Dear fellow musicians and music lovers: 

Welcome to Howard's den! 

People often ask me to make recommendations and suggestions regarding instruments, gear, books, and other music-related items. If you are curious to know what I actually use and like, you are in the right place! The list I came up with is a little long (and might get longer), but there's a good chance that you'll find something useful or interesting here.

Oh, and if you make it to end, you’ll get to know my “secret weapon” that boosts my spirits, stimulates my mind and uplifts my soul.

Have fun exploring!


As many of you know, I play Hohner Harmonicas, some customized, some out of the box. My favorite models (in no particular order) are: Crossover, Marine Band Deluxe, Rocket, Golden Melody, Thunderbird, and Special 20.


Getting the right microphone for your harmonica sound is of utmost importance in capturing the true essence and soul of your playing. The harmonica is a unique instrument with distinct tonal characteristics, and a microphone tailored for harmonica amplification can make a world of difference. The right microphone not only captures the delicate nuances and rich harmonics of the harmonica's sound but also helps control feedback and unwanted noise. It allows you to project your playing with clarity and precision, whether in a live performance or a recording setting. It is worth investing time and effort in finding the mic that's right for you.

I've been using the Sennheiser MD 441-U for many years and I love how it works for acoustic playing as a non-handheld mic, both live and in the studio. Occasionally, I'll use other mics, but I stick with this one 99% of the time.

I've gotten some surprisingly great results handholding this Shure Beta 57a, not for a distortion sound, but for a rich, clean tone. I used it for 2 of the tunes on my Time Capsules album. I also played through one live with Cyndi Lauper on a national TV show.

For handheld, I love playing through the Beyerdynamic M88, for clean or distorted playing. It has a very rich tone that suits my style. I use it live and in the studio. 

And another mic I've used for a distorted blues sound is the classic Shure 520DX Green Bullet. I have an older model that I got years ago. I'm not sure how the new ones sound, but the volume control is an important feature.

Harmonica Cases

Mic booster



Portable bluetooth speaker

online Mixer / interface

Harmonica books

Music stands & light

Wheeled Backpack



La Pavoni Europiccola