Help an idiot

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

Postby bosco » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:18 am

It is my understanding that Hohner switched their entire line from nickel plating to chrome plating around 2000

Well now we have to get to the bottom of this. That was my original understanding as well, that they switched from nickel to chrome. The timing on noticing the oxidization issue disappearing would bear this out allowing for existing stock to flow through for a year or more.

As for switching the entire line, I don't believe that. I still buy Hohner Old Standbys as backups and for knock around harps and they oxidize and tarnish like the old Spec 20s did. I've taken the covers off the newer 20s that don't oxidize for maintenance and found spot corrosion from moisture on the insides of the lids. I doubt they would corrode if they were stainless.

Could the Hohner rep have mis spoken? It seems like stainless steel would drive the cost up a fair bit as well. Rico know a fair bit about metals and Pappy sells 'em...somebody must know.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:52 am

Dunno. Lots of things that used to not be available in stainless are now, and at fairly reasonable prices. Exhaust systems and guns, for example. Plating's not cheap.
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Postby t bone bruce » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:20 am

here's the e-mail I was sent:

Dear Mr. Saunders,
thank you for your website contact.

Actually we do make the coverplates of the Special 20 out of Stainless
Steel. The change has been done about 3 years ago, but you still might find
older harmonicas distributed in shops all over the world.

Please tell me your address and the key of your harmonica(s), and I'll send
you some SS coverplates.

With best regards,

i. A. Fernando Bresslau, Dip.-Ing.
Assistant Product Manager - Harmonicas

HOHNER Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG
Hohner Musical Instruments
Product Management - Harmonicas
Andreas-Koch-Str. 9
D- 78647 Trossingen

I notice they didn't say ALL their harmonica coverplates are stainless. It could be some of the harps produced in China still have plated coverplates, as I doubt they're too concerned over the environmental impact of the chemicals using in the plating process, which drove the European change
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Postby bosco » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:15 pm

T-Bone-

I would take him up on the cover plate offer, just to update your older 20s and make the stainless/chrome comparison.

Besides, you have to do it so we can all know whether we have been buying old or new stock harps!

let us know...

Bosco
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Postby ricochet » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:13 pm

Another thing: Plating generates lots of toxic waste, which shifts the economic balance toward stainless. Safely getting rid of plating waste is expensive.
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