Have Marine Bands changed

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Have Marine Bands changed

Postby mike932 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:08 am

During the last two months I have purchased three new Hohner Marine Bands. The new harps seem different, the wood is glossy, screws on the plates look different, the metal seems brighter.I have never taken one apart so I am not sure about the insides. Today I purchased a B , took it out of the box and was surprised by how easy it was to bend and overblow, with no break in. Am I having a chemically mind alter encounter or has Hohner made some changes. I checked their website and found nothing new.
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Postby kingley » Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:58 am

Sounds to me like you have bought a Marine Band Deluxe.

The Marine Band is nailed together.

The Marine band Deluxe is screwed together and as such is a lot more airtight. This enables bending notes to be achieved more easily for a lot of people. The Deluxe also has a sealed comb.
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Postby dcblues » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:45 am

Sounds like the Deluxe to me too. If you're buying Deluxes for the price or regular MBs, let me know where you get them!
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Postby little leslie » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:47 pm

You are right, The Classic Marine Band has changed a lot lately.
The reed material is not the same, the paint on the comb is different, a little more waterproof and more comfortable. The cover material is more resistant to rust and looks brighter. The instrument plays better, comb won't swell as quickly.
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Postby barbequebob » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:02 pm

They've gone thru plenty of changes over the years, and the MB Deluxes came out because of the sucesss Hering has had with the 1923 Vintage Harps because they've avoided factory sealed combs like the plague, and also with the totally screw tapped assembly, tighter reed slot tolerances, and especially when they began seeing some of their endorsees using them, they had to make some moves because they were really cutting into their marketshare. Some of this also stemmed from the growth of diatonic harp customizers, as prior to Joe Filisko coming out with the very first customized MB back at the SPAH convention in 1990, there weren't any custom diatonics, only chromatics. Also recently retired product manager Rick Epping should be given his props because it was he who brought about many of these changes. Little by little, they began sharpening their cutting blades at a much more frequent rate, tightening the slot tolerances, and to do that, they had to use new machinery and recalibrate all the old ones, and to get the tighter slot tolerances once used on the pre WWII models, they had to elimate the problems of burrs on both reeds and the reed slots. The covers are chrome plated rather than nickel plated for several years, and this helps make it resistant to rusting and dulling.
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Postby little leslie » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:18 pm

...and there's more!

most of the time, the new marine band allows overblowing right out of the box on a couple of holes! I just bought a Bb that easily overblows on holes 1,5 and 6 without any gap adjustment! It must have something to do with the
Tolerance factor Bob's talking about....
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Postby mike932 » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:17 am

At first I thought I was getting the deluxe for MB price, but thanks to the BRB gang I believe Hohner has made some improvements. My new harps are really great. I am probably going to buy a twelve harp set of the new ones, they play that good. A little off subject , but has anyone played and/or seen the Steven Tyler Harp from Hohner? I am thinking of buying one for two reasons. 1. I am a Tyler fan, one of my favorite CD's is Honking on BoBo. 2. My youngest daughters birthday is coming up, and I could give her the autographed photo of Tyler which comes with the harp. I imagine I will catch some flak from anti-Tyler fans on this site, but I like the way the guy plays harp.
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Postby barbequebob » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:02 pm

The tighter the slot tolerance, the lower the amount of air leaking around the reed, and thus the louder the reed plays, and along with the correct gapping for the type of playing style necessary, the better the reed responds. Again, for those who don't know what the tight tolerance is about, the tolerance is the distance between the walls of the reed slot (where the reed vibrates in) from the edges of the reeds themselves. Most of the air leaks in most harps aren't so much from the plate to comb, but much more from this area, and the Hohner diatonics made from 1981-1995 had some very wide slot tolerances that made their harps at times unplayable, and one of the things customizers do is reduce this tolerance, and that alone increases volume tend fold, meaning that the person playing it will need considerably less air to play them.
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