Thanks for the insights Melodica-Me. That is really helpful.
I know I should drag my gear to Guitar Center and spend a couple of hours trying out amps. At the same time, the Deluxe Reverb, Bassman, and Princeton reverb are pretty much the standard amps for many of the great harp players. So it would be hard to go wrong with one of these.
I have been thinking Princeton Reverb because it is often cited as “the” amp for harp. Plus it is relatively portable (32 pounds I think).
After nearly a year and a half of experimentation, I am back to a simple hybrid rig. I run a SM57 into a high-end, rack-mount preamp (Presonus RC-500). The preamp has an effects loop where I insert my trusty Lone Wolf Blues Company Harp Delay. That is it. The preamp includes a compressor and a three-band semi-parametric EQ so I have lots of tone-shaping capability. The high quality preamp really captures the nuances of the instrument. Soon, I will post a more detailed write up of this rig with photos. I think I have finally landed.
The only thing I need now is an amp that will give me both a clean tone and dirty tone, with a tonality that I like. For about $500 dollars I could also purchase several tube amps made specifically for harp. But I can’t really try these out a head of time.
Like you, I think I am willing to put up with tube maintenance to get the authentic warm tube sound.