RE: [Harp-L] lee oskar vs hohner

Marine Bands are in a compromise tuning, true enough, but you can't really call it "Just," about which there is no compromise. Fine-tuning of harps can get to be quite an emotional topic ;-), but what I would suggest to anyone who is serious about playing 10-hole harps is that they should be able to do a little fine-tuning themselves. It's something that can be done with only a little skill (if I can do it, anyone can), and tools and a tuner that cost about the price of two harps (and which, once bought, you have for life). Because I do my own tweaking, the fine-tuning of harps is taken out of the equation for me when I'm comparing harps.
Lee Oskars are pretty bomb-proof, it's true, and I've had well-flogged sets of reeds that lasted me for six or seven years or more with minimal maintenance. Oddly, my last set of LO reeds in G major lasted three months... :-( As for sounding better, that's a pretty subjective judgement. To be honest, I think there's so little difference in sound quality between harps in this price-range (sound quality, not quality control...) that it's another factor I don't really consider. It's certainly true that LOs can be played loud and proud without the worry of them letting you down any minute now. It's worth remembering that good playing technique can iron out those longevity differences to quite a large extent whilst still getting good volume. I tend to worry more about good, even responsiveness from a harp rather than my subjective, and possibly erroneous, feelings about sound quality. 
There is something about Hohner harps that makes them feel really nice to play. Can't quite put my finger on it.  But I would also like to put in a word for another harp in the same ball-park, the Suzuki Bluesmaster, an excellent harp that lasts forever and which is very comfortable in the mouth. Like the Lee Oskar, it's tuned to equal temperament. I love 'em. 
Steve Shaw
> The original poster has a good ear. They sound different because they
> are tuned differently. Lee Oskars are equally tuned, which basically
> means single note runs sound nice, two or more notes played together
> do not. Marine Bands are compromised just tuning, which means single
> notes sound not as nice, two or more notes sound beautiful.
> Perhaps someone else will do the honors of explaining the two tunings,
> I have to go.[
> Michael Rubin
> On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM, wrote:
> > My personal opininon:
> >
> > Lee Oskars last longer, sound better, are louder, and, in general, a better
> > design.
> >
> > --
> > Rainbow Jimmy 		 	   		  

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