[Harp-L] Re: Testing comb materials

Joseph Leone 3n037@xxxxx
Fri May 13 08:43:34 EDT 2016

As a teen I once made a comb from 2 pieces of 3/16ths (4.5mm?) aluminium traffic sign board, stuck together with counter top cement. One reed plate had the rivet nubs sanded out. 
There was an immediate difference in the tone...OR since it took me 8.5 hours to do the job, my hearing had already deteriorated, and I became a blithering deaf idiot. lolol. Ok, why
make a comb by hand? I didn't feel like waiting 13 days turnaround for the mail. Btw, I have also used bamboo flooring. Cut WITH the grain..not against it. Plexiglass, man made marble,
glass filled nylon, fiberglass, bakelyte, and linen micarta. Chromatics require a spacer. A sloth could make a diatonic comb..if they would come down from the tree.  


On May 13, 2016, at 4:37 AM, Steve IMAP wrote:

>> On 13 May 2016, at 01:03, Robert Hale <robert at dukeofwail.com> wrote:
>> sorry you are tired of the discussion.
>> Are MB Deluxe and Crossover identical in every way except comb material? (Isolating one variable) and are they identically cut?
> Cover and reed plate design is identical in both models apart from the fine tuning and cover embossings. These factors are not likely to affect sound.
>> Can you affirm there was no "leading" of expectations, no preconditioning by your words or tone of voice, that they sounded different?
> No, but I'd have to be a pretty good hypnotist to convince that many people ;-)
>> Can listeners identify one out of a line up with back turned? (AAAABAAAA) with better than 50% chance?
> It wasn't my intention to prove anything. I hear a difference and so do quite a few other people. As I wrote, the difference is not large.
>> What words do listeners use to describe the difference they hear?
> They agreed that bamboo sounds slightly brighter than pearwood.
>> Does bamboo cost Hohner less than pearwood?
> No
>>> On Thu, May 12, 2016 at 3:35 PM, Steve IMAP <steve at stevebaker.de> wrote:
>>> As a harmonica educator and consultant to the Hohner company, I've given a great many harmonica workshops at music retailers, both in Europe and elsewhere. When presenting the current additions to the Marine Band range, I always demonstrate the difference in sound between the pearwood comb of the MB Deluxe and the bamboo comb of the MB Crossover. Despite the sometimes impassioned debate on this list, nobody among my listeners at these workshops in the course of the past 8 years (that is, since both of these models have been available) has ever expressed any doubt whatsoever that they indeed do sound different when I play the same phrases on both instruments one after the other. Ain't a big difference, but those people agreed that they could hear one. Sorry to all who see it differently, but I'm a bit tired of this perennial discussion.
>>> Steve Baker
>>> stevebaker.de
>> Robert Hale
>> Serious Honkage in Arizona
>> youtube.com/DUKEofWAIL
>> DUKEofWAIL.com

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