Richard Martin, Crazy Chromatic Fanatic

TO: internet:harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Richard Martin writes:

 >Talk about a crazy harmonica player buying all these harmonicas!

Ain't it great? I thought I was borderline with a drawerful of
270's, a couple of CBH2016's, assorted flavors of 64's and a
scattering of 12-hole Herings in different keys, but Richard is
my kind of Chromatic Fanatic!

Only, Richard, please be kind to our eyes, and break your
enthused ravings into shorter paragraphs.

A couple of comments.

Yes, I have also noticed a distinctly better sound - stronger,
more bite - from metallic and even enamel-finished CX-12's than
from the black finish models, Perhaps outer hardness of the
covers affects overall sound?

Interesting to hear that the new Hering 64's are different. Many
older players like these because they duplicate the design of the
original pre-war 64's - wood comb, shallower mouthpiece, and all
the C-harp reeds on one plate, and Db-harp reeds on the other,
unlike modern 16-holers with the zig-zag up-down arrangement,
alternating each hole.

The last time I played a Hering 64, about two years ago, I didn't
like the tone quality - I attributed it to cheap brass. Response
was certainly easy, though. I'd be interested to know if the new
ones are better sounding.

Comb materials for Hohner 64's.

    The 280 has a plastic comb, held together (I could be wrong
    on current models; I haven't bought one in 20 years) with
    nails. As I recall, the first time I took one apart, the nail
    holes were so tight, I couldn't get the nails back in all the
    way and the harp was too leaky to play after that. This is
    when they only cost $20, so I just bought another one.

    The Super 64 is injection-molded black plastic, held together
    with screws - I just took mine apart to check. The thin
    ridges that contact the reedplates - no large, flat surfaces
    anywhere - have un-smooth ridges and irregularities - no
    wonder the damn thing leaks so much. Perhaps they can be
    smoothed out.

    The Super 64x comb is made of translucent injection-molded
    plexiglass, allowing you to see inside the harmonica. It also
    has double-thick reedplates, giving it a BIG sound. This is
    my favorite 16-hole instrument at present. Airtight, smooth
    action, voice of doom, and nice to look at.

I've never played a Silver Concerto, but I hear good things about
them. Larry Adler has three of them; that's all he plays.  I asked
him about maintenance, as he plays fairly hard. His main problem
is that he chews up valves, and it isn't always easy to get
replacements. The reeds are, I believe, beryllium copper (I can't
find any reference materials to check at the moment).


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