Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Today I dropped into Skip's Music in Sacramento CA to pick up a couple of harps. Skip's is one of the few places I've found where you can buy Hohner Golden Melody harps without ordering them. Tim Barron and I got to talking harp amps and he said he was often using an inexpensive Fender Mustang III amp for gigging lately: A 100-watt solid state 1x12 amp with digital modelling.
The amp has a street price of only $299. The tone was impressive, and with 100 watts on tap it really barked when he stepped on the gas. Tim had the modeler set up to emulate a Fender '59 Bassman with the digital settings pretty much as you would expect: rolled off treble and middle, boosted lows, low gain and high channel volume. It sounded totally giggable to me.
Sure, it does not have organic texture of a great vintage tube amp, but it ain't bad at all. As I said, I was impressed.
Friday, July 8, 2011
A question came up on Harp-L about celebrity endorsements of harmonica gear, such as mics and amps. Here is my response.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. You can read the guidelines here:
Here are the bullet points that might be of interest:
-Vendors are subject to liability for failing to disclose material connections between themselves and their endorsers. If the endorser received a discount from the Vendor-- such as a free or reduced-price product -- this MUST be disclosed in any advertising, including claims made on websites.
-It is the burden of the Vendor to make sure any claims made by endorsers are true and current. If an endorser claims or implies that he uses the vendors product exclusively, for example, the Vendor is subject to liability if he uses that endorsement in an advertisement and it is not true.
-A Vendor may use an endorsement of a celebrity only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser continues to subscribe to the views presented.
I know for certain that some vendors give hefty discounts to endorsers because I've discussed it with them. Yet they do not reveal this material relationship as required by the FTC. They sometimes continue to claim endorsements that are stale and no longer true.
This is important to the harmonica community for several reasons: The endorsement game can be misleading to people shopping for harmonica gear, such as microphones and amplifiers.