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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Atlanta, GA, and Cashiers, NC
    Thanked 388 Times in 318 Posts

    Default Harp tech tidbits....

    Harp players, I can toot Blues harp almost as creatively as Mich Jagger And seriously, know nothing of Blues harp technology. But reading a post in the BlindMan's Blues Forum, I found a discussion of vintage "taxi mics" and did a little surfing on those. Below is what seems to be a well-informed hi-tech answer by River City Mike to a Q:

    Q: So as I already have the Green Bullet what Mics do you guys suggest for a harp if you were going to buy a different Mic ?

    RCM: I guess it depends on what GB you actually have. Have you compared the info on your mic with the info on that GB site I gave you a link to?

    Lots of people take the old Shure element out of a GB and put it in a lighter shell, so that's an option as well if you have a good Shure element. If it's a 520DX you might be well advised to look for something else. There are many possibilities out there; a lot depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the mic/amp. Are you going for that distorted, Chicago-style tone? Do you want something cleaner? Check out this site, which has a fair amount of info: ... s.html#545

    I still have a couple of Astatic JT30s with crystal elements that I like a lot, but crystal elements have a 'shelf life', i.e. there are no vintage crystal elements still functioning. The replacement crystals that I bought back in the early 90's are no longer being made, so if/when I have to replace one I would be using a Shure CM or a Heumann ( element.

    So what I carry in my bag for harp mics: Two Astatic JT30's, both crystals, one with integrated volume control and an XLR (but high impedance) output and the other with a Switchcraft connector. An early 60's Green Bullet with CM element and modified with a Switchcraft connector. A Heumann-made inline volume control with Switchcraft connectors. A Shure SM57 (for clean playing with amp or for direct to PA use). Assorted cables (Switchcraft to quarter-inch, XLR to quarter-inch, XLR to XLR) and impedance transformers (one low-to-high, one high-to-low).

    The most important thing to remember is that your amplified tone is only going to be as good as your acoustic tone. Amps and mics are great tools for shaping tone, but if your acoustic tone is thin and reedy your amplified tone will be as well, only louder. No matter which amp or mic you use.

    River City Slim
    The Mighty Soul Drivers
    River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs
    Vitamin B-3

    Hope this is interesting and helpful, lads.
    Last edited by BluesHawk; 11-29-2017 at 12:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    London, England
    Thanked 48 Times in 39 Posts


    '....amplified tone is only going to be as good as your acoustic tone...'

    Sorry for the very late reply here BluesHawk.
    The extracted quote above, from your post, is so true.

    Rollo Markee came to my house and gave me a lesson I will forever remember.
    He played the harp with his mouth but his whole upper body delivered the sound.
    I realised at that moment how far I was from being amazing.



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