[Harp-L] Amp Review - GH2

To:  Harp-L
Subject:  HarpGear2 Amp
From:  Barry Cohen
Date: 1/10/08

Thought folks might be interest in a (yes, yet another) amp review;

I just received my brand new HG2 amp from Brian Purdy, with an upgraded Weber 8A100 speaker - and all  I can say is WOW (ok I'll say a bit more)!  

First off, the amp came in the best packaging ever - nice and safe 'n secure - man, you could have shipped a baby without damage in all those 'peanuts' (ok, perhaps some breathing problems with that...).

Next, the thing it's just gorgeous!  The tweed and ka-zillion coats of lacquer are even more impressive and richer-looking than the photos I've seen - and that's the thickest, most comfortable leather handle of any amp on the planet.  Another real positive I noted are the nice and big 'feet' that hold the amp square & steady.

Ok, ya she's pretty and wiggles nice but can she sing?

Quick n true story; brought the HG2 to my band's rehearsal last night - didn't tell anyone I had a new amp (I usually use Kalamazoo II), we first play a very soft number and I'm only on volume 3 - sounded very similar to my the Pro Junior I have, ok fine.  So next we play my all-time favorite tune Caldonia!; and I'm thinking ok here comes the real test!  I goose the HG up to volume-7 (zero feedback - in fact I can go to 9!), pull out my 1952 black label green bullet (thank you Chuck Gurney - killer mic!) and play balls-to-the-wall!

About 1/2 way thru the song my bass player, who's a pretty loud 'n forceful control freak bull-in-a-china-shop type guy (all 6'4 250 lbs of him) - starts yelling stop stop!  We stop playing and he glares at me (unaware I have a new amp) and says 'what the hell is going on with your harmonica?!'  Oh, oh - I'm thinking - did I suck - is something wrong with the amp - am I not hearing something?  Then he says 'I don't know what's going on but that's by far the best you've ever sounded  - what a great crunchy sounding amp without all that distortion - whatever it is ya got to throw out all your other amps pal - this one sounds perfect (oh man, instant harmonica-heaven!)!!!  

Now I am only an intermediate player; I know that advanced and expert players can get great sound out of an old milk carton, but for most of us mortals we need some help - and man I really felt this amp helped me achieve a major tonal breakthrough - and that's just on the very first day of using it!

Hope this review is of some value; especially for other non-expert harpoonist looking for a great small amp (and no, I'm not Brain's long-lost Jewish brother!)~

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