[Harp-L] Seydel 1847 stainless steel reed harmonica

fjm writes (all quoted text is his):

"This is by far the best stock out of the box harmonica I've ever played."

High praise indeed from someone who has tried most, and many customs besides.

"The bodies are sealed maple."

Better than pearwood, as it's much more dense. Plastic would be better still, of course, but then you'd get people complaining about the price since it's "only" plastic (as if the comb material has a significant effect on the price--not unless it's solid gold, I'd bet).

"I can see that I will have a problem with the coverplates I have an odd grip and it stresses the centre of the coverplates. I'll end up crushing this coverplate flat in no time. I've already deflected the G in less than 5 minutes playing time."

Why can't all companies follow Hering's lead and go to a thick chrome- plated brass, as they do with the Hering Blues range? I know the answer, but if I were designing a new harp, I'd definitely take that as a starting point, as those are impossible to damage from simply holding.

Excepting the Hulk, of course.

"The combs are longer than an 1896 and perhaps a tad thicker. The hole spacing ends up being wider because the holes themselves are larger. "

Seydel uses a wider spacing than other manufacturers. Almost everyone else uses the same reed and hole spacing for diatonics. I've not found it to be a problem, but like any change it may need an adjustment for certain techniques, I'd bet.

"Bear in mind this is just an initial assessment. I'll report back as I get more time in on these 1847's. Pretty much the only harmonicas I've ever played that I like as well have been pre war Marine Bands."

High praise again, and I look forward to reading how your experience with these progresses. I should buy some for myself, as well as the new Suzukis, if only to sample what's new and what seems to be a growing higher-end mass-manufactured market. I'm glad to see companies making the effort to improve what's out there and offer some new ideas. Stainless steel reeds is certainly a very exciting development in terms of potential longevity. Of course, I'd love someone to take up the Magnus idea and explore modern plastic reeds and integral molding in the harmonica, since we now have fifty years of experience with plastics. But Stainless steel is a big development for the instrument--a truly new reed material being made commercially. That doesn't happen but once every fifty years or so-- if then.

" I also miss the numbers because that's how I know at a glance which way is which."

I've seen people complain about the numbers from an aesthetic standpoint, but I'm with fjm on this--they make it so easy to tell which side is which, and without them you get into fumbling. The Turbolid eliminates this, but for traditional style covers numbers or some other easily noticed marking is a good thing, IMO.

"Wow, the hole spacing thing is really throwing me for a loop. I can't play clean sets of fast triplets in time. I'm slowly making progress on this but it is a radical change from virtually all of the 10 hole Hohner hole spacing."

I'm sure you'll adjust if you give it time. As I said before, it is different from all other manufacturers. Apparently, that's the way Seydel made harps have always been. All others are probably copying the Hohner spacing, but who knows which was first. I bet it's mostly a matter of familiarity, and if you had learned on a Seydel it would be natural and others weird.

Similarly, when I play a Piccolo or Vest Pocket harp I find it hard to get good accuracy. The holes are too close together. However, if I'd learned on them regular harps would probably feel quite awkward. Indeed, when I did play Piccolos fairly regularly, I was able to get used to them in a short amount of time.

Thanks for sharing this with the list, and I can't wait to hear how you get along with these new Seydels as time goes by.

()() JR "Bulldogge" Ross () () & Snuffy, too:) `----'

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