Re: [Harp-L] help me choose the right chromatic harmonica !
Here are the properties of a chromatic harmonica (in
descending order of importance) that would influence my
1. Price. I would not pay thousands of dollars for any
harmonica. I would pay $100 to $400 for a good one and then
possibly spend more on improvements. The main shortcomings
of a $140 Hohner 270 (leaky slide and wooden comb with
nailed-on reedplates) can be rectified by spending about
that much more to have a tech modify the slide and install a
2. Slide leakage. IMO, the amount of leakage through the
slide will affect the player's satisfaction more than any
other property. I posit that the main feature that set the
Renaissance apart was its precisely-machined and low-leakage
slide. Its SS comb with screw fastenings was stable and
convenient to service. Otherwise, it was a very pretty
Hohner 270. Chromatic bendability and slide leakage are
inversely related. The Hohner CX12 has low slide leakage
and is worth your consideration for that reason.
3. Reed material, not for imperceptible differences of tone
but for resistance to fatigue. Right now, the $340 Seydel
Saxony is the only chromatic with stainless steel reeds.
IMO, this is a tremendous advantage. One fatigued reed makes
a harmonica unplayable. The reed must be replaced. Although
technicians do this routinely, most players find it very
difficult...first to obtain the replacement and then to
4. Comb material, not for imperceptible differences of tone
but for stability. Wood that swells, shrinks, warps,
splits, and peels is to be avoided. The use of nails to
fasten the reedplates is a horror that makes wood even less
desirable. I much prefer metal or plastic with screw
5. Independent part removal. Covers and reedplates that are
screwed to the comb are preferable to those that are screwed
to their opposing mates. With the former, you can remove
one cover or one reedplate and the instrument stays together
without exposing the "other" reedplate to damage. With the
latter, if you remove one reedplate, then the whole
instrument becomes a basket case.
The accessibility of the CX12 is, IMO, over-rated. Although
the cover comes off easily, that exposes both reedplates.
You must extract twelve screws to remove a reedplate...then
the other reedplate comes loose also.
6. Availability of repair parts. Hohner is to be applauded
for making individual reeds available. Seydel makes them
available in sets...not as good but still economical if you
can save a set of reedplates several times. I don't know
7. Valves. I don't think that the type of valves should
play an important part in your procurement decision. Most
factory-installed valves work fairly well most of the time.
For the few that don't, most players can learn to replace
them with different materials and wax the reedplate under
them. A more detailed discussion of replacement valves is
beyond the scope of this email.
No harp is perfect in all categories. Even if you diasgree
with my priorities, the above should serve as a useful
checklist of things to think about before buying.
Happy chromatic harpin',
----- Original Message -----
From: "NiKo Ba" <helloiamnikos@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 4:22 AM
Subject: [Harp-L] help me choose the right chromatic
Hi ! i am looking for a new chromatic harmonica so i though
of checking you opinion .
i have a hohner chromonica 260 which is a ten hole but i
would like to buy a 12 hole one .
what are you suggesting . Are any chromatic harmonicas which
bend easier or it still my mouth technique ?
would it be difficult to change for me because of the
mouthpiece i ve got used to ? or should i just buy hohner
chromonica 270 ?
are any chromatic harmonica with softer slide button ?
why are some HOHNER CX-12's so expensive ? do they provide
i ll be glad to hear your opinions
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