Re: Big River vs Silverstar

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 16:28:11 +0200
From: "Alexei" <lexas@xxxxxx>
Subject: Big River vs Silverstar

I suspect, SS are made in China.
Hohner Big River Harp on the other hand, is MB clone and seems to have
simplier design. That one in D I played was almost unbendable, =
unfortunately I havent tested it for a long time and could not compare the
sound. But surprisingly, BR is more expensive than SS.(I suspect, BRs are =

Here is the QUESTION. Why BR seems to be more preferable among harpers? Is
it for sound or for design or what? or, maybe, Silver Stars are not so
common in US?


Hi Alexei,
  Silver Stars are readily available in New Zealand in most common keys.
  I recommend Silver Stars to beginners simply because they are cheap and an
inexpensive way to build up a collection and to get blowing on.

The Silver Star is very much like a Tombo Lee Oskar in size and tone out of
the box, they are even tuned to 12tET like Lee Oskars.

But with some hard blowing the differences become apparent quite quickly.
Silver Stars wear out very quickly losing that initial punch and their tone
becomes plaintive and the response wooly and sad.  Also the combs aren't
made to the same standards as Lee Oskar or Tombo and are more prone to
leakage.  Although all the components are interchangable with time it
becomes apparent that Tombo Lee Oskars are suprerior in every aspect (bar
price).  At least this is my conclusion from owning several of each.

   The MS Big River harmonicas being Hohner MS series are available in all
keys.  They are more durable than Silver Stars and don't lose anything until
reeds are actually fatigued and about to die.   And you can purchase
replacement parts from Hohner.  All the parts are interchangable with any
other Hohner MS series harmonica including the MS MeisterKlass.

  But at the end of the day, no one stock harmonica suits every player for
every situation.   By all means if you prefer Silver Stars, then go for it,
stock up on them!
  Another brand model you may like to look into is the Huang Star
Performers.  With a bit of polishing of the reedplate and cover edges to
make them more comfortable and a bit of gapping they are a lovely instrument
with a beautiful tone.


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