[Harp-L] The "newest" Stradivarius of Harmonicas!
Sat May 7 15:13:28 EDT 2016
Thanks for posting this. I like the idea of a challenge with a prize, it’s like the James Randi $1 million for proof of paranormal things that has also never been claimed.
This speaks to how the material for the reeds are indistinguishable to the listener’s ear but my question, as the ultimate beginner around here, is, does reed material make a difference to the player? Are some materials easier to do some things than others from the person playing’s perspective?
> On May 7, 2016, at 3:02 PM, MundHarp at aol.com wrote:
> Well said Vern!
> In a message dated 07-May-16 7:53:46 P.M. GMT Daylight Time, jevern at fea.net
> IF the listeners have any way of knowing what comb material is being
> played, or if the statistical sample is small, then the comparison is
> In three separate comparisons at SPAH over a number of years, listeners
> and players could not distinguish among comb materials as different as brass
> and balsa wood. In all of the tests, players and listeners thought that
> they heard different sounds when the same harmonica was played several times
> in succession. Great pains were taken to keep the comparison blind and to
> eliminate spurious variables, but to give listeners a fair opportunity to
> demonstrate their ability to distinguish among comb materials.
> Some complained about the conditions of the tests AFTER the results were
> known. Among about 100 participants in these tests, not one has done better
> than random guessing. Some participants claimed that they heard
> differences even when their recorded choices indicated otherwise. Some attended the
> test and said that they heard differences but declined to participate by
> recording their choices. Almost everyone claims to hear differences. So
> far, no one has been able to demonstrate that ability under controlled
> conditions. Materials effects are a cherished myth.
> You may be a challenger in my years-old offer of a $1000 wager. You win
> or lose the grand if you can or can’t distinguish between any two comb
> materials of your choice in a blind comparison.. Putting one’s money where one’
> s mouth is brings wonderful clarity to this question. There have been no
> challengers in the 15 years that the challenge has been open. There is no
> moral question because it is not gambling. If you really can recognize
> materials by their sound, it is merely taking my cheerfully-paid money and
> shutting me up. It would worth $1000 to me to learn that I am wrong.
> Your notion that tone can be different for the player but not the audience
> seems strange to me. If the audience can’t tell the difference, why does
> it matter? IF the tone is affected by comb material, that is the same
> whether you are playing and listening or only listening.
>> On May 7, 2016, at 6:59 AM, Michael Rubin
> <michaelrubinharmonica at gmail.com> wrote:
>> At the risk of opening up a can of worms, I participated in the comb
> test at SPAH where Tom Halchak had me and many other harp players play the
> same brand of harp with different combs. I definitely noticed differences in
> tone. He gifted me with a special comb, I think it was brass and it was a
> favorite harp for a while. A reed broke and it is somewhere in the
> graveyard, but I should dig it up and put the comb on a stock harp.
>> Just my opinion, comb affects tone, if only for the player. Many
> audience members stated they also heard variety.
>> Michael Rubin
>> michaelrubinharmonica.com <http://michaelrubinharmonica.com/>
>> On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 1:24 AM, Vern <jevern at fea.net
> <mailto:jevern at fea.net>> wrote:
>> Oh pshaw, Bob,
>> I share your skepticism about the features touted on the website. I
> have the following questions and comments:
>> * Individual channel covers for each reed. Many years a ago I had a
> Hohner 2016 with that feature. I could not perceive any special effect.
>> * Brass comb and channels plus SS covers. It must weigh a ton.
>> * Comb material doesn’t affect tone.
>> * Accordion-style individual reedplates. Has the hole-spacing grown to
> accommodate this feature?
>> * IF so and with cross-tuning, the button travel could be very long.
>> * Details smaller than half a wavelength won’t affect the direction or
> reflection of the sound. That stuff about chamber shapes is pure BS.
>> * If a group of listeners can tell the difference between Psardos and
> Hohner Super 64s under the controlled conditions of a blind comparison, then
> we can start thinking about paying $2k for a harmonica.
>> * What about valves? They are the things most in need of improvement in
>>> On May 6, 2016, at 9:50 PM, Robert Coble <robertpcoble at hotmail.com
> <mailto:robertpcoble at hotmail.com>> wrote:
>>> I just received an email from one Ron Wishnak touting the Psardo
> Chromatic 64. You too can pre-order for only
>>> $200.00 down payment, with the balance due and payable once it is
> actually manufactured at some point in the
>>> future. The Silver Elite lists for "only" $2195, and the Gold Bar for
> "only" $2695. Get on the priority pre-order list
>>> now, and for "only" another $2,000-$3,000 you too can be one of the
> first in line to. . .complain to the BBB about
>>> No offense to Mr. Wishnak, who is probably a very well-intentioned
> businessman. Why do I envision him playing
>>> his innovative new line of harmonicas on an old tune called "The Road
> to Hell is paved with Good Intentions."
>>> Link to the money quote: http://www.philharmonicas.com/preorder.html
>>> Why do I have an uneasy feeling I've seen something similar before?!?
> Calling Brad Harrison. . .
>>> If Mr. Wishnak is legitimate, I apologize in advance, but I would
> think that if he is familiar with the prior marketing
>>> of the B-Radical, he would eschew this business model.
>>> Crazy (but not crazy enough to anticipate or participate by sending
> good money after bad) Bob
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