Re: Tape inside cover plates

In a message dated 14/11/03 21:23:37 GMT Standard Time,
Cheechmail@xxxxxxx writes:
Some of the harmonicas had tape inside the cover plates. How does this
affect the tone of the harmonica.?

John "Whiteboy" Walden offers:
Some players like to tape the inside of their harmonica cover plates
which reduces the amount that the cover plates vibrate when the harp
is being played. I do not do this myself, as I really like my
harmonica to vibrate as much as possible in my hands, which seems to
make the instrument more responsive. IMHO the cover plates used, make
a vast difference to the tone of the instrument.
I like to play harps with thin cover plates, such as the MS Blues
Harp. Other players prefer thicker cover plates, such as the MS
Meisteklasse. When using Hohner MS harps, I always fit them with Blues
Harp cover plates which allows them to vibrate freely.

Interesting comment, John - however, I can't imagine the covers
"vibrating" any significant amount - especially cupped in MY hands. Do
you hold only the ends of the comb, to allow the covers to vibrate

To address your question, Cheech, I can, however understand that
taping over the insides of the cover can cut some of the
high-frequency "brightness" of the insides of the covers - sort of
like the difference between playing in a room with hardwood floors or
one with wall-to-wall carpet. It cuts a bit of the "reflection" from
the cover inner surface. -But actually, only a VERY LITTLE bit.
Although some players swear by this, it'd be hard to define a clear
advantage - proper embouchure plays a MUCH larger role in a player's
TONE than cover design or interior finish.

The other (significant) difference in cover-plate design is between
those that are "vented" at the ends (like an MS Marine Band, or Big
River), and those that "closed" (like an MS Blues Harp, or
Meisterklasse) on the ends. But it turns out that the "significance"
is mostly subjective, and mostly for the PLAYER. See, the vents let a
little bit of the sound from the reeds come back into the PLAYERS
ears, so WE hear a difference (acoustically).

Mostly the audience can't tell the difference.

The TRULY useful thing about closed-ended covers is that they allow
much better "compression" when cupping a mic.
- -Scorcher

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