Shaker mics?

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Shaker mics?

Postby burns » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:24 am

I was wondering if any one out there has a "Shaker Madcat" mic and what they thing about, and for that matter any shaker mics, and also what amps you would recomend to go with them, that you.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby jeffl » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:17 pm

I've never used one; Like most guys,I use a Shure 520 and a Bluesblaster (fake JT-30),but there's prob'ly somethin' in the archives about 'em. I jus' looked all the way to page 17 of the archives,and I couldn't find it,but I know we've talked about them here before. Have you checked Harmony Central for any reviews...?(http://www.harmonycentral.com.)
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby qtheblues » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:23 pm

Not the Madcat, but I do use one of the old 'pepper-pot' Shaker mics (with the volume pot on 'em), and find it far easier to use than any of the Bullet type mics. The reason for this is that I have quite small hands (yeah, I've heard all the jokes too), and that type of mic sits in my hand like a beer mug. No chance of getting a decent cup. I did swap the dynamic element for an old crystal one that I ripped out of an old broken tape recorder mic, and this really gives it an edge.
Amp-wise.....I can't help too much there. I guess that the Hot Rod or DeVille would be the biz, but the Marble is good too. Shame about the price. For most of my work I tend to use any trannie combo amp & team it with a Digitech RP100. Play around with the settings and you can get real close to that honkey hard driven sound.
Thinking about canibalising an AKG 'head' worn mic for its small size. Should fit into the hand and allow you to cup around it and get a nice seal.
Now, where are my tool............?
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby t bone bruce » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:04 pm

I have the Shaker Dynamic with XLR connector. I have it as a back-up mic these days, because I find it a little small, and prefer a bullet mic. The Shaker Dynamic is a nice mic though, especially when used with an impedance converter, - yes I know they're supposed to be dual impedance, but the convertor takes a somewhat wimpy mic and turns it into something hotter than my '77 CM element. Good without a converter into PA too. I've not used the Shaker Madcat, but from all accounts it has a low output and benefits from being put through a pre-amp of some sort- Madcat himself uses a Boss Blues Driver pedal for this.
I play through a home-made mic at the moment, but I'm geting my bro' to get me a Bluesblaster while he's over in the US. Here in the UK they cost £120, which equates to about USD$210, way too much compared to the $80 I've seen US price!
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby julio1958 » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:52 pm

I don't use one myself, but a friend of mine did, with a fender hot rod deluxe, I notice he swithed to a Sure 57, so maybe that tells us something. He plays more in the style of John Popper, actually alot in the style of Popper, his name is Jonathan Russel, when I heard him use the shaker it sounded good though.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby 1armbandit » Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:21 pm

When I was in Clarksdale, MS recently I went to the Delta Blues Museum (shameless name dropper). The man running the place was from up here in my neck of the woods and is a harper. We started discussing favorites and he mentioned that he uses a SM58 and that he had a Madcat that I could have if I wanted it. He was not happy with it at all. I should have given him some postage money and had him send it to me. May have worked for the one hand cup that I use.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby burns » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:07 pm

Well thank you guys, I think I am going to go ahead and get one, if I don't like there is always ebay. I will let you know what I think.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby angerboy » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:35 pm

I had a crystal Shaker. It sucked.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby jellyroll baker » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:23 pm

I've heard some pretty bad things about the crystal Shaker. I have the dynamic myself and like it a lot. It's a nice size that's easy to cup, is pretty resistant to feedback, has a very-handy built in volume control and gets a rip-roaring dirty sound. It's as good for the classic Chicago sound - it can be done but its not the units strength - but if you want to sound like a broke down steam engine it's the one to go for.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby burns » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:56 am

Ok, so I decided to go with the Blues Blaster because I found it for $70 and figured that no matter what I got first I was not going to be satisfied. I am blowing it through a Blues Jr. with one tube being 12AU7 and the other 2 being stock (I bought it like that). I like the sound but wish I could make it a little dirtier, any suggestions.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby jeffl » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:24 pm

I don't know the technical name for the type of volume control that's on the Blues Blaster,but it works differently than the one on the the Shure Re-Issue 520DX Green Bullet (I play thru both): the Blues Blaster has what sounds like 3 different gain stages; if you start at the bottom and turn it up as you play a chord,you'll note that the sound gets dirtier,going thru 3 stages with audible transition points, as you go up in volume. The Green Bullet (GB) is more gradual. The problem with the Blaster is that,in order to get your amp to overdrive,you would normally turn it up as far as you can without feedback,to drive the tubes harder and get the dirty sound. Then,when you turn the Blaster's volume up enough to get to the kind of sound you want (which is in the 3rd and upper gain range on the knob),you will be playing very loud,which is OK most of the time on stage,if you have a fairly loud band,but it's not good for small venues or amplified home practice. Try a Green Bullet if you can,and see what you think of that one for your type of playing.
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby bosco » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:25 pm

I decided to go with the Blues Blaster... I am blowing it through a Blues Jr. with one tube being 12AU7 and the other 2 being stock (I bought it like that). I like the sound but wish I could make it a little dirtier, any suggestions?

Burns-

Is the 12AU7 in the first tube socket (closest, or first in line) from the input jack? That is imperative so you can drive the amp to the highest non feedback level for breakup and overdrive.

Also have you perfected an airtight seal for cupping your mic with your hands? The airtight seal needs to be between the harp and mic, as there is misinformation on the net, complete with diagrams, stating that the airtight seal has to be between the hands and the face.

The airtight cup is one of those non-equipment secrets to getting the Chicago tone. Slightly overdriving the mic is just as important as pushing the amp to acquire the tone you are seeking. The mic/amp combo you are using should be great for Chicago blues...just keep working on it.

Remember the harpers creed- heck maybe you've never heard it before-

"80% meat, 20% metal."

For the uninitiated, this means that 80% of your tone comes from you- your breath, mouth and hands. Only 20% of your tone can be attributed to the equipment that you use. Best of luck and have fun!

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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby jeffl » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:03 pm

Good points,Bosco..
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RE: Shaker mics?

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:37 pm

You might also want to try a tube in between the 12AU7 and 12AX7 for gain, like a 12AY7.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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