beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Opinions on new harp, please.
Opinions on new harp, please.
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69 posts
Sep 28, 2017
9:40 PM
Here are the harps I have-

Golden Melody-key C
Seydel Sessions steel-C
Seydel sessions steel-A
Seydel sessions-low E
Suzuki promaster- G
Hohner Marine band deluxe-d

I'm in love with the sessions steel key of A. I prefer full covers.

I also thoroughly enjoy the promaster in G.

What are you thoughts on getting a Suzuki Olive, in the key of A, to compare with my sessions; to find out how much of my preference is the key of the harp rather than the harp itself.

Versus, another sessions in an additional key?

Versus, a brass comb for my sessions?

If you don't cut it while it's hot......
30 posts
Sep 28, 2017
11:13 PM
Don't have any recommendations on the brand to get, but maybe get a Bb harp instead of another A? The two keys are close enough that you can compare preferences while still adding a new key. And Bb just sounds amazing in general.
2365 posts
Sep 29, 2017
4:03 AM
I second the Bb. We all go through the "buying different harp models" phase, it's great. But for musical experience, different keys is the thing. It's not just they are a different pitch, each has a flavour of it's own which far outweighs differences between makes/models.

Even going from C, Bb to A - they are surprisingly different.

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Sep 29, 2017 4:04 AM
2 posts
Sep 29, 2017
10:37 AM
Been back to playing for about 6 months and have a good collection going, only have 2 Olive's both play with a warm tone.

As I'm writing this I'm counting up how many Bb harps i have across different brands, looks like 6, I guess I like that key.
They are all a bit different, louder, softer, brighter, warmer, cheaper, more expensive.

If you don't have a B flat, you need a B flat, or two, or three.
164 posts
Sep 29, 2017
11:40 AM
Bb and D
268 posts
Sep 29, 2017
3:25 PM
For full covers, and a Bb, try an Olive or a Suzuki Bluesmaster. Te SSs are great but as MTG said, now's the time to experiment
5008 posts
Sep 29, 2017
4:31 PM
You will acquire keys as you go, depending on what you want to do. If you're playing along with record to learn things, it helps to have the right key, although pitch-shifting software can help in a pinch. If you sing, your key choices will be influenced by that.
If you are a blues player, you might tend to harps tuned more towards that style, especially if you're tongue blocking and using a chord-heavy textured approach. If you are playing a less textured, single note melodic style, maybe ET harps are more your thing.

I suppose the question might be, why do you want another harp right now? Do you just have too much money or are you curious about something? I suspect the latter, so what is driving your curiosity and which harp will go furthest toward answering that line of enquiry? And what will the next thing be?
2371 posts
Sep 30, 2017
12:11 AM
True, there are several dimensions to explore - different makes/models, different keys, different tunings and different temperaments within those tunings.

You should definitely get a Bb or you're missing out :) but the different temperaments one that SuperBee mentions is interesting. ET, compromise, Just Intonation - definitely worth trying these.
149 posts
Sep 30, 2017
11:17 AM
Try an Easttop from Rockin Ron. I bought a Bb from him fork think $17. 00. They come with a nice case that any harp will fit in. Hard to go wrong at that price and mine is a nice instrument. Something like a cross between a Manji and a Marine Band.
5009 posts
Sep 30, 2017
7:55 PM
I just thought of another thing related to different key harps:
Some harps, like the Hohners, are actually very different in different keys, because the length and width of reeds changes.
In Seydel 1847s and steel sessions and I think their brass diatonic harps too, the 4 draw reed, say, is the same length and width in a G harp as in a D harp. That is, they use the same slot dimensions across the board. Even the low tuned harps use the same slot sizes as the high pitched harps. I believe Suzuki are also consistent in this way, within their various product lines. With the Suzuki harps though, there are differences between models. Manji and olive use one template and the promaster, harpmaster, bluesmaster use another.
With Hohner though, in the 'handmade' harps (marine band and progressive 'families') the harps from Db up to hiG use a different template than the harps from C down to Low D. The 1 draw in a Db harp is the same dimensions as 3 draw in a C harp. When you wail on 4 draw of a D harp, that reed is the size of 6 draw in a C harp.
Consider your C harp, and how different the 6 slot reeds feel compared to the 4 slot. I think they are a little different. This is the sort of difference you're dealing with when you play a crossover in D compared to one in C.
Hohner also use different templates across keys in the MS harps; I believe there are 3 ranges in MS harps but I have forgotten the specifics.
The implication of this is that if you have a Marine Band Deluxe in D for instance, you might find the same model in a lower key to be a somewhat different experience.
2374 posts
Oct 01, 2017
1:11 AM
That's interesting. I have to say it though (hobby horse) it may be a different experience but do they sound any different to the listener?

Hello Crawforde, long time! In the UK there was one shop selling Easttops for a short while - only one model though. The one that's like a harpmaster. I got a couple and they are as good as anything else I've bought, and better than some. But now we can't get them here at all!
5011 posts
Oct 01, 2017
7:25 AM
I wouldn't think so. Maybe some but I don't think it would be significant. The thrust was about the subjective impression. More to your earlier point i thought, though on reflection perhaps I've misinterpreted that.
70 posts
Oct 01, 2017
8:34 AM

I have a birthday coming up and my mother in law has asked me what I'd like. I won the lottery with in laws, father in law is a great friend and fishing buddy and mother in law is the most amazing cook.

I thought a new harp would be fun.

@me harp dr
I like the price point on the Suzuki bluesmaster. Plus it appears to have the reed plates completely recessed within the comb. Which I think is one of the reasons I like the seydel sessions. Smooth interface!

Thanks guys this has been very helpful!
If you don't cut it while it's hot......
If you don't cut it while it's hot......

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