Re: Perfect harp amp

John Kally wrote:
"If I could have my ideal amp it would be
1. Feedback free at stadium level (ok, I'll settle for club level.
2.  Weigh half of what my Bassman weighs 
3. Affordable.
4. Have more variety in sound. 
5. Onboard echo (not reverb)  and eq, so I don't need the pedals.
6.  A more versatile preamp section that matches the impedance of my
mics better"

The fact is that my Digitech RP200 amp modeling pedal delivers all of
1. Feedback free at stadium level: 
yup.  Once you've tuned the RP200 for your favorite mic, feedback isn't
an issue.
2.  Weigh half of what my Bassman weighs: 
the RP200 is the size and weight of a hardcover book, and you can run it
directly into the PA. If you absolutely must have a big chunk of wood
with a speaker sitting next to you on stage, add a used keyboard amp to
the rig for an onstage monitor.
3. Affordable: 
The RP200 costs $149 new.  Used ones in very good condition run $75 -
$100.  A used keyboard amp will run you another $200-$300, depending on
make and model.
4. Have more variety in sound: 
At least half of the 11 amp models included in the RP200 work with harp,
and at least 4 of them work brilliantly.  I have 40 patches set up in my
RP200 that kick ass in 40 different ways, and I can get to any of them
with a few pedal pushes. 
5. Onboard echo (not reverb)  and eq, so I don't need the pedals: 
Yup.  The echoes and delays in the RP200 are very nice, the reverbs not
so great but usable.
6.  A more versatile preamp section that matches the impedance of my
mics better: 
You can tune the RP200 to work with your favorite mic(s).  Since you've
got 40 user-programmable patches to work with, you can set up 10 or so
for each of your favorite mics, and just switch to the appropriate patch
when you change mics.

I realize that a lot of players already own wonderful amps, and I own a
modified Crate VC508 myself that I use for a lot of stuff (e.g. my
recent recording of "Minor Kill", available via my subscription list at  There's nevertheless a lot to
be said for a box that costs less than $150, works with any PA in the
world, packs easily in a suitcase with your socks and shirts, weighs
less than 2 pounds, and sounds great in 40 different ways, on demand. 
For my latest three performances, the RP200 was the only thing I took to
the gig.  At my performance at Chicago's in Toronto in December 2003,
the two other harp players on stage -- Mark Bird Stafford and Tortoise
Blue, both well-known on the Canadian scene -- were crazy about my rig,
notwithstanding that both of them showed up with very good-sounding
traditional amped setups of their own.  I doubt that either one of them
dumped their own rigs the day after the gig, but I wouldn't be surprised
if both of them went out and bought an RP200. 

This is better living through electronics, for sure.

Thanks, Richard Hunter

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