Re: setting up LO's for OB

Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 21:26:57 -0400
From: Joe Mahan <joe.mahan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: setting up LO's for OB

In the current custom vs. whatever thread, It has been mentioned that LO's
are difficult to set up for overblows.
I'm not much of a tweaker myself, but maybe someday...

I am curious as to what particular characteristics make harps easier to set  up
for overblows. How do other brands (esp. Suzuki and Hering) rank in  comparison
to Hohner?

Any details will be appreciated. I only need one more excuse to try a

Hey Joe,
  I have here two very nice MS Meisterklasse harmonicas in key of C setup for
playing overblows.  They are very smooth, stable and pleasant to play.  As with
most MS series, there are a few sharp edges on the reedplates and comb, but a
minute or two with a rotary tool and its but a memory.

Hohner Handmade diatonics seem to lend themselves more readily to stable
overblows, the Golden Melodies in particular for some reason, but SP20s and
Marine Bands have exactly the same reeds and are good contenders.  Lee Oskars
can be setup to do them well, but they are more responsive which can be both
good and bad depending on the player whos mouth its in.  Tinus uses MS
Meisterklasse diatonics exclusively for his approach to chromatic playing
incorporating overblows, as I say I have two MS MKs here that are really nice
for that approach.  I have little to no experience with other brand/model
harmonicas for overblowing.

Its no secret that the way to stablise reeds for overblows is by placing a small
spot of nail polish in the corners at the base of each reed.
Pat Missin first explained this technique in 1996 on this group.
Later Dr Antaki explained in passing at Harmonica Summit 2000 how a small weight
at the center of each reed would stablise it, and this was first proven on this
group by Stephen Schneider with Peter Elderav's assistance.

For some time I combined the two methods on Lee Oskars to guarantee stability by
putting nail polish both at the root of the reed and on the center of the reed.
However this causes trouble with fine tuning.

I only use one method or the other now, not both.
Currently I prefer to use it at the root of the reed.  I use it this way with
Lee Oskars and now with MS Meisterklasse harmonicas.

You can read about the technique and how to set up the reeds for overblowing at
these sites:
and an overall article on setting up your reeds:

Now you are free to buy yourself a MS Meisterklasse.  :-)


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