Harpamps.com is a large collection of information about amplifiers for use by harmonica players.
What is a harp amp?
Harp amps are amplifiers that make you louder. If you are lucky, they might make you sound better. Don’t forget, though, that the sound comes from inside of you and that equipment won’t help you sound better if you don’t have something to say in the first place.
Harp amps are usually older tube amps that don’t have much gain or power. These old amps seem to resist feedback, the enemy of every harp player. Old tube amps are suited for the old bullet shaped high impedance mics.
The perfect harp gear, to me anyway, is a vintage high impedance mic, an analog delay pedal, and vintage amp with two 6V6 power tubes.
The 6V6 power tubes are usually not loud enough to compete with the guitar players, but they sound so smooth that they are worth it, even if you have to run a mic from the front of the amp to the PA in order to be heard.
The analog delay, set to a long delay and a fairly short sustain, gives a nice slap back kick to each note, but care should be taken so that it does not sound muddy. The analog delay is useful in that they tend to help the dreaded feedback. A little delay goes a long way, so be careful and add just enough delay to keep things tasty.
The old mic should be a crystal mic, like the JT-30 for killer overdrive and that James Cotton style dirty Chicago blues. You need another mic like a Green Bullet with a vintage high impedance CR or CM element for Jazzy third position playing with lots of chords and octaves. The CM has a clearer output that will prevent the sound from running together in a muddy mess, while still allowing some overdrive when needed. Both kinds of mic have their own sound, and either keep two mics or decide which mic works best for you.
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