I finally sat down and made a video review of my new Schatten AD-01 Autoharp Pickup. If you read my last post, you know I was a little nervous about using this. That's because my entire autoharp sound was defined these last 15 years by Oscar Schmidt pickup. Unfortunately, one of mine died on me and I was forced to get a new one. So which is better?
First, let me point out that I am not a tech person. I have minimal skills on that front. I understand the Oscar Schmidt pickup is electromagnetic and extends across all the strings. The Schatten is a bit different. It's a small, round device about the size of a half dollar. It is placed an inch above the sound hole. Thus, the sound is different.
I was delighted when I first heard the Schatten. It has a great sound. It maintains the natural acoustics of the autoharp beautifully. It's bright and gorgeous.
Now that said, the pickup lacks the low end that the Oscar Schmidt has. Again, that is a sound that has long defined my recordings and amplified performance. So it's kinda weird for me to play it.
I quickly realized that the Schatten sounds better with a DI (and/or according to their website, a Schatten preamp). My DI boosted the sound and gave it more depth. But it still lost a bit of that umph that I love.
For most autoharpers, I would highly recommend this pickup, because it does maintain that beautiful, acoustic autoharp sound. I think my fans will enjoy at concerts as I test it out live too. As for me, I'm still a bit torn. I haven't tried recording with it yet, but my sound has been defined by that Oscar Schmidt pickup. Will the recording sound be different? I guess that is the next test.
In the meantime, if you like this review, you can pickup your own Schatten Autoharp Pickup on Amazon.
In the meantime, you can now watch and hear my video as I test the pickup out.