Re: [Harp-L] Re: Out of the box harp

Hohner have ripped me off,  too!           MANY  TIMES!   
But they do build wonderful harmonicas..
Hohner seem to DESPISE the people who use their harmonicas
Such is life!
John "Whiteboy" Walden
Just now... In Scotland.
In a message dated 4/8/2012 7:02:55 P.M. GMT Daylight Time,  
stevepower@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

In the  relating of my experience with Hohner I was not passing judgment on 
their  current product. I was citing my experience with Hohner as a 
Perhaps that got lost in the translation.

Ten years later, whether  or not the word "defective" was used in the 
to me I can't say for  sure. However, the "alloy" was definitely cited as 
problem, whether by  intent or mistaken translation, irrespective of your 
skepticism and  questioning of my veracity. Even if it was a matter of 
profiling and not  the alloy it would still be a defect in the 
process. If a  tendency to break reeds in a harmonica, through whatever 
cause, is not a  defect I don't know what is. The letter from Hohner also 
stated the  instruments from whatever batch mine came from were "not of 
quality". Yet they continued to sell them in considerable quantities, and  
would seem from what you tell me, despite an issue known far and  wide.

The 2nd broken reed hit my throat and literally choked me, which  was 
embarrassing in mid-solo in front of a few thousand people,  both facts 
I relayed in my letter to Hohner. If I was responsible  for producing a 
product which turned out to have a widely known problem  with the potential 
to harm my customers I'm pretty sure I would have at  least offered to 
replace the instrument as a matter of good customer  relations and smart 
business sense, not to mention the moral issue,  irrespective of any 
technicality in the warranty. Hohner's response was to  do nothing and to 
insult to injury by ignoring my follow up letters.  This despite my being a 
loyal customer for decades and even at one time  having a limited 
arrangement when I lived in the UK. The folly  of their attitude is 
not only in losing a loyal customer, who as  a professional was often asked 
for recommendations of a good brand, but  who also continues to relay the 
negative experience for years potentially  losing further customers.

Though in my opinion it ain't necessarily so,  Hohner could today produce 
most fantastic and durable harmonicas in  the world but because of the 
attitude I was shown by Hohner as a company I  will not willingly buy their 
products nor would I recommend anyone else do  so. Again it is only one 
opinion, but I believe I have found a  better product from a company with 
much better customer care.

In  the interest of full disclosure, I have a limited endorsement deal with 
Seydel. This came about only after I became a retail customer and was  
actually convinced that they are the best OTB harmonica one can buy.  
will no doubt disagree. You have had a long standing and obviously  
satisfactory relationship with Hohner. You, as a consultant, are either  
or receive remuneration in kind or benefit. Perhaps you would hold  the 
opinion regardless, but in any event, you think differently and  choose to 
defend them. That is your right, as it is mine to have a  contrary opinion 
based on a very different experience.

And BTW, in  my first letter to Hohner I did not ask for a replacement unde
warranty  or, at that time, even expect it. My original intention was to 
inform them  of a problem and to find out why this was happening. I was not 
member of  Harp-L or any other such forum and had no idea that reed 
with  Hohner was common knowledge. It was only after Hohner admitted to 
selling  a sub-standard instrument that I suggested the least they could do 
was  replace the reed plate. Hohner couldn't even be bothered to  reply.

Steve Power

----- Original  Message ----- 
From: "Steve Baker" <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To:  <stevepower@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Harp-L" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent:  Sunday, April 08, 2012 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: Out of the box  harp

Steve Power wrote:
After decades of playing Hohner I  stopped playing them about 10 years ago
and refuse to buy them unless it's  an emergency and I have no other choice.
I had reeds break off twice on  draw notes during performance in front of
very larg audiences. I sent the  broken reeds and the reed plates to Hohner
Germany who admitted in writing  that the alloy used was defective.

Steve Baker responds:
As you may  know I've worked closely with the Hohner company in Germany as 
consultant for the past 25 years. At the time you mention, Hohner did have  
issues with reeds breaking, this was a frequent topic on Harp-L for years  
thereafter. However, the reason for the breakages had nothing to do with  
reed alloy, it was a consequence of the reed profiles. I can't imagine  
anyone in Trossingen making any such statement and it's definitely not  
that the alloy used was "defective", so maybe something got lost in  
translation. Reed breakage does not constitute a manufacturing defect and  
isn't covered by warranty.

As has been discussed on Harp-L on  various occasions, the profiles of all 
Hohner classic reeds (those used in  Special 20, all Marine Band models, 
Golden Melody and also all chromatic  models) were changed in about 2003 
the current reed life is far longer  as a result. I also play about 100 
a year and my harps (Marine Band  Deluxe & Crossover) get a real hammering, 
but I rarely wear out reeds.  Complaints about reeds actually breaking off 
have ceased since the  profiles were changed.

The past ten years have seen far reaching  changes in the harmonica 
in general, so passing judgement on any  manufacturer's products today on 
basis of what they were like then can  be misleading.

Steve  Baker

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