[Harp-L] Amp Recommendations

I use a FatDog 2A by Rob Reynolds. This is a great mid-size custom
harp amp that to me sounds just as good as boutique amps that cost
much more - and the FatDogs cost under $1,000 with your choice of
speakers (check out http://www.fatdogamps.harmonicagear.com). My 2A
has two stereo class A power amps, each with its own 6L6-class power
tube. What is cool about that is that with both channels on it is a
tone monster that can cut through a good sized room, but in smaller
situations you can use just one channel and still crank it up high
for that thick FatDog tone I love. 

Rob He also makes the model 4A with a class A circuit with
quadraphonic 6V6 power amps and the Classic 40, a twin 6L6 push-pull
power amp and a single speaker. A new Mini Amp is coming out soon - a
speakerless tube amp designed to give you that thick FatDog sound
through a PA. I already put in my "first dibs" on one! I haven't
heard the other models in person, but there are sound clips on his
website. But going by my experience with the 2A, I wouldn't have any
problem choosing any of his amps. He charges about the same for all
the combo models, depending on speaker selection, so you get to
choose the amp design you like best without price getting in the way.
I like the stereo 2A, some folks like the Class A concept, some the
push-pull design. I don't know of another boutique builder that does
that - they all seem to design one type of amp that they like and
stick to it.

Rob is a relatively new builder but is brilliant (my opinion I guess)
and a really nice guy as well. He is a harp player obsessed by tone,
as well as a brilliant electronics guy as well, so eventually had to
build his own am. His friends liked it so much they convinced him to
make them for other people too - lucky me!

I'd put FatDogs amps up against any other at twice the price - but
his design philosophy is to keep the amp affordable for real harp
players without sacrificing tone. In fact, the 2A is a tone monster!
I was at the S. Florida Harmonica Blowout when their 59 Bassman died
and I volunteered my FatDog 2A. 15 harp players rocked on it for
hours and they all loved it! I did have to mic the FatDog since it
wasn't as loud as a Bassman of course - but that was not a problem.
My 2A was originally a 1x12+2x8 with great tone but not enough stage
presence and volume for me to cut thru some overly loud folks at the
local open mics (and those 8's tended to feedback to easily), so Rob
started putting in 10's instead. The 2A was amazing tone-wise with
the 8s, and with a feedback eliminator I handled that issue. But Rob,
who provides the best customer service I have ever seen, sent me a
4x10 cabinet with a mix of various Jensens at a price you wouldn't
believe. My FatDog is now a 4x10 and sounds better (and louder) than
ever - I'll be playing it at an open mic that is dominated by loud
guitarists this week and will let everyone know how I did!

- Robert
(aka RawHarp)

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