[Harp-L] Re: Marine Band vs Marine Band Deluxe

 Thanks for the detailed reply Steve & Jay for bringing this up.

I was wondering if you could enlighten on the issue of the Deluxe's tuning and intonation?  I recently added a MB Deluxe in the key of B to my collection and thought it  very tight and responsive out of the box.  And not having to drill for screws and bolts is a big time saver.

However, (I don't know if this applies to all Deluxe's), but this particular one was tuned quite sharp out of the box and did not sit so well in playing with other instruments.  

I usually reference 442-443Hz when tuning harps, but checking the MB Deluxe with the tuner, shows it to be closer to 445 Hz (that's where I can get all the roots to read pretty close to 0 cents on the tuner).  It also seems to be intoned more toward the Modern MB compromise rather than the MS, or Crossover tunings.  (5 and 9 draws are around -12 to -20 cents flat).  But it is in good tune with itself for chord playing.

I may end up retuning it down a bit for playing along with my guitar & other instruments,  but other than that, its a great sounding harmonica.  I've also heard mention that the new Marine Band Classics now ship with a sealed comb that is much like (or maybe the same as), the Marine Band Deluxe, but without the bolted assembly?  I would be curious if anyone has tried one of these or noticed a difference.  That puts the MB classic a bit closer to the Deluxe in the comb department, but without the bolts,  covers enhancements, corner rounding of reed plates, and other features mentioned below.  

Burke T.

Message: 12
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:44:15 +0200
From: Steve Baker <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] Re: Marine Band vs Marine Band Deluxe
To: jay.jmt@xxxxxxxxx, Harp-L <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>

Jay wrote:

Does the MB Deluxe have additional reed work beyond the standards for the 
Marine Band? What is the actual benefit to the player of the Deluxe vs the 
regular MB?

Steve replies:

The MBDL has a number of extra features in comparison to the Classic model which 
I feel make a considerable difference to the player:

Screw together assembly for ease of maintenance.
Comb is triple sealed with additional Ultraglide coating on front to prevent 
swelling and enhance playing comfort.
Covers opened up at back for greater volume and much increased stability.
Slightly higher cover profile at front prevents reed rattle on low draw notes in 
low keys.
Front corners of covers are closed for enhanced playing comfort.
Edges and corners of reed plates rounded off for greater playing comfort.

There is no additional reed work, in both cases the reeds are mounted, riveted, 
offset and tuned twice to ensure clean octaves and full chords. Reed work as 
performed by harmonica customizers is something which can't be emulated in 
industrial production without increasing costs astronomically.

I was closely involved in the development of this model and my personal aim was 
to create a modern Marine Band which played better, was more stable, more 
service-friendly and also offered harmonica customizers a great starting point 
by eliminating the need to modify the covers, seal the comb and fit for screws. 
It certainly works for me. As with all new Hohner harmonica models, the staff in 
the R&D department played a central role. 

Steve Baker

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