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I recommend an amp with one power tube (the big 'un) and one pre-amp (the lil 'in)
A 6v6 power tube will produce from 7-10 watts, an EL84 tube will produce about 5-7 watts.
For pre-amp most guitar tube amps use a 12AX7 with a gain factor of 100%, a few use a 5881
with gain factor of 70%.
The extra power in the 6V6 translates to more bass response, and a bit more headroom, I use
TADs (*Tube Amp Doctor) short bottle 6V6s in all my amps, the short bottle fattens up bottom end
more than a tall tube/valve.
Fender, Gibson, Kalamazoo, Crate, Epiphone, Vox, Ampeg, all made/make a small practice amp with tubes/valves.
Marshall sux for harp, hell, I think they suck for guitar too. There are others out there, some Italian models might be
available to you across the pond.
Use this criteria for selecting and you just might find a gem. good luck!
Sarge, I also think that the Octave harmonica would fit right in and sound very impressive with your style of playing.
Many thanks for all your replies gents, it seems like a small practice valve amp is my next purchase.
Bearing in mind I'm a poor ol' pensioner, can anyone suggest a suitable valve amp?
Those octave harps are great for cajun type music if you have the air to keep them going throughout the song.
I hit the wrong button and quoted myself, let me re-iterate, I hit the wrong button and quoted myself.
Reed Smith wrote:
Welcome to the Harmonica Club!
First things first, the *Peavey rage 158 is a Solid State Amplifier, it will get loud but there no tubes to overload a speaker and cause it to "breakup" for that overdriven harp tone, you won't ever get it with this amp.
As for Lone Wolf Blues Harp pedals, I use the harp break with tube amps, I get a very FAT tone, that just gets better with time, the longer the amp runs the sweeter it gets.
The Harp Attack may give you some bite as it does contain a pre-amp tube, I have ran my pedal straight into a solid state PA
and my bass player didn't know I hadn't bought an amp 'till we were packing. However, I have strong acoustic chops so my tone will translate, but I am NOT overdriving a speaker/s, tubes do that.
The best advice I could give you seeing as how you are familiar with Lone Wolf products is to get yourself a Harp Train 10,
problem solved as far as tube amp tone is concerned. After that you can work on embouchure and a tight cup/seal on the harp and mic. Coupling a Lone Wolf Blues harp pedal to a tube amp is a blissful experience, it gets so good to you, you won't want to stop playing, and that my friend is a goooooood thing!
The classic blues harp sound came from playing into an overdriven valve (aka tube) amplifier. There are valve amps available for harps. Check specialist harp dealers. You could also try playing through an overdrive pedal into a regular guitar amp.
I was having a quick look at the harp specialist I use here in the UK and they have a variety of specialist harp gear. It's quite pricey, though.
I'm not a blues player but I bought a shaker dynamic mic from them and it goes a long way to giving a blues type tone, very different from the condenser mic I generally use.
I might try it through my vox mini5 amp with the Input set to their AC30 simulator and see what sound I get. Might be interesting.
Thanks for that spyderyak, I'm afraid I'm not confident or competent enough to play with other musicians so volume is not the issue here. Its more a question of achieving that great tone.
Thanks Dezzy, You are correct it would help if you tilted the Octave harmonica upward, to get mellow higher notes. By directing more air to the top row ( lower octave),....and if you also lip block the bottom set of reeds at the same time, the lower octave is a lot more pronounced.
You can practice this by playing a tune with the bottom holes (higher octave) completely silenced using the lip blocking technique. Hope this helps.
Hi ,I'm sure that others probably have a better idea of your set up, that you have going now.
I see lots of testimonials on the various effects pedals For me I'm on the simple side ..a bullet mic for hard driving blues and a shure 58 for playing more with a vocalist with out drowning them out stuff like that.
When playing a jam with some friends, which invariably drowns me out, one fellow had an effects pedal either for his guitar or harp (I forget) either way we asked him to knock it off after awhile.
So I would say if you're playing with a band or group and they are all amped up hard then I would go for the pedal.
Kind of if you're playing for a club or a luncheon might be one way to think of the difference of how you want it to sound, and of course even if you have the pedal not that you would have to use it for each song.
Some of the others who might be playing for a living, probably have a more indepth view of what works and what doesn't.
mostly I think all would agree ...feedback in the amps is evil....
I'm trying to achive that dirty honkin blues sound that attracted me to harping in the first place. I realise its mainly down to technique, embouchure etc but will an effects pedal like the Lone Wolf Harp Attack help?
I play Special 20s through a Sure 520 DX and an old Peavy Rage158.
Spending time adjusting the settings on the amp only results in more volume and or feedback, without the desired results.
All or any comments greatly appreciated.
What a great selection of harmonicas,especially the Chromatics,providing they are in good condition and all the notes play well,the Chromatics should be worth about £50 pounds each.I don't know how much that is in USA money.Hope this helps Eric33.
You was not joking about turn up the volume, Dexter. Yes you will get a flow going when you know the tune and practice. Trying to work out which note is next makes it choppy as often does reading the tabs. Once it is all in your memory it will flow as you do in diatonics.
Great, Irv. You made the octave sound come through good. I have a Seydel Concerto key Octav C. This has very low notes and going to the higher notes they get drowned out. I think I need to tilt to get higher notes. Anyway I seldom play it because I can;t get the sound you get. Keep blowing.
Thanks Sarge. I tried to post under the February song of the month topic , but could not figure out how. So somehow I ended up posting another New February song topic ?? that makes two of the same topic. I can usually handle the computer okay but I just cold not find the post button.
Hey Irv, good job on that comet. They a bit more air and you handled it quit well. I think those octave harps sound good.
The monthly song "Let me call you sweetheart" fits in very well with Valentines day. But my Valentine gift to my wife didn't go over to big. Most popular gifts are a box of candy or flowers, but candy has a lot of sugar in it, and flowers wilt and get thrown
out. So this year I decided to give my wife something that was useful and practical, and that would last a long time.
So I gave her a brand new cover for the ironing board, So....to make a long story short I now play the harmonica in the laundry room.
I have only used this type of harmonica a few times, so there will be some notes that are off key. The harmonica is a Hohner Comet Octave.