[Harp-L] re: I-mic users unite

   I failed to mention that I tried out several dynamic elements that I "salvaged" from vocal mics. This was in the shaker housing, and to my ears, you get "better" tone when using very low impedance element (read here: speakers) for harp than when using cheap vocal mic elements. Also, these speaker-cum-mic elements usually have only a very close pickup range, and are essentially unidirectional, they have less feedback issues than elements from vocal mics. Maybe better (more expensive) vocal elements would have better tone, and not suffer from these problems, but my thinking is "why pay more when you get good results from an unconventional but cheaper method?".

   (The following is kind of a rant, so skip it if you want. But if you do read it, I am very interested to hear people's reactions) Bear in mind that I build these things for two reasons: 1) I like to tinker with stuff. 2) I am a cheap, cheap bastard. But isn't that the reason why many of us chose to play harp in the first place? Personally, ( which means for myself only, so I'm not preaching here) I have a hard time fathoming spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on vintage and boutique amps and mics to play a $20 harp through.... I mean, I fully and truly appreciate the sound of 59 Bassman combined with a really nice mic, and I understand why someone would pay a lot for that. And I also appreciate the workmanship of the experts that build and repair these things. But if you are at least a little bit handy, and, like me, have a strong DIY ethic, you can get all the tone and volume and sound you want out of equipment you build yourself. I knew
 nothing about electronics 6 months ago, but after starting with the I-mic building, I found myself reading up on stuff at sites like runoffgroove.com and generalguitargadgets, and realizing that I COULD do all that stuff. I invested probably around $50 so far in soldering equipment and electronics parts, and add anothe $50 in goodwill audio equipment that I've restored or pillaged and salvaged stuff from, and now I am building my own preamps, effects, cabs, and amps... (mind you these are all mostly in progress). Anyway, the point is, if you just put a little effort into this thing, you can avoid any frustrations that go along with that big payout for something you only have heard is what you need to play through (like getting ripped a new one on e-bay)... I think you can really start to break some new ground by experimenting with your own builds. You really get to know why things sound the way the do, and then you really start to figure out what you
 can change to get the sound and tone that you are hearing in your head and that you really want. You will spend a lot more time on it, BUT you will spend a lot less money for something that ultimately is just what you want because you did it yourself.
  Anyway, sorry for that rant... I don't mean to offend anybody, I just wanted to offer my 2 cents in the hopes of it possibly helping out some people who might share the same mindset with me...

Harp on everyone!

Message: 8
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 02:47:05 GMT
From: "jcolbyspell@xxxxxxxx" <jcolbyspell@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] re: I-mic users unite
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Message-ID: <20080123.184705.20698.0@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

I have to admit I made an I-mic as well.  I used a spice bottle.  It
 looks a lot like a Bottle O' Blues.  I think that it might be the type of
 bottle they use making theirs.  I am sure mine is not as nicely made
 and it looks a little silly.  I have used to elements in it.  One was a
 dynamic capsule ordered from Mouser.  It is the element recommended in
 the second link below.  I managed to break that capsule when electrical
 tape stuck to the diaphragm (no jokes please).  I then ordered a
 cheapo crystal element off of Ebay.  The dynamic sounded much better.  It
 was actually a decent sounding mike to my ear (admittedly more tuned to
 guitar tones that harmonica . . . but the guitar sites are full of
 dorks).  The bottle fits well in my hand and is easy to cup.  I don't know
 if it worth making unless you enjoy that type of thing.  I suspect that
 the Bottle o' Blues is better sounding, so you may just buy that.  I
 believe it is still modestly priced.

Oh why not just put a link to the element . . . here it is

I am not affiliated with any of these companies or web sites or Bottle
 O' Blues or Harmonica playing with any degree of proficiency.

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