[Harp-L] Marine 365 Band Customization

Interesting posts on this from Dave Payne and others. The Hohner 364 and
365 are favourites of mine. In addition to the bottom end, they have a
great raspy tone, and I find the slightly wider hole spacing is great
for clean note accuracy. 
For a while I was using them a lot in different tunings. In contrast to
Dave's 'dunking' method, I used spray varnish (or black spray paint) to
seal the comb, and was adding screws. If you stand the comb on it's back
and spray from above you get the pleasing build-up of roundness on the
tips of the comb tines that many customisers like to add by hand, and
Dave shows in his comb-sealing video. There is a photo of one of my
custom 364 harps here here:
Here is a tune played on a D 365 SBS that has been retuned to double
Paddy Richter and half-valved. Unfortunately the sound is over
compressed (I didn't post it myself), but you can still hear the
pleasing raspiness of the big Hohner: 
Sadly, I found that reeds failed very quickly on the 364 and 365, more
so than on Hohner's smaller 10 hole harps. After a while it was getting
so annoying to have to keep replacing reeds that I decided to make my
own Stretch Harps using two moulded plastic comb diatonics sliced and
then recombined in whatever size I wanted. The moulded plastic comb is
good for this as the small ridge at the front masks the join between the
sliced reedplates, to avoid tearing your lips :)
They can be made from Special 20's or Lee Oscars or plastic Seydels, but
my preference is the Suzuki Bluesmaster or Harpmaster (as used in the 12
and 14 hole Stretch Harps in the photo above). That way I get the
consistent long reed life of the Suzuki plus the added range with the
same hole spacing as a normal harp. 
Stretching the length of the 10 hole harp was an idea I first tried the
mid-80s when I used to make 11 hole harps out of two Special 20's, to
house a tuning I was using at the time. I still have a full set of keys
of those old harps sitting in a box in my workshop.
Currently I'm making myself a batch of what I call the 'Lucky 13': 13
hole harps that have just 3 holes added below the normal 10 of a blues
harp. It's great to have that extra low end below the familiar size and
feel of a 10 hole harp when you want to descend into the low down murky
depths of rumbling rhythm grooves. 
Though the insides are all Suzuki, the most suitable covers for Stretch
Harps that I've found are the Hohner 364 and Auto Valve harps (see
photo). The best of both brands, I think :)

Brendan Power
WEBSITE:  <http://www.brendan-power.com/> http://www.brendan-power.com 
YOUTUBE:  <http://www.youtube.com/BrendanPowerMusic>


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