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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Old vs new Green Bullet?
Old vs new Green Bullet?
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1684 posts
May 03, 2022
7:35 AM
I was recently very surprised when presented with a Green Bullet, by a couple of very well-meaning friends, on my birthday. It came with a nice compliment on my playing -- "You´re so good that you need quality gear!" (none of them play harmonica so they had worked this out by themselves) -- and I was slightly embarrassed, as one is when given fine gifts. These friends are not particularly close, but they frequent gigs where I perform.

I could not muster the prescence to say that actually I already owned a Green Bullet, have had it more than 30 years, and I don´t like it one bit. Instead I performed an improvised song and dance, saying that my GB was old and deficient -- and wow, this new one had an volume pot, which is a considerable advancement in the product development department! "You are really very kind, guys and I´m touched!"
It was not possible to exchange it, Thomann Inc said when I called them up and asked if I could make a discreet upgrade to a Harp Blaster -- but no, I need the receipt. Of course. And there I feel like I´m in a corner and can´t ask for that.
So I´ll be keeping it, or selling it and forking up the money för a HB. (The well-meaning friends won´t note the difference!)

But before I do that (and I have no possibility of testing it out more thoroughly since I live in an apartment) I wonder:

* Has something interesting happened on the GB front since I bought mine, 1990 or so? (Apart from the volume pot.)

* Is there still a steady demand for GB´s among harp players, in view of the enormous amount of specialized harp mics that are out on the market these days?

I can note that the new one is a bit smaller, which is fine by me; but the cable appears to be attached the same way as before, which will cause problems rather soon.

/Martin in Sweden
287 posts
May 03, 2022
8:53 PM
Several thoughts:

~ GB mics are still commonly used. “In demand” probably varies by where you live, what’s available, and price. But they’re solid.

~ Don’t like your old GB? Sell it! It can be the treasure of the new owner and not a blight on your shelf gathering dust. Cha-Ching!$!$

~ The cord could (or may never) be a problem. Deal with that at the time (save $$) or in advance if you prefer.

~ I had a GB made in Mexico (DX520??). Good price, sounded aw’ight but I didn’t like the feel of the shell in my hand (for my hand size I now use an Astatic 200). I resolved any sound issues by changing out the element. That’s really the key on ANY bullet mic - GB, Turner, Astatic, or other bullet shell. Change out the element to a particular crystal, CR, or CM element you like and you completely change how the “mic” responds. I ultimately sold that mic for a price that covered costs of the original mic costs of upgrading connector and element, plus profit.

Maybe if you could contact one of these harp customizers/repairers they can do what you need or point you to someone they know who customized mics, whether you want an Amphenol 5/8” connector or a vintage element.
~ Joakim Barchéus (Sweden - used to have a harmonica repair / customization website - I can’t find it now). OR
~ Alex Russo (Netherlands) https://www.alexandrerossi.com/

So I think the GB may be a good mic (free shell with v/c); get the right sound for you if that’s an issue (and if you buy a different element for it, you can sell the one currently in the GB to help cover costs). I’m not that impressed with the HB but I guess that’s subjective. Newer, not necessarily better.


Last Edited by BnT on May 03, 2022 9:08 PM
7068 posts
May 05, 2022
8:34 PM
I am no fan of the GB, especially the DX and whatever it’s immediate predecessor was designated.
I’ve met people who use them.

I don’t think anything good has happened to the model in the last 20 years, except they are cheaper than they used to be.
Actually, I just checked the local price. The online price is cheaper than that quote I got 15 years ago, but not by as much as I thought. In fact they are portraying the official RRP as $320 AUD, with ‘discounts’ between $90-50 depending where you look.

Sought after? I don’t know. When I was starting out I almost bought one because I didn’t know much. The storekeeper proffered one and told me it was the harmonica mic. Then he told me the price ($320 AUD) and that was enough for me to baulk. I started searching for a secondhand one and discovered the world of vintage mics. I have always thought of that as a lucky escape. I got a much better mic for much less money.

These days, I guess I’d use a 520DX if I had to, but it’s not a mic I ever covet. Hard to say how others view them.
612 posts
May 05, 2022
11:52 PM
Yep the old this mike will make me sound good/better syndrome.
Few hundred dollars later at your local jam and then you get blown of the stage by some guy just using the(cheap)vocal mike.
Guilty as charged ^).
1685 posts
May 20, 2022
3:29 AM
Thank you very much for considered input here. After some deliberations with myself and test driving the new GB, I´ve decided to sell the old one and keep the new. After all, it might be sensible to have one hi-z mic -- and maybe it will work well with some pedals, it remains to be seen; also, it could serve as my "blues mic".

And @indigo: if I visit the local jam (not that frequently these days, I admit), I´m nothing but happy if there´s a new guy who "blows me of the stage" using whatever mic. It´s about time. I´m an old geezer by now and not particularily worried about these things.

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