Special 20 and Big River questions?

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Special 20 and Big River questions?

Postby flatpaul » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:00 am

I've never owned either of these harps... I've had Oskar's, a Marine Band, a Blues Harp, and a Pro Harp.

1) Are Big Rivers really as good as 20's?
2) Do either of these harps have marine band covers? I found that I crushed the marine band covers a bit in the middle from gripping tightly.

Thanks again guys,

Paul
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Postby t bone bruce » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:04 am

Whether the Big River is better than the Special 20 is down to personal preference. The Big river uses the same reed plates and comb as the rest of the MS series harps, so I'd say it's a good as a Blues harp or Pro-harp. It was certainly good enough for Paul DeLay (RIP). It has cover plates which have the holes at the end like the Marine band, which you either love or hate, but it's reinforced at the middle so you can't crush the covers.
My preference is for Special 20's and Lee Oskars, heading more to the Sp20 these days. About 3 years ago Hohner started putting stainless coverplates on the Sp20, the old chrome plated cover was my main objection to them before.
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Postby flatpaul » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:11 am

Thanks Bruce - you're a legend! I'm leaning towards the special 20 now.

Why my blues harp went kinda rusty and my oskars stayed nice and clean had always been a mystery to me until now.

I think I'll go for a Special 20.

Cheers,

Paul
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Postby NEONMOONY » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:29 pm

You won't like the Big Rivers if you have a mustache!
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Postby dcblues » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:39 pm

I don't like Special 20s. I rarely play plastic combed harps, but I like the Big River and occasionally play them. They're a good, inexpensive backup harp to have in my case for those times when the gremlins make my Marine Bands go out of tune in the middle of a song.
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Postby flatpaul » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:12 am

dcblues wrote:I don't like Special 20s. I rarely play plastic combed harps, but I like the Big River and occasionally play them. They're a good, inexpensive backup harp to have in my case for those times when the gremlins make my Marine Bands go out of tune in the middle of a song.


What is it that you like about Big Rivers that Sp 20's don't do for you?

Paul
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Postby dcblues » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:08 pm

I just like the way they feel and the way they play. I can't really explain it, but they work for me.

As little as I like Special 20s, I would rather play them than Lee Oskars.
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Postby flatpaul » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:35 am

I got 'let go' from job yesterday so today (feeling blue) I bought a couple of 20's... Keys of A and D.

I like them way more than the LO's. The LO sounds a bit 'sterile' in comparison if that makes sense.

Don't know if I can go back now.

I'll play Marine Bands one day - I'm gonna learn a thing or two first though.

Paul
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Harp choices

Postby zebloos » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:47 am

I played all those and they are all good. The Special 20 is nice.

My recommendation, however, is for neither. When the Meisterklasse series came out, I bought one just to see. At the time, the Hohner people in Richmond let me buy them for the endorsement price--which was dealer cost.
So it made it affordable. I loved them and bought a whole set. I loved the tone, but most importantly, they lasted twice as long as Marine bands or Special 20s.

I have a mustache and do not like Marine bands or any of the wooden harps. I had cut my lips bloody too often from the swollen wood protruding out.

The Meisterklasse is aluminum --so I was better to play, had a richer tone and lasted twice or three times as long as any other harp. That made it more economical. The whole plate changing thing never worked out for me.

So, ever since then, for a long time now, I only play Meisterklasse and the overall value makes them more economical than all the other harps.

I keep the other brands as back-ups. Tried all kinds, but nothing comes close. Now, I am basically retired because of asthma. I can't blow all night like I used to. A few tunes and I've had it. But, I'll tell you this, every brand I've ever played has failed me right in the middle of a gig. The Meisterklasse never blew out on me.
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