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

Wasn't it a couple of guys tinkering in their bike shop that brought us
practical powered flight?   Tinker on!

On Jan 24, 2008 10:54 AM, Isaac Ullah <iiullah@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>   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
> 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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