The HarpGear Rock Bottom

HG Rock Bottom

HG Rock Bottom

HG Rock Bottom

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The Rock Bottom Story:

Rock Bottom

As performer and songwriter, Rock served up a masterful main course of blues seasoned with R&B and the flavors of New Orleans. No artificial ingredients were ever used in the making of Rock's very own and very special recipe. Rock has played over 250 dates every year for the last 20 years. Usually this schedule included nearly a hundred shows outside USA.    Rock has satisfied the hunger of blues starved fans by giving extraordinary exhibitions of his artistry at the: W.C. Handy Awards (Memphis, Tennessee), Merle Watson Festival (North Carolina), Winnipeg Folk Festival, (Canada), Notodden Blues Festival (Norway), Gloucester Blues Festival (England), Burnley Blues Festival (England), Molde Jazz Festival (Norway), Mettmann Blues Festival (Germany), Lugano Blues to Bop Festival (Switzerland), Djurs Bluesland Festival (Denmark), International Congress of Intellectuals (Wroclaw, Poland), Copenhangen Festival of Fools (Denmark), Belgian Blues Night (Brugge, Belgium), Kalvipuisto Festival (Helsinki, Finland), Tampa Bay Blues Festival (St. Pete, Florida), Florida Folk Festival Festival (White Springs, Florida), Arctic Border Blues Festival (Kirkenes, Norway), and the Key West Blues Festival (Florida).

After many years and many more miles, Rock started his recording career in 1979. Early efforts produced several now extremely collectable vinyl 45's and an album in 1983 which, today, fetches a fancy price amongst collectors. As fans in rapidly growing numbers relish Rock's current offerings, we gladly observe that the promise held forth by his early successes has been spades. The process of fulfilling the promise has steadily unfolded since 1979 and, as a result, fans have a body of recorded work available today that includes the following gems: 1991 Rock Bottom & Blues Kerosene, Family Place Verrat Records (Switzerland) 1992, Roy Book Binder & the Hillbilly Blues Cats Rounder Records 1993, The Silver King Band, Escape Fromn the Planet of the Bar Managers Danger Zone Records 1993, Harmaniac Danger Zone Records 1994, Diamond Teeth Mary, Walkin' Mary Blues Upright Records 1994, The Silver King Band, Blues, Shuck & Jive Danger Zone Records 1995, Too Many Bad Habits Double Trouble (Belgium) 1996, The Silver King Band, Live at the Dive Danger Zone Records 1997, ToneTricknology Records 1999, Rock Bottom & The Cutaways, Shake Your Boogie Leg New Moon Blues 2000 More and better to come!

While maintaining an energetic touring schedule at home and abroad, Rock made time to fulfill the roles of songwriter and producer and to undertake film, stage and TV projects. For example, Rock has produced Roy Book Binder's CD on Rounder Records, Sandy Atkinson's CD Why Baby Why as well as the Tomcat Blake CD for Double Trouble Records in Belgium. Several of Rock's songs have become hits in Scandinavia by local artists and released as singles. Further entries on Rock's resume' include his featured performance in the independent film, The Worm Killers, composition and performance of an all harp score for the Sam Shapard play, A Lie of the Mind and a featured appearance with his band in the ABC-TV series Second Noah. Rock's voice was also used in an broad based ad campaign for Food Mart stores. 

As you can see the man Rock Bottom AKA David York was quite an individual and one hell of a harp player!  You can still purchase his music here at  He is one of my favorite players and if you check out his music you won't be disappointed!  This amp is my contribution to keeping his life and legacy alive in the hearts of blues lovers everywhere.

Rock Bottom David York

The HarpGear Rock Bottom:

We have recently added the new Harpgear Rock Bottom to the line to provide a lower cost alternative to the HG2 while still providing the same great tone we have all come to love from HarpGear amplifiers.  This amplifier is made with the same hand wired point to point circuit as the HG2 with a solid state rectifier and a 10" custom "real vintage" speaker housed in a rock solid MDF cabinet with steel reinforced corners.  A lot of harp players have heard that you don't want to use a solid state rectifier for harp playing.  If the solid state rectifier and the circuit are put together correctly, this is absolutely untrue.   The reality is that the HG Rock Bottom has the same tone as the HG2 and the solid state rectifier is more reliable than the tube rectifier alternative.  I have been using a solid state rectifier in the Double Trouble amp and it has been met with great fan fare and has great tone!   

This is a very versatile amp that would allow you to go from clean and jazzy to a down and dirty blues sound.   The HarpGear Rock Bottom is that amp with a tighter front end for more bass response and a punchier feel when you play.  The tone control acts more like a high roll off allowing you to play with more highs when your session requires or allowing you to roll off the highs from the amp and get even more bass and distortion with less feedback.   This amp  has an oversized output transformer like the other amps and even more great bass to really accentuate those low notes while your playing.  This amp also uses more filtering so it works really well with the line out as a quiet recording amp with great tone. 
The tube configuration for this amp is as follows:  (1) 6V6GT power tube (1) 12AY7 preamp tube (1) Solid State Rectifier .  This amp will generate between 5-7 watts of power which comes across surprisingly loud.  Players use this amp for small to medium gigs with great success with no assistance.  This amp can easily be used for large venues by connecting the line out to the PA and you will get the same great tone the amp is known for as loud as you or the soundman would like.  This allows you to use the amp as a monitor and the PA to get you heard over the rest of the band.

Sound Samples of the HG Rock Bottom

RJ Harman plays blues at lower on the HG Rock Bottom with Lone Wolf Harp Delay Volume: 4 Tone: 4

RJ Harman plays blues at lower volume on the HG Rock Bottom with no delay Volume: 4 Tone: 4

RJ Harman plays blues at higher volume on the HG Rock Bottom with Lone Wolf Harp Delay Volume: 6 Tone: 3

RJ Harman plays jazz on the HG
Rock Bottom with Lone Wolf Harp Delay Volume: 4 Tone: 5

Dimensions 12.75"W x 14.5"H x 8"D 17lbs.


 $540 120V US / Canada 10" Ceramic Speaker

$565 120V US / Canada 10" Alnico Speaker

$580 240V Export 10" Ceramic Speaker

$605 240V Export 10" Alnico Speaker

The HarpGear Rock Bottom Amplifier includes:

-Tolex covered MDF cabinet.

-Solid 3/8" baffle with T nuts for great sound reproduction. 

-High quality custom transformers wound for us for a truly awesome sound as well as oversized transformers to add more honk to your amp and give you plenty of sweet round distortion.

-Mil Spec G10 Garrolite eyelet boards to prevent both tweed disease and moisture absorption common on pressed fiber boards which produces false capacitance and causes crackle and hum.  You will not have that problem with our boards and they will last a lifetime

-All amplifiers are hand wired one at a time with the utmost attention to detail.  All component leads are straightened and cleaned before the are soldered to the G10 board.

-Values of components are increased in key areas to make the amplifier more responsive with all the bass and crunch a harp player needs. 

-Our own custom "real vintage" speakers.

-An additional line out jack to run to the PA so you will never have a problem being heard over the rest of the band.  You can still use your amp as a monitor to hear yourself while plugged into the PA.  The line out can also be used to record directly into your computer line in or into a sound board.

Please feel free to contact me and discuss your playing style as there are options which can be customized to enhance your sound.  These amplifiers can be fitted with international power supplies also to allow overseas customers to use them also.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. 

Brian Purdy