Re: [Harp-L] SP20 vs. Pro Harp - observations & questions

I have to admit that I like my D Hohner Pro, better than any of my harps, to
carry with me all the time. It has lasted longer than any other harp, and
has not gone out of tune at all. I've had it for several years now. I blow
this one hard, soft, whatever. It withstands the hardest playing, better
than my other harps. I think it appears "unresponsive" because the reeds
must be heavier material, though I haven't opened it up to test my theory.
It just seems a lot more durable and rugged, though this translates into
"unresponsive" to some. It definitely seems to require more wind, and
therefore suits my playing style   Amplification works well with this harp,
though I play it acoustically all the time.

Contrary to what has been said here, none of my Hohner Pros have had "bad
reeds" or been out of tune from the box. I did have one Hohner "Cross Harp"
that was not in the key it was designated to be on the harp. These harps are
advertised as being in the key, cross harp, that they are named,,so an "A"
harp should play, cross harp, in the key of "A", etc. This one wasn't, and
it did go south on me after a short time anyway, so it's sitting in the
"fix-it" box to this day.

The Pros seem to have a somewhat subdued, or "quieter" tone, perhaps because
of the painted surface of the covers. My Lee Oskars are what I grab when I
want "bright", or "loud", but the Pro is what I grab when I don't care for
the extra volume acoustically, I just want something to play that is
dependable. I commonly lose a reed to flatness or just plain giving up, on
the Lee Oskars (usually the 3 or 4 hole), through hard playing, after a
short time ("short" being maybe a few months), but the Pro seems to have
very durable reeds.

Plus,,"black is beautiful",,as they used to say.

I've only owned one Sp20, ever, so I can't compare the two fairly. I did
like the playability of the Sp20, but not the durability. It went south on
me too soon.

I've owned one "Big River", and didn't like the covers, or the air leakage,
though they were playable, and especially affordable. I once asked Red
Archibald what harp he was playing, and he said it was a "Big River".
They're "cheap", and you can more easily replace it on a whim.

I've owned Marine Bands, but didn't want to put up with wood swell. At times
I'll wet my harps and shake 'em out pre-play just to bump the tone up a bit
from the get-go. Wood doesn't go for that treatment.

Now I've just got a set of LO's, and a few Hohner Pro's, a Bb, a D, and an
A, and maybe an E, I forget. Maybe one of these days I'll spring for a
Seydel, or learn to customize my harps. I really should do the latter
anyway. I feel drawn to benchwork, and fine motor movements, with a strong
light, strong glasses, or a loupe/visor with headlamp. A set of slave-girls
to bring me my meat and grog as I work should compliment the set-up well.

Hmmm,,,now I've got all these things to do,,

,,but I'm late for work,,

Oh well,,they can wait. My time is valuable.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Captron100@xxxxxxx>
To: <Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 10:02 AM
Subject: [Harp-L] SP20 vs. Pro Harp - observations & questions

> Yesterday i spent hours tweaking an F# harp someone gave  me.  It was my
> first experience with a Hohner Pro Harp.  My impression  of this
particular Pro
> Harp is that it is the same harp as a Special 20, but of  lesser
quality -- reed
> work was sloppy, had poor tolerances and some reeds  were off-center,
> requiring a Hohner style reed wrench to fix (thanks Bill  Rommel).
>   I see the PH is the modular (replaceable reed plate)  type, tho to me
> reed plate looked identical to my SP20's.  Is  there a way to tell the
> difference visually, between a modular version and the  non-modular
>   A check on Pat Missin's site ( shows  slightly
> different length reed slots between the two types.  I wonder  why.  If the
> versions' reed slots are of different lengths, it stands  to reason that
> must need to have an entirely different  inventory of reeds.
>   Except for the black painted cover of the PH, the cover is  identical in
> shape to those of the SP20 but the PH's cover is lighter in  weight.  Tho
> don't have a scale to compare weights, the Pro Harp seems to  feel
> lightweight compared to the SP20.
>   This may be a lemon of a Pro Harp, but judging by this one  experience,
> obviously i would avoid Pro Harps in favor of SP20's. The  prices of PH's
> online stores ranged from virtually the same to  costing more than SP20's.
>   Thanks to Harp-L and Rupert Oysler's harp repair DVD, i was able to
> this harp pretty well and it has replaced my old F# harp in my harp  case.
> did just about everything except tip scooping and wax or nail  polish to
> the base of the reed.  Here in sunny FL, i don't  think wax will last.
> reedplate was corroded and I didn't  feel comfortable that nail polish
> stick.
> Re  Rupert's DVD, tho it's the next best thing to having a harp tech
> over  your shoulder, I would like to have more info on tuning a harp.  I
> Pat  Missin's directions on how to tune by ear but my tuners' needles jump
> around way  way too much to get thru it.  All I ever do to tune is to tune
> octaves to  each other.  Suggestions?
> ron - FL  Keys
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8:18 PM

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