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

I appreciate everyone's commentary here as for some reason, I'm drawn back
to these harps even though, for me, they don't currently represent me at my
technical best. 
As I read posts such as this one, I'm beginning to second-guess my own
complaints about airy low draw notes, but I think after the first of the
year, or some as yet un-drempt-of miracle which might infuse us all with odd
bits of unclaimed financial assets, I'm going to see about getting just one
"tightened up", "set up" and otherwise "fixed up" just to see what
difference it might make. 
 And elsewhere on this thread, but not included in this post, Mr. Payne,
your awareness/detailed low-down on the innards of the harp... Is just
"plum' scary!!!",
Brad (Scared out of what wits he ever had!!) Trainham

-----Original Message-----
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of fjm
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:59 PM
To: h-l
Subject: 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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