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blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:27 pm
by Callum94
Im from europe and was thinkin of buyin a set of 7 blues band harps instead of th peidmont blues set!
I've bn playin for a while with a lee oskar nd special 20.
I've started playin with a band and need sum more keys but don't have much money to spend!

Will buyin them be worthwhile?

thanks for any advice!

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:05 am
by wapphish
I have the piedmont set light weight, play good for me.
The case is worth the price for the set.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:44 am
by JakeyVimto
Calum,

They might work, but they probably wont feel or sound as good as the harps you have.

But they are harps and if you only need them now and again, well, your going to need something.

Id say find out for sure what keys you are goin to need before splashing out. I play in a band, and its incredible how I rarely use anything beyond A,C,D and G. Maybe occasionally a low F.

But if you do need a couple of cheap harps which you only play on the occasional tune, Id suggest maybe buying from suzuki's budget range, or tombos. Their cheap harp seem nicer to play than hohners cheap harps.

However, there are several hundred bigger experts than me floating round the big road, so I'd hang on for a couple more viewpoints :mrgreen:

Cheers,

j

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:11 am
by jbone1
i happen to have a blues band harp though it is not in my gig case. it's a keepsake from a dear departed friend, and i occasionally bring it out and play one in his honor.

now here's the thing: a 5 dollar harp is going to maybe sound ok by itself, and even maybe for a gig or 3 with a band, but these harps are made very cheaply, which means the future is uncertain for one of them. but it's a near guarantee that a blues band or piedmont or other cheap harp will not stand up for long. these days most bands have a volume problem, and if you don't have a good size amp or a p.a. channel that is set to match the band volume, you may well begin playing harder, which is a recipe for a blown reed. i have blown many reeds on many harps. if you can let the sound system or an amp do the heavy lifting ie bring your harp volume up, you don't have to try playing harder to be heard, which doesn't work anyway.

i've had a cheaper hering that worked well for quite a while, a free blues model. don't know if they still make them or what availability is like for you calum.

i would suggest a suzuki bluesmaster which i have heard good things about, or maybe a folkmaster. or a tombo, another brand i have heard good about. i have not tried either of these harps but i do have it on good authority that they are superior to the lower rung hohners.

or, you could get a better harp, one at a time. bushman delta frost is good, lee oskars are good, hohner's special 20 good, and i have used the hohner big river model successfully for some time also. in fact the big river is not that expensive and is part of the ms series, which means you can get fresh reed plates for it when the ones in it begin to go flat- though i used to give the big river a pretty hard workout and they stood up pretty well.

i use lee oskars and bushman delta frost these days for the most part. a bit more expensive but i think worth the $$. both have interchangeable reed plates. both are solid and well made.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:27 am
by NEONMOONY
Well, the Lee Oskars are actually made by Tombo, right?

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:45 pm
by songdog
The Suzuki Blues Masters are very good for the money though a set of them might still be out of your price range.

I second the idea of passing on a complete set and just purchase a few of the most usable keys.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:04 pm
by bottleneck
i like the suzuki harp masters.i actually like them better than blues masters and even pro masters to a certain extent.

a useable budget harp is the huang silvertone.

one at a time is a good way to try different harps to see what you like.a special 20 in A,a suzuki in G,a hering in C,etc.then you can tell the keys apart real fast too!!!

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:37 pm
by barbequebob
Thye Blues Band is made in China and I've yet to see a Chinese made harp worth a damn, so don't expect much.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:25 pm
by Bournio
barbequebob wrote:Thye Blues Band is made in China and I've yet to see a Chinese made harp worth a damn, so don't expect much.


I wonder why? Is this a long running prejudice? or have you compared them to same price instruments made elsewhere??

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:38 pm
by barbequebob
Bournio wrote:
barbequebob wrote:Thye Blues Band is made in China and I've yet to see a Chinese made harp worth a damn, so don't expect much.


I wonder why? Is this a long running prejudice? or have you compared them to same price instruments made elsewhere??


This is not in any way, shape or form, racial, or anything else. The track record for Chinese made harps have been poor even to this day. At the prices they're charging, they''re OK for a newbie to beat the crap out of, but even though they are only just starting to build a better instrument, compared to others, regardless of price range, has an extremely long way to go and the reed material alone is still of very poor quality and I've seen so many really god awful burrs on the reeds from the tuning process. Again, this is not a prejudice, but from what I've seen over the years and I've been playing for 30+ years, largely professional.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:24 pm
by Callum94
Thanks for all the advice!
I have decided against buying the blues harp set!
I think i'll try some bushman delta frosts cos of th gd rewiews!

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:48 pm
by NEONMOONY
I think i'll try some bushman delta frosts cos of th gd rewiews!


I really like the Delta Frost and the Suzuki Promasters.

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:39 pm
by bottleneck
i do think huangs can be an exception to the chinese rule.

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman

Re: blues band harps! help?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:18 pm
by barbequebob
Huangs and the Chinese made Hohners are only marginally better, at best. Huang at least did the final finishing of the product in the US, but it took until the mid to late 90's to finally do it, and it's too bad they didn't elect to do that in the beginning. A big part has to do with reed material and worksmanship plus huge budget constraints that has been the Chinese harmonica's downfall.