Re: [Harp-L] Amplification for clean chromatic sound

Amp-li-caation,,,bu bump bump
Recommendaa-tion,, bump bu bump

someone back me up on harp here,,

make it honky,,lol

----- Original Message ----- From: "Sheltraw" <macaroni9999@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Richard Hunter" <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2016 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Amplification for clean chromatic sound

Thanks to everybody for their amplification recommendations!

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 28, 2016, at 3:46 PM, Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Sheltraw wrote:
I will likely be needing some amplification for my chromatic harp soon. I want a clean sound and I don't want to have to cart around a bunch hardware. Can you recommend a light weight system that would be versatile enough for small stand-alone gigs and large gigs that might require running it through a venue's sound system?

For the mic, I recommend an Audix Fireball V. Probably the best and most versatile available for acoustic (clean) sounds, and relatively inexpensive for a pro mic at about $125. Of course, if you have a Shure SM58 or similar vocal mic lying around, that will certainly work. You'll just need to back off the treble EQ on your amp a little.

For the amplification, I recommend a keyboard amp, preferably one with built-in FX so you can get some reverb and/or delay into your sound. That's more portable and easier to set up than a PA system. Behringer makes a number of small keyboard amps with plenty of power for small gigs plus built-in FX. Look for an amp with a 10" speaker at least. Also make sure the amp has a line-out that you can take to a PA if necessary. Ideally that line out is a balanced XLR connection. If not, budget for a passive DI box as well. Do NOT buy an amp without a line out if you can possibly avoid it.

The Peavey KB2 I use is a very nice amp; I recommended it to PT Gazell some time ago, don't know if PT bought one. 10" speaker, plenty of power for small rooms, an XLR balanced line out for big ones. However, it does not include any FX, so if you want reverb and/or delay (and who doesn't, except for people who really don't know any better?), you'll have to add one or both via an external FX device. (I use a Digitech RP with mine, so the FX are covered.) I think you'll be happier with a Behringer if you want to keep the number of devices in the chain to an absolute minimum.

Alternatively, you could get a powered speaker with a 10" woofer. Altos and Behringer make decent ones for around $200, Peavey for about $300, Mackie for about $400. You'll also need an external reverb or delay for any of those; either pedal should run somewhere around $100. Of course, any of the Digitech RPs from the RP150 up have very nice reverbs and delays, as well as other FX that sound good with chromatic. However, they also require a power supply to be plugged in, so they complicate the gear situation a little. If that's not a problem for you, a used RP155 or 150 at $25-50 is a real deal on a boxful of great reverbs and delays.

Entire setup with mic and amplification should run you around $350 if you buy new ($200 for amp, $125 for mic, $25 for cables etc.). With PA speakers I tend to think that previous owners may have given them a pretty heavy workout, so I generally buy that class of equipment new unless I have the opportunity to test it before buying. I've bought keyboard amps without a problem.

By the way, if anybody wants to claim that they sound better without reverb or delay than with it, fine. Just point me to a recording of yourself that proves it. in my opinion, reverb is mandatory for acoustic harmonica, and delay for amped harp. (It's also pretty amazing how much an acoustic harp can be made to sound like an electrified one just by putting a slapback delay on it.)

Thanks, Richard Hunter

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