HP-2 Harp Preamp Leo Sayer Signature
The HP-2 Leo Sayer signature Harp Preamp was envisioned and designed in conjunction with the man, Leo Sayer himself !
Ever wanted to get that Chicago Blues Sound for your harmonica, but didn’t have a low wattage valve amp. Unhappy with how a guitar distortion pedal works with a harmonica and microphone. Only got a clean amp but want that dirty overdriven sound. Don’t want to lug an amp to gigs but want “that” harp sound… then read on.
The old blues harp guys used to use small low wattage valve amps for their harps. Often they would replace the first preamp valve with a lower gain type to get smooth creamy distortion. This amplified harp sound has come to be known as the “Chicago Blues Harp” sound. But valve amps need maintenance, and can be heavy to carry around, there has to be a better way.
My original HP-1 harp preamp has proved to be very popular. It has a single tone control, a gain and a volume control. Leo Sayer has been using one for quite a while now, and he doesn’t take his amp to gigs any more, he just plugs his harp through his HP-1 Mozztronics Harp pre, and takes the balanced xlr out to the PA.
A Signature pedal had to retain the sound from the original pedal but offer many more features, so i conjunction with Leo, we sat down & worked out all the things he wanted (and a few more) in this new HP-2 harp preamp.
We still use 3 stages of JFET goodliness, operating in pure Class A, to accurately simulate an entire low wattage valve amp, including the speaker response which is now switchable with the CABsim switch. A JFET is a type of silicon transistor that operates in a similar way to a vacuum tube. There is no diode clipping so all the drive is from the natural compression of the jfet transistors.
There is a 1/4″ input for a microphone, and two outputs. The first is a 1/4″ to allow connection to an amp for monitoring. The second is a fully electronically balanced XLR to allow for direct connection to a stage box or mixer. You can use both outputs at the same time.
GAIN controls the amount of gain from the first stage, BASS controls the amount of bass in the output, TRE controls the amount of treble cut in the output, MID controls the amount of mids in the output, FREQ controls the mid frequency, and VOLUME adjusts the overall volume out of the pedal. LIFT gives an earth lift for the balanced XLR output. The mids are parametric, so by being able to adjust the frequency it is easy to dial in great midrange tone, or cut an annoying feedback frequency.
But that’s not all. We included a mute switch and a green light to tell you when the output is on. Now when you’re not playing, you can just hit the mute switch and your microphone is silent.