These recording go back to aroun 2003. I brought a few mics to a Carlos Colina's house and we tested them out.

The amp we used was a Fender SF Princeton Reverb from around 1970. The knobs were set to Volume=3-4, Treble=3, Bass=8, Reverb=2. Most of the mics had volume controls, but if the mic did not, I rolled back the volume to the point where it did not feed back. The MC-101 element was not very loud so I turned up the volume on that mic.

The amp has that natural Glassy sound from using high voltage on 12AX7 tubes. Most harp players would want a Bass amp with less treble and more bottom end, rather than turning down the treble knob.

This is a Shure SM58 in a taillight shell with an impedance matching transformer. Use this mic as base point for comparison. Both Carlos and I thought that this mic injected the least character into the sound. This is just a good mic, cupped well with a loud harp.

Classic JT-30 with a NOS MC-151.This is what you expect when you play harp. A responsive mic with lots of definition and the ability to control the overdrive.

American Microphone D-4 "salt shaker". Nice mic with good dynamic element. Lots of bass.

Hohner Blues Blaster. This has the Japanese Kobitone crystal and doesn't sound half bad.

Weak MC-101 element in a taillight shell. Not very loud but buttery smooth.

JT30 with a 1-meg volume control and a NOS MC-101 from my stash.

Astatic T-3 with a Black Label Shure Controlled Reluctance element and an Impedance matching transformer.

Atatic T-3 with a NOS MC-127 ceramic element.

Teisco mic with a Shure 99A86 CM and an impedance matching transformer.

Shure UniSphere I PE-56 with volume control.

 

Buy the Book!

I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

I also write Science Fiction, so you can sample some of my best stories. Also available in Kindle format.


Error Message Eyes: A Programmer's Guide to the Digital Soul
 

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The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into JT30.com in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles


Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old Harpamps.com website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.


Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003

Harp Frequently Asked Questions