Harmonica Honker

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

Harmonica Honker

Postby songdog » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:28 pm

Has anybody tried this gadget?

http://members.aol.com/hhonker/index.htm#PIX

The example clips sound pretty nice, especially playing straight into a PA.

Aside from the microphone it looks to be just an overdrive circuit of some type, ala Ibanez Tube Screamer, DOD Extreme, etc.
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Postby thebluesbox » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:59 pm

Looks like a fun gizmo......

honk honk !
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Postby ricochet » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:11 pm

Now, why would a harper want an overdrive on the front end, when I see you guys swapping tubes to drop the front end gain way down?
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Postby songdog » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:50 pm

ricochet wrote:Now, why would a harper want an overdrive on the front end, when I see you guys swapping tubes to drop the front end gain way down?


Usually the gain of the amp needs to be reduced to fight feedback not reduce distortion.
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Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:00 am

But reducing gain and adding gain (with an overdrive pedal or preamp) are opposite things. Maybe this device is strictly a distortion effect that doesn't boost the signal level (as an overdrive does)?
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Postby songdog » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:39 am

Exactly, that's what I meant but I guess I didn't say it clearly. Devices like the Tube Screamer and DOD Extreme aren't overdrive-preamps but distortion devices that soft or hard clip the signal to give you the "overdriven" sound.

So if this is the case with the Harmonica Honker then it's not really anything new other than some people might find the miniature microphone appealing. Just curious if anybody on the Road has one?
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Postby hashtaff » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:33 am

I have one and use it occasionally when I want to sit in on a few with a local blues solo guitarist singer.
It fits in my jacket pocket and is very convenient to plug straight into his pa. The volume control on the mic is good too for personal control.
On "low honk" and not tightly cupped great for Sonny terry type country blues but fully "honked" and tightly cupped you can get a resonable "Chicago" amplified sound.
A versatile and fun tool to have handy (but wouldn't use it as my main mic.)
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Postby songdog » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:35 am

Thanks for the input Hashstaff.

That's what I was lookin for.
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The Honker

Postby nelliep » Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:26 am

I am in NO way an expert on Harp mics but I do own a Honker and have used one for stage performances through a PA.

What I like is the fact that I can change the way it sounds from clean to dirty (honk) at the turn of a knob. Also it is meant to sound good straight through a PA and it does this pretty well. The sound guy said he loved it because it was easy to set up through a desk and didn't feedback. Also it doesn't change your style of playing if you are used to playing acoustically, because it just fits on your finger. I have not bothered with other mics because it does the job fine for me and I only play "wired" occasionally. The thing that would bug me about the traditional harp mics is the feedback problem that seems occur more easily than with the honker.
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Postby hashtaff » Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:40 pm

One disadvantage with the Honker is that whilst the power supply is via a 9 Volt battery which seems to last for ages there is no indicator light to show power on or level and it is easy to inadvertantly leave the thing switched on. Also have to use a screwdriver to change the battery.
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