal at all.
Good thing it's not a bad deal---I'm totally out of money now! LOL

No biggie-----I didn't need to eat this month. I ate last month. Ah---the life of a starving artist :D

It's all worth it though!!
I "plug in"...You have to be careful where the plug goes.

You can add the plug after the fact. That's what we did to our tenor.
I was just re-reading this and noticed that Rick is using an AC-90 amp, but he mentions the AC-60. A Roland AC-90 is definitely NOT something you want to unleash in your living room!
The AC-90 is a powerhouse and I've never needed more than 1/3 volume. I noticed in the new Elderly catalog there is a new model in the Roland AC series, an AC-33. It can be powered by AC or batteries.
Oh no........... :(

The amp (Roland Micro Cube) arrived today. I was so excited and couldn't wait to try it out, but........

The pickup is a problem.

First, I tried sticking it on my small (2.5 octave) Omega using the "special adhesive" that came with the pickup. It's poster putty. I just used a small amount, (enough to cover about half the surface of the pickup) and tried to attach it to the soundboard to the left of the bridge. It wouldn't stick too well and there was NO sound from the amp. I pushed harder on the pickup (with a pencil eraser) and it finally stuck. Still no sound from the amp.

I know the amp is working because when I touch the pickup I can hear it through the amp. When I bow the strings----no sound from the amp. So, I knew I needed to experiment with placement. I took the pickup off the soundboard, and saw the mark it left on the psaltery. I was surprised at how difficult it was to remove the residue of the "special adhesive" and was glad I hadn't used more of it to get the d*** pickup to stick in the first place!!

I then tried to stick it on the side of the psaltery. Again, no sound from the strings on the amp (but the amp picks up the sound of me touching the pickup). I removed the pickup and, again, had trouble getting the adhesive residue off. I decided to stop experimenting with placement because I didn't want to hurt the finish on my beloved psaltery.

The Omega has a "hand rubbed" finish. I decided to try the pickup on the Phantasy because it has a high gloss finish. It stuck to that finish better, but I still got hardly any sound. I could only hear the strings through the amp if I had the volume at max---and even then could only barely hear it. (I'm not even sure if I actually heard it or just imagined it). Anyway, I know that it shouldn't be necessary to have the volume at max. I took the pickup off and------again---took awhile to get the residue off--even on a psaltery with a different finish.


I can't use the amp without a pickup. I'm hesitant to experiment with other kinds of adhesives (tape, etc) because I don't want to mess up the finish on my psalteries!!!!


I don't think I can return the Dean Markley because I can't get the putty residue off the pick up AT ALL! (Like I said, it's the adhesive that came with it).
Two dumb questions to begin:

What is the gain setting on the amp? There are two controls, gain and volume.

Just how have you applied the adhesive to the pickup? In a gob in the middle or a thin ring around the edge?
No, those aren't dumb questions to ask......

While the pickup was on the psaltery, I experimented with all the controls; gain, volume, tone, etc. The only knob I didn't change was the 'acoustic' one. I left that only on 'acoustic'.

The instructions for the adhesive said; "Remove protective covering from adhesive and press pickup onto guitar." No mention of how much, or where/how to place it. It was already in a glob. I assumed I shouldn't use all of it, it seemed like too much. Also, the contact surface is translucent and I could see a little "chip" inside. It didn't seem logical to cover over that, but without instruction I just didn't know about these things.....

So I just pulled a small glob off the bigger glob and pressed it in the middle of the contact side of the pickup. I've used poster putty before for plastic items (heavier than paper posters) and knew that tiny amounts don't hold. I used a small amount on the pickup and that BARELY held, but, I did put it in the middle. Now I see that was stupid of me. But, I'm still trying to get the residue off the pickup surface. It won't stick to the psaltery but it sure as h*** sticks to the pickup! :(
I would guess, and it's only a guess, that the pick-up could be defective or have a poor connection to the piezo disc inside the wood case. The point the wire goes into the round wood disc can be a weak point. When placing and removing the pick-up, it can be tempting to use the wire to help pull it out of the adhesive. I had to replace one owned by my recording engineer by doing just that, so they can be fragile. I have attached pick-ups using the blue painters masking tape. You might try that to hold the pick-up attached to the back of the psaltery anywhere the wood is thin and see if that makes a difference, at least until you have the problem figured out. When it's in place try slightly moving the wire where it goes into the wood disc, if the sound starts and stops there may be a short in the wiring, this could also happen at the plug end. At one point you said you had attached it to the side of the psaltery, probably too much solid wood in that area since the pick-up is depending only on being vibrated to produce any sound.

You might also try using some headphones plugged into the record/headphone jack on the back. The actual sound of your psaltery may be masking the sound coming out of the amp speaker. This way you would better hear what is coming through the amp. The micro-cube is only 2 watts, but what I saw and heard from it on You-tube, it should have plenty of volume for home use.
hmmm, I use something probably like poster putty called tic tack or something. I put the stuff on the pick up itseslf, in the center and use enough that when it flatens out is about the size of a nickel. I warm it in my hand a little first also. I've only used it on my phantasy psaltery which has a satin finish. It wouldn't stick at all when I first tried, I didn't use enough stuff and I think it had to be kneaded a bit before it reached max stickiness. Once I got it to stick it stayed pretty well even with some minor knocking around. I try to use the same spot because the finish on the psaltery is a little duller in the place where the putty was.
I know almost nothing about electronics and wish I could help you there. If you get a sound when you tap the pick up it can't be a loose wire or connection.
When I first got the little 1 watt honey tone amp I didn't think it was working, I couldn't hear it above my playing and finally had to ask someone to pull it as far as possible from me while I played to see if sound was coming out. It was.
I also have a 10 watt and I can't tell very well with that either. When you are playing and the amp is facing away from you it's deceiving, at least for my inexperienced ear.
How many watts is the micro cube?


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