Effects and other pedals
Buying pedals, testing and discussing about sound differences ... a popular exercise of practising religion among electrified musicians, especially among the guitar tormentors. Consumption is fun.
The harp player himself seems to be a little less interested. Beginners buy distortion pedals, because they think, that's what makes the sound .... from time to time you also want a little reverb ... and then there are wonder pedals that shall suppress the feedback.
A microphone ain't no guitar!
We know the problem well enough. The pedals are made for guitar. Even the harp effects from the LoneWolfBluesCompany are just simple guitar effects most of the time but with an expanded downward frequency range. Sometimes this works quite well - depending on the implementation.
Here, I want to talk about the use of pedals before a tube amp (with little gain). And even then, you can hardly make general statements - but notice fundamental things. If one uses FX devices with a FX loop, there are minor restrictions. But only a few amplifiers (because of the simple construction) offer a FX loop.
The "special" sound of "Chicago Harp" is made up of the microphone providing a several times higher amplitude than the input tube can process. Even if the sound does not only depend on the input tube, the interaction between micro and input tube is a factor that gives the player certain sound options - and not only "distortion". I will not provide any numbers here, because many compare these in a linear way - that makes little sense. In general, 9V devices are marginal to deliver ideal results. But some are very well.
Thanks to Boris, who left me a suitcase full of pedals for a very long time, so I could get an idea of it.