Posted by bluz on November 10, 2002 at 10:09:44:
I have been on a quest over the past few years to find what is the best harp amp? Each person will have their own opinion on this subject, but for those entering into the market for the first time, I would like to share some insight. Amps fall into three basic categories. 1. Practice 2.Recording 3.Stage Amp.
For a practice amp, most any small guitar amp will do.
The only solid state amp I would recommend is the DanElectro, Nifty Fifty. They sound awesome... They can be miced and used for gigs under the right conditions. These can usually be picked up for under a hundred dollars. They are no longer in production, so E-bay or your local guitar shop are your best bet. A number of older small tube amps can be found, Silvertones, Maganatones, Valcos, Supros all are excellent. These Amps fall into the recording category.
Most harp players use small amps for the Studio. Why?
They cant use the high volume necessary to overdrive the speakers in a big amp in a studio enviroment. Small tube amps sound great, I remember the first time I plugged into a small Magnatone with an 8" speaker with my Green Bullet, It was the Little Walter Honk....
Now on to Stage amps, if all you want to do is go Jammin, and be heard, most of the Fender tube amps will get the job done. The smaller ones, 15 watt like the Blues Junior or Pro Junior may have to be miced depending on the room and guitar volume. Perhaps the most used Fender tube amp is the Bassman Reissue. Harp players seem to love it. This is a serious investment that will need to be tweeked. Tube changes, a tube rectifier, and an outboard effect are normally used.
All of the 30 to 40 watt Fenders will work great. I
have purchased numerous used tube amps over the years and the Blues Deluxe and Vibroverb Reissue are my favorites. These will work without tube changes and have all the volume you need in most cases. The nice thing about a used tube amp is the speakers are broke in and sound great, the tubes start to sound warm, and the price is hard to beat. Before making any purchase, take your mic and effects and play thru it. Use several keys of harps, both high and low. Know the deal, whats the return policy, if any. Do some research on Harmony Central and look for reviews by Harp players. If you own a tube amp or are buying one check with local guitar players and the yellow pages and find out who works on them. Every town seems to have that electronic Guru that mouths start to water when you mention a tube amp. The internet has a wealth of information on this subject........best to ya....bluz
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