Re: Tweaking new harps (was "Beginner ?")

Harmonicas are very individualistic instruments.  Some like them very
"customized" regarding tuning.  Lee Oskar himself tweaks his harps just
about every time he plays, new or otherwise.

Even though I'm exceptionally fussy about pitch, action, and tuning, I
rarely tweak brand new harps, other than adding windsavers to non-Suzuki's. 
I'm most comfortable with "factory" settings as far as action, and I find
that the tuning is usually very close, maybe within a few cents.  when they
start losing their tuning, I retune them, usually to equal tuning or a
litthe sharp from it.  When I play, I tend to pull the pitch downward into
tune automagically.

I mostly play Oskars, and they usually suit my playing perfectly out of the
box.  Ditto the Oskar replacement reedplates.  I've very rarely found any
kind of harp out of tune from the factory, unless it had been sitting around
a few years (or something like that.)

I will occasionally find a harp with bad action - usually a reed that needs
trueing or a slight adjustment in offset - but not very often.  I often
retune, but I also tend to chuck the reedplates once they've gone very far
out of tune.  Sucking reeds down your throat is not a pleasant experience. 
Neither is he sinking feeling you get in the middle of a tune when you hear
the reed rapidly dropping in pitch and you're out in the audience playing
harp and guitar with no spare easily accessible and both hands busy :-)

This is not to argue or anything like that - it's simply to point out that
each of us has their preference, and just because you don't yank your harp
apart first doesn't necessarily mean you don't know what you're doing (even
in my case ;-)

My primary guitar is a totally different story.  I customized the dickens
out of mine, reworked the fretboard until it either plays without buzzes or
buzzes on every fret, replaced the electronics, moved the pots, installed
new pickups, etc.  I have a perfectly good Strat that I don't like much to
play because I like my customized Fender Coronado so much.

It has been my experience that the best guitarists heavily customize their

Why one and not the other?  The harps do exactly what I want out of the box. 
Probably because I've been playing them "stock" for 40 years.

 -- mike

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