[Harp-L] Seeking Advice

Richard Hunter turtlehill@xxxxx
Thu May 19 12:02:12 EDT 2016

Chris Hofstader wrote:
<I’m looking for a small practice amp or, even better, an amp head as I don’t need a speaker. I’d like for it to be as close to the Vox AC sound as possible but, as <this is purely for practicing, it needn’t be an expensive tube set. I don’t care much if it has any added effects as, aside from my Lone Wolf reverb pedal, I don’t <use any. 
<So, whether tubes, solid state or DSP, I think portability is priority one but I do hope for something that isn’t a noisy little toy. The one added feature which <probably eliminates all of the DSP types is that I’m blind and all of the controls on the device need to be hardware knobs as I’ve no way of seeing a digital based <set of menus.

Since you already like the sounds Vox amps make, I think your best bet is to pick up one of their small modeling amps. I own a Vox DA5, and it's a great little plug-and-play box that sounds very good with harp and offers a full set of hardware controls, as per your specification.

The DA5 is no longer in production, but I'm sure you can find one used.  If not, the current Mini 3 G2 and other small modeling amps from Vox (see http://www.voxamps.com/mini) will give you similar sounds and hardware controls for a price pretty close to $100.  All the mini amps are small and light, and they run on batteries in case you want to practice on the beach. (Cambridge doesn't have a beach, but Cape Cod isn't far away.)  The Mini 3 G2 has a headphone output jack too in case you don't want to broadcast your amped tones.

A Roland Micro Cube offers very similar functions and features for a similar price, and some harp players like them.  In my opinion, the Micro Cube sounds great with guitar, but it's a mediocre harp amp. I'd go with the Vox line.

Regards, Richard Hunter 

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