LEE OSKAR THANKS YOU, ETC
It has been a few days since I last posted, so have a lot to catch up on.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have made some very
complimentary remarks toward both Lee Oskar Harmonicas and myself personally.
I really enjoy working with Lee and the company, and helping any way I can
to overcome any problems that might arise.
Now the sales pitch - Lee Oskar Harmonicas has a very high standard of
quality control, and our Service Department receives very, very few defective
harps for warranty service. If we receive 4 pieces in a week, that's a lot!
We do have a very lenient service policy, as many of you players have found
out. However, LOH does not offer a repair service for used harps - that's
why we make replacement reed plates available in all 43 keys, plus a 7-piece
tool kit together with a 16-page instruction manual with detailed sketches
and descriptions. It covers reed replacement, setting your offsets and
tuning. Also included is the tuning detail of LO Harps, in Hz & Cents.
I might mention that of those harps received for warranty problems, no less
than half are not defective at all, but merely the result of "operator
error" - the players are usually novices who do not understand the problems
of #2 & #3 draw or #8, 9 & 10 blow. Norman Ives states that the biggest
problem is not with the harps, but with the person behind the lips, or
something like that. You may have to ask him for a direct quote, because I
would rather not print it! The main source of warranty returns is from
retail stores who, on the advice of some prospective customers, return harps
noted as defective. It is almost always the #3 & #4 draw, and of course we
find NOTHING wrong with the harp! The store has violated the health
regulation policy of "if you play it, you bought it", expecting us to repair
or replace their "defective" stock. What can we do? - we must scrap the item
and reprimand the retailer for their violation, and replace the return with a
new one. Of course we do not have repeat problems from the same retailer,
but with the many hundreds of retailers around the country, the problem does
occur more often than it should. It is sadly true that the retail personnel
are largely ignorant of the harmonica as an instrument and depend on the
customers to enlighten them. They are also ignorant of the health
regulations, but we, and all other harmonica manufacturers, are doing our
best to educate them.
Relative to reed fatigue, cracking and breakage - we do find that the #4 & #5
draw, and #7 blow are the most often problems, but can almost always be
traced to improper pressure and use. The LO Harps stand up the abuse of many
pros, including Charlie Musselwhite, Junior Wells, Bret Michaels (Poison),
John Corabi (Motley Crue), George Winston, Rafael Salgado (El Tri), Johnny
Dyer, Little Sonny, Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones), Ben Darvill (Crash Test
Dummies), Teddy Andreadis (Guns 'N' Roses), Lucinda Chatfield (The Righteous
Brothers), Van Morrison, Jon Bon Jovi, Huey Lewis, Steve Miller, Bruce
Willis, Jimmy Z, etc, etc, etc, with absolutely no problems of fatigue and
breakage. (How's that for name dropping - but these players plus many more
are all LO lovers and players.)
On a personal note, Lee is very proud of his line of instruments, and is also
very adamant that his name is spelled correctly - OSKAR with a K and not a C.
A wrongly placed C in a letter of high interest otherwise, no matter who it
is from, is somewhat distracting to him. (I also have a friend of German
descent who is just as adamant of his name spelling and pronunciation, so I
am not surprised at Lee's concern.)
Another note of possible interest - for those interested - Side One of Lee's
first album, titled simply Lee Oskar, that featured the Starkite, or
dragonfly on the cover, was played entirely using a B Harmonic Minor harp. A
very interesting concept, and easy to play along with. We have just received
word that Lee's 3 solo albums will soon be re-released on CD format - long
awaited and promised. We'll keep you posted.
ANOTHER SUBJECT - SPAH is now on-line. Welcome to Bob Williams, Exec Vice
President of SPAH. We can expect lots of good and up-to-date info from his
I think I've used up more than my allotted band-width, so I'll get out of
here now and turn it over to someone else.
Til next time - BassHarp
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