[Harp-L] Comb Material

After much debate on this same issue on SlideMeister, I thought I would
challenge those who strongly felt that they could tell the difference
between Plastic & Wood combs.  I offered to wager $1000 (loser pays) to
anyone who could identify Plastic or Wood combed harmonicas in my
recordings, winner take all.  Participation was limited only to those who
would wager. I think I cited three recordings, some wood combs, some plastic
combs and some combinations.  I know what harmonicas were used because they
are all marked on the combs and on each track of each recording.  No one was
willing to make wager.  I will cut a bit of slack by saying that EQ and
Effects greatly alter the sound in recording but the same applies when we
amplify them live.  Most everybody has their favorite sound and it isn't
wood, plastic or metal.

Bottom line to me is that there is no way to tell the difference except that
plastic blocks tend to be a lot tighter.  It is my experience that the
embouchure (physiologically,)mostly determines the sound, while the style of
playing and the quality of the harmonica (tuning, gap, air tightness,
covers, block design) all contribute to the total quality of the sound.
When the desired characteristics are met, what do we do? We amplify and EQ.
I am as guilty as anyone else.  Use what you like, I won't be able to tell.


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