Pleasant Discovery

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Pleasant Discovery

Postby bosco » Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:00 pm

The German made Hohner Special 20 is my main harp and has been for years now. Like most pro harpers that gig a lot, I keep a full set of backup harps in all keys. In the last year or so I have taken to stocking the back up case with Chinese made Hohner Hot Metal or Old Standby harps, at half the cost, to avoid the expense of keeping two full sets of 20s. I only use them to finish out the night until I can pick up a new Sp 20 anyway.

While the Hot Metals and Standbys play sufficiently, they are noticely cheaper in manufacture. The cheap tin covers are not airtight, the playing surfaces oxidize quickly and they are a slightly higher profile. I have discovered that the quality nickle covers from my blown out 20s are interchangeable with the cheaper Hohner comb and reedplate combinations.

I have outfitted all my backups with used Special 20 covers. They are noticeably more airtight, have the lower cover profile I am used to and are nice and shiny. Sure they have cheap Chinese guts...but I'm the only one who knows that...and after all, they are backup harps.

The cheapies won't replace the 20 as my harp of choice anytime soon, but I finally found a use for some of the parts from my fishbowl of blown harps.

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RE: Pleasant Discovery

Postby angerboy » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:36 pm

You ought to give the Big Rivers a shot. They are cheap and playable.
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RE: Pleasant Discovery

Postby bosco » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:50 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-14-06 AT 10:51 AM (EST)]A-boy,

I have owned and played several Big Rivers, they are nice harps and I believe the most affordable of harps that are still made in Germany. But at $12.95, I would just pay the extra five bucks and get a Special 20 for $17.95. Also the cover profile is quite high on the BR compared to most diatonics.

The Hot Metal and Old Standby can be had for around $8.95, which is half the cost of a Sp 20.

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RE: Pleasant Discovery

Postby angerboy » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:56 am

The Hot Metals and the newer Old Standbys that I've had were about as playable as the $4.99 Bluesband harps.

Some of the Big Rivers that I've had are well over a year old and they get played pretty hard.
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RE: Pleasant Discovery

Postby jeffl » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:36 pm

Nice save,Bosco! Thanks for the idea.
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