Re: [Harp-L] Amplifier advice sought.

Sean Stephens wrote:
<Could one or two of you please advice me whether or not the Roland cube amp is reasonable for harp amping.
<It is a 30 w amp my friend in work has offered me for Â100 ,good working order apparently but have not actually <tried it out.
<I have a bullet mic which I intend to connect to it to give it a test drive but as I understand <it,transister/solid state amps are not really geared for a blues harp sound,I think this is just that,though <please correct me if I'm mistaken.
<He tells me there is a "Tweed" setting on it,has this any relation to a valve sound??

First, the Roland Cube is a "modeling" amp, not a transistor or solid state amp per se.  It doesn't have tubes--it has computer chips that "model" the signal processing of tubes.  This is a very different technology from transistors, and it allows the amp to take on a number of different sounds, one of which is indeed an emulation of a Fender Tweed.  The Cube amps also have a nice selection of usable effects, which adds to the value, and construction quality is high.  However...

I owned a Roland Microcube for a while, and I loved it for guitar, but I'd rate it only a B (B+ tops) for harp. Compared to either my Digitech RPs or my tube amps, it didn't seem to produce a big, lively, dangerous harp sound, no matter what mic I used with it or how I configured the amp.  

As other posters on this thread have noted, the most important question is whether you like the sound--to put it another way, whether the sound of the amp inspires you to play.  It's also true that different amps react differently to particular mics.  So if this amp is located near you, I'd recommend that you try it with the mic you intend to use with the amp, and see if the sound inspires you.  If yes, then the price is good, and it's worth considering.  If no, then it doesn't matter if the amp is free--you're not going to enjoy playing through it.

Regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" 
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