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Pick-ups And Mikes

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I am interested in suggestions for small microphones (or pick-ups?) for concertinas. I play an old Lachenal Edeophone (English) and would like to be able to get good sound amplification when I play in a group. It would be great to be able to take the mikes on and off easily (velcro?). Any suggestions? I live in the Seattle-Vancouver area (Washington State). Do the small microphones require a pre-amp, and if so what do you recommend? - Paul

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There's a very good article about violin mics at

Violin Mics


If you skip the bit about piezos and contact mics, there's a list of electret mics manufacturers some of whom do models suitable for concertinas.


As always it's a balancing act. Get too close, especially with a hypercardioid and you'll pick up some notes louder than others and key noise. Too far away and feedback is a problem. I use AKG micromics on most instruments but find fitting is difficult on a concertina.


So on a concertina I use a pair of omni electret mics. You can get fairly close but still retain a good overall coverage of the instrument. Feedback is not too much of a problem even when using a monitor. I modified the clips which came with the mics to fit the concertina and they're unobtrusive when the mics are not in use (but they do provoke a comment or two).


The mics came with in-line battery packs or phantom power adaptors but I've modified them for a belt pack (AKG B29L) or a radio transmitter as well as the phantom option.


The mics are from Maplin (UK) but contain Sony capsules. They're about 20 UK pounds each.


Here are some pictures showing the mic and clip.







Howard Mitchell

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I just started using the "microvox" mics for my english. You can find the info on the web. I bought mine from the Button box. They certainly work but I have not done any solo or duet playing on them. I use them when playing with a large group of musicans so I don't have an opinion on how well they would work for the purist. They pickup the ususal range I play in evenly but since they are mounted on the tina itself there is key noise (of course there is key noise even without the mics) when playing hard and fast. You have to have a power supply with these mics and I use an mono 1/4" insert to the PA or amp. Hope that helps.

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I wish you well on your amplification quest. I thought about putting microphones on my squeezables for years before I got around to it, and I'm glad I finally made the change. I enjoy the reduction in feedback problems and the increased freedom of movement.


I tried Microvox first and have been pleased with their stuff, so I have not tried other systems and can't make comparisions. Doug at the Button Box was most helpful in matching miicrohone models to my instruments.


I'm using Microvox microphones and pre-amps with my English concertina and with my melodeons in three-to- five-piece contra dance bands. A separate microphone and pre-amp set for each instrument lets me change squeezables quickly and without altering my volume and tone settings.


The tone sounds natural enough for my ears; if anything, the sound may be "cleaner" , i.e. fewer unwanted overtones, than with freestanding microphones. I don't notice any more button noise or other mechanical noise than before. The microphones attach and remove easily using velcro, and I suspect that attachment by velcro may attenuate transfer of some mechanical noise.


The wearable battery powered stereo pre-amplifier/phantom power box blends the left and right microphone signals together so you only need to run one line from the little pre-amp box to your mixer or amp. By opening the pre-amp box, you can trim the gain on one of the channels, to adjust the balance between the left and right microphones.. I tried both 1/4" and XLR ("Cannon") connections to my mixer, and I came to prefer XLR because I get higher volume at lower gain settings, i.e. more "headroom").


For convenience, here is a link to Microvox .

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