[Harp-L] The Other Comb Material Issue

Hi Everyone
There is another issue with wooden combs, that is their ability to turn into lip saws. I have just purchased a Marine Band and a Special 20 both in the key of D. They both sound great, the issue for me is that the Marine Band will be dead and become a reed donor much sooner than the Special 20.
What do all you Marine band fans do to cope with the combs instability?
You play for a while and the teeth start sticking out in front of the reed plates and slice your lips up.
I was once advised to cut off the teeth of the comb with a razor blade which while effective is not a very good solution as when the teeth shrink when they dry out they are not long enough line up with the edge of the reedplates
If you leave them in the sun they shrink and warp.
If you leave them in a humid place the comb will swell and the harp will get leaky.
Hohner missed a great opportunity to introduce plastice combs (Genuine Faux Pear Wood) when they introduced the Deluxe Marine Band and 270.
The only advantage in my opinion is that the Marine Band is a tiny bit smaller, it's only a millimetre or two but it does make a difference (to me)and I also prefer the cover shape of the Marine Band.
I really like Marine Band harps but the wooden combs are a big turnoff.I would love to see a Marine Band made with a plastic comb exactly the same size as the wooden one using the same tin sandwhich style.
I have been down the comb sealing road and was not satisfied with the result, I have also made some Marine Band combs out of six millimetre pvc sheeting. The result was a Marine Band that sounded just like a wooden combed one. I have some photos of the combs I made somewhere if anyone feels the need.
Please note these opinion are totally my subjective opinion and reflect my personall experience with plastic and wooden combed diatonics and chromatics

Christopher B

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