Saturday, June 25, 2011

Big Tone from Two Amps

Last Sunday at the blues jam my band hosts at Ziggies in Denver I used two amps: My 1953 Masco and my Mission Chicago 32-20. I ran the mic into the Mic 1 input in the Mission amp and then jumped a cable from the Mission’s Mic 2 input to the Masco. I turned them both up half way and let ‘er rip.

The wait staff at the club immediately started waving their arms and shouting, “Whoa, that it too fucking loud!” I’ve never seen that kind of reaction to any harp amp at that jam.

I was pushing 55 vintage watts via four 6L6 tubes into two 12-inch speakers, and the tone was enormous. Think of a Fender Twin Reverb tuned for harp. Now, that was fun!

The Masco is a 20-watt cathode biased vintage amp with the characteristic sag and crunch. The Mission is a 35-watt amp switched to fixed bias (the bias is selectable on the amp) with its stiffer, punchier sound. Together they made a huge complex tone with lots of texture. Feedback was not a problem unless I did something stupid.

The downside to this rig, of course, is carrying and setting up two amps instead of one. For now I plan to use both amps in bigger venues and outdoor shows. The sound is such a kick in the ass I can put up with the extra hassle.

Notes: The Fender amp in the picture is guitarist John Goggin's wonderful little 1968 Princeton Reverb.

The mic input in the Masco is right in the front, where the Phono volume control once was.

Livewire cables seemed to be popular at the jam that night, eh?


cornedbeefisok said...

I wanted one of them small Mission 30 watt harp amps just the right size for taking to my local pub,its a shame they haven't being available for sale

Rick Davis said...

Corn, the Mission amps are still for sale. Google Mission Harp Amps.