[Harp-L] Choosing a 12-hole Slide Chromatic

Hello, NiKo Ba.
Here are a few subjective answers to your questions about choosing a  
12-hole slide chromatic harmonica.
1. Slide chromatic harps have all the notes you'll need, no red bending or  
overblowing is needed.If you use bends on a slide harp, it is for effect, 
not to  add notes not installed at the factory (diatonic Richter harps).
2. Which slide harp bends easiest? I don't know, because I haven't tried  
all makes and models. But it's my guess that the slide harp that bends 
easiest  would be the one that is most airtight (least amount of air leakage). I  
haven't tried the slide chromatics of the $5,000+ listed retail price  
range,(Rennaisance, Genevieve) or $2,000+ range (Amadeus, etc.), but I'd guess  
that they'd be very airtight.
3. For my price range, the Hohner CX-12 (most models listed under $300) is  
the most airtight slide chromatic. It has a one-piece cover-mouthpiece, 
which  reduces leakage a lot, compared to the other slide harps under $300. It 
also is  super quick in assembly and dis-assembly (less than 5 seconds for 
assembly or  dis-assembly). Maintenance & repairs take much less time on the 
CX-12  models.
4. If you aren't a do-it-yourself repair and maintenance harp player, you  
probably wouldn't need to spend up to $300 for the CX-12. All major 
harmonica  manufacturers sell excellent slide harps in the price range of  
$100-$300.  Check these companies for listed prices, and get a big discount at 
internet  harmonica companies: Huang, Hering, Hohner, Suzuki, Seydel.
5. Which slide harp model has the softest (smoothest, quietest, quickest)  
slider? In general, the shorter the slide, the quicker it is to play. The  
smoothest (smoothest motion) sliders are reputed to be those of the Suzuki or 
 Hering models, and the quietest are also reputed to be Suzuki and Hering. 
I don't think that any of those features (quickest, smoothest, quietest  
slide) has any real effect on the sound, so I disregard those choices, in 
favor  of quality of sound produced. The quality of sound is performer-produced, 
so any  brand slide chromatic will sound as good as any other. It's my 
opinion that the  only part of the harmonica that produces sound is the reeds, 
and It's my opinion  that Hohner has the best sounding reeds. 
6. Why do some CX-12s cost more than other CX-12s? The materials used in  
the more expensive models cost more to make. It's a materials upgrade. I 
don't  know if any upgrades actually influence the sound, so 
in my opinion, all slide harps, from $50 to $6,000 sound the same to me, if 
 the same performer plays on all harps, playing the same tune, in the same 
music  range and key.
John Broecker

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