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What was your first Amp, Mic, Harmonica, etc?

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Zack P
Jan 08, 2009 9:31 PM GMT
Was wondering that! My first Amp FOR Harp was an Epiphone Valve Junior, I now use my Vox Valvetronix (very good but not loud at all), first Mic was an SM-57 (I use that now and a Calrad DM-9 mostly for now), and the first Harmonica was a Bee Tremolo from Quebec (I may still have it box was destroyed by dogs, though. Sucks. And there was a Red Diatonic my sister had that I tried to do the Hoochie Coochie Man riff on). Real first Harp was a Hohner Blues Harp MS.

So, how about you guys?

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Comments (45)

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Jan 09, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

The first harp that I can remember was a Marine Band, but I'm sure I had some cheaper something before that. I can remember that my first Blues Harp was a revelation because it felt so much easier to bend notes. I played acoustic harp only (or straight into a PA) up until recently. Amplified harp was spurred on by learning to play guitar. My first amp, bought for guitar, was a 1972 Fender Twin hotrodded with a single vintage JBL 15 inch speaker instead of the stock twin 12s. I bought my first mic for harp last year, a 1962 Green Bullet that has now been modified by Steve Warner, and it is hot.

Jan 09, 2009 7:39 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Steve Warner, hmmm, heard the name! Sounds pretty sweet man! I hated my first Marine Band but now I love them, luckily I don't blow them out often as they are now expensive!!!

Jan 10, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

What kind of music do you play with the Marine Band? I haven't tried one is a very long time, but in my memory, they were hard to bend.

Jan 10, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Blues and some rock. They're good for folk if that is your thing.

See, they were when I first tried one then around a year later maybe (actually probably less than that) I bought one and it was the best Harp I owned.

Jan 13, 2009 2:33 AM GMT
Civet Cat Replied:

My first amp was a earth amp with a 58 ( Ithink) then a blues deluxe 1/12" that was kind of not good with a good Astatic JT wo...then a bassman with JT 30's and other bullets then Bassmans with 545's,re-10's and 57's the Bassmans with those mics and pedals now HG 50 with the 57 and pedals.

Jan 13, 2009 2:38 AM GMT
Civet Cat Replied:

Jan 14, 2009 2:17 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

Let's see - my first harp was a cheesy C no-name harp that came with the John Gindick book and cassette - "Country and Blues Harmonica for the Complete Idiot" or something like that. I was hooked, INSTANTLY. My first mic was a Shure 520DX green bullet. My first amp was a Fender Blues Jr. I chose it because the name suggested to me it would be a good harp amp. I chose the bullet because I knew cool harp players used "green bullets." Both, in retrospect, were mistakes - near wastes of money.

Jan 14, 2009 2:24 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Earth Amp Jason? Interesting! My first REAL (so I thought) Harp Mic was that new Green Bullet, cable broke.

Same here Greg! I agree with all of that. Cool stuff!

Jan 14, 2009 2:03 PM GMT
HOOT News Replied:

It's funny, I'd had a couple of cheapies growing up, but my first harp purchase was a Honer Blues Harp I got when I decided to start playing.

I picked it because all I knew about harmonicas at the time was that my old ones didn't sound like the one in the album, so I assumed that the Blues Harp was a specific type of harmonica.

I was pretty dissapointed that it didn't sound like the album either!

Jan 14, 2009 4:59 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Alberto, I did the same thing!!!

Jan 15, 2009 10:04 AM GMT
Manlio Replied:

uhm my first: special20 in G and it was sooooo hard for me :D
my first microphone... maybe a Shure57 plugged into an italian amp whose brand I cannot remember, the only thing I know it's that it was 1/2 watt and it generated the feedback you can expect at a Sepultura gig

Jan 15, 2009 6:44 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:


Jan 15, 2009 11:19 PM GMT
Manlio Replied:

nothing to laugh about, in my high school Cavalera & co. were not much appreciated ;)

Jan 16, 2009 12:20 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Well, we gotta deal I guess!

Jan 18, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
Elk River Replied:

Pocket pal I got when I was a little kid, probably about five. I was sick and dad brought it home so I could have something to do, since I was too sick to play outside. I still have it.

Jan 20, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:


Jan 20, 2009 3:31 AM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

Hi Zack:
I got a G Blues harp back when I was 12 or 13. Still have it (or parts
of) somewhere in a box. 30 years later got amplified. Picked up a very
cool tweed 95 Fender Bronco solid state with a killer overdrive channel and a new GB. Added a Harp Commander and it was actually
quite sweet. Have since moved on to tubes and a JT-30 from Brian Purdy.

Jan 20, 2009 3:57 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:

That sounds like a killer setup, what is the amp?

Jan 20, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
Zhin Replied:

First mics were generic made in China mics and then later on I ordered an SM57 which I stuck with for a while. My first amp was a tiny little Boss MG10 practice amp. Later I picked up a Laney LC15R which at that time seemed like a good deal. Then met a guitar player who had a modded Epiphone Valve Special (dsp circuit removed, hardwire bypass, speaker swapped) and we ended up trading our amps. I swapped out all the tubes and I'm pretty happy with my current Class A 5 watt amp. :) Eventually I changed my mic to a Shure Beta 57a instead. I prefer the sound I'm getting from it compared to the SM57.

Sometimes at home and at certain venues I use a Digitech RP150 amp modeler. It's not that fantastic but gets the job done when I don't want to climb 4 flights of stairs with a 44 pound amp.

Jan 20, 2009 6:17 AM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

hey Zack:
My current rig is a late 50's/early 60'6 Electro M8E amp.
One knob, two inputs, green power light.It's the Rickenbacker
student line. Essential a Fender Champ in a brown tolex
suitcase with a cool clear plastic handle. The original jensen blue
label 8" speaker was wonky so I ordered a Weber Signature AlNico 8"
to replace it and dropped the 12AX7 to a 12AU7. That lets me crank it
9 or 10 before it howls. Still use the Harp Commander (model 1) but
I've added a Line6 Echo Park for some slap back tape delay.
I can jam quite comfortably with it unless it's at insane volumes or
more than two guitars with a drum kit.


Jan 20, 2009 4:49 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

That sounds insane! What you using for a Mic on that sucker? I love green lights, all amps should have them. It's like you're an alien; Jason would know...

Jan 20, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

I use a JT30 with a MC-127 element that I got from Brian Purdy of
Harp Gear. Added a blowsmeaway in-line volume control (sweet) and got a
proper custom 20' tweed cable for it.


Jan 20, 2009 5:11 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Wow! Must sound great! Cool stuff, man!

Jan 20, 2009 10:43 PM GMT
Duane C. Replied:

My first harp was a (First Act) from Wal Mart a little over a year ago. Had that about three weeks and decided I wanted to keep learning. So; ordered a (Suzuki Bluesmaster A) along with some teaching materials. Now I use a Suzuki Pro Master A and a Bushman Delta Frost C.
At this stage of my learning I haven't got an amp.

Jan 20, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

That is some good stuff man! You went to the best fast! Nice!!! :)

Jan 20, 2009 11:41 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

P.S. Is that the First Act that comes with a book? That is a funny looking Harmonica!

Jan 21, 2009 1:37 AM GMT
Duane C. Replied:

Yeah it had a small book, didn't amount to much, but it was helpful to start with. It is a rather different looking harp, has those little vent holes at the rear of the cover plates instead of the open back.
I seen another harp that reminded me of that online one day, I think it was a Suzuki "Fire Breath", but don't remember for sure.

Jan 22, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
Judge Replied:

First harp was in G can't remember what it was? It took ages to get single notes out of it. Not in a band at the moment so I have a valve junior into a 12, a little Joe Meek box of tricks and some slap to add but I mainly play unamplified. Latest mic is the one in the picture a Johnny Ace Turner chop (if there's a fire my young lady gets saved after the mic,lol) Laney 20 watt 4x10 coming soon!x

Jan 22, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
Kingley Replied:

First harp was a Hohner Pocket Pal in "C".
My first amp was a Realistic 10 watt Solid State amp (really bad amp!), and my mic was a Hohner Blues Blaster.

Nowadays I play a HarpGear Double Trouble, with either an Astatic, Shure or Turner mic. I use Marine Band and Marine Band Deluxe harps, which I customise myself.

Jan 22, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
Will Vogtman Replied:

My first harp came with the "Blues Harmonica for the Musical Idiot" booklet. A few years later, I sold a Selmer Buffet R13 Clarinet for a few Lee Oskars, A Green Bullet, and a 1x10 solid-state Dean Markley. I stole the head out of the Dean Markley and used it to overdrive an Pignose Hog 30. I played that way for several years. Now, I play SP 20's that I rework, an EV 603? snare mic and an AMG wireless system. I am currently using a 4x10 red HarpKing.

Jan 23, 2009 12:28 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:

All cool gear man! And,t hat HarpKing must be awesome! Like a stack for Harmonica!

Jan 23, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
Gex S Replied:

My first harp was a Hohner "Blues Harp MS" in C, my first mic was a Hohner blue blaster but after a few hours of use, the blue paint is going away from its platic cover...Now I use Marine Band with either Hohner mic or SM57 and Samson wireless system. I've got 2 amps: a Epiphone Valve Junior and a HarpGear HG30. Before the HG30, I had for a couple of months a Laney Lionheart L5-T. This one is a fantastic amp for guitar, not for harmonica.

Jan 24, 2009 1:12 PM GMT
Shawn R Replied:

My first Mic was a new Shure-545. I dusted off an old amp that I used for guitar. Turns out that,that old amp I paid $35 for in the late '80s is pretty desirable--Gibson GA-5 Sklark. It is an early Blonde 1x8" combo (Maybe 1960). My first harp was an "Oskar" in "C". BTW-I was (and still am) a huge Butterfield fan, hence the 545!

Feb 03, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
Joe L Replied:

First microphone: An Astatic JT-30C with a ceramic element. I bought it for $49 in the early 80's. I still have it and it sounds great.

First harp: A Chrometta 8 that was a gift from an aunt. I still have that, too.

First amp: A Yamaha JX-50. 50 ultra clean solid state watts with a really nasty sounding overdrive through a 12 inch speaker. If you could get decent tone out of this amp, you could get decent tone out of anything. I wish I still had that amp. I left it behind in Chicago when I moved west.

Feb 17, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
Maciek D Replied:

1st harp - Hohner Blues Band, that brother gave to me when he stopped playing after learning few "Oh Susanna" like melodies. And than it went for better harps.

1st mic - Grundig GDM 313, a dynamic form 70. But it has broken down and than I found my babe - Astatic 10C from 1963 with a ceramic element. Nice...

1st amp - Danelectro Honey Tone N-10. A real beast in a micro box. Great tone for a solid state midget. But few months later I had a good deal on Epiphone Valve Junior #3. I like it :).

Mar 06, 2009 4:46 AM GMT
Colby S Replied:

My first harmonica is lost to time. It had a tremelo/octave type comb. I took the covers off and replaced them with safety pins. My first mod. I don't recomend it. Then I got a Hohner Boy Scout Harmonica. They were basically blues harps made in Ireland back then and pretty decent. Still have it and bought another a few years ago. I like it quite a bit. My first mike was a homemade I-mic. It sounded good but I broke it. My first amp was my guitar amp, a Carvin. It is OK but it is an awesome guitar amp. I get my best results with a Blues Blaster with a Shure Magnetic Reluctance in it through a vst instrument patch.

Mar 06, 2009 2:05 PM GMT
Ana R Replied:

My first harmonica was Marine Band in C, and till few month I was playing only on MB harmonicas. I heard that some people finds MB hard for bendings and not that great for beginers but I didn't have any problems learning to play on MB.

Now I'm playing mostly on Marine Band De luxe.

I bought my first amp last week so I'm still exploring it's oprions and a sound. It's a Fender Blues Jr. I've already played on my Blues Jr on one gig few days ago and I liked it, but on the other hand I don't have many expirience with other amps so I'm not the right person to talk about it:)

My first mic is green Bullet which I've also bougt last week:)

In my country we don't have many options and choices regarding harp gear so we have to take what we can:)

Mar 06, 2009 10:13 PM GMT
Madcat Replied:

First harp, 1964: Marine Band, Bb.

First microphone, 1967: a high impedance Shure I don't remember the model number. It was a model that was discontinued by the 1970s.

FIrst amplifier, 1967: a solid state Heath Kit Amplifier which I assembled myself. It had 2 12" speakers.


Mar 14, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

First harp was viktory tremolo, first diatonic was Pro Harp MS in D. Vox Valvetronix was my first amp for harmonica, for guitar earlier I use russian poop called UEMI10. First mic was handmade from telephone, second was old russion dynamic mic for bus drivers. Fist real mic I bought was 520DX Green Bulles.

Now I use:

Harmonicas: diatonic Hohner Golden Melody (favorite) and Special 20 harmonicas, customized by me (embossing, arking, gaping, vaxing), also some seydels, Hohner MS and Lee Oscars, but don't buy any of them anymore. Chromatics: super chromonicas for gigs, some chromettas and chinese chromatics for practice and some hering chromos for studio

Mics: Shure SM57 (for dirty amped playing, blues, rock gigs), Audix Fireball V (for clean and soft overdrived playing, usually for jazz sets) , Sennheiser e835 (acousting playing, amp micking) Stomps: Boss PS3 pitch shifter (for octaves, want EHX microPOG), Electroharmonix Small Stone phase shifter, ibanez de7 delay (have to replace with something better), yerasov pterodriver PD5 tube preamp if I have to play without amp.

Amp: yerasov gta15r (tube amp, replication of Fender pro JR). Wanna small harpgear to addition.

Mar 14, 2009 4:56 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Lots of great stuff guys, made your own amp, MadCat?! Wow! And, Boris, I got one of those Vox's, it is a really nice and great amp...

Mar 14, 2009 7:04 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

I sold Vox, as it was not enough loud, and I have no extra money to buy real tube amp.

It sound good.

Mar 17, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
Chris C Replied:

My first amp was a tiny 8 watt Samick "Baby G" and the mike I used was a Radio shack typecondenser Lapel Mic (Optimus) I used as a finger mic. I used this for busking for years and still have them. Wonderful driven sound like Beefhart or something. Not much in the bottom end of course.My first harp would have been a Hohner of some sort at an eighth of its current price.

Mar 17, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Beefheart, huh? Must have rocked!

Mar 18, 2009 12:43 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Yes it rocked. I used it for some home recordingsand itcame out suprizingly well. I might dig it out again and fix it one day.

Mar 18, 2009 5:11 PM GMT
Robert I Replied:

My first diatonic harmonica was Bluesharp Hohner, i think in G. But i started in 1992 with some China Tremolo harmonica and later on with CX-12 Chromatic. my first amp that i owned was HONEYTONE MINIAMP on 9Volt battery bought in TURKEY. It had 1 or 2 Watt.

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