Re: Amps

I go to an open jam fairly regularly.  Here is my experience

- - Bring harps and play through the PA - Thin sounding and typically trebley 
sound that I think is not nearly as pleasing to an audience as the tube amp 
breakup.  I have listened to other harp layers play this way, and I don't 
like the way they sound either.

- - Bring a small amp and lineout into the PA - Great sound if the host band 
and sound man cooperates.  I had one bad experience with the host band, so I 
don't do this anymore.  Setup time can be a problem as well, since typically 
they yell for you and expect you to be up and playing in short order.

- - Bassman RI - This is "the one" for me.  It is back breaking and difficult 
to haul around, but it definitely cuts through everything short of a 
Marshall stack.  Also, guitar players like to try this rig out, so do not 
get any hastles there.  I bring it to the  jam everytime I go and never get 
a hastle.

>From: Roy G <rgermon@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Reply-To: Roy G <rgermon@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>To: harp-l-digest <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Amps
>Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 15:01:09 -0500
>A few weeks ago I bought my first tube amp...a Harmony H303.  The only 
>other amp I played through much was a Danelectro Dirty 30.  Let me say 
>first that the Hamrony is WAY better than the Danelectro.  This is mainly 
>because IMHO the Danelectro positively sucks for harp.  There was so little 
>headroom in the volume adjustment that I couldn't even TOUCH the 
>dirty-sweet knob without getting feedback.  All this with my JT-30 which 
>has the lowest output of the three mics I own.  To be fair, a friend of 
>mine now has it, and loves it's tone for guitar.
>Back to the Harmony:  The headroom is perfect for me...feeds back at nearly 
>full volume with my JT-30, and around 70% volume with my Green Bullet.  The 
>volume is just right for my apartment.  The tube distortion sounds sweet a 
>good ways before feedback (but extra nice nearer to feedback).  The only 
>complaint I have is that the lower notes "bark" quite a bit.  Probably 
>because of the 6 inch speaker.
>For the price (I got it and a CM Green Bullet for 275 $Cdn) it's a nice 
>practice amp, and just what I need for my apartment.
>I have some questions about gigging amps.  In particular, I'm trying to 
>figure out what I should buy to be ready to play open stages.  I've been to 
>a few (as a listener only), and most of the ones I've been to dont have a 
>harp player in the host band, so you dont have a harp-friendly rig ready to 
>go.  There are a few options I can think of.
>1)  Buy an amp big enough to cut through the mix.  I expect I'd need about 
>40 watts or more.  These jams are too freakin' loud.  Pros:  Get to buy 
>cool gear, become self-sufficient.  Cons:  heavy and expensive.
>2)  Buy a pre-amp (or tube amp with line-out), and try to plug into the 
>soundboard at a jam.  Pros:  cheaper, still get to control my amp tone. 
>Cons:  how easy is it to get a line to the soundboard at a jam?
>3)  Learn to play into vocal mics well, and show up with just harps. Pros:  
>cheapest lightest, easiest option.  Cons:  Vocal mics seem less forgiving 
>than harp mics for finger and breat noises.  I need all the help I can get 
>masking my crappy tone and technique.
>4)  Bring a small/mid sized amp early, have them mic it at sound check, and 
>let anyone who want's to blow harp use my gear.  Pros:  Get to use whatever 
>gear I like best.  Cons:  sound guys and/or host band may not be into this.
>Those of you with open stage/sitting in experience, what are your thoughts?
>Roy G
>Harp-l is sponsored by SPAH.
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