Tuesday, October 25, 2016

MM Cables



This is a rugged, no-nonsense cable for working blues harp players. It is tough but supple, coils easily, and performs perfectly. It is built for gigging on barroom stages.

The MM Cable is 18 feet long (5.5m) with a 1/4 inch phone plug on one end and a Switchcraft 5/8 inch screw on connector at the other. Your signal is carried from the mic to the amp by a twisted pair of stranded copper 24AWG wires, each protected by insulation. There are two layers of RFI noise shielding around the wires: A metal foil jacket surrounds the twisted pair, covered by a copper wire mesh braid that carries the ground signal. The cable’s outer jacket is tough black PVC. These cables are low-noise and long-life.

The orange shrink tube at the cable ends is not just for looks. It provides an extra measure of strain relief to ensure the solder connections between the wires and the connectors do not get damaged from hard use on stages.  The price is $32.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lining Out to the PA




Lots of players seem interested in lining out their amps to the PA but I don't see a lot of discussion about it. There is more to it than just plugging in. This photo is a channel from my Mackie 808M powered mixer, which is typical of what many bar bands use. It is set up for a line out from a harp amp.
From top to bottom:
-Monitor Send: You definitely want some harp in the monitors if you are using a line out, but not too much. Just enough so you can hear yourself and hear your balance with the band. I have it set halfway here.
-Effects Send: I send nothing to the effects buss. I prefer the sound of the amp by itself or with the FX pedals I use.
-Highs: Roll off about 25%
-Mids: Flat or roll off a bit.
-Lows: Boost about 20 - 25%
-Trim: Start at 0 - unity gain. It depends on many things. Dial it in so you are not clipping.
-Volume: It depends on where you want to sit in the mix.
PAs tend to be bright. If you just plug in and dial in the setting as if it were a vocal channel your sound might be shrill and annoying.
If there is a sound tech ask him/her politely but firmly to set the channel like this. There may be some small adjustments during sound check, but starting out this way will get things moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Memphis Mini Speaker Test


Speaker comparison test, please listen and vote. Many thanks to JD Taylor for his wonderful playing.

Five different 8-inch speakers in the Memphis Mini amp. Which two do you prefer? You may leave a comment here or email me at info@MemphisBluesAmps.com

Thanks!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kinder Soulful Amp

Some of the best amped harp tone you will ever hear:  JD Taylor playing his custom Kinder Soulful amp with MM Delay pedal.


Orange Tiny Terror amp


The Orange Tiny Terror 15-watt tube amp has always been interesting to harp players, I think, but it was less than ideal because of its very high gain preamp stage and its EL84 power tubes.  That makes it a fun guitar amp but makes it shrill and feedback-prone when mic'd up for harp.

I developed the MM Harpman pedal with amps like this in mind, but I haven't had the chance to test the pedal with this particular amp.  Today a customer ordered the Harpman to put in front of his Orange Tiny Terror.  I'd like to hear the TT amp calmed down and warmed up a bit.  Hopefully he'll send a video.   I'll post it here if he does.

http://www.memphisbluesamps.com/harpman

Monday, August 15, 2016

SPAH

I’ve been to the SPAH harmonica convention. About half the people in the hallways at the SPAH convention are selling something: Their own playing, CDs, lessons, custom harps, cases, amps, mics, effects, etc. They are hustling their goods… That is why they go to SPAH. Yet some shitty little ass-hat from SPAH accosted a customer of mine who offered to show his own MM Harpman pedal to other attendees. No one else got molested by the weasel, just my customer.

It comes from a very old beef with the weasel years ago in Colorado. Shit, let it go, Gomer. Too bad if I hurt your feelings 10 years ago. It’s a shame that SPAH allows petty petulant cry-babies to speak for them and to accost harp players minding their own business and discussing gear with other attendees.

UPDATE:  My little company - Memphis Blues Amps - has more customers than SPAH has members.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nice Fat Masco Tone


A few weeks ago JD Taylor asked me to send him a couple of the custom speakers we use in Memphis Mini amps. He mounted one of them in a 2x8 cab with a vintage Jensen P8Q to use with his Masco amp. He played the rig at Rum Boogie in Memphis last weekend and sent this video. His phone was mounted on his mic stand and was pointed at the floor monitors, so there's not much visual appeal here, but the tone is FAT! Check this out.

video


Friday, July 29, 2016

MM Harpman vs. LW Mojo Pad


This is a photo of the inside of the Mojo Pad pedal from Lone Wolf, their version of a feedback pedal.  It is a common, simple T-pad circuit with fixed attenuation.  The working parts are only three resistors, which cost about a dime each.  They sell the pedal for $49.  It is a no-adjustment, one-size-fits-all kluge, and a very expensive one at that.   Hell, I couldn't live with myself if I overcharged customers like that.


This is the MM Harpman pedal: Anti-Feedback + Active Tone Control.  It is getting fantastic reviews from users.  On-Off button, adjustable Gain, Volume, Bass, and Treble.  It will calm your amp and warm it up.  Trust me, it ain't just three cheap resistors inside.  We sell it now for $49.  Later it will go up to $69.  (If we marked it up like the other guys it would probably sell for around $500)  We are very proud of the performance and value the MM Harpman brings to the blues harp community.   Check the website for details and customer videos.

 http://www.memphisbluesamps.com/harpman

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The New “MM HARPMAN” Pedal



The MM Harpman pedal was designed to help working harp players solve the problems we face when confronted with an amp that may not be ideal. Guitar amps often suffer from issues that make them bad for blues harp: screaming feedback, icepick tone, no break-up, and not enough range in the tone controls to make it sound good for harp.

The MM Harpman is way more than just a feedback solution. It has controls that allow you to sculpt your amp’s sound: you can boost or cut Volume, Gain, Treble, and Bass. It will reduce the feedback, cut the harsh highs, boost the warm lows, and get you closer to that nice break-up point.

Using this pedal you can get decent usable blues harp tone from a bad amp. It may not get perfect vintage tone from a bad amp, but it will calm the amp enough that you can do your job and play the blues. You can use the MM Harpman to calm down and warm up nearly any amp, including your good harp amps.

$49 is a very nice price point for such a versatile tool for working harp players. The price will go up later, but not by much. I can think of two feedback pedals that sell for many times as much. I can think of another that sells for about the same but all it does is cut your mic volume by a set amount and offers zero adjustments.

Remember, all amps are different and they all will require a different “dialing in” on the MM Harpman pedal to get to that sweet spot. There is an easy pattern of adjustments you will need to make while using your ears to fine tune it for whatever amp you are using. It ain’t “just Plug ‘n’ Play,” but the improved tone is worth it.

We will begin shipping these pedals in about three weeks.  Visit our website HERE.