[Harp-L] Comb Material

Doug Schroer dougharps@xxxxx
Fri May 13 11:29:24 EDT 2016

I really don't know if comb material makes any small difference in the
sound heard by the audience or the player.  But I don' think it matters.

Isn't it a matter of the relative significance of any difference made by
the comb material as opposed to the differences made by the quality of the
seal of reed plates to comb (flatness), the degree of reed work (embossed
overblow harps have high overtones), the material of the cover plates with
regard to reflecting high frequency overtones, and the resonance of the
player (good resonance makes for warmer tones).

My thought is that given all the other factors I have listed, the material
of the comb makes an insignificant difference (if any) in the quality of
the sound heard by the audience and the player.

Aftermarket combs may provide for a better seal (if the plates are flat)
and aesthetic alternatives to stock combs, but I just don't think that the
extent of any difference in sound (if there is any) is significant in the
bigger picture.  Too many other larger factors affect the quality of the

Just an opinion... I think that the relative degree of difference in sound
(if any) is not a big factor in making the choice of getting an aftermarket
comb.   I think that there can be good reasons for buying one, but any
sound difference is insignificant compared to the other factors affecting
the sound.

Doug S.

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