[Harp-L] Re: Thunderbird

There's been some speculation recently about the development of the MB Thunderbird. I was involved in this from the beginning and would like to set the record straight:

Hohner worked on developing a better low key harp for some time before involving any of the players mentioned. Howard Levy and Dennis Gruenling were among those players to whom we gave prototypes to test and whose positive reactions were a great encouragement. The only player outside the Hohner company to be involved in the development as such was Joe Filisko, who agreed to let us adopt the conical lower cover form which he pioneered. This is the best way to eliminate reed rattle in such low pitched harmonicas and Joe was the first to modify standard covers in this manner, which is why the Thunderbird cover bears his signature. The actual realization of these covers in the manufacturing process, on the other hand, was the work of the Hohner R&D department, where staff put a great deal of time and effort into developing a tool capable of die stamping asymmetrical covers to the exacting tolerances required. They were also responsible for the reed development needed to create such low pitched reeds within a regular long slot mensur without adding weights to the tips.

Hope that helps,

Steve Baker

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