Re: [Harp-L] Harp Commander Instead of Amp ?

Blueharp1@xxxxxxx wrote:
<Nope, the Harp Commander will not duplicate the juicy push/pull of a great  
<tube amp.  That being said, last night I loaded my Bassman R.I. into the  car 
<for a big Halloween Ball gig. Got all set up onstage, began soundcheck, and  
<the Bassman wouldn't power up, and time was short. I always carry the Harp  
<Commander for just this possibility. Funny thing is, until now I've never had
<call it into emergency service. I asked the soundguy to just run all his  
<settings flat across, handed him a line-out cord from the HC, (I have the  
<original ~ let's call it "HC Classic") plugged in, dialed up a very
<sound, and had a great gig that might otherwise have been an exercise in  
<Full-blown tube amp nirvana? Of course not. Fat powerful reliable big  round 
<harp tone through the PA?  Absolutely!  

Since no one else has yet mentioned what I would consider to be an obvious alternative to a full blown amp setup, let me be the first: an amp modeler effect box will run you somewhere between $50 and $250, depending on which make and model you buy, and is a perfectly usable alternative to an amp onstage.  A range of such devices are in use every day by harp players, guitarists, and bassists.  The technology is a decade old and it works, period.  You can get simple devices like the Boss Fender Bassman and Deluxe Reverb emulators-- stomp boxes that emulate one amp only -- or more complex units like the ones from Digitech, Zoom, Line6, etc. that emulate 10-20 amp models plus effects.  (The Vox DA5 mini-amp mentioned in a separate post is basically an amp modeler with a built in speaker.)  

I've recently come to the conclusion that the most important advantage of an amp modeler is that range of amp models.  It's one thing to go to a gig with a great-sounding device.  It's another thing to show up with a box that has half a dozen great amp sounds in it, so you can dial up completely different sounds and vib on demand.  Add in the portability and ease of setup that you get with an amp modeler, and it's a lot of power for performing.

But in general, there are lots and lots of ways to sound good. Harp players have an amazing range of great choices for amplification now.  The even better news is that it generally costs less to sound good than it ever did.

Regards, Richard Hunter
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