[Harp-L] The new Suzuki MANJI: Closest Reed/Slot, Tolerances EverAchieved

I've watched Brendan's video's on the new Suzuki Manji, it looks interesting. In terms of dimensions and cover plate layout it appears similar to the very decent mid priced Suzuki Harpmaster.

I'll certainly try it out, just as I've tried almost all the other new models from the various manufacturers in recent years. I can't help myself in this regard, and am usually pleased in differing ways by the new models. As players we've never had it so good.

Suzuki have been pushing the envelope, but so have the other makers. The new Hohner Crossover will be along soon, and I look forward to trying it. Similarly I like the high end and medium range Seydels. My regular instruments are custom diatonics from Neil Graham in Australia, based on Australian hardwood combs and Hohner Meisterklasse plates. As Brendan says in his videos, the customisers have taken the harmonica to new levels. Much as I like the various new models, they do not nearly match my custom instruments for volume, speed of response or tone. Neither should they. Neil, a master craftsman, spends about a day preparing each instrument. I'm sure other top customisers are the same, and produce instruments of similar excellence. No factory instrument can match this attention to detail.

Brendan suggests that customisers may be interested in the Manji. I suspect not, for a simple reason. The welded reeds seem an excellent innovation, but they can't be replaced (Brendan, correct me if I'm wrong here). Hence once a reed goes, as it eventually will, then so does the instrument along with all the work the cusomiser has done on the other reeds.

In contrast to this, riveted reeds can be replaced. Most customisers provide this service for their instruments, hence restoring an otherwise useless instrument to as good as new. My main set of Neil Graham custom diatonics are 7 years old, each of them has been serviced several times, each time with new reed replacing the one gone bad. These instruments are still as good as new.

This is not to detract from the new Suzuki Manji. Most of us replace instruments when reeds go bad, so the Suzuki is essentially no different to its competitors. I look forward to hearing the price for this instrument, and getting hold of one. Similarly for the Hohner Crossover.

A final note. Suzuki are definitely ahead of their competitors in terms of web presence, particularly with Brendan's YouTube promotional series. It would be great if the other manufacturers posted similar videos of A-list players showing off new models.

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