Re: [Harp-L] seeking an update and advice

Hi Peter,
If it's a matter of going the economic route, there are a few harps you might consider. Keep in mind that they might not live up to your expectations right away, especially since you've been a Special 20 player for the most part. I find 20's to be the best OOTB harp out there too. But with a little work and a little adjustment in whatever your playing technique may be, these others can be very good harps.
My first recommendation would be a Hohner Big River. It's an MS, but it has a well-known reputation for its loud volume. And should a reed go bad, they actually cost a little less than the replacement reedplates. Most local music retailers will have them in stock, so they're easy to get in a pinch too.
Suzuki Folkmasters are also a good bang for the buck. They're a little brighter in tone, but they're pretty durable and they're comfortable in the hands.
Finally, Huang Silvertone Deluxes are pretty dang responsive for their price. They don't have the greatest reputation, but you and I are alike in the sense of coaxing good stuff out of inexpensive underdogs. They just need a little bit of tightening on the reedplates to make them more airtight.
Hope this all helps!


                          Hawkeye Kane
                                                                                                     Cell: (217)-741-7183

From: "Beck, Peter" <6beck@xxxxxxxx>
To: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Thursday, March 8, 2012 12:55 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] seeking an update and advice


I'm back on harp-L after several years away. Eventually I'd like to get caught up on players and styles, but for right now, I'd most appreciate it if someone would get me up to speed on the instrument itself (diatonic). I need to purchase a couple harps and there are lots of new choices that weren't available the last time I checked.

I play cross harp, and I play hard. And I don't have much money. When I bugged out, the best harp for me was the Hohner Special 20. I gather what's happened at Hohner since then is that the Holy Grail "bend every note" XB-40 arrived (I probably left the list only a few months before its debut), and Joe Filisko has consulted with Hohner, and now Hohner has Marine Band Deluxes and suchlike and I'd like some guidance before I plunk my money down.

I tried a Suzuki (it was metal) back in the day, and liked the sound, but it went south very quickly. As in, one or two draw reeds crapped out. I don't do repairs or modifications, but that's just because I don't know how. So maybe there are DVDs or YouTube videos that show the way? And I'd be happy to give Suzuki another try, but it seems like all their models are different now, too.

I also had a Bushman that I liked. It was whatever model they brought over first; I doubt that it had phosphor bronze reeds. Is the Delta Frost a decent harp?

I'm a little wigged out by the way the prices have climbed; I used to think of a 10-hole harp as being almost disposable, but at $35 a pop, that's no longer the case. Has this been a gradual thing (inflation, the Euro vs. the dollar, etc.)? I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle.

Okay, you get the idea. I'm open to new brands, new models, new methods-but I don't have the resources to be able to take lots of risks and I can't spend $100 on a harp.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Bright moments,

Peter Beck


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