Advice?

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

Advice?

Postby Little Mickey » Wed May 24, 2006 7:58 pm

I need to replace my harps, and I wanted to get a full set of matching harmonicas for once, but being me I'm on kindof a budget. I found a full set of 12 Jambone harmonicas (every key from A to G in cluding flats and sharps) plus an attractive carry case for about £35. Now I've read nothing but good reviews for Jambone harps, but I'd still like to know what any of you guys think of them before commiting myself to anything. I need them for jamming, rehearsing and performing, so they need to be durable. I'm not too concerened about the acoustic tone, as I usually play amplified anyway, and when I'm acoustic it's all about volume and notes rather than tone. Anyhoo, please tell me whether you think Jambone are worth buying.

Thanks

Leo
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Postby qtheblues » Fri May 26, 2006 10:23 am

Bottom line, Mickey, - You Get What You Pay For.
If you're thinking of gigging with them, I'd say forget it (other than to get you out of trouble). If you're thinking of using them to practice with and to develope your technique and style.....that's a different story.
I bought a set of AXL harps + case for about the same amount a couple of years ago to practice with, I do ALL my practice with them. I'd never use them at a gig, amplified or otherwise - due to the thinness of the sound, but boy, there're great to develope your breathing technique 'cos if you blow just a little too hard you get zilch. But they've lasted longer than ANY of my performing harps, which include Suzuki Promaster, Lee Oskar, Hohner Pro & Special 20's. None of the so-called 'thoroughbreeds' can touch them for length of service. They sound like crap, but they really last.
If it's performing you want to use them for, remember, you will probably only use half of them anyway, the ones that're in the key of your vocalist or favourite key of your guitarist/keyboard player.
If you've been seduced by the case, that's one expensive case. Go to B&Qs and buy an aluminium lockable electricians toolcase with metal corners. I use a couple, I can get 2 sets of harps in the flat wooden trays I knocked up that fit perfectly, and I can get a couple of harp mics and leads in there too (I use another to take my FX pedals, spare leads, spare mics etc.). At around 15 quid each, they're a snip.
Do yourself a favour, buy 1 of the cheapies. If it does what you want it to do, then buy a set. It could save you grief in the long-run.
Good luck, anyway.
Regards, BobQ[/quote]
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Postby thebluesbox » Sun May 28, 2006 2:13 am

I had one jambone because I was looking for a cheap alternative to replacing harps. Thats what I got a cheap alternative harp. As poster before said they are cool for the glove box or just kicking around with. I gave mine to my son right away because in my opinion it played poorly and was really cheap because it was cheap lol.

I dont think you will get aaverage harp and by that I mean both in quality and sound for less then 10.00 even the hohner american ace or scout which is the intermediate style harp for beginner and teens first learning, they have poor sound and cheap made I guess they are becuase of the price. But anything above that would be hohners big river for 12.00 a harp then you move up to hohner special 20's and marine bands as you get higher in price.

I tell you what though if your looking for a budget SET look on ebay for piedmont blues sets they come with a great lookin carry case and the harps look sweet, reviewers say they are not as bright as they would like "prolly cause of the painted cover plates", but your not looking for acoustics so they would be your ticket you can get a set for 20.00 with case. Look on ebay and on http://www.musiciansfriend.com
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Postby Little Mickey » Wed May 31, 2006 1:20 pm

Thanks for the tip Bluesbox, those Piedmont Blues harps look real nice, I think I'll go for them instead. Shame musiciansfriend don't ship them to the UK. Looks like can get 'em on ebay without too much trouble though...
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Postby 601blues » Wed May 31, 2006 1:29 pm

:shock: Don't laugh guys ,I play Bushmans at gigs,but i wanted some kick around harps for practice, I got a set of the Kay harps and case for 10 bucks allseven keys ,They aren't very loud and you gotta watch not to over drive em but mic em and they have a wonderful thick sound,and very easy to bend, I was very surprized!!! Gezzz 10 bucks!!! I bought 10 more sets can't go wrong fo sure!!
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Postby jeffl » Wed May 31, 2006 2:35 pm

601blues wrote::shock: Don't laugh guys ,I play Bushmans at gigs,but i wanted some kick around harps for practice, I got a set of the Kay harps and case for 10 bucks allseven keys ,They aren't very loud and you gotta watch not to over drive em but mic em and they have a wonderful thick sound,and very easy to bend, I was very surprized!!! Gezzz 10 bucks!!! I bought 10 more sets can't go wrong fo sure!!
Ooooh...that makes me feel so cheap. Whenever I've done stuff like that,it turns out to be a total waste of money...like playin' nickel slots.
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Postby 601blues » Wed May 31, 2006 2:49 pm

:? Yup!! I been there However in this case at least for me it was money well spent, I grab one up and play more for practice, before I didn't wanna take time to clean, And mess up my bushmans just for practice,now I play a lot more, and after playing the cheap ones it makes me appricate my Bushmans even more!!
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Postby watertore » Wed May 31, 2006 3:47 pm

I have been playing for awhile, and just can't stand to play bad harps. I would rather go fishing. I bought a complete set of cheapos from bushman, played a couple for a minute, and gave them to a kid I know who is learning harp.

The cheapos just don't hold my interest. I like the hering vintage 1923 for best out of the box harp, and mainly play marine bands, because I have been playing them all these years, they sound good, play pretty easy, last a lot longer than the hering, and I have had an endorsement deal with them since the mid 80's. If I was a millionare, I would buy nothing but the hering.

I have tried the bushman harps, and find them to sound distorted. I play clean, no mic, no amp. I share the same mic for vocal and harp, and never cup the mic. The tone, IMO, that comes off wood comb, is far superior than plastic. The bushman reeds are made of a different material, which, coupled with the plastic combs, are not that good a sounding harp.

I blow them the way I feel, and when the urge hits to hit it hard, I do. I think too many players stick to this rule about not blowing too hard. I was around sonny terry, and I can tell you, he hit his harps harp at times. If you don't, you loose dynamics.


With all that said, it is just my opinion, and we each have our own. So, if the cheapos work, great. The main thing is to enjoy the sounds that come out, and to use a harp that provides them.

Walter

I have a ton of solo harp songs here. Most all are with the marine bands.
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageart ... dID=157137

Walter
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Postby 601blues » Wed May 31, 2006 4:22 pm

Walter you like hering better,thats interesting, they are half da price of the bushman soul voice or delta frost, I will check them out it may save me some bucks!!
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Postby Little Mickey » Wed May 31, 2006 6:24 pm

It's weird. I like to play Big Rivers, as they have a real loud dirty sound, but two weeks into owning one of 'em two of the notes went flat, while another one has lasted for ages! I have a few lee Oskars (I actually don't like the sound that much- it's a bit weak) and pretty much all of them have a clicky bottom reed, which makes it sound horrible. Granted some of them are nearly a year old but some are only a couple months! meawhile my Barclay harp (Who's Barlcay? Exactly- they're only manufactured in 2 keys- A and G- and they cost between £3 and £5) has lasted for nearly four years and still sounds fine (okay, so it's got a bit of a thin tone, but on an amp it sounds absolutely fine).

Buyer reviews are pretty much useless too, somebody said that Piedmont Blues harps are great, not just good value, but genuinely good harps, if a little quiet, while some other guy said they were terrible and the only good thing about the set was the case. Fact is, I'd like to play Herings, Hohners or Bushmans, but I need at least 7 harps to play all our songs and with one of those makes it's always gonna cost over £100 to get them, plus I can only buy them individually, not in a set. The Jambone and Piedmonts are the only ones I can get a set of at a half-reasonable price. Besides which, the piedmont Blues are Hohner harps, so they can't be that bad.

Anyhoo, they only cost £20 odd quid, so if they are a bit crap I'll just forget about it and ask for better ones on my next birthday!

Leo
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Postby watertore » Wed May 31, 2006 7:45 pm

601blues wrote:Walter you like hering better,thats interesting, they are half da price of the bushman soul voice or delta frost, I will check them out it may save me some bucks!!


Hi 601blues: THe heringing vintage 1923 are more than the bushmans and marine bands. You can check the prices here at coast to coast. They are great to deal with! Walter
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Postby NEONMOONY » Wed May 31, 2006 9:51 pm

Personally, I prefer the "dirty" sound of the Delta Frost along with the way the reeds bend. I think they are louder than most of the Oskars and Hohner harps too.
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Postby thebluesbox » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:36 am

Micky the piedmont harps are made by hohner, they may be a little cheaper then the marine bands and special 20's but dude if your looking for a budget harp set go for it. Yeah the herings are great I own a couple they sound wonderful acousticly they dont last at all but sound great, but you have to pay for them they are 18.00 a harp plus shipping. I personally like the marine band and special 20's the only cheaper harps I did try to get by with either broke or got lost cause they sounded too bad to play. But like I said to each his own you might find these peidmont harps to be the perfect harps your looking for at the price you want so go for it man! If not then move up to a big river or a special 20 set next time. Good luck!
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Postby 601blues » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:05 pm

:shock: I started playing the harp in the early sixties, along with my guitar I did a lotta Dylan, Any way Back then I could go in any drug or 5&10 store, and pick up a Marine Band for a buck fifty, and a set of Black diamond strings for the same price so for three bucks I was good ta go,everyone loved my harp playin,and would call for me to come and play,they would say,you don't need your guitar just bring your harp!!Gezz I didn't wanna be known as a harp player, I wanted to play the guitar,so I quit playin harp!!After the Army in 71 I started to play harp again, at that time the same marine band was 5-8 bucks I thought that was just outragious!!!so I quit again! now they are 30 bucks gezzzzzzz!!!
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Postby jeffl » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:28 pm

601blues wrote::shock: I started playing the harp in the early sixties, along with my guitar I did a lotta Dylan, Any way Back then I could go in any drug or 5&10 store, and pick up a Marine Band for a buck fifty, and a set of Black diamond strings for the same price so for three bucks I was good ta go,everyone loved my harp playin,and would call for me to come and play,they would say,you don't need your guitar just bring your harp!!Gezz I didn't wanna be known as a harp player, I wanted to play the guitar,so I quit playin harp!!After the Army in 71 I started to play harp again, at that time the same marine band was 5-8 bucks I thought that was just outragious!!!so I quit again! now they are 30 bucks gezzzzzzz!!!
601: at least the higher prices make us harpers feel like we're actually playin' a real instrument,lol! I buy my mine (usually SP20s) at my local music store,so I wind up payin' a couple bucks more than Coast to Coast,but I gotta keep the local guy in business,and I only buy prob'ly 2 or 3 harps a year,so it isn't costin' me an arm and a leg to help keep a music store in my backyard. I've never liked the feel of cheaper harps,but I might be able to get used to 'em. I have one Big River in my case,and that's strictly a backup, but I really haven't found anything wrong with it. If I remember,it's got protruding reedplates,like the Marine Band,and unlike the SP20,which I don't like.
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