I'm looking for a mid-sized harp amp and am interested in the Harpgear Hurricane. The thing is, I can't find any info on this amp. I've owned a Double Trouble so I'd love to get a comparison of it against the Hurricane. Has anyone played it? Any reviews or comments? Videos or sound files?
The only video I can find of it is this one of Deak Harp. It sounds great, lots of low end which I like. But then, this is Deak, and he makes any amp sound good!
Don't know anything about the HarpGear Hurricane. What I can tell you though is that the single best mid sized amp I've ever played through (and I've tried loads including a Double Trouble), is the Fender '65 reissue Blackface Princeton Reverb. It absolutely wipes the floor with every other amp in that class I've ever played through. Simply an astonishing amp, that responds to every little nuance of your playing. If I was buying an amp again. That's the only one I'd even consider spending my money on. It really is that good.
What is it you like about this amp so much for harp?
I prefer a lot of bass, a powerful tone. I'm not so much a fan of the super saturated sound, or the 8" speaker sound. Too bright and raspy for me. Taking this into consideration, how would you say the amp fits?
Did you need to do any mods to get it gigable? Tube swaps maybe?
---------- Jim McBride Bottle 'O Blues microphones www.bottleoblues.com
jpmcbride, The '65 Blackface Princeton Reverb Reisue is a 15 watt all valve amp with a single 10" speaker. It has the singular most organic sound I've ever heard in any amp. Ever single little bit of technique in your playing comes through this amp and then some. It doesn't need any tweaking and is useable straight out of the box. Although it can sometimes benefit from having a 12AY7 in V1 instead of the stock 12AX7. As far as I know it's still in production. My advice would be find a music store with one in and see for yourself. I don't know any player at all that has tried this amp, who doesn't love it. For my money it's pound for pound the best amp for harp out there.
Last Edited by Kingley on Jun 28, 2020 8:59 AM
TetonJohn, haha! Probably not. Although I've never played through an original '65 Blackface Princeton Reverb so couldn't tell you for sure. I'd love to get the chance to play through one though. All I can say for certain is that the '65 reissue is in my opinion a truly fantastic amp for harp. The Blackface Princeton (non reverb model) was one of Big Walters favourite amps apparently. Sugar Ray Norcia owned Walter's Princeton last I heard. Think its safe to say those two know a fair bit about what makes a good amp for harp. All I'd say to people is go and try playing through one if you get the chance.
The HarpGear Hurricane is HarpGear's next step in building a mid sized amp which achieves 15W using a fixed bias 6V6 setup. This is based on a Fender Black Face Princeton Reverb . This amp is setup specifically for harmonica and uses all of our standard harp amp modifications we have become known for. This amp was designed to add flexibility to our amp line and allow you to play in a small to medium sized venue with the confidence of knowing you will have great one and a lush reverb without any need for pedals. The Hurricane uses two weber signature series straight cone 8" speakers. The amp has three adjustable tone controls being Bass, Middle and Treble. This amp has an oversized output transformer like the other amps and even more great bass to really accentuate those low notes while you're playing. This amp will generate 15 watts of power which comes across quite loud and with a lot of punch. This amp is available in Carbon Fiber Tolex with a silver grill. The amps size is 16"Hx19-7/8"Wx9-1/2"D and weighs just under 25lbs.
Sounding good Zack. Here's one of me playing through a Princeton Reverb reissue back at a train wreck jam night back around 2009. Amp was on about 4-5 on the volume, at the back of the stage and I remember it wasn't miked into the PA. Was using a JT30 mic with a CM99A86 element in it.
Last Edited by Kingley on Jun 28, 2020 1:53 PM
Kingly and Zack, all those clips sound great. Its hard to tell in this kind of recording, but I think I'm hearing the low end that I need in a harp amp. And not too much of the raspy, ragged high end I don't like. Overall a really nice harp tone.
I had previously seen the video of Deak playing through the Harpgear Hurricane and it sounds amazing! But Deak sounds like Deak through just about any amp!
My only concern about the Hurricane is 2x8 speakers compared to the 1x10 in the Princeton Reverb. Typically I'm not a big fan of the 8" speaker sound. But its hard to argue with that tone that Deak got out of the Hurricane!
---------- Jim McBride Bottle 'O Blues microphones www.bottleoblues.com
Last Edited by jpmcbride on Jun 28, 2020 2:09 PM
Kingley, just wanted to say I haven’t frequented here lately but hope all is well! My buddy has a few 4x8 harp amps. I would argue no matter how many eight inch speakers you have they just don’t project. I’ve noticed tens just do it the best. Twelves I also find sound great close but sound bad further away. It’s super weird. I think an eight and ten would make a great harp amp.
I don't know the scientific explanation for how this works. if you look at the (EDIT) Sonny Jr thread, the 8" compared to 10" is discussed there too. Gabriel just posted and ventured the idea that with a particular amp, even if you used it to drive 4x10", which it has more than enough power to do, it would not cut to the back of the room like a bassman 410.
this wasn't simple speculation; there was a considerable amount of experience, and specific experience of the amps in question. the implication seems to be its not always all about the speaker configuration. Even when available power is equal or perhaps a bit greater, a particular circuit might cut through more than another with the same speakers.
i have never played a 2x8" princeton Reverb but i have a 2x8" cab so i could probably give it a whirl.
This has reminded me of something else. i used to go to a garage jam which usually featured at least 3 guitarists. we had a small PA, drums, bass, sometimes a couple harps. i had leisure to try different amps and usually they just couldn't be heard unless i had at least 1 10" speaker. one time i recall taking the PR and a Single ended 6L6 amp which had a 10". The Princeton was OK but i couldn't hear the other amp until i plugged it into a cab with a single 12". Then i coyld hear it and it seemed pretty good. i suppose maybe that old 12" may be just a more efficient speaker L6
Last Edited by SuperBee on Jun 29, 2020 2:58 AM
I used a Sonny 1 at large festival last year-it worked wonderfully,but i also had a pro soundman. There are a few things to consider here-the size of the room,amp location on stage,band volume and the ability to run the sound through a board. I also own the first Sonny 2 ever made-I have not gigged with it yet-but it held it's own at a harp amp showcase Dennis Gruenling and I put on in Florida a few years back.
Super bee I’ve never thought of that but you’re probably right. One thing I’ve always noticed is Bassman based amps always sound airy to me. Like air being pushed. No matter how many speakers. Whereas other circuits the sound seems to come through more compressed. I think a big reason I don’t like the Bassman sound it basically that. It has this boominess. I will say any amp I’ve tried with eights doesn’t cut well and I would almost bet it’s somewhat due to the speaker side and how they amplify.
My theory is that with some circuits the loudness is just the full on air being pushed and some circuits don’t allow for that. Where others it’s more frequency and the volume is more perceived from the mids and highs.
Thanks Kingley, I hope so too. Florida is a hot spot right now. I’m disappointed because I just started playing harp in a rack for the gig.
RE: tmf714 Hope I did not downplay the SJ1 or SJ2 too much, it was really in comparison to a 4 x 10 Bassman. I gigged as my only amp the protype of the SJ2 '98 I think)...you may have had your SJ2 by then, he was just ready to release them, it was just a funky old wood head, not something Gary would normally have let out his door but, it has those two huge Transformers and all the jacks and outputs were hand labeled. Anyway, I played it with a closed cabinet made for Bass (Ampeg) 4 x 8" and then the 15" single. That Bass cab would project sound better than open back! Also, I gigged next 1-2 years and played an outdoor concert with about 1,000 people, it just needed mic'd out the PA and some back into monitors but, did fine. Did the same concert next year with about 1,100 people and one of the Re-Issues Gary did, along with a Tweed Deluxe and the Bassman was more amp outside for sure. I also had a 1964 Black face non-reverb Princeton, it sounded great but, ultimately not quite as versatile with the band I had. Some gigs with 4 piece and singer fine but, mostly I had 7-piece and that included 1-2 horns so at times needed more coverage. Another excellent amp for right off the shelf at Guitar center (Besides a RE-Issue Bassman if I had to pick one it would be this) is the Fender "Custom Deluxe Reverb". This is NOT the blackface Deluxe Reverb, it's the '68 with silver face, silver/blue grill cloth and aluminum trim strip (drip edge) border around the grill. These are 22 watts (big brother to the Princeton and more "beef") and very important, Channel 1 has been changed, it is voiced identical to the ReIssue Tweed '59 Bassman. I did not know this first time I tried one (just trying amps in the amp room at a music store in Austin) and could hardly believe how much better it sounded than a normal Deluxe Reverb. I later learned of this change, it is very harp friendly like Bassman, what I would pick for a mid-sized amp off the shelf. Exceptions being the WAY more expensive Tweed Pro or Bandmaster, for that much you just find a Sonny Jr for less.
Anyone in San Diego have a Harp Gear Hurricane? I have played both the 2 x 8" and the single 12" "Double Trouble" in San Antonio but, that looks like a cool amp.
Correction on my prior post" I was talking about the SJ2 head with 4 x 8" + 15" extension. Went into talking about 1,000 people outdoor concert and mic'ing amp, that was a SJ#1 with 4 x 8", it did fine with good sound person.
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