[Harp-L] Harmo Torpedo overblowing diatonic harp review (long)

flyingv8@xxxxx flyingv8@xxxxx
Fri Aug 11 10:59:31 EDT 2017

Thanks for the great review Ron!

---- captron100--- via Harp-L <harp-l at xxxxx> wrote: 
>  The Torpedo harmonica is a product said to be "designed and optimized in the USA" by an excellent harp player who I was unfamiliar with, named David Herzhaft. On this website, you can read about the harp and watch 2 videos that show what a fantastic player he is: http://harmo.com/…/harmo-torpedo-harmonica-c-overblow-setup/ . The harp is mfg'd in China for David's company named Harmo LLC. After reading a short, positive review about them here on Harp-L, I ordered one thru Amazon (free shipping) for $69.90, which is the same price that it sells for on the above website, but without the $7.90 shipping charge. It can also be ordered with free shipping on an online store called Harmonica Land but they force you to first create an account before ordering.  I ordered a key of B because it is the only harp key that I don't have in country tuning (5 hole draw raised 1/2 step) and I reasoned that I would retune my old B harp to country tuning after I receive the Torpedo.
>   I rec'd the harp in the mail yesterday.  It looks and feels like a well made harp. It features a sandwich construction (like a Hohner Marine Band; not the style used by the Special 20). It has a black plastic comb with flat tine ends (I prefer raised and rounded tines). It's stainless steel covers, which have no hole numbers, are held on by 2 phillips head screws which are similar to the screw & bolt sleeve that Sydel uses, but without the pain-in-the-ass posidrive screw heads. The harp is about an 1/8th of an inch shorter than a Marine Band and is the same length as my 11 year old plastic combed Seydel Blues Favorite model. Like my Seydel, the Torpedo features brass reeds riveted to stainless steel plates. The reeds are tuned nicely, probably with a engraver tool, right in the center of the reed - no gashes which weaken reeds and cause inevitable reed failure. The harp plays sweetly, with no objectionable beating when playing octaves. The reedplates are held together by 9 stainless steel phillips head self tapping screws. The blow reed plate is engraved with the date 8/6/17 (3 days ago!) and has an engraved unintelligible abbreviation of the person who tweaked the harp (possibly H?). The harp comes with a well made zippered case (which I myself will never use) and has what I assume is a belt loop to enable it to be carried on the hip. The reeds are all waxed at the rivets for increased air tightness (which might be a problem in the hot south Florida sun), and iirc, for increased insurance against OB reed squeal.  The harp comes with a 2 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship but proof of purchase is required.
>   Now the bad news - Hole 4 draw overblow doesn't work. One side of the reed's free end appears to be tilted so that the gap at the rivet end is slightly higher on one side than the other. For my tastes, the harp is breathy in the lower octave due to some very wide gaps. Holes 5 & 6 OB just fine but holes 7 and 9 overdraws are tough to make work. To be fair, I don't think overdrawing was ever an advertised feature. I confident that with a more careful gapping, I can improve playability.  One other concern is that if I ever need to replace a reed, without further research I don't know if my stash of Hohner reeds will match.
> Ron - FL Keys

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