Breaking in, Harp QC, revisited again

Per Ted and Tim, and previous messages about Hohner QC, etc. (Steve L., you
get your new chrom' swapped out yet?):

>:Hope you guys and gals will offer your own opinions here, because I HATE 
>:buying harps I can't play because they are junk and can't be returned-that 
>:old hygiene cop-out. 
>I plunk down my twenty dollars, grab the harp and tell the guy, "I'm not
>gonna be a happy customer if this is a shitty harp". Then I play the hell
>out of it right then and there. I run up and down the harp, play my fav
>riffs with all the right bends, etc.. If all is ok, I thank them profusely
>and tell them how many more I will buy. If there is a problem with the harp,
>I complain about being forced to buy defective equipment loud enough for
>other customers to hear and ask them if there is anything they are willing
>to do. The few times I have found bad harps, I've always gotten a

In talking to Dick Gardner here recently he claims there's certain amount
of "they don't make 'em like they used to" going on WRT harps
off-the-shelf. Being in manufacturing as part of my vocation, I can
appreciate the global pressure to reduce costs and engineer value into
established product lines. He offered to sell me a "sooped up" (his words)
CX12 in which he would inspect, tweek, tune,  make sure it was PERFECT,
etc.    I perceived this to be similar to what happens when electric
guitars are sold -- there is typically a dealer set-up charge hidden in the
cost, where strings are stretched, action set, frets deburred, switches
cleaned if noisy, etc  (or as someone pointed out earlier, these low-buck
Guitar Hell stores don't bother since they are just into moving volume). 
Now I'm really not in the market for this (I've shifted to trying to figure
out overblowing on the diatonic... and still am in first gear.... :( ), but
I was intrigued since he quoted me $135 and I see that Kevin's has it at
$104 as-is... now my point...  is there value in a $30 set up on a $100
instrument (OK, OK that's maybe $200 retail, but 15%-30%)? They do it for
guitars and such all the time, but the percentages work out differently
since these instruments are more expensive.  For diatonics, I like Tim's
approach, but it kinda precludes mail-order. Opinions?

Harvey A. Andruss, III                  email: haandruss@xxxxxxx

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