Hering Master Blues

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

Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby dcblues » Thu May 01, 2008 12:10 am

Randy (the Blues Box) is currently giving my amp a Joan Rivers job.


He's making it really old, ugly and annoying? :)
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby mike932 » Thu May 01, 2008 12:45 am

Good one DC. If Joan Rivers has another face lift she will be sporting a goatee and a dimple on her forehead. :wink:
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby barbequebob » Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm

The Coast To Coast Music website has a list of customizers, but the best in the business is the Filisko guild http://www.customharmonicas.com and they are top dollar and have very long waiting periods for good reason, they're thebest in the business. There's another former pupil of Filisko doing work named Brad Harrison and after the Filisko guild, this guy is considered among the very best for custom work, especially for the overblow players. Some customizers will not do overblow harps because the reed work/setup is often more difficult and even more time consuming and many times will charge more money because of it. You also want to tell them what tuning you want, be it comprimised, just, equal or anything else in addition. You will notice once you get them back, you will need far less breath force to play them than anything else you've ever played in your life.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby mike932 » Thu May 01, 2008 11:34 pm

Thanks BBQBob, I will contact them soon. I am reviewing the set lists looking for our most common key.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby barbequebob » Fri May 02, 2008 4:35 pm

I just got a hold of the new Hering Blues in A, and here's my observations so far. The harp has many similarities with the the 1923 Vintage Harps with a sealed comb (actually sealed around the outer edges), the reed plates held together to the comb using 5 screws. Now some of the differences are: a.) the cover plates on the Vintage are made of brass and has side vent holes much like the MB/MBVDlxe/MS Big River harps, wheras the Master Blues is made of stainless steel and does not have the side vent holes; b.) the reed plate thickness on the Master Blues is of the more standard thickness of 0.90mm, which is the same as the stock MB's (please do not confuse reedplate thickness with the reed thickness, which are two entirely different things), wheras the Vintage is very thick at 1.20mm, and because of this, the vintage is noticeably louder in volume than the Master Blues; c.) They're both tuned to Just Intonation, except these two are not the same version, as the 1923 Vintage Harps are tuned to 7 Limit, (which is the same tuning that all MB's/Sp20's/Blues Harp/Old Standby's were all tuned to until 1985), wheras the Master Blues is tuned to 19 Limit (the tuning used on the MB/Sp20/Blues Harp/Old Standby from 1985-1990/91), and with 7 Limit, 5 & 9 draw is tuned to 29-31 cents flat, wheras 19 limit has those same two tuned to 3 cents sharp; and finally d.) the parts between these two models are interchangeable. If you prefer the old MB sound, the Vintage Harp is closer to it because of 7 limit just intonation, but if you're as guilty as most players are of playing with far too much breath force, the chances of blowing them out quickly increases greatly because of the thick reed plate keeps much more air directed at the reed, which gives the instrument greater overall volume, but if you want to play more than just the basic 3 positions, and don't like the really flat 5 & 9 draw, the Master Blues may be for you, and because this one is using the standard plate thicknees, this should be much less problematic in terms of blowing out harps, but if you play any harp too hard, none of them will last too long.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby dcblues » Mon May 05, 2008 12:05 am

I tried the Master Blues I bought recently at a a gig yesterday. It felt and played well until I played the 10 blow. It sounded like a dog whistle. I wasn't playing too hard or anything, it just squealed when I played it. After that I put it away and went back to my Marine Band Bb for any tunes I needed that key harp for. I need to take the Master Blues apart soon and see if I can fix it (I doubt I can - I'm pretty lousy when it comes to harp repair).
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby barbequebob » Mon May 05, 2008 4:31 pm

One of the first things you may need to do is to get a Phillips#1 screwdriver and tighten the screws just hand tight. The 10 hold may need to be regapped slightly and you may need to do both reeds in the hole so the action balances out properly for you. All of the Hering Bb's tend to have a bit of this problem, but more often in the lower end. Actually, rather than regapped, actually reprofiled more than the actual gapping, which takes much more time. It definitely tends to play better after a short breaking in period. Also sometimes the reed may not have been riveted down properly (which was very common problem with Hohner in the 80's to the mid 90's), and if this is the case, get a small nailset, place it on the rivet, and then get a tack hammer and VEEEERY gently tap it down until it seats flush flat on the reed plate.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby watertore » Wed May 07, 2008 4:09 pm

I got my harps yesterday- one in B (out of A) and one in E. They are definetly built better than the mb. I was excited to try them out. They are tuned the same as a mb and were not as loud, and took more air to blow than a mb. The reeds were much stiffer than a new Mb as well. The vintage 1923 is a much better harp than this one IMO. If I was going to switch to hering, I would go vintage 1923. I will see how long they last, bit for now I am sticking with my mb's. Walter
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby barbequebob » Wed May 07, 2008 4:21 pm

Walter, the 1923 Vintage harps play louder and eaier right away because of the thicker reed plate, needing less air to play them. To get more volume out of the Master Blues, you can open up the back of the cover plates more by getting a ball peen hammer (firs removing the coverplates off the comb, first), restit on the curved ends of a cutting board and tap it down across the outer lip, or you can do it quick and ugly by crimping it with a slip joint pliers so that the covers are more like the MBDeluxe or a pre-WWI MB. This model will need more of a breaking in period than the Vintage, but I can almost guarantee this will last longer than the Vintage because it doesn't have a thicker reed plate.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby bottleneck » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:08 am

this morning i put a marine band comb and coverplates together with hering master blues reed plates.
sounds pretty good,comb sealed with nitro laquer and wax.

thank goodness for electric drills ;)

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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby bottleneck » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:10 am

and yes,vintage and master cover plates and reedplates are interchangeable,as are super 20's.the comb on a super 20 is a little different and not as rounded on the corners.but it still works

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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby watertore » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:18 pm

I have had my master blues harps for a month or so, and have gentley puffed on them as I wait for my songs to download to soundclick. I still find them stiff. The MB is much easier to blow out of the box than these after all this easy break in. If I had the $, I would go with the vintage 1923 over the MB, but the short life of them, will keep me a MB buyer. Walter
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby barbequebob » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:01 pm

Walter, one other thing you should do with any harps that are screw tapped as opposed to nails is to remove the cover plates and gently retighten all of the screws until they're hand tight, and this is especially true with all Hering products that are screw tapped (you'll need a Phillips #1 screwdriver). Once you tighten them, they will play easier (but just remember, do not ever overtighten them or you'll strip the threads and cause a really bad leakage problem). It's a good idea to check them every few weeks.

The Hering 1923 Vintage Harps play louder because of the thicker reed plates and its obvious drawback is that they can be easily blown out when played too hard all the time (the single biggest cardinal sin that 80% of harp players are clearly guilty of), and if you do the same with the screws as I mentioned with the Master Blues, you'll also notice that they'll play even louder too.
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Re: Hering Master Blues

Postby watertore » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:41 pm

thanks Bob! Will do. I learned something new today! Walter
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