Using a CD Player/iPod with an Amp
Taking a Break
It is important to take an hourly rest break when playing
background music on the harp. If you have a CD you can
value-add your service by offering continuous play using
a CD player. A battery player plus a battery amp is
infinitely useful for gigging. I have found the higher
end Panasonic CD Walkmans to be both very reliable and
excellent sounding. Whatever unit you choose find one
with a line-out female socket/jack/out. You can use
the headphones out but you have to adjust the volume
to match line-out levels in order to not overload your
amp's pre-amp input.
See the cabling
definitions if the terms confuse.
On the Crate
Taxi the pre-amps are a mono input. On your CD player
you have a stereo output. An adapter cable needs to
be created to sum the two stereo channel signals into
a single wire. A simple "Y" cable with a little
bit of a "trick".
The CD player output
needs a 1/8" plug that looks like this with or
without the right angle.
Tip = L Ring = R Sleeve
The amp pre-amp input needs a 1/4" plug that looks
Tip = L+R Sleeve = ground/shield
Here is the trick, both the left and the right outputs
each need to be put through a 48K ohm resistor before
the two outputs are summed. This guarantees that the
signal from one output does not back track up the other
and damage the player. Both player outputs will see
the path of least resistance will be to flow into the
pre-amp input. Where you physically put the resistors
is mute. I actually solder mine inside the 1/8"
plug, sum them and have a single shielded cable leaving
the smaller plug going to the larger mono plug.
As always your best
background sound from an amp is to bounce the sound
off a wall and give the audience their music second
hand. The room resonates and everything sounds wonderfully
I will add your knowledge
and experience to the “mix” if it can add
to the effectiveness of these articles. The rest of
the Celtic Harp Amplification Series is available here.