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Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 4:41 am
by Pastor Harmonica
Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner and what did you think about it. I'm just curious I saw some today for 16.95 USD.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:11 pm
by barbequebob
It is a Chinese made harmonica that uses a tighter reed slot tolerance and has much thicker reed plate (notice I did not say thicker reeds, which something totally different), and that's at 1.20mm, and the only other diatonics on the market with plates that thick stock are the Hering 1923 Vintage Harp and the Hering Delta Blues, and I do not recommend that a newbie play them because although it'll play louder and bend easier, both of those things will make them far more subject to being easily blown out and many players too often tend to use an extremely hard breath force, especially when they're bending notes, and 98% of newbies are guilty of that big time and you'd definitely need to cut waaaaaaaaay back on the breath force for that. It's really a bidget way for them to compete with those two Hering models. Don't expect this be high qaulity as again, it's made in China, and just about every harmonica made in China is often of very poor quality.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:03 am
by Pastor Harmonica
Thanks BBQ for the imfo I have been playing for about 20 yrs and know about over pressure of blowing to hard. I think Imight buy one. Just to test it out. At 17usd can't go wrong. I'll start out with a key of D seeing thats the one that I seem to blow out more. Not that often does that happen I guess maybe 4 or 5 times in 20 yrs.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:25 am
by jbone1
in the past couple of years i have done a little experimenting mainly with big rivers, which are in the hohner ms series. the replacement plates i got were the 1.2 mm variety, and yes, they will blow a reed if used too hard. the ironic thing to me is, a set of ms plates actually cost more at the time than just getting another big river complete! but i do feel like the replacement plates were better sounding- if i could back off the heavy vacuum!

for 17 bucks that blues bender is worth it just for the experience.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:45 pm
by dcblues
98% of newbies are guilty of that big time


How do you know it's 98%?

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:18 pm
by barbequebob
DC, from nearly every newbie I've ever encountered over the years and also during a time when I gave lessons and it was almost too predictable. A number of other players I've met who teach often say the same thing.

The reed plate thickness on the replacements for the MS series sold in the US, the Cross Harp plates, are actually 1.05mm thick, and if they were as thick as what's on the Hohner Blues Bender, Hering 1923 Vintage Harp, and Hering Delta Blues, which is 1.20mm, you'd be blowing them out a lot faster. Hohner only sells the stock plates fro the MS Big River/Blues Harp/Pro Harp, where the plate thickness is the standard 0.90mm only in Europe and if you want to order online, (but damn, you'll probably be getting whacked with the VAT tax on top of the cost plus shipping), go to http://www.hohner.eu. The Cross Harp plate is actually an upgrade. Although in the US, they don't sell the replacements for the MS Meisterklasse (tho they were sold in the US thru the now defunct F & R Farrell site), they're also available on that site as well, and the big difference between the Cross Harp plate and the Meisterklasse is that the ones for the Meisterklasse is, I believe, chrome plated, but other than that, it's the same as the Cross Harp plates.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:37 am
by jbone1
i stand corrected bob.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:52 am
by bottleneck
i haven't heard of this blues bender before.is it new??

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:14 am
by jbone1
yes it is blottleneck- maybe 6 weeks since i first heard of it myself.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 2:02 am
by DeFord Harp Slider
I was at a music store that recently had a new Hohner rep stop in.... He told the manager that they were adding some kind of pot metal alloy to the reeds in order to extend the life of them and prevent them from going brittle..... The store manager said that he spoke to Lee Oskar ( THE MAN ) and mentioned to him what he was told by the Hohner Rep, and was told that they were doing the same..... He also said that the new reeds will still mess up if the harmonica is played hard, like new players play them..... I can truthfully say that I don' t mess up harps and haven't since the Marine Band went over 10 bucks, unless I was drunk, and I hardly get that way at all any, more..... If I get a little bit under the influence I will usually want to lay down and go to sleep............. DeFord

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:06 pm
by barbequebob
Hohner for years has been trying to find a better brass formulation that would work better and last longer since the now legendary and long discontinued bell metal brass, which hasn't been made since prior to World War II, and so far, nothing has been as good. That brass was soft, but very strong and durable, and a huge part of the reason why any Hohner harmonica made prior to WWII is so highly prized. There are actually some 500 different grades of brass, and 50% of them haven't been made since WWII, and it's too bad harmonica companies, unlike cymbol manufacturers, weren't smart enough to own their own brass factories so that they could keep things more standardized.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:39 pm
by DeFord Harp Slider
Bob, I didn't know there was any difference in reed materials in the pre war reeds, but it makes sense to me and explains why my recently deceased father ln law's ancient echo harp still plays and sounds so good.... I am wondering if Hohner and Tombo have possibly returned to the use of pre WW2 type brass.

Re: Has anyone tried a blues bender harp from hohner?

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:39 pm
by barbequebob
That brass has been long out of production and no harmonica companies own their own brass factories because what they do is buy them by the sheets and cut them into millions of reeds per sheet, and so they have to make due with what's availalbe. Cymbol makers like Ziljian have their own brass factories, allowing them to keep a stable formulation, but I've yet to see any harmonica maker smart enough and/or with enough financial muscle to do that, but that's also a very expensive proposition. It's not unlike car makers getting supplies from other sources, and so the expense of owning a factory like that can be an extremely expenisve proposition, and it most likely would significantly add the cost of manufacturing a harmonica.