[Harp-L] Hohner Industrial Lemons?
Oh no !... not this annoying 'issue' again. Let me firstly say I am not generally a 'whinger', I however expect products to be functional when purchased, be it harps, amps or mics.* [I have exchanged emails before with Steve Baker; obviously it's a drag after a while, he seems a very amiable decent guy and it's great he responds]...however I just purchased three Hohner Special 20 keys A,C,D which, quite frankly I wanted to 'return' before I'd left the mall carpark. They ALL have a very whispy, slow reaction.They all need to be 'sucked extra hard' when I perform, in order to get near a response and volume easily afforded by my last batch. *(Obviously I compared them).This is not imagination amigo's... I'm fully sick of this! It seems to smack quality control are they getting just too hungry for the dollar? I am a professional player over here [even if you guys havn't heard my music I've won awards in the Hohner Golden Harmonica Championships '06,'07,'8. In fact I play similarly to Steve Baker [who I must say makes great products eg: Play-alongs and CD's]!
At $55 a harmonica I expect the darn things to be of professional quality. I don't care about the excuses of modern industrial manufacture it's a major frustration to buy inferior instruments. My last 'full key' batch of Marine Band Deluxe had problems out of the box sticking in performance [some still do]. I'm using a blend of Lawrie Minson 'tweaked' Spec. 20's with Stainless Steel Cover Plates, Special 20's and the Deluxe.Possibly it's because I'm often doing full 4 hour shows but still to get these 'lemons' out of the box and find it's not up to scratch is a another corporate 'rip-off' in my opinion and $55 AUD is not cheap. One really begins to desire the 'hot-rodded' models [I don't have the time to fiddle around in the shed], besides the price, the thing I wonder about is if they are truely long lasting instruments with any warrenty for your dollar? When I began playing and in the 70's I'd be lucky to meet a blues harmonica player every 5 years. Obviously, there are millions of enthusiasts these days. Avid hobbiests, up and coming players and many more living the dream. One wonders if since the demand has risen the quality has diminished and greed flourished [we only have one Hohner distributor over here].. In my collection [and buckets of used harps and parts] I have years of various harmonicas. Some diatonics are still kicking along pretty well including early Seydels. Harmonicas were made with so much more care it seems? I really like the You Tube posts from Elk River harps it is very inspiring stuff from Dave. Hopefully one of these days I'll sit down and get into it myself but for now, I'm open for suggestion on this 'quality' issue because frankly I'm pretty much over Hohner products at present and I don't know who to trust anymore? Oh by the way I am not a bluegrass player. I play a mix of majorly acoustic country blues style and amplified hard blues [Muddy Waters/Lester Butler] and [Canned Heat styled] boogie. But heck, one wonders what the hell are guys like the amplified Chicago and swing blues guys useing? Do they encounter this issue. It seems from over here in Australia in the U.S. players have much more choice. Thats rather enviable.
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