Re: [Harp-L] Question for all you Marine Band Customizers

I play both stock ans modified 365/364 series Hohners. I also play the SBS harmonicas which share the comb of the 365.

I obtained several composite combs in the 14 hole size. I bolted up a D SBS plate to one to try it out. I only used the 2 end bolts that hold the covers on to hold the harmonica together. 6 years later that D SBS is still in my gig bag held by only those 2 bolts. Just having something dead flat to bolt the plates 2 fixed most of my problems with the 14 hole body.

I have a couple of reworked 364's too. Both on composite combs, both solo tunings. One is in Bb the other is C. They both play quite well but the reason I had them made is they're in configurations that Hohner doesn't currently make. The 1 draw on the Bb is pretty much impossible for me to bend and I can get the 1 draw on a Seydel low low F. I have no trouble with the 1 and 2 draw on a stock 365 in C. Stephen does bring up a good point though. Those are really long reeds in very large chambers. I think the reason I can't get the 1 draw on the Bb is it's just too low for the comb.

There is a cheap way to experiment with this. Get Randy Sandoval or Chris Reynolds to make you a 365 comb and just get some stock plates bolted to that and see what you think. You can get custom work done on 365's but it costs. James Gordon used to do it. Pat Missin is another good candidate. In fact an optomised 365 from Pat might be another relatively inexpensive way to try this 365 thing out.

Here's another thought. 365/364 Hohners are different to play than any other harmonica I've ever run across. They take some getting used to. I've always played them. My first harmonica was a 365 in C. My experience of the line has always been good. I don't find them to be especially leaky or hard to play but again I started out on one. I don't know the state of the current Hohner product. 365's don't wear out very often. The 365 I have lying around is at least a decade old. Might could be the new ones are sieves but I doubt it. I do have a fairly modern SBS and it plays just fine. 365/364's and SBS are the only harmonicas I play in their stock configurations. I'm pretty fussy about tuning and I don't bother to tear down these harmonicas because for how I play they work really well out of the box. The better combs are nice though. If I were more focused in terms of my time I would bother to marshal the resources to upgrade to composites. They do get more airtight on flat combs. As always your mileage will vary. Hope this helps, fjm

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