proformig amp

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Postby angerboy » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:26 am

50 years of amplified harmonica players say so. Really?

If everyone thought that way in the past, no one would have ever played amplified.

I learned how to play using a bullet microphone through a solid state amp. I've played through several solid state amps. They aren't all horrible sounding. I've played through Yamahas, a Vox and a couple of Peaveys that have sounded good.

I've seen Billy Branch, Carey Bell and Sugar Blue use solid state amps. They sound great and they are all pretty damn loud prior before the amp begins to feedback. Nothing wrong with any of their tone. I've seen James Cotton blow through solid state PA's and sound great.

If you want to hear some killer harp played through a solid state amp, check out Taildragger's latest live CD with Billy Branch blowing through a solid state Peavey combo. His tone is killer and he sounds great.

While tubes sound great, they aren't the end all, be all.
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Postby bosco » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:59 pm

Bigcat-

A couple pros in this area use the Madcat but both have expensive custom harp amps in the 40 watt, 4 x 10 range. Even though the hand effects are nice, as you mentioned, the tone tends to be on the clean side. If you're looking for a dirtier sound, the bullet works well with either Fender amp. To my ears, the JT30 w/a crystal element is dirtier than the Shure Green Bullet if you're going for pure dirt.

If everyone thought that way in the past, no one would have ever played amplified

That statement doesn't make any sense. The earliest recorded amplified harp examples from the 40s were on tube driven PAs followed by tube driven combo amps in the 50s. All way before SS was readily available in the 60s. I'm not saying SS can't be used for amplified harp, but it is seldom anyone's first choice for all of the reasons I mentioned. This thread started with the original poster asking what a good first amp choice would be and I'm trying to give him the best advice my 35 years of harp playing will allow.

Branch, Bell and and Blue get to play on Festival stages. 90% of the stages I play on won't allow me to get over 5 ft from my amp. SS isn't even an option because of feedback issues. PAs don't count because proximity is not a factor. Bigcat asked about amplifiers and I'm trying to stick to that topic.

You're right, tubes aren't the end all. If you're a SS fan because that's where you started, that's fine. I've owned both and I've played through both. In a gig or jam setting, a combo tube amp gives me the least amount of hassles and the best tone. If you happen to find the perfect mic/amp match then maybe SS is for you. Tubes give you the option of tayloring the preamp to match your mic and the warmest tone and that's why tube amps are and always have been the overwhelming favorite for harp players.

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Postby angerboy » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:30 am

Billy Branch has been playing clubs with solid state Peavey combos for about 20 years. Carey Bell has used solid state bass amps in dinky clubs. Sugar Blue was using solid state amps over 20 years ago at the Kingston Mines and did so for a number of years. They were plenty loud without feedback problems. They had phenomenal tone without a great deal of feedback. In fact, it might be difficult to find a louder harp player than Sugar Blue.

It may be easier to manage a tube amp, but that doesn't mean solid state equates to pure shit. Some guys can get a damn fine sound out of a solid state amp.

In a jam setting, where one gets ten to fifteen minutes of fame, it might be beneficial to learn to get a decent acoustic tone through a PA. I've seen people spend more time struggling to get their gear set up, than they get to play. That's a damn shame!
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Postby allanlummox » Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:06 am

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Shame for the Audience, too.
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thanks

Postby bigcat72 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:42 pm

thanks harpers i just wanted to know agood set up for out side and in side so i could be indapendent and had my own stuff when i needed it . i have played at jams on pa also any body used a vox amp . it has a pre amp but i think its ss sorry bosco lol i respect your exp. thanks again. big cat. 8)
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