Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Marine Band 1896 maintenance
Marine Band 1896 maintenance
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Olivervelo
1 post
Nov 27, 2018
1:09 PM
I picked up the harp this past Summer, and I’m having a blast learning my first instrument!

I currently have Hohner Blues Harps MS in C, A, and G, and a Hohner Special 20 in Bb.

My next harp will be a D, and I want it to be a Marine Band. All of my harmonica influences (Sonny Boy Williamson I, Hammie Nixon, Sonny Terry, Johnny Woods, Doctor Ross etc.) seem to have played them.

I initially stayed away from the Marine Band 1896 because of the nails, and opted for the Blues Harp MS instead. Should I not be so worried about the maintenance?

Last Edited by Olivervelo on Nov 27, 2018 1:10 PM
groyster1
3280 posts
Nov 27, 2018
1:34 PM
I would send them off to harp tech....this forum has many and they helped me with marine bands.....they are great harps
jbone
2759 posts
Nov 27, 2018
9:21 PM
Marine Band is the one everybody has tried to be. In recent years we've seen upgraded models from Hohner, the Deluxe, of which I am trying out several, and the
Crossover, which I have not tried yet.

There are lots of options these days for swapping combs and having harps optimized for better performance by individuals.

My search for years was for what I wanted Marine Band to be: sealed, air tight, and set up decent out of the box. It seems Hohner has stepped up and started doing better mass production after some years of slacking off.

I have and use other brands and models but I think you can do very well with Marine Band. Most times a gentle warm water rinse will keep a harp working. Rinse and then gently shake out the water, maybe wrap a paper towel around it over night to pull out moisture. I also use 91% alcohol if I have one that's too gunked up. But you have to disassemble to really clean one. That's one feature I like on the MB Deluxe.
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jbone
2760 posts
Nov 27, 2018
9:23 PM
Marine Band is the one everybody has tried to be. In recent years we've seen upgraded models from Hohner, the Deluxe, of which I am trying out several, and the
Crossover, which I have not tried yet.

There are lots of options these days for swapping combs and having harps optimized for better performance by individuals.

My search for years was for what I wanted Marine Band to be: sealed, air tight, and set up decent out of the box. It seems Hohner has stepped up and started doing better mass production after some years of slacking off.

I have and use other brands and models but I think you can do very well with Marine Band. Most times a gentle warm water rinse will keep a harp working. Rinse and then gently shake out the water, maybe wrap a paper towel around it over night to pull out moisture. I also use 91% alcohol if I have one that's too gunked up. But you have to disassemble to really clean one. That's one feature I like on the MB Deluxe.
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Thievin' Heathen
1086 posts
Nov 28, 2018
6:02 AM
1896's have always been serviceable with reassembling with the nails. If the nail holes become too loose you can glue a round tooth pick tip in the hole, cut it off real close and sand it flat. I use that method on old tremolos, echos & ocatve harps I come across. With 270 Chromatics, that is about the only option.

I am slower than X-mas and the standards are so high, I don't do it commercially, but I put screws in all my 1896's. It keeps me out of the bars at night, it's slightly cheaper than sailboat racing, hurts less than motorcycle racing and my wife knows where to find me.
nacoran
10004 posts
Nov 28, 2018
12:18 PM


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AppalachiaBlues
230 posts
Nov 28, 2018
1:16 PM
@Olivervelo - I would recommend spending a bit more for the Marine Band Deluxe. It will play better out of the box. The comb is much nicer. And you won't have the maintenance hassles of the MB 1896.

Last Edited by AppalachiaBlues on Nov 28, 2018 1:16 PM
groyster1
3281 posts
Nov 28, 2018
5:47 PM
thats true appalchia......but many of my marine bands are pre war,NOS and a few customized.....I do have a couple of deluxes that are customized......its all I need
HarveyHarp
775 posts
Nov 30, 2018
6:18 PM
for the price of a crossover, you can buy a Marine Band and get it professionally set up. And Denailed.
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Last Edited by HarveyHarp on Nov 30, 2018 6:21 PM
jbone
2762 posts
Nov 30, 2018
6:30 PM
I'm with AppalachiaBlues on this when I think about it. Some 12 or 14 years ago I began drilling and tapping reed plates and combs to make the MB's I had more airtight, and also screwed the covers down. It was quite a process and took a little time with pretty basic tools. It worked pretty well but thanks to more airtight harps I began flatting reeds out more often.

When I can afford to I'd rather get a good ootb harp than mess with them myself past a good cleanup when they need it. I had resolved pretty much to spend around $60 a harp for good harps and had a stock of Suzuki Manjis when I tried a few MB Deluxes some months ago. To me a pretty good harp for a gigging semi pro. I've used the Deluxes, among other harps, out live for over 6 months now and all are holding up well.

It's just easier to me to get harps I can used without much messing with or waiting by the mailbox.
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