The HarpMaster amp
At 4:14 PM 10/16/94 +0000, Thomas_B._Colvin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I have a catalogue from Norman Ives (UK) that describes his new amp,
> designed especially for the harmonica. It sounds like he's come up
> with the dream amp: two channels, one clean and the other for the
> overdrive Chicago sound, place for an rack-mount effects unit and
> other goodies. Has anyone tried this amp? Is it as good as it
I was involved in the "beta testing" of the HarpMaster - David Michelsen
and myself played one for a year on the road in England, then took one on
an extended road trip / musical tour of South East Asia. This amp kicks
butt! It is by far and away the best harp amp I've played. I would have
one now if I had the money - they're 750 UK pounds, approx. $1125. Norman
doesn't have any in stock, as they sold the last one at a blues festival a
month or so ago (someone heard it being played, and came up with the money
there and then). They are now being made to order.
Technical specs, as I recall, are ...
Tube preamp and MOSFET power amp.
Custom wound single 10" speaker + horn.
Two notched sweepable suckout filters (aka paratremic EQ), each with
'depth' and 'sweep' controls. First is in the 40 - 400hz range, second is
400 to 5KHz. These are basically very "thin" eq controls - they will 'suck
out' a very narrow slice of the frequency range. Their purpose in life is
for controlling feedback, and are one of the things that make this amp
special. You can isolate the frequency(s) that cause feedback and chop
them out without making gross changes to the EQ.
Singe variable 'gate' - this will stop the amp feeding back when you aren't
playing, plus all the other good stuff you can use a gate for.
A spring reverb unit, same as used in Hammond organs.
Twin channels - 'Cool Country' and 'Hot City'. You can switch between
either or have both kicked in. Three way foot switch included.
Two effects in/out loops.
Single line out.
High and low impedence inputs.
Three levels of volume control - master volume, channel gain and preamp gain
Four tone controls on each channel - lo, mid lo, mid hi and hi. The hot
channel has active tone controls, cool channel has passive.
Standard 19" rack space, 2u high. In the one I used there was a single, 2u
digital delay, but you could fit two 1u boxes (as there are two effects
loops and two on board power outlets).
2 power outs - the standard three pin, "kettle lead" type outlets as seen
on the backs of Fenders.
The whole package is extremely compact, very rugged and looks good (at
least the production versions do - the pre-production model I used looked
like the dogs breakfast).
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