Re: [Harp-L] Hohner Hoodoo Tube Amp?

Michael Meehan wrote:
<How is the Hohner Hoodoo amp? I need a harp amp that will help out a little with the crunchy sound, <and can't afford a $1,200 boutique amp, know what I mean? Has anyone used one, that would care to pass <on their thoughts? Is it big/loud enough? I don't know anything about wattage or whatever, so I can't <tell by reading the specs whether or not it is "big" enough for playing with a band.

The Hohner is a 5 Watt amp, not loud enough for playing with a band unless it's mic'd or run through a PA via a line-out.  I haven't played through one, but the word of mouth is not very good.  A better bet for a 5-watt amp is the Epiphone valve junior mini-stack--a 5 watt head coupled with a 12 inch speaker cabinet for about $250.  Sounds very good.  But it's still not loud enough for most bands.  I wouldn't go less than 15 watts for playing with a band, and if it's a loud band, 50 watts onstage is more like it.

You might want to check with Greg at to see if he's got a rebuilt Kalamazoo kicking around.  But the Kalamazoo is also a smaller amp, and you might need to mic it with a loud band.

I recently heard a guitarist playing through the new Fender Champ XD, an 18-watt "hybrid" tube amp with 16 different modeled preamp voicings and built in effects.  It sounded totally great with guitar, and I know at least one harp player who bought two of them because he loved the first one so much.  It's pretty reasonable at $329.  

If you're more adventurous, I'd recommend an amp modeler like the Digitech RP200 coupled with a keyboard amp.  A 35-watt keyboard amp will run you about $350 new, and the RP200 will run you less than $100.  (I appreciate that most harp players feel more comfortable with a "real" amp, especially if it's their only rig.  But there are plenty of guitarists and bassists playing out with similar setups.)

Go check out that Fender Champ XD.  Make sure you bring the mic you plan to use with the amp, whatever you buy.  Different amps respond differently to different mics.

And as always, check the user reviews at 

Regards, Richard Hunter
latest mp3s and harmonica blog at

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