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Practice Amp Gear for beginners to intermediates

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Rudy H
Jul 15, 2011 1:05 PM GMT

At the risk of driving up the price of these items, I would like to extol the virtues of some practice gear that I have been using as an advanced beginner. I have found this combination very portable, relatively inexpensive and quite pleasing to my ear.

The Pignose 7-100 -

http://www.amazon.com/Pignose-7-100-Legendary-portable-amplifier/dp/B0002D0JZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310730610&sr=8-1

It is a small, no frills solid state portable amp that can be used with AA batteries or a plug in AC to DC adapter. It is built very solidly and about the size of a shoe box. Its 5 inch speaker does a good job of covering the harp's frequency range, although as expected for its size, bass is a bit light. By itself, it has a very clean output. I've played music through it and, if equalized to increase the bass, it has a very good frequency response. Cost about $80

Now here is where you can add some cheap frills.

The Behringer TM300 Tube Amp Modeler -

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-TM300-Tube-Modeling-Effects/dp/B000VZYS66/ref=sr_1_4?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1310731751&sr=1-4

This solid state pedal does a good job of modeling your mic output so it gives it that sweet tube amp sound. I have found that if you emphasize the low frequency response, have the output drive high, and use the clean amp setting, you get a really sweet amplified sound from your harp. Other amp modeling settings will get you a more gritty sound, if that's your style. Cost - about $25

Finally, add the Behringer DR600 digital reverb effects pedal -

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-DR600-DIGITAL-Digital-Effects/dp/B001GD07SK/ref=sr_1_2?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1310732294&sr=1-2

You can add some reverb with this pedal in series with the above tube modeler to get a more venue hall sound. A touch of reverb really makes the result sound pro in my humble opinion. Cost - about $35

I would also invest in the AC/DC adapters and/ or rechargeable batteries with chargers (AA and 9V) and you'll need some cabling, of course.

Finally, to add to the portability, I use an old but well made (in Japan) Montgomery Wards lightweight tape recorder mic (plastic). I'm sure you can find something similar out there.

This plastic mic, but not the above equipment was used in my video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/user/johnmcginnisiii#p/u/0/7EW0xuRdFCg

So for around $200 more or less, you can get a nice sounding, very portable amped system with plenty of adjustments to get the sound that you like. I haven't tried this yet, but the Pigamp has an output jack that can be cabled to a venue PA, so that you are in control of your sound.

I have no affiliation with Amazon.com, Pigamp, or Behringer. And all the above is my personal opinion that I'd just like to share with the community. Regards, Rudy



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Jul 17, 2011 12:42 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

i've had a couple of pigs. the 7-100 i never did find a mic that didn't feed back but that was many moons ago. maybe a small thinner sounding mic is the answer. i also let myself be sucked into buying a pig g40v amp for harp, which was just a huge mistake. too much wattage and not enough room to adapt for a harp mic. squeal city. i suppose i could have done speaker swap but a single 10 was just not enough speaker for 40 watts at any rate. possibly a 12a series tube swap would have made a difference.

i'm interested in hearing the setup you describe!

i keep it simpler, small tube amp and cm mic, or for bigger sound, big amp and cm or crystal mic.



Jul 21, 2011 3:22 PM GMT
Rudy H Replied:

Thanks for your comment. I can see how the G40v 40 Watt Pignose tube amp could be a bit overpowering into that single 10 " speaker. I haven't recorded a video clip demo of my 7-100 set up yet, but will in the near future. In the meantime, maybe you could watch these clips that I found on Youtube done by SteveHarvell (don't know the musician personally)

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Stevev Harvell pignose 7-100 harmonica&aq=f

He appears to have some good success with the 7-100 and a Shaker Dynamic mic. I don't know if he is using any FX pedals in his setup. Again, the 7-100 is solid state and hence easily operated by AA batteries. Regards, Rudy




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