Show us Your Harps, Mics, & Amps!

What’s the point of a harmonica forum without us showing each other our gear?

I’ll start us off…

Truths Harps.jpg

Front and center are my go-to axes, my Lee Oskar’s in Standard tuning on the left, and Natural Minor tuning on the right, all organized inside of my Seydel Blues Harmonica Case. I also have my Astatic JT-30 mic, with a Japanese vintage crystal element inside that I bought from Dennis Gruenling (badassharmonica.com) and my Bottle ‘O Blues, a great, inexpensive low-feedback mic made out of a plastic salt shaker by a fella named Jim McBride (bottleoblues.com) My Suzuki SCX64 chromatic made a rare appearance out of its case for this photo. Here’s the story about that: once upon a time, I thought I’d start playing chromatic. But I didn’t. The end.

On the left side, I’ve got a few of my Lee Oskars in Harmonic Minor tuning and Melody Maker tuning, and also over there are some cool off-brand harmonicas, notably some made by a manufacturer called Konsheng. The red one on top of the cases is called the Baby Fat, and it’s a pretty awesome little 7-hole harmonica with good projection, a very dark tone, and small footprint! Each key comes in a different color! Below the Bluebird case you can see the blue comb of my Blue Steel harmonica.

In the center below my case are a whole bunch of awesome Hohners, Suzukis, and Seydels.

And on the right of the case are my harps that I can take to the beach.
My amp is elsewhere or I would have included it, a 5 watt Blackheart head and a 4x2" Crate cab.

Oh, and my dog Ozzy wanted me to include him in one of the photos.

Harps with Ozzy.jpg

That’s it for me! Now it’s your turn. Show us what you’ve got. Upload a photo of your favorite harmonica toys, with or without your pet…

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Looks nice and swampy @Trapper! I see the Green Bullet looking mic, but what is the other one?

Shure Brown Bullet. Probably made in the 1940’s.

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How does that baby sound?

You know a lot depends on the amp, the PA, etc. but the old Brown has maybe a deeper tone, some might say dirtier, I use them interchangeably without much thought and also play through a 58 vocal. Brown does not have volume control, which I like on the Green Bullet.

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Yeah, so true! I don’t play the bullet-style mic’s through PA’s. Only through amps. I’ve got an old Astatic I bought from Dennis Gruenling I’m playing through a Blackheart 5W amp into a CRATE 4x4" cab, but I’m on the hunt to upgrade my amp, Lord willing, in 2020!

My Astatic also doesn’t have a volume control, tho I have a volume pedal I can use if need be, but I do like the volume control on my Bottle O’ Blues mic.

I also like playing clean through 57 or 58 through the house PA, and do this when a song asks for a clean sound. For example I recently played a gig with this blues guitarist and I was dirty the whole night through the Astatic through the Blackheart, but then outta nowhere he starts playing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, so I grabbed my C harp and played 1st position through a 57.

Good luck upgrading your amp. There’s no end to the options out there, or the costs. What’s great for some is junk to others. I like the bullet/ mic’d amp combo too, but often play the vocal mic into our PA as you do. I’m a big guy and like the heft of a bullet or 58 type mic in my hands. “Hallelujah”, good song and fun to play.