Behold, a new creation of mine, the “Kalimbelectra Essence” electric kalimba / thumb piano.
As many of you know who follow my shop, I am the “electric cowbell” guy. Well, I have been thinking of ways to modify and apply my cowbell circuit to other instruments. I have always liked the sound of the Kalimba, so it seemed like a good fit. I am absolutely thrilled with how the first batch came out.
It has a 1/4″ input and a simple volume and tone control. It works great as a clean amplified kalimba tone, but can get very interesting very fast when run through a pedal chain. Sounds great with chorus, tremolo, delay, reverb, etc. The volume allows you to control the feedback. The tone control uses a capacitor to roll off the treble tone, then the high mid tone, and then eventually when rolled to zero, chokes out the signal entirely so it can also be used as a modulator/kill. Roll it up for a percussive kalimba tone, or roll back slightly for more ambient tones.
Another use for the Kalimelectra that I have found is that it works as kind of a “mini cajon.” Since the electrification process uses piezo contact disk microphones, the body of the kalimba is very reactive to taps and pops when the volume is rolled all the way up. This allows the player to create classic “beatbox” style tap beats.
Outside of that, the possibilities are up to your imagination. I am sure someone will find a use for it that I have not thought of, and I look forward to it. I plan to make a proper demo video soon, but in the mean time, you can see a short demo on Instagram. @jacksguitarcheology
The Kalimbelectric Essence comes with a striking hammer, kalimba basics manual and other assceories. I pack tight and ship with full insurance!
Got questions? Shoot me a message, I love nerding out with other gearheads!