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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Slight Return
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MindTheGap
2558 posts
Jun 29, 2018
3:46 AM
I've been away focussing on other instruments but I took an opportunity to play amped harp last night, and I remember why I wanted to do it in the first place :)

I've fussed about a lot with different equipment in the past trying to understand how people got this or that sound. Yesterday I played with a simple Superlux mic and the Joyo American Sound pedal, and I have to say it did everything I wanted from a near-acoustic sound, though crunchy, to distorted.

Amped harp is a magnificent sound, for very little physical effort.
SuperBee
5456 posts
Jun 29, 2018
4:24 AM
Good job and good to hear from you!
The guitarist in our band has taken to using a solid state line 6 product that looks like an integrated pedal board and running it directly into the PA in our rehearsal room. Seems to do the job but now the guitar sound emerges directly behind the kit and is a bit disconcerting for the drummer.
I’ve thought about using my LW harp attack at rehearsals. If I only carry what I really need I can probably fit everything in one bag. Then I won’t need to leave gear vulnerable in the car all day either.

Have been using my Princeton Reverb at rehearsals and like it. Sitting it on top of a quad box, I can run volume between 2 - 3. 2 is a little too quiet at times but 3 is always plenty in that room and I can focus on playing with less breath force

There is something about this though; if you can work with the tools at hand and do the job in your own way. I think that’s a thing that comes with experience after listening a lot and playing a lot and listening to your playing and others and just learning what it takes to get certain sounds. First you have to be able to recognise the difference between what you have and what you want, or at least have a good concept of what you want.
You’ve been at this a while now. 5 years?
MindTheGap
2559 posts
Jun 30, 2018
12:06 AM
Hello Bee - how's it going? I've been reading about the rise and rise of your band, sounds great!

Not saying everyone should use pedals/PA. Actually I think having an actual amp behind you is nice from all sorts of points of view. Just saying that on this occasion I was happy to enjoy how it sounded rather than trying to chase a particular sound.

I use to find that experimenting with different equipment to be that odd mix of fascinating and frustrating - like a lot of things in music. Removing that (even for one session) was good fun.

This episode reminded me strongly of what I always knew: I love the sound of amped harp with a band, and as long as it has certain characteristics it's all good.

And something I suspected but now am certain about: that with amped harp you can make more musical impact vs physical effort than any other instrument. Having tried to play the trumpet, blimey!!!

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Jun 30, 2018 12:07 AM
SuperBee
5461 posts
Jul 03, 2018
3:26 PM
You know I enjoy the amps. I recently had to move my gear from the room I’ve been using and find a new space for amps, so i became freshly aware each one.
For gigs I’ve been using a very heavy sonny jr 2 which has 6 8” speakers and a cab larger than a bassman. I recently did an A:B comparison between that one and my hot rod deville (which I’ve returned to something close to stock circuit) and now am more appreciative of the sonny jr. it really does have its own sound and comparable to some of the recorded sounds I’ve admired, which is gratifying.
For rehearsal I’ve taken to using the Princeton reverb, although i have some smaller amps which i like to cycle through just to keep them in use. Ive because en very pleased with my ‘tweed’ champ especially since i swapped the power transformer secondary to the lower voltage option. I was struggling to see a voltage on the 6V6 which seemed safe for old tubes, so had taken to running a modern 6V6 known for tolerance of high plate and screen voltages. I found this rather annoying...it wasn’t the idea I’d had when i built the amp. I’d made a mistake when hooking it up and followed ‘instructions’ which were not on the same philosophical page as my intention. It didn’t take much time to correct the wiring and the amp will now run pretty much any 6V6. I love it.
I’d sold one of my epiphone valve jr amps, but i saw it for sale and bought it back. It has a mod kit from Nigel Briggs (eBay trader ‘alnicomagnet’) and I’d gone a bit further to reduce preamp gain by removing a cathode bypass cap. That was effective re the gain but i felt it had also impacted the musicality of the sound in a way I didn’t like so i replace it. It’s a different sound to the champ, more aggressive perhaps but i like it.

Band practice tonight; perhaps this is the evening to try the harp attack. The only thing about that pedal is it requires 18volt power supply which I don’t have on my board so I’m still running it on batteries


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