Mics or Amps
Here's an equipment question to tickle your grey cells. It seems to
me , when a Harp player wants that wet,honky sound referred to as "the
Chicago Sound" he or she focuses on two things,1)what mic. to use, and 2)
what amp to use. My question for the Harp masses is, which of these two
elements plays the most important role in that sound? Is it a fifty- fifty
kind of thing, or is it 75% mic. and 25% amp kind of thing or what?
I ask because it seems to me that right now, I've got the wrong harp
mic. and the wrong amp. and I've got to decide which to replace first, or
do I indeed need to start from scratch. The mic. is a green bullet. The
buz on Harp-l concerning this mic. is that it is a somewhat "warm "
sounding mic. kinda beefy in the mid range. I have two complaints about
this mic. First, it's not giving me the hot sound I want,and second, it
feels big and heavy in my hand. Someone said it feels like you're playing
harp what a tennis ball in your hand. I agree. I don't know, maybe I have
a habit of clenching the mic. while I play, and I can just relax my hand a
little if I think of it. Anyway, I'm thinking of picking up an Astatic. I
saw a guy named Gary Bernath here at the House of Blues in Cambridge. He
had the sound I'm looking for and he was blowin' through an Astatic. (I
know they aren't much smaller than a green bullet, but they weigh about
a1/3 as much.) The shape of a Shaker mic is real intriquing, but from what
I hear, the Shaker's sound is not significantly "hoter" or "wetter" than
the Green Bullet's.
My amp is an old 35watt Kustom amp. It's solid state. (oops) It does
however have a volume and master volume control which allows me to
over-drive the sound some. It also has reverb, which I use a bit of. I
can't use much though or it just sounds stupid. The speaker by the way is
I'm not a professional, so I'm not lookin' for monster volume. I do
want to play amplified though, and open jams and "coffee house"
performances are not out of the question.
Am I right in thinking that I'll be happier with A) a tube amp. B) a
smaller speaker. ( It's easier to over-drive to 8" or 10"speaker than a 12"
speaker). and C) a little less power. (it's easier to over-drive a 25watt
amp than a 35watt amp).
Seeing as I'm not a pro, I just can't rationalize an expensive amp
purchase to myself or my ever patient wife ( who is with child). So if
I buy an amp, it's gotta be for less than $200. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for all responses, and Thanks to all who welcomed me
after my first post a few weeks back.
Rod Thomas email: skt2@xxxxxxx
Illustrator phone: (617) 449-0480
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