Modular Marine Bands

 > ---Responding to message from Winslow Yerxa

 > To be honest, I haven't played any but the cheaper
 > modular instruments, although I've requested review samples of
 > the complete line from Hohner - they haven't arrived.
 > However, those who are used to the traditional versions of the
 > Marine Band, Special 20, and Meisterklasse, have all made
 > wretched faces after playing the modular instruments. Hoever,
 > if they  work for you, great! You won't be sweating it out like
 > some professional players I know who are wondering whether
 > they should rent a safety deposit box and mortgage their
 > houses to buy up all the traditional Marine Bands they can
 > find . . .

 I've played the Big River Harp, which is built on the assembly line, and found
it has a brighter sound, sort of like a Lee Oskar. It is very, very loud - the
loudest diatonic I've ever played. I also found that the high keys (above C,
really) were too shrill, but I liked the "A."

 I'm a little suspicious of this whole "pre-modular/post-modular" debate.
Musicians are famous for snobbery in instruments that they couldn't tell apart
in a blind test (although I readily admit that some of this snobbery is highly
justified at times).
 The fact is, Hohner has been getting its market share eaten into by other harp
producers, who use modern assembly techniques to produce high-quality
instruments with lower labor costs.

 Other harps are vastly more consistent in production too.
One of my biggest gripes about Hohner is that the same harps in
the same key have vastly different "action" to them, much more so than other
harps I've ever tried. The modular assembly is
one way to address that problem. The question is whether that will
come at a cost of tone. I see no reason why that should be the
case - if it is, it's a design problem, not an assembly problem.


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