29 April 2018

The Hokema Kalimbas have Gone Electric!

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Pickups are now available on nearly all Hokemas

The Hokema Kalimbas have Gone Electric!

The kalimba has always been a cool instrument. Different. Ethnic. New Age. Ancient. And just plain fun.

But throw in an electronic pickup, and you can take the kalimba to a whole new level of FUN.

It is a cliche, but the Germans do build things very well - smooth, precise, shiny... and now great sounding pickups for Hokema's beautiful kalimbas.

Thank you, Peter Hokema!

The B7 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

The B7 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

The B7 has the lowest notes Kalimba Magic sells. The sound file below is recorded with a low D (low E is usually the lowest note on it). The wide tines are nice and comfortable. The solid wood block has nice sustain. You cannot play very many songs at all on this one, but just twiddle your thumbs, and who needs songs?


Per request: the acoustic version:

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The B9 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

The B9 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

The B9 is also called the Pocket Sansula. The cool thing about the electric kalimbas? You can tweak the sound any way you want, distorting and affecting until it no longer sounds like a kalimba, but more like a heavy metal fiend. How strange, to turn such a tiny kalimba into a metalic gargoyle!


Per request: the acoustic version:

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The B11 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

The B11 Electro Hokema Kalimba Elektro

With more notes come more possibilities - more harmonic and melodic complexities. However, the two tier note layout keeps these possibilities organized, under control, and largely non-threatening. The B11 is a nice blend of possibility and simplicity.

Standard G Tuning

The standard B11 tuning is a bit cheery for the Hokema complement - so I have included the D minor tuning as well. Serious and brooding - just the way I like it sometimes.

D minor


Per request: the acoustic version:

D minor

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The Hokema Klassic Kalimba Elektro

The Hokema Klassic Kalimba Elektro

The Hokema Klassic Kalimba Elektro has a great sound with its 9-note A minor pentatonic tuning. This one comes with its own cord, 1/8" in and 1/4" out, capable of plugging into any guitar amplifier, effects processor, PA system, or... just be creative and figure out what else you can hook it up to.


Per request: the acoustic version:

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The Sansula Elektra

The Sansula Elektra

Admittedly, the Sansula Renaissance Elektro is a bit of a hassle to use... but that is because it is one quality piece of equipment. If you know anything about the Sansula, you know about the swooshy wah-wah sound you get from lifting the resonant chamber off of a hard flat surface, and then tilting it back down. That is a 100% air effect, and a piezoelectric pickup (which is what the other kalimbas have) cannot touch that. In order to amplify that swooshy wah, you need a microphone. And Hokema went all out and gave it a condensor mic. This setup requires phantom power and a mini-XLR-in to standard-XLR-out cord. The instrument comes equipped with the special cord, but you have to provide the phantom power.

The hassle part is that with its phantom power and XLR cord requirements, you cannot just plug this baby into most consumer electronic devices. You need an upscale PA system or other high quality sound component.

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About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.

Comments (2)

  • Frank

    Frank

    20 May 2018 at 12:56 |
    I strongly recommend to view and listen to the sound examples on the related (and linked) product pages. The exceptionally beautiful sound of the Hokema Kalimbas is worth a good amplification for bigger rooms or audiences.

    The heavily distorted and audio processed examles on this side don't do the beauty of the original sound justice. It does not add to the Hokema Kalimbas, it rather takes the true value out of them.

    Frank (who loves the particular beautiful and warm sound of the original Hokema Kalimbas)

    reply

    • Mark

      Mark

      23 May 2018 at 11:50 |
      I have recorded and posted acoustic samples of these kalimbas, Frank.

      reply

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