Q: What mics are suited for harp playing?
A: From "Re: Mics" 8 Mar 93 JE:
SHAKER: I have a friend who has a shaker and he likes it. I think the size and light weight have a lot going for it. I gave it a try using a chromatic and was able to get a clean sound, with little or no distortion - to me a sign of a good mic is how clean you can get it - even if you don't intend to use it that way.
ASTATIC JT30 vs. HOHNER BLUES BLASTER: - Both are made by Astatic. I like the volume control idea on the BB but think it is also available on the Astatic. - I got an old Astatic JT30 off a guy about a year ago. It was mounted on a desk stand and had a talk/listen switch on it, from a Ham radio set up. The cable connector was weird. My son rewired it, minus the stand, put a .25" RCA plug on it and now I have a nice vintage JT30 - this thing must be out of the 50's at least. Anyway - Hint - Look around ham / electronic swap meets for a deal an old JT30 mic. It was a standard for hams for a long time.
SHURE GREEN BULLET: Never tried one but just wanted to throw in that it is being manufactured again, thanks to the resurgence in the popularity of the harmonica. Think I saw it in J & R Music World cat. and also in Music Emporium Cat.
STRNAD: I tried the chromatic model (same mic just longer). I liked the sound and even with a 16 hole chromatic it was easy to hold. I thought it made my tone sound better. I didn't buy one though, it was not possible to quickly switch harmonicas because of the way it mounts and it covers the whole harp so hand effects (vibrato) are limited. I don't know if that's really a drawback or not. It could be used as an auxiliary mic, set up for special effects - say some chuggin' on a low F harp.
I'm no mic expert - these are just my thoughts,
[snipped some book info also found below]
P. S. If anyone hears of SHURE ribbon mics for sale let me know. I would be interested in Models 315 and 330 -- "Re: Mics" 8 Mar 93 JE
Shure Green Bullet or model 520D (magnetic element, originally a dispatcher or ham radio mike). thicker, bassier, less treble vs. crystal mikes. Can feedback with loud amps. Additional EQ can help -- HA
(FMI: "Re: mic tones" 29 Aug FJM (FMI: "Green Bullet selling price?" 11,12 Sep 94 (large thread)
Astatic/CTI -- JT-30 (OEM to Hohner for Blues Blaster, and to other customizers). High trebly tone, some are modified with high Z pots (5 M ohm) and caps (150 pf) to get a fuller mid-range.
Hohner Blues Blaster (JT-30 design, blue paint) -- HA
Crystal Ball Mike from Kevin's Harps (modified JT-30) Rod Piazza Hot Rod Mike (modified JT-30)
(FMI: "Hot Rod -- Crystal Balls Mic (LONG)" 10 Feb 95 EN) (FMI: "Re: Hot Rod... (Thanks to Elliott)" 13 Feb 95 CF) (FMI: "Hot Rod Mic - More Details" 21 Feb 95 EN) (FMI: ROD PIAZZA CUSTOM MICS" 7 Jul 95 DW) (FMI: "Re: JT-30 Cap" 9,10 Apr 95 RB,JT,MC) (FMI: "Shaker mic" 6 Mar 95 RL)
Shure SM 57 vocal mike (some have said that if you don't need it as a mike, you can also use it to pound nails... fifty years from now -- it'll still be around ;-) -- HA
(FMI: Re: SM57's (was amp mics)" 17 Nov 94 HM (long thread)
Shure SM 58 vocal mike
(FMI: "Re: SM58 mic -A good mike-" 23 Aug 94 CS
Shaker G.C, XLR or Dyno Mic (the GC is another crystal element microphone with small size and specifically designed for the harmonica sound). Old-timers who are used to the Bullets or JT-30s complain that it's weird to hold; others especially like the smaller size, sound and lack of feedback. Everybody loves Smokey Joe Arless, the designer/seller. Some negative chatter about the lack of shielding of the plastic case picking up RF interference. Fingers uses the dyno -- HA.
(FMI: " Shaker Mic Story (was: Amps and Mics)" 6 Oct 94 JJP) (FMI: " Re: harps" 8 Mar 93 GMa) (FMI: "Re: Amps, PA's etc." 5 Jul 94 CS) (FMI: "Fingers and Buffett" 9 Oct 94 WY) (FMI: "Re: shaker mics" 13 Jun 95 JB)
Strnad Harmonica Pick-up (clean sound for ~no hands~ rack harmonica)