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bottle of blues mic and smokey amp

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:28 am
by Erikjr21
Are these complete pieces of crap or do they hold at least enough value to help practice and learn on to work your way up?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:29 pm
by songdog
I haven't heard much about the Smokey amp. The bottle o blues mic has received mixed reviews. Some people think they are worthless while others like the sound and the small size.

Probably not a bad place to begin if you are just starting out and on a budget.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:50 pm
by jeffl
The mic is prob'ly a real good value,based on the reviews and the price; You'd have a hard time finding a used bullet or Shure SM57 vocal mic (used) for that price,and it is specifically designed for harp use. The amp on the other hand is probably a waste of money for harp use. It's just not gonna have enough balls,or give you the tone you're probably lookin' for. If you need a practice amp, and jus' wanna jam with it until you can afford somethin' better, you'd be better off findin' a cheap Solid State practice amp, as long as you don't have to turn it up high enough to get into feedback situations. Even a used Roland MicroCube will do much better than the Smokey; it's a digital modelling amp,and since it sells new for a hair over $100, you should be able to find a used one for about half of that. I've practiced with the MicroCube,and it's great, as long as you're not playin' with a band and have to turn it up with other amps around it. The MicroCube is a dual power supply unit,if you get the AC adaptor with it (wall wart),and it's relatively easy on batteries when played DC. Other cheap SS amps would include anything that was originally sold as part of a "starter kit", which usually includes a low-line electric guitar,with a cheap 15-watt SS amp. These are sold by Squier,Marshall,Fender,Ibanez,Samick,and I'm sure others. The little solid state amps will not do for you in the long run, but they are probably the cheapest solution for the time being. You might be able to find one of those little SS amps used for as little as $25 - $40. Good luck with your search, and best wishes in your quest to learn your instrument.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:44 pm
by JakeyVimto
Hi folks, I got both items and I really cant say nothing bad 'bout either. Bottle of Blues aint exactly a green bullet, but its nice for the money. That wee smokey is the best fifteen quid I ever spent. Sounds sweet on the harp. I use it for my guitar when im in my house too, its unbelivably loud for its size. You cant use it at a jam when other, bigger amps are on, but an acoustic jam or a gathering of friends it perfect. Plus it fits in my inside pocket next to my harps.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:34 am
by Jiminator
I just placed my order for my bottle mic this morning. Can't wait til it gets here! I was kind of bummed that I couldn't find it here in our sponsor's store, though there was a "classified ad" for the bottle mic on C2C's website. I wanted my "blue note"! Anyway, I'll report back after I get it!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:22 am
by Jiminator
Got my Bottle O' Blues! First, I should tell you all that I'm a rookie harper.
That being said....
1. The spice bottle shape makes it really easy for me to hold, much easier than any other type of mic I've tried to use.
2. It's really light! Lighter than any other mic I've tried, again adding to it's ease of use for me.
3. I think it sounds cool! This thing added an "instant bluesiness" to my sound. I use my son's little solid state guitar practice amp and I love the way this mic sounds thru it. I don't get the bad feedback like I used to, either.
4. I don't know the technical ins and outs of why this happens, but the Bottle O' Blues mic is more forgiving for me. My regular dynamic mic used to pick up every sniff and snort, every accidental tap of the mic on the harp, every little bit of "hand" noise. It used to make me nuts! For some reason unknown to me (but somehow associated to its particular sensitivity, I'm guessing) I don't get all these stray noises with my new bottle mic. Yet the harp comes thru loud and clear. Cool!
5. It was cheap! $44.00 delivered! Sweet!
I'm really excited about getting one and I'm going to go practice with it some more! Thanks for reading this!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:18 am
by steel1953
Glad it works for you!........enjoy it, keep practicing. Who knows, maybe one day you'll plug it into a Marshall Stack, and I'll hear you down here in Peoria........

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:32 am
by scrapboss
Hey steel1953 - looks like we are neighbors. I live on the other side of the river from Peoria.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:33 am
by steel1953
Man Scrapboss, small world. Are you playing with anybody local? I just got back from a gig in Champaign.

Give me a call sometime, we'll swap licks. 674-0640

Jiminator, still practicing?.........

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:17 pm
by harphack
well, we have plenty of boyz from illinoiz i see. i am from the rockford area. Jiminator, glad the B.O.B. mic is working well, for you. i enjoyed your review of it. it was nice hearing from someone in a similar situation as mine. i have been leaning towards getting one but now i am going to as well. thank you for sharing your experience with us.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:25 pm
by jeffl
Using one of those mics will give your band somethin' to bitch about: they can tell all their buddies that their harp player is constantly hittin' the bottle when he plays,lol. They sound like a very good value for a new mic. You'd have a hard time findin' a used 520dx Shure for that kinda money. Personally, I like the mojo of the bullet mics, but I've bought plenty of tricky little things in my day (I consider my Roland Micro-cube amp, for harp, to be in that category, only probably less useful than the bottle). The bottle of blues may have no drawbacks other than its oddball look, and it's not alone in that respect (see Shaker).

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:13 pm
by harphack
good points jeff, but i don't plan on performing anywhere for some time. if anyone heard me play, they would accuse me of hitting the bottle real hard. i would just like something to play around with and maybe cut my teeth on first. maybe someday playing with a band would happen, but for now it is all fun and games with the harp. if i ever got good enough to play with a band i would consider something more substantial to play thruogh.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:20 pm
by jeffl
:....and maybe cut my teeth on first." Oh, so in effect, it's a pacifier huh?LOL! One caution about practicing too much with a mic: while it may be more fun than practicing unamplified, it turns into a crutch of sorts, and you won't be able to develop your best tone and chops without practicing acoustically for most of the time. You need to practice both ways,probably,IMO. If you want to practice unamplified,but wanna hear yourself better, try playin' in places that have hard surfaces to reflect sound back at you: tile bathrooms, cement block stairwells, rooms with plaster walls,etc...places like that work great!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:34 pm
by bosco
>My regular dynamic mic used to pick up every sniff and snort, every accidental tap of the mic on the harp, every little bit of "hand" noise. It used to make me nuts! For some reason unknown to me (but somehow associated to its particular sensitivity, I'm guessing) I don't get all these stray noises with my new bottle mic. <


The basic cause for this is using an underpowered amp without enough headroom. If you are forced to turn the mic up to full throttle to get the necessary volume, it is basically on full sensitivity and will pick up every breath, bump, knock and rustle. If you have an amp with enough power to leave the volume control on your mic at half volume or less you can eliminate about 80% of the ambient noise.

If two mics provide different levels of ambient noise with the same amp, the quietest mic is also generally the less efficient of the two.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:40 pm
by jeffl
"...leave volume control on your mic at half...." I can do that with my green bullet,Bosco, but on my Blues Blaster,the gain's not right at half volume: that's like in the 2nd stage of that switch, which develops a much clearer tone than movin' up to the third stage. One thing about the blaster though is that the shell is much lighter and it doesn't make the loud thud the 520 will if you hit it on something.