Re: [Harp-L] RE: Manji welded reeds? (David Payne , Smo Joe)

I think the exact species of shark used is a closely-guarded trade secret. If you go to the Suzuki factory and say "I want to see the sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads" they will deny such sharks even exist. However, the hammerhead seams an obvious choice, because its eyes stick out so far to the sides. 
The resulting incredible depth perpection is crucial for the job, sharks with less depth perception might mistakenly weld the free end of the reed because of inferior laser aim. 

Comparing reed slot tolerances is comparing apples to oranges most of the time. What you don't know on any particular harp where it was made in the die cycle. Harps made early in the die cycle are awesome. As the dies begin to wear, the slots get sloppy. Die change is key.


----- Original Message ----
From: geoff atkins <geoffatkins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 4:00:07 AM
Subject: [Harp-L] RE: Manji welded reeds? (David Payne , Smo Joe)

Dave said, 
"As I understand welding, the reeds are aligned by machines who then dangle
the reedplates over a tank of sharks with laser beams attached to their
heads. The sharks look up and zap the reeds secure."
We've got a good supply of sharks here in South Africa, great whites,
raggies, etc. But have you considered the hammerhead shark, it's ideal for
attaching two correctly aligned lasers and doubling the welding speed!

This perfection in harp reeds perturbs me, already Suzuki Promasters have
a visibly closer reed tolerance than the Hohner 1.05mm thick plates use.
But I've had less trouble with the Hohners as far as dust and other
contaminants are concerned. When the Manji improves yet again on the
previous products will it not also become more susceptible to blockages?
I'm not asking for popcorn-proof construction, but my old lungs still have
enough air to handle the minute leaks of today's harmonicas.

SmoJoe's comment is also spot-on, "make a few models..very very well".
In this case Suzuki appear to have started from the ground up, even
to the extent of considering reed format, and a stainless cover instead of
the internally rusty, externally dull Hohner covers. Maybe the Manji is the
next evolutionary stage, and harps will change for the better?

Best Regards and enjoy the SPAH convention !

Geoff Atkins

Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,

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