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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Hohner Harp Blaster HB52 mic
Hohner Harp Blaster HB52 mic
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282 posts
Jun 12, 2021
9:08 AM
I don't know how many of you have tried the new Hohner Harp Blaster HB52 mic. To me, the best thing about this mic is the shell. Its small, easy to hold and cup, and its built solid. The front is flat which makes it easy to hold the harp right up against the grill when cupping. And the volume control feels and works great. The sound is good, very playable. But for those that like to tinker and modify ...

A Shure CM or CR element will fit into the shell with just a little work. The diameter of a CM is just slightly too large to drop into the shell. But a dremel tool and sanding wheel, and about 15 minutes of careful work took care of that. I just went around the inside lip of the shell, removing metal little by little, until the CM dropped in. Just be careful to take off the metal evenly. You don't want to leave a thin weak spot in the shell. Make sure you go just far enough so that the CM element drops in enough to allow the grill to fit back on the front of the shell. I soldered to the existing wires, put a bead of silicone adhesive around the opening, dropped the CM element in, and closed it up.

It sounds great!
118 posts
Jun 12, 2021
4:13 PM
I was thinking of trying one out, I have an old version BB & put a Turner element in it, sounds good but a smaller shell would be nice. What did you gain by putting the CM element in there ? Or what did you think of the stock element ? I put the Turner in mine because I thought the old version BB sounded kinda thin and raspy. The old Turner element is real nice, crisp & fat & can get louder than my Bulletini without feedback.

Last Edited by Lou on Jun 12, 2021 4:30 PM
6968 posts
Jun 12, 2021
4:26 PM
I thought one of these was going to be my next mic, but I forgot and blew all my dough on another vintage unit.
283 posts
Jun 12, 2021
7:40 PM
The HB is a great mic and sounds good stock. I only changed the element to a CR because I had it sitting around not being used. Otherwise I would have been fine playing it stock.

I think the CR has a hotter output. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you're playing it into. It also has more rasp, or at least a different kind of rasp. I like it better than the stock element, but only marginally. Like I said the HB is playable as is.

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
394 posts
Jun 13, 2021
8:36 PM
Just an aside: I've always intentionally kept the harmonica away from the microphone grill (about an inch) -- something about a resonant chamber -- however no scientific testing on my part.
123 posts
Aug 16, 2021
3:34 PM
I bought one & it is very well built & I really like the locking mic cord ! Nice shell size too. Comparing it to my Bulletini the HB isn't quite as fat sounding, has a little more mid range tone to it. It's not raspy or really honking but it's got a good sound & with a little amp EQ you can can get a nice Chicago sound going no problem. For some reason it doesn't seem as responsive to a good tight cup like the Bulletini. Probably not fair to compare a 230.00 mic to it but that's what I've got. If you have a Bulletini there be no reason for a HB except if you want a the larger shell or maybe a nice back up mic. Maybe I'll go jpmcbride route & put in my Tuner element & see how that goes.
978 posts
Aug 24, 2021
9:20 PM
It's technically Low Z so why use it if you need a transformer?
Am I missing something?

What does raspy and honking mean in mic terms? I presume raspy is referring to distortion. Honking, no idea?

Last Edited by Harpaholic on Aug 24, 2021 9:27 PM
7002 posts
Aug 25, 2021
2:29 AM
LowZ? All the marketing claims it’s hi z
979 posts
Aug 25, 2021
11:53 AM
Tech Specs

Here's what I found. Is there two versions?

Microphone Type: Dynamic.
Frequency Range: 22Hz-16kHz.
Output Impedance: 450 ohms.
Sensitivity: 17.8 mV/Pa (-35 dBV)
Color: Green.
Connector: XLR.
Dimensions: 3" x 1.9"
Weight: 0.45 lbs.

Last Edited by Harpaholic on Aug 25, 2021 11:54 AM
66 posts
Aug 25, 2021
4:59 PM
The se site lists the impedance as 45 kohms

which equals to 45,000 ohms
980 posts
Aug 25, 2021
8:20 PM
I did find that one?

Last Edited by Harpaholic on Aug 25, 2021 8:25 PM
124 posts
Aug 26, 2021
6:43 AM
Raspy & Honking probably not the best description. Anyway what I was trying too say is raspy meaning bad sounding distortion. I bought a cheap crystal element of ebay for about 16 bucks put it in a brown Shure shell & it was raspy as hell just doesn't sound good no matter what amp I tried it on.
The HB is not that all, IMO the break up on HB is nice much better than the older Blues Blaster.
Honking was what I would call a great mic being very responsive to your playing, great bottom end but not dull or & plenty of highs & mids to cut through a mix.
So to my ears the HB isn't that, it's good mic no doubt but just isn't as good as the Bulletini.
In reality kinda splinting hairs & the bottom line is the player is the one producing the most of tone. But I'm one of the guys that really like amps & mics, kinda like Clapton who gets off on "screaming guitars" a much better choice of words than "raspy & honking"
981 posts
Aug 26, 2021
11:37 AM
I dont have a shortage of mics and elements, but if I was looking the XLR is a deal breaker for me.
7003 posts
Aug 26, 2021
1:58 PM
The xlr is the clincher for me.
Dougie Blue
16 posts
Sep 23, 2021
12:12 AM
I have one, and until this week I really liked it, although I don't have a lot to compare it with. Besides the HB, I've also played through standard vocal mics, a Bone Daddy mic, and a Superlux D 112. But this week, I began having issues with my sound cutting out - I thought it was my mic cable, or a bad cable on my pedal board, or ??? But turns out it's the HB - now totally dead. I've tried my cordless rig, my backup adapter to get to a 1/4" jack, and no sound. I test the cable and plug in other mics to see if it's somewhere further along the signal path - but no, it seems it really is the mic. I've only had it about 1 year. So I just contacted Greg to order a Bulletini.

Fooling around with it, I deduced it is the volume control that is the issue. I've got it working again, but don't really trust it. To get it working, I loosened the knob, pushed it down tight on the shaft, and tightened it. There was some play in the shaft before, in and out. By eliminating that play, I perhaps have it working better. There is a metal round spring under the knob that applies upward pressure, so by pushing down, I compressed that a bit, tightened the knob, and the spring puts upward pressure on the knob, and thus the shaft, presumably making better contact with the sweeper inside the volume control. So it's working now. But I will push through with the Bulletini order - one can be a backup for the other.
John M G
439 posts
Sep 23, 2021
5:33 PM
Well I had one for a few weeks. It was good for sure but not at all close to my Greg Heumann Wood Custom mic. Plus it meant carrying a specific cable for it.
I don't like the idea of a fixed cable on the my mics, I've got a compromised right leg and if I stood on the cable it might be enough to bring me down and I'd sooner have the cable just pop out of the mic. I now use Neutrik silent connectors at the mic end and all my mics are set up for 1/4 plugs. You might miss a bar or two but no cable, mic or body damage. My mics are too expensive to start throwing them around like Roger Daltrey did back in the day!
Dougie Blue
18 posts
Sep 24, 2021
1:10 AM
My fix described above did not work very long. Clearly the volume pot is failing. For details on getting a new one, I created a new thread titled "Hohner Harp Blaster Replacement Potentiometer" so that anyone in the future facing the same problem will easily find it with the search function.
12 posts
Sep 25, 2021
9:02 AM
Message edited to not mislead people about the Hohner mic.
It is High-Z.

Last Edited by DS200 on Sep 28, 2021 1:21 AM
Dougie Blue
20 posts
Sep 27, 2021
4:42 PM
DS200 - you have not read the data on the Hohner/SE Harp Blaster HB52. It IS a high-Z mic. It uses an XLR (pin 2 hot) connector at the mic so you get an easy and secure connection. The cable you use with it should have a 1/4" plug at the other end for plugging into an amplifier. THERE IS NO INVERSE SIGNAL TRANSMITTED ON A SECOND WIRE like a typical XLR mic and cable. So this mic will NOT work at a jam where a standard vocal-type mic, with XLR on each end, is required. You could go into the line in on a mixer, though, as they are made for high-Z inputs.

I'm not worried about jam nights. As far as I know, I am the only blues harp player in the region (I live near a small city in the Philippines). I've seen one other person playing harmonica, but it wasn't blues.

As for custom mics, etc - I have a Heumann Bulletini coming my way as we speak - I'm using this failed pot as an excuse to get one and give it a try.
126 posts
Sep 29, 2021
3:51 AM
I just read this post again for the first time since it was first posted, and I'd like to add an opinion on what "honk" means when I use it to describe a mic (or an amp). To me, it means a "horn-like" sound, somewhere between the sound of a trumpet and a tenor sax.
115 posts
Sep 30, 2021
7:51 AM
XLR cable not really required.
Plenty adapters available.
Mic sounds great in my opinion.
I do not use XLR.
985 posts
Oct 05, 2021
9:45 PM
Honk or Honky is an actual term used to describe a sound from an amp/speaker, but in a negative way. Dominate midrange lacking lows and highs. Nasally.
Horn-like to describe sounding like a horn.

I'm guilty of using that term over the years to describe volume/output.
"That F'ing amp/mic honks!"

Last Edited by Harpaholic on Oct 05, 2021 9:49 PM
9 posts
Dec 07, 2021
3:39 PM
I use an xlr to female 1/4' adapter on my HB52 and a screw-on to 1/4" on my Bulletini as I like to switch mics mid-set like a geetar player switches their axes. Different songs and keys get the best mic for the job. The Bulletini could easily cover any gig in it's entirety as it's output is fatter, hotter, has much more low end and it's easier to hold however I like the tone variance between the 2. The higher key harps definitely get the Bulletini with a solid cup for the Chicago tones. The HB52 looks great and is a solid mic imho which I will use for all keys when a cleaner, non-honk tone is required. Definitely warmer and rounder into a tube amp than a vocal mic into the PA. Yes, having the 1/4' pulled out of the adapters can happen too easily but I'd rather deal with that then dropping either mic - I've had to send my Bulletini back to Greg twice as when it did fall, the element was intact but the VC needed to be replaced. I think we are all spoiled with Mr Huemann's great products and equally impressive service!

Last Edited by Poe on Dec 07, 2021 4:34 PM
99 posts
Dec 09, 2021
8:20 AM
Hey Poe,
What xls to female 1/4 adapter do you use? The one I have is too wiggly
14 posts
Dec 14, 2021
10:58 AM
Hi Tony - I had an old Switchcraft adapter. I also purchased a couple of these D'Addario units to have as spares. All fit snuggly, work great and have no signs of wiggle.


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