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Harp Mics

The gallery below is a few custom harp mics I currently have. Most of them I put together and modified myself. I'm partial to a 1/4" connector so I can plug my wireless bug right into the mic without a lot of stuff hanging down. I also like a volume control mounted right in the body where it's easy to adjust, even in the middle of a solo. I'm sure I have more mics than I really need or will ever use, but really, can you ever have too much stuff?


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Astatic T3 Bullet Mics  
Astatic T3 MC-151 CR 99H86
T-3 Mic T-3 Mic
Astatic T3 CM 99A86 T-3 Mic

Okay, I guess I'm a little partial to the Astatic T3 chrome mic bodies. They look cool and have just the right heft - not too heavy, not too light. I buy these mics off eBay then remove the stand, the mounting bracket and the old elements. With just a little work, I add the volume control, 1/4" jack or threaded connector, and wiring to the body. Then I add the element of choice. When the original element gasket won't work for the element I'm adding, I can usually find the right gasket at Jeff Spoor's Harp Mic Gaskets.

From the left to right, moving down each row, these mics are:

  • MC-151: This mic has my best Astatic MC-151 chrystal element. It's got a great tone to it and is a pretty hot element that's also fairly feedback resistant. This is my favorite mic for the Mission 32-20 and the Sonny Jr. amps.
  • CR 99H86: This is my best mic with a Shure element in it. It's got great tone, plenty hot, and is pretty feedback resistant. I use the mic with my Meteor and HarpGear Double Trouble amps.
  • MC-101: This mic has a vintage Astatic MC-101 crystal element. It's a nice sounding crystal element but doesn't quite have the cajones of the other mics.
  • MC-127: This has an Astatic MC-127 ceramic element that sounds very similar to my MC-151 above. The only difference is that is has a slightly smoother tone and it's not quite as hot as the MC-151. Still, a great mic. I added a Switchcraft threaded connection rather the the 1/4" jack to this one.
  • CM 99A86: This mic (on the left) is equipped with my favorite Shure controlled magnetic element. It's a 99A86 element and is my most feedback resistant CM. A very good and durable mic. I sold this mic to my good friend and fellow Pennsylvania harp player DaveT.
  • CM 99A86: This mic (on the right) also has a nice Shure element in it. I added a Switchcraft threaded connector to this.

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Plastic Bullet with No Name Element  

This mic was an experiment that worked out great. First, I bought of on Chris Reynold's Green Bullet style plastic harp mic shells. I gave it "hammered copper" paint job. I took the element from a mic similar to the mic on the right above. This is a no name mic that was used on quite a few reel-to-reel tape recorders in the 1960's. I believe it's a Hi-Z dynamic element. It's a very hot element and sounds very similar to a Shure controlled magnetic element but it's very feedback resistant. It's only about 1" in diameter so I had to fashion a custom mount for it to work in the mic shell. It's a great sounding, very lightweight mic. I like it so much that I've found a few more of these no name mics on eBay that I plan to mount in bullet shells. [Back to Top]


Modified new JT-30 Translucent Red Bullet with LED Light
JT-30 Mic

Musician's Friend has one of the current JT-30 mics listed as their "Stupid Deal of the Day" and I bought at a great price. The main problems were that the element this generation of JT-30's is a dynamic element that doesn't have the cajones or the tone of the older JT-30's. Plus, the threaded connector that originally came with it seems to only work with their cable and doesn't work well at all with anything intended for the standard Switchcraft threaded connector. So I swapped out the element for an MC-151 crystal element and swapped the threaded connector for a 1/4" mic. It's a pretty sweet mic now with very good tone.... [Back to Top]

This was another experiment. This time, I used one of Chris Reynold's plastic bullet shells in translucent red. In addition to the typical mods and a Shure controlled magnetic element, I added an LED light wired to the on/off switch of the volume control. It looks pretty cool in the dark. It doesn't add anything to the sound, but it does add Mojo. It has a Shure Controlled Magnetic 99B86 element in it, so it sounds great too. Come on, it had to be done.... [Back to Top]
Hybrid Bullet Mic Slap-O-Matic

This mic is a hybrid between one of Chris Reynold's plastic bullet shells and the metal grill cover from an old Green Bullet shell I had. It has a Shure controlled magnetic 99T556 element. It's a nice looking mic and is not as heavy as a regular Green Bullet but enough heft to hurt someone if you threw across the bar and hit them in the head. It pays to think ahead -- you never know when a bar fight will break out...
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This is my very first bullet mic. It's called the Slap-O-Matic from Scott Berberian, who now manufactures on of the baddest line of harp amps around - the Meteor Harp Amps. (Check out my Meteor amps on my Amp page.)I believe it has a crystal element. It has quite a few miles on it, but it still sounds great! [Back to Top]


Chrome Bullet with CM Element Electro Voice 920 "Holy Mic"
Holy Mic
This is one of my early projects to build a mic out of a motorcycle tail light assembly. You see a lot of these on eBay nowadays, but mine was inspired by Scott Berbarian's Slap-O-Matic above. I put a Shure Controlled Magnetic 99S556 element in it. It's a pretty nasty sounding mic. I've made a few of these for some friends.
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This is an old Electro Voice 920 Spherex mic. It was given to me by Georgie Bonds, my good friend one of Philadelphia's premier blues men. He told me he found it in the back of a church, so he dubbed it the "Holy Mic". The original element was shot, so I replaced it with a Shure Controlled Magnetic 99S556 element. I also replaced the hard wired cord and added a Switchcraft threaded connector. It's a nice sounding mic that probably benefits from some spiritual mojo.
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Plastic JT-30  
Here's two more using Chris Reynold's plastic harp mic shells, this time using the JT-30 style. The blue one on the left has a MC-151 crystal element. It's a nice element, just not as hot as the one in the chrome T3 shell above. The yellow one on the right has an MC-564 element in it. This element is pretty week, so I'll probably start over with this one with a new paint job and probably one of the no name elements above.. [Back to Top]
Assorted Harp Mics  
Here's an assortment of mics I've collected over the years -- one of Jim McBride's very cool Bottle 'O Blues mics; one of the original style Shaker harp mics; a mic with a wood shell I bought on eBay; and a cool Egg-Static mic that I also bought on eBay for about $20.
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