Good harp sound in a small ensemble setting can be done with something as small as a Fender Champ (a
stock Champ will overdrive at a relatively low volume level, but make sure your mic is matched to
the hi-z input either because it's a crystal mic or because it's a dynamic with a hi-z transformer
tap or because you used something like a RadioCrack adapter). Some guys like the Pignose but even
though it uses FETs in front end to mimic tube overdrive, it sounds pretty plastic to me. The guys
who must play with loud bands in loud clubs love the Fender Bassman for harp but I would never play
or be in situation like that because I very much value my hearing. [NOTE -- of course beware of
grounding issues when using a metal-clad mic and spitty harmonica with a tube guitar amp; you have
been warned ...] When I play with other guys, I always carry earplugs because it's usually
guaranteed either the guitarist or the drummer will be playing too loud. I used to play with a
couple of guys and my brother and the only time I didn't use earplugs was when we unplugged and the
drummer used brushes.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 1:20 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Is The Record Shop Dead?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "phillip holmes" <[log in to unmask]>
>> Come on Steven, you need the top of the line Marshall stack, maybe even
>> three of them, to get state of the art distortion---you know, the kind
>> where your ear says "uncle" and the pain makes you run for the exits.
>> That has to be state of the art because that's the sound I hear at most
>> concerts now.
> No...that is for ROCK guitarists! Too many of that bunch mistake "loudness
> overkill" and "number of 128th notes played rapidly in succession" for
> musical competence...since both seem to win equal amounts of applause from
> audiences of "average musical ignorance"...!
> Remember that the distortion I'm trying to acheive was first produced by
> bluesmen whose gear depended on what the pawnshop had that week! As a
> result, old "dispatcher mikes" plugged into beat-up (tube) guitar amps
> were the usual standard equipment...!
> And, I suspect, much of the current "rock audience" enthusiasticlly
> endorses the "my ears are DYING" sound for one (or both) of two reasons!
> In the first place, that's the level at which they hear it once they
> get into their auto-mobiles (with the paired 1KW amps serving each
> stereo channel...!)...in the second place, that sort of listening
> has so thouroughly fried their ears that anything less is effectively
> inaudible for them...
> Steven C. Barr