This guide will help you choose the best amp for harmonica. I will tell you in detail about their advantages, as well as review the criteria for picking good harmonica amps. I will also provide you with useful information to help you with the purchase and explain what you need to consider when buying the harmonica amp you are interested in. A harmonica amplifier will provide you with the best potential for performance and help you increase the expressiveness of playing. Below, I will provide you with detailed guidance on the topic and share with you my list of the best harmonica amplifiers.
5 Best Amps for Harmonica Reviewed
Here you will find harmonica amplifier reviews. I will describe my top amplifiers and tell you why I recommend them. I will also enlist their pros and cons.
1. Pignose Legendary 7-100: Best Portable Harmonica Amp
|5.6″D x 7.8″W x 11.2″H
Pignose has sold over 100,000 of its amplifiers and is known for its versatility, excellent portability, and suitability for a variety of applications. You can use their amplifiers anywhere you want, be it on the street, at home, or even in the car. The company is famous for mobility, so if you are looking for a compact and high-quality amplifier, Pignose Legendary 7-100 is perfect for this.
I found out about this model from my friend Dylan who recommended it to me. It contains all the necessary features, and it is small and easy to take with you to any place. I found it handy for street walks and camping. It’s pretty loud and durable. It has survived more than one rough ride and efficiently worked in all weather conditions.
It weighs only 5 pounds and is relatively small. It is powered by six batteries, or you can use a 9-volt converter that you can store directly in the box. You can connect any instrument to it, be it a guitar or harmonica. Sound quality is studio-level. The only negative feature is that you can’t use Bluetooth or USB with it.
- Quality, portable amplifier
- Adjustable sound quality
- You can hang it on a strap, which makes it possible for you to move comfortably with it.
- No ability to connect it via Bluetooth or USB, so you might lack it at times
2. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV: Best Harmonica Tube Amp
|Fender Hot Rod
|5.6″D x 7.8″W x 11.2″H
Fender has a fascinating history that began in 1946. The brand contributed to and reshaped music all over the world, and it worked with almost every genre of music such as blues, jazz, country, and many others. Their amplifiers are widely used by different people, both beginners and many famous artists and performers. Their products are respected in the music industry and are considered cultural icons. Their mission is to exceed the expectations of every music lover and to uphold the spirit of rock-n-roll.
The Fender Hot Rod is a line of amps found on every stage and used by various performers. You can recognize their sound on numerous platforms, which are ideal for musicians looking for a unique sound. I used this model for a relatively short time, but I immediately realized that it was aimed at young rockers who expect stunning effects. The brand also has excellent technical support, so you can call them and solve any problem. Their specialists will provide you with useful advice. The volume of this device is so potent that I couldn’t use more than 3 bars in my room because the windows started shaking! The speakers were made in the UK, which proves their rock ‘n’ roll spirit and perfect sound.
- Great tube amp
- Allows you to create a unique sound
- High-quality sound with great power.
- Very loud and destructive sound, so it might be challenging to get its full potential at home
- It has a fairly heavy weight, so you might find it inconvenient to carry it at times
3. Supro (64 Reverb 1×8): Best Amp for Blues Harmonica
|9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches
This model is made of a high-quality material that allows you to achieve maximum sound fidelity. It also has high-low frequency controls, gain level controls, and a master volume control, which makes it easy to set up. I have been using this model for quite a long time and was pleased to work with it. It switches on smoothly and quietly, connects to any instrument, and provides a high-quality and pleasant sound.
The main thing is to set it up correctly for you to achieve the best musical experience. Despite all the tweaks, the frequency range is perfectly compressed to the band you need, and it produces excellent sound even with equalizer manipulations. Therefore, it does not always work well in partial tuning. If you have little time and do not want to spend it on tuning, you can simply connect a guitar or some other instrument to it and get a high-quality sound. The brand also has a fairly large set of analog features that will keep you entertained and allow you to tweet music in the style you want and with excellent sound quality.
Supro is one of the first brands in music; the production of their amplifiers began in Chicago in 1935, and many famous artists used their products to record their tracks. Their items are also equipped with modern technology and professional-level components, which also affects their speakers’ functionality.
- Great retro design
- Well-made, and thus most resistant to rough handling
- Rich functionality, with many exciting settings
- A bit pricey
4. Fender Frontman 10G: Best Small Harmonica Amplifier
|5.75 x 10.25 x 11 inches
The Fender Frontman is a model that is great for beginners; it’s easy to use and gets you up and running quickly. It controls the sound you get from the instrument and adjusts it accordingly. A nice opportunity is to connect headphones to it, which will allow you to practice at any time and not disturb your roommates. It has a pleasant body design with a fabric grille, as well as originally made amplifier streams, on which there is a logo.
I practiced with this amplifier when I first started playing the harmonica, and then I did not think about how much sound quality it had compared to its price. The amplifier is very simple: All you need to do is connect the instrument you want to play to it, and that’s it. You don’t need to disassemble any functions, just the equalizer slider to play for your pleasure. However since it does not have settings, it might not be suitable for those who are more versed in music.
Fender has been making quality amps since 1946, and their products are suitable for a wide range of performance genres. Therefore, many famous performers used them and came up with a lot of well-known musical pieces. The brand is constantly getting better in the field of amplifier manufacturing.
- Loud and high-quality sound
- Easy to use, which is great for beginners
- Lightweight and compact, making it easy to store and move
- Poor functionality that might not satisfy a more skilled user
5. Danelectro Honeytone: Compact Harmonica Amp
|6.6 x 5.8 x 3.1 inches
This is an efficient model that does not take up much space, and you can take it with you anywhere at any time, as it is light and quite loud. The genuine leather handle is very convenient to carry in your hand, and you can also attach a strap to it. The amp has a headphone jack, and all it needs to operate is a power supply or a 9-volt battery. It features a great sea watercolor design. Despite its eye-catching look, it still does not offer the best sound. It is small, comfortable to use, and pretty loud, but its sound clarity is not at the best level.
I have been using it for a relatively short time, and it efficiently performed its tasks. The sound did not buzz, which was perfect for playing harmonica in companies or on the street. But still, if you are a professional, this option might not be the best for you. Though you can use the amplifier anywhere, you might not be 100% satisfied with the sound.
The Danelectro company provides its clients with high-quality inexpensive amplifiers. This product is noiseless, light, and compact. They implement new technologies that have a great sound of the 50s and 60s.
- Small and handy
- Nice, unique design
- All you need to power it is a 9-volt battery
- Although the sound quality is not bad, it might not be enough for experienced users
Buyer’s Guide on Best Amp for Harmonica
Before buying an amplifier for your harmonica, you need to find out which criteria affect the sound you will get. You should also consider which kind of sound you want to get and define the purpose of buying an amplifier
Why would you want to amplify a harmonica?
Harmonica amps help you get a quality, loud sound that will allow you to perform in a lot of noisy places and produce enough sound to attract your audience’s attention. Amplifiers also allow you to get different sounds from your harmonica, as most of them have many features that can provide you with a completely different sound.
How to amplify a harmonica?
Here is a step-by-step algorithm you can use to amplify a harmonica correctly.
Step 1: Connect a mic
To amplify the sound of a harmonica, you have to use an amplifier by connecting a microphone to it. This way, playing your harmonica will also have an amplified effect.
Step 2: Adjust the frequency
Since all these instruments work with sound waves, you need to properly tune them to the frequency you need. While a microphone reproduces the mids well, an amplifier works great with low frequencies.
Step 3: Customize your sound
The final sound is also affected by the speaker located in an amplifier and by adjusting the ratio of all settings, you can end up with a loud and high-quality sound. It is up to you to decide on which kind of sound you want to get in the end.
You should also adjust the sound to your style, set up an amplifier, as well as choose which microphone you want to work with. A mid-range or high-frequency speaker will bring you the best sound of your harmonica. You can also connect a microphone to the mixer, which will give the sound to your amplifier.
What do you need to amplify a harmonica?
If you want to achieve a powerful harmonica sound, there are many ways to reach your goal. You can use a microphone with a volume control or an amplifier with a thin speaker. A microphone with volume control will allow you to move near the amplifier, while an amplifier does not give feedback to the microphone. However, if the loudness of the amplifier is not enough for you, you can easily switch to a microphone and also get the sound you need.
How to buy a good harmonica amp
To buy a decent harmonica amplifier, you need to carefully look at the characteristics which it provides for the price.
1. Gain and volume
The amplifier must have a good output volume so that you can conveniently adjust it, and it must also offer a high-quality sound without ripples and unnecessary hearing impairment. You should be able to conveniently adjust its volume, and the best option is when the volume slider is in quick access so that you can control the sound.
If you often go outside or frequently have to change the place where you play, an amplifier must be portable enough to make it convenient to work with. It should be light, and it should come with a handle so that carrying it around doesn’t cause you any discomfort. You also need to consider its longevity and how long its batteries last.
3. Tone controls
This is something you should pay attention to in the first place, as adjusting the tone is what allows you to tailor the sound to your taste. It is also convenient to control the tone in places where there might be problems with acoustics, for example, the so-called “deaf” rooms. The tone is very important to consider when buying an amplifier, especially if you often perform in public.
An effect loop is an essential part of your amplifier: It allows you to tune the sound. You will be able to showcase your personalized sound, which you can customize using the effects panel. The more effects, the more options you will have to customize the sound.
FAQ About Best Amp for Harmonica
In this section, I will answer the most frequently asked questions about harmonica amplifiers. I hope that you will find the information you need in the answers below.
Can you use a guitar amp for a harmonica?
Guitar amps are great for harmonicas as they have tubes that power the amp. The best amps allow you to output sound at lower frequencies. Too much volume causes feedback to the microphone, and you can receive an unpleasant sound.
Are bass amps good for a harmonica?
A harmonica bass amp has its advantages, but it also depends on your playing style. On bass amps, the low notes of a harmonica sound much better than on a guitar amp; they work at their best and are more efficient if you only play on low notes.
What is the best harmonica amp setup?
Compact amplifiers are best suited for harmonica because they are easy to carry and do not take up much space. The better an amp handles the low notes, the better the harmonica sounds. A microphone can also help you improve sound quality. I recommend my favorite model, Pignose Legendary 7-100: It is great for any harmonica
Find the Best Amplifier for You
In this guide, I have enlisted my top harmonica amplifiers and explained why you should choose them. I have also provided you with the necessary information that you should consider when buying an amplifier. All this data can help you decide which amplifier is right for you. I recommend the Pignose Legendary 7-100 model as it is great for playing harmonica and has many useful features.
Which amp did you like the most out of the presented ones? Which amplifiers do you prefer and why? Tell me about it in the comments.