Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Easttop...
Easttop...
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nacoran
9430 posts
Apr 14, 2017
1:13 PM
Shoot, the form ate my post...

Nice harp. Plays well, sounds good, nice to hold and looks sharp, and beats the other brands on price. I'll let you know more as I play more. It's a LF. The 6 overblow pops nicely, but I can't get the 4 or 5, but I haven't opened it up yet so gapping may fix it. Also came with a little miniharp on a chain and a cleaning cloth. Sturdy casing. Very favorable first impressions. :) :) :)




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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
Rontana
397 posts
Apr 14, 2017
1:46 PM
I recently bought a T008S from Rockin' Ron's, as I didn't have an Ab in my kit. After hearing all the talk about Easttop, curiosity got the better of me.

All in all, I'm very satisfied. The harp needed some gapping (which is usual more times than not) but after that it was extremely responsive. I don't know if this is always the case with Easttop, but the harp doesn't require much breath.

I did sand the draw-reed plate (again, I usually do that) and also rounded off the corners of the cover plates . . . they kept yanking at my moustache.

Before buying, I thought Easttop might be roughly the equivalent of a Suzuki Harpmaster, but it plays much, much better than those. Nice heft to it as well.

While MB is still my favorite, Easttop seems a good harp (especially for the price . . . I think it was $26).
ME.HarpDoc
237 posts
Apr 14, 2017
6:39 PM
I've got a few Easttops now and love 'em. A couple have the riveted reeds and I've got one with the welded reeds. MAYBE the welded reed harp sounds a little better OOTB but it's in the key of E and I have nothing to compare to. The opening on the back of the cover plate is different, they're both side vented. The reed plate on the riveted is brass while the welded model states chrome plated brass .

The riveted reed edition states ABS comb while the welded reed advertises a flat sanded resin comb (that may make a difference in playability).

So does anyone else notice a difference in playability of the two models worth an extra $8?
DanP
329 posts
Apr 14, 2017
8:09 PM
I have a Fender Blues De Ville harp that I really like. I think I read somewhere on the net that they are made by Easttop and rebranded by Fender. Anyone know? It's the best Chinese made harmonica that I've ever played.
nacoran
9431 posts
Apr 14, 2017
8:55 PM
ME.HarpDoc, I hadn't noticed the back much. Doug was commenting in a different thread that the covers are compatible with Hohner MS harps, and looking at them they look like distant cousins of the Blues Harp. They have the same strut spacing. It's like a vented version of the BH. The comb seems to be thinner on the Blues Harp though, although maybe the comb is thicker on a Low F for Easttop? I know a couple brands do that.

Yeah, I'm really happy with the purchase. Tomorrow I'll open in up and look inside.


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First Post- May 8, 2009
jbone
2284 posts
Apr 15, 2017
6:20 AM
I used all 3 of my Eastops on a gig last night. 2 008's and a higher end metal comb with a gasket set between reed plates and comb. While the 008 in D could use a bit of gapping I think, all 3 performed very well indeed.
They are a competitor quality-wise for real.
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JSalow
16 posts
Apr 16, 2017
4:11 PM
I've had my Easttop 008S (Bb) for two weeks and...I love it! It overblew well out of the box and was pretty responsive considering how most of the gaps were enormous. And the 3 draw bends are the easiest I've experienced (could this have to do with the extra thick reedplates?). Once I narrowed the gaps it plays easy over the entire harp. And most importantly the tone is great. Not too warm but not too bright.

The only issue was the reeds had a weirdly acute upward angle right at the tips. I guess that made them a bit more responsive, the sail catching the air, but it meant the entire reed wouldn't enter the slot at once so this made some of those lower blow reeds more difficult to choke. Once I straightened them the overblowing became even better and easier.

The ET tuning was decent, only some small beating on some octaves, others perfect. I'll probably retune it to the crossover tuning at some point.

I also love the feel and weight of the extra thick reedplates and comb. Whatever the resin is they use I'm a fan.

In short, I got what feels and sounds like a top level expensive harp for $26.50. There is no question I will buy these in every key. Amazing value!

Edit:

I do have to agree the sides of the covers pull the beard hairs, but I can work on them to reduce that. If that's my biggest complaint we have a real winner here.

Last Edited by JSalow on Apr 16, 2017 4:16 PM
indigo
352 posts
Apr 16, 2017
9:26 PM
I have two Lucky 13s' (C and D) they are great Harps.
Even without the advantage of that lower octave the entire Harp plays well.Bit of gapping is all that i needed to do.
Will definitely be buying a few more.
Sarge
595 posts
Apr 17, 2017
6:18 AM
Buying your Easttops from newharmonica.com insures that you will get a good one and if not Danny will make it good. He stands behind what he sells.
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dantana
9 posts
Apr 17, 2017
8:40 AM
Wow I see the T008K on Amazon for $11.99 + $4.99 shipping. Strongly considering trying one. Does anyone know how they are tuned? (Closer to ET I hope)
nacoran
9435 posts
Apr 17, 2017
8:57 AM
I've seen a couple different cover/comb combos too, around the net.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LAXAGFY/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_20_w


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M0F22JZ/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_18_w

I can't find the link but somewhere I saw a white covered one with a clear comb...

Oh wait, here one is-

http://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/easttop+harmonica.html

hmm, looking at the site more it looks like they may be associated with the Bee brand, which I'd seen before (so that would be their equivalent of the BluesBand?)

http://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/easttop+harmonica/1.html

And a full length cover model:

http://www.dhgate.com/product/wholesale-10-holes-easttop-harmonica-diatonic/395055597.html#s2-23-1b;srp|0371044376

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009

Last Edited by nacoran on Apr 17, 2017 9:04 AM
chromaticblues
1768 posts
Apr 17, 2017
9:43 AM
I wish they made some with brass reeds!
WinslowYerxa
1294 posts
Apr 17, 2017
11:24 AM
Bee Brand and East Top both come from Jiangsu Musical Instrument, Bee being the low end and East Top being the "Top" end; they used to have a mid-line brand, but that seems to have disappeared. They use the Bee name, though for both their Alibaba page:

https://beeharmonica.en.alibaba.com/?spm=a2700.8304367.0.0.xrgn6o

and their own website:

http://www.bee-harmonica.com

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Last Edited by WinslowYerxa on Apr 17, 2017 7:10 PM
nacoran
9436 posts
Apr 17, 2017
11:36 AM
I wish they had minor/harmonic minor tunings. I'd fill out my set.

Edit- they do seem to have a natural minor, but only in tremolo.

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009

Last Edited by nacoran on Apr 17, 2017 11:40 AM
Rontana
400 posts
Apr 19, 2017
7:38 AM
@ME Harp Doc

I've wondered about this myself; is there a difference in playability between the welded and riveted reeds on the Easttop models? I can't see as it would play a huge roll (keeping in mind I've only been playing a few years). My MBs and Sp 20s are riveted, and I like them just fine.

I am a little dubious about the description of the "flat-sanded resin" comb on the T008S. I dismantled a T008S and a Special 20 this morning to compare. To my (again, far from expert) eye, the comb material seems awfully similar; both appear to be ABS plastic. The resin comb on the one Manji I owned was a different animal entirely.

I may pick up a few T008K models as an experiment (and also because I've wanted to a few ET harps for melodies)

Last Edited by Rontana on Apr 19, 2017 7:45 AM
WinslowYerxa
1299 posts
Apr 19, 2017
8:30 AM
Resin may be a poor translation, just as is the "copper board" description of brass reedplates.

Acrylic is a plastic used for some harmonica combs. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (Plexiglass, Lucite) that's used for combs is a subset of a group of acrylic resins, which the translation may have focused on.

Acrylic is hard like ABS; it won't be gummy like tree sap. So I'm not sure you could easily tell the difference.

The Manji comb is a composite of plastic and wood dust (with the idea that the wood component might confer some of the perceived benefits of wood without wood's physical instability). Yes it is a different animal.

Welding can be done without the physical force of riveting and with greater precision. The potential benefit in playability is a reed more precisely centered in its slot and, as a result, potentially closer tolerances between slot edge and reed edge – provided the precision is properly dialed in. Suzuki has gone entirely to welding and their close tolerances are also something widely remarked on.

East Top seems to be following in Suzuki's footsteps in design appearance, materials, and methods, even while doing innovative things like milling lipped brass chromatic combs.

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Rontana
401 posts
Apr 19, 2017
9:04 AM
Thanks Winslow . . . that clears things up.
JSalow
17 posts
Apr 20, 2017
10:54 AM
The "resin" comb on the 008S is definitely not ABS or acrylic. It's clearly different. It has a unique texture that it not even close to either.
WinslowYerxa
1300 posts
Apr 21, 2017
11:22 AM
My T008S (admittedly, over a year old) has a hard plastic comb, sort of orangey-camel color. Without disassembling it, it doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. But it's entirely possible that something has change since I received mine.
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shakeylee
629 posts
Apr 22, 2017
12:44 PM
Dave Holtzman from the little red rooster blues band played with me the other night.
he used an easttop on one song,and i think it sounded just as good as his other harps,TBH.
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jimr
97 posts
Apr 30, 2017
9:12 AM
I just got a T008K from Rockin Ron's and am very impressed. My key G came with chrome(?) plated reed plates, though website specs bare bronze. Out of the box it was loud, responsive, well tuned, and evenly responsive up and down the comb. The ABS comb is nearly solid and appears to have been partially milled for flatness. The cover plates feel solid are shaped to apply pressure to the front of the reed plates when tightened. The reed plate mounting holes are different from on a Manji. My only concern is the painted open side cover plates- I prefer chrome or stainless steel with closed sides. The cover plate mounting hole distance is different from S20 and Promaster. The stock gapping was about right for me on the blow plate and wide on draw plate. As stock, it played well enough to use on a gig last night.
VERY IMPRESSIVE VALUE, though can't comment on durability or instrument to instrument quality control.

Last Edited by jimr on Apr 30, 2017 9:15 AM
Brendan Power
601 posts
Apr 30, 2017
3:08 PM
Winslow wrote:

"East Top seems to be following in Suzuki's footsteps in design appearance, materials, and methods, even while doing innovative things like milling lipped brass chromatic combs."

I'd say it's more nuanced than that. I've been dealing with Easttop for several years now (they make my Lucky 13, AsiaBend and Slide Diatonic harps). Careful examination of their harps reveals they draw inspiration from several brands, then combine them into their own blend with their own spin.

For example, the Easttop 10-hole diatonics use Seydel's reddplate screw pattern whilst (on the better models) adopting Suzuki's welded phosphor-bronze reed manufacturing method. And on the higher-price Blues Player model you can see the covers are clearly modelled on the Hohner MB Delux/Crossover covers with 4 screws. So - choosing good inspiration from Seydel, Suzuki and Hohner. Makes sense...

With chromatics, it's even more interesting. Their big 16 holers follow Suzuki reedplate screw patterns exactly, so you can fit Suzuki 16-hole reedplates on Easttop combs. However they add three front screws - which is a definite improvement over Suzuki.

Their 12-hole chrom is the most intriguing. The covers and rounded mouthpiece are clearly Suzuki-derived, but inside it's a different story. The comb is actually a cut-down version of the Hohner 64 design, with the extra step at the front. And the slider is Hohner width, narrower than Suzuki sliders, with mouthpiece screw holes closer inset. So even though it looks like a Suzuki mouthpiece/slider from the outside, they won't fit.

As Winslow noted, Easttop don't just take inspiration from other chrom models - they take the tech further with their fantastic CNC milled brass chromatic combs with integral lip. That's a big step beyond what any of the traditional manufacturers has achieved with their metal combs - including those that cost 10 times the price.

Swan and Kongsheng are other Chinese companies making some nice harmonicas. Swan has a double-thickness reedplate 12-hole chrom that sounds very good, and Kongsheng's 10-hole harps are very good too. But Easttop is definitely the flag bearer for the rapidly improving quality and increasing market share of Chinese harmonicas amongst discerning players - like those on this list.

Last Edited by Brendan Power on Apr 30, 2017 3:13 PM
groyster1
2926 posts
May 03, 2017
6:44 PM
I got an easttop in mail today....$13.....free shipping.....it is incredibly durable harp....I understand phosphur bronze reeds.....very much like suzuki harpmaster.....bargain....but they call it blues harmonica.......ET is not blues tuning....get them while theyre hot.....the price will surely go up.....but they are giving them away now

Last Edited by groyster1 on May 03, 2017 6:49 PM
SuperBee
4672 posts
May 03, 2017
7:25 PM
Hang on a minute George
I'm trying to put these 2 statements together:
"... got an easttop in the mail today." "It is incredibly durable harp."

Most of my harps got through the first day in good shape. See how it's going at the end of the second day. That's the real test
Rontana
405 posts
May 04, 2017
7:07 AM
I went ahead and picked up several (the welded-reed version) two or three weeks back, and have played them like crazy. They're doing well. That said, because I can't help but tinker, I've reset the gaps pretty tight, let them settle, and tweaked them again.

I'm very happy with them so far. Some play better than others, but I think that may be the player more than the harp (I tend to sound like a choking rabbit on high-keys).

Last Edited by Rontana on May 04, 2017 7:09 AM
groyster1
2927 posts
May 04, 2017
7:33 AM
@superbee.....you spend $13 on a harp made in china you expect a cheaply made harp.....not only does it play well but the construction is anything but cheap....its as strong as harps priced 3 or 4 times as high
Chris Sachitano
12 posts
May 06, 2017
12:14 PM
Just picked up the 12hole chromatic.
It has the black covers. Very nice harp player eye candy. Ootb it plays very well and is not breathy. I am playing fast runs smoothly and it seems to respond to everything I give it. I'm not an accomplished player, so I can't really compare to others.

Last Edited by Chris Sachitano on May 06, 2017 12:18 PM
hot4blues
46 posts
May 13, 2017
6:49 AM
JBONE - you mentioned a gasket between the reed plate and comb. Was that a pre-made gasket, or did you use something similar to what auto mechanics use - it's called 'Form A Gasket' (a silicone material in a tube used for making gaskets).
shakeylee
651 posts
Jun 03, 2017
8:18 PM
I got one today. A 008k in A
I am really shocked at how good of a harp this is. Amazing . Loud and responsive out of the box .

I haven't tuned or gapped it yet ,but it sure is a nice harp.
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Last Edited by shakeylee on Jun 03, 2017 8:21 PM
jbone
2293 posts
Jun 03, 2017
9:16 PM
Hot4- that harp came that way. It's got covers like a Suzuki Olive and a heavy metal comb. A friend got me that harp to try out. I now have 2 008s, a C and a D, and the higher end harp lost a reed a few weeks ago. It actually broke off. The 008s are decent harps but I'm kind of addicted to the Manji as my go to harp mostly.

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shakeylee
652 posts
Jun 03, 2017
11:37 PM
Manji is my go to harp too. I am not saying it is as good as a Suzuki ,but so far,it is better than other major brands ,for me.

I play suzuki first,bushman second,hering third and seydel fourth . This is right up there with sydel and hering so far .

I don't have a particular brand loyalty ,so,a cheap harp that's good is nice to find .
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Martin
1177 posts
Jun 04, 2017
5:25 AM
My particular curse is hard playing, and a G and A Easttop didn´t last me long. `Nuff said about that.
The C and D and E are however quite resistant to my abuse and I´m going to get me a few more in those keys.
Apart from retuning I don´t work on my harps so it was a nice feature that they allowed some smooth OB´s right OOTB.
shakeylee
653 posts
Jun 04, 2017
8:37 AM
Also ,maybe a fluke,but mine is not ET. It is a pretty mellow chordally compromise.
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Libertad
279 posts
Jun 05, 2017
12:51 PM
Can anyone in the U.K. Or France tell me where these are available from? I looked on one Chinese site and they didn't list flats and sharps.
ME.HarpDoc
252 posts
Jun 10, 2017
1:48 PM
On a previous post I stated, as have others, that I'm impressed at the Easttop's OOTB performance. I've got four 008K and one 008S. I bought some on Amazon and some from Rockin Ron. I just added an A harp to my collection and it took about two weeks to arrive from China (purchased on Amazon).

Well, OOTB IT WAS TERRIBLE! The 5 blow was stuck, the 3,5,6,7 and 8 draw were all greater than 10 cents flat, and the 5 blow ( once I freed it up), 8 and 9 blow were all greater than 10 cents flat.

When I opened it up to adjust the tunings I found the gaps on holes 1-4 quite open but the most alarming thing I noticed were the file marks near the rivets on most of the draw reeds. The reeds were gouged as if adjusted with a coarse rotary instrument, I presume to flatten the note.

All my other Easttops were pretty much in tune so I haven't opened them. But what this suggests is that all factory technicians are not created equal and also I learned that in the future I'll purchase from Ron or Danny


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