Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > I was talking to Hering...
I was talking to Hering...
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10073 posts
Mar 13, 2019
6:28 PM
I was trying to make a list of what harps had nickel in them for someone with a nickel allergy and that got me reaching out to a any brand I could find and I managed to track down Hering's FB page. I'd tried accessing their old site but it was gone- but I'd seen a few on ebay recently so I suspected they were still around. They sent me a link to their new site.

No idea how to get their harps from Brazil (and it may not get better... their new president sounds pretty nuts) but I thought I'd share the link for people who like looking at a variety of harmonicas.


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First Post- May 8, 2009
805 posts
Mar 13, 2019
6:52 PM
Interesting, thanks. I used to have one of their chromatics years ago. It was nice, except the windsavers kept falling off.

Do you know much about the new cheapo harps coming out of China? Brands, quality etc?

Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of all the harmonica brands, as it seems a bunch of new ones have appeared recently.

Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website
2855 posts
Mar 13, 2019
8:05 PM
I had a few different Hering models some years ago. Still have and use a low C chromatic. Good harp. The 1923 Vintage model was a beautiful instrument but the reeds were either very soft or very thin. I killed a lot of reeds on the '23's and with the big lag on getting either reed plates or new harps into the US I had to leave them behind.
Music and travel destroy prejudice.



10074 posts
Mar 13, 2019
10:15 PM
Kongsheng seems to be quality from what I hear. I'm still waiting for my first one. You won't save much money on them though. The top of the line model from them runs $50.

I've got one Easttop. You can get them on alibaba a bit cheaper than Rons, ($15-$25) but from alibaba it will take about a month to arrive. From Rons it will be a couple days. For a $15 harp it is really good. I've been told you can't supe them up like you can a $40 harp, but I think, OTTB it plays pretty close to a Sp20 or LE.

Don't know anything about Shinling, and Huang still doesn't have the quality they used to. I had a $5 Swan that played better than a $5 Hohner.

The Easttop was good enough, and you can get package deals on a bunch of them, that I've considered buying a full set for a backup set. They seem to have different color covers on some models but I haven't figured out the system. I wish they'd do different colors on a full set. That would make it easy to tell them apart. They are labeled pretty well though.

So, I know of Hohner and Seydel (German), Tombo (LO) and Suzuki (Japan), Hering (Brazil), Kongsheng, Easttop, Swan, Huang (Chinese), Shinling, Melissa and Doug... there was an Italian company a few years ago called Murano... they still seem to sell instruments but I think they were just rebranded.

Yonberg (French) seems to be switching from Seydel reeds to their own reeds which would bump them up to full manufacturers. There is a Czech company that makes reeds, including for accordions, but also some harmonica ones, including I think, some for a customizer.

And someone makes Johnsons, but I have no idea who, but they've been around the whole time I've been playing. And there are a bunch of other names that seem to be rebrands -Fender, SonnyBoy (for Ben H. in England, he's a harp teacher).

A lot of smaller brands that I suspect are vanity brands. I think they are all out of China, although who knows. Someone sold me a new old stock Polish harmonica. Who know Poland had a harmonica company at one point. (Octave harp. It's name translated into Boy Scout or just Scout).

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First Post- May 8, 2009
807 posts
Mar 13, 2019
10:45 PM
Very interesting. Thanks!
Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website
5854 posts
Mar 14, 2019
4:57 AM
I found the remains of a harp on a beach once...turned out it was a Hering which I thought was quite amusing.
Or did I dream that?

Thanks for the address, Nate.
Thievin' Heathen
1124 posts
Mar 18, 2019
5:08 AM
Saturday, I was perusing Facebook Marketplace for harmonicas and came across a couple of Hering Charlie Musselwhite chromatics. Bb and an E. It looked like a private owner but turned out to be a pawn shop. I went to check them out anyway, but was not impressed with what I found. The Bb had a cracked acrylic comb and the E felt loose, rattley, and just generally cheaply made. For a moment I considered making a low ball offer to try to get the rounded mouth pieces and cover plates, but I was already disgusted with the expedition and left it all with them. Sticking with 270's for the time being. Some of them are real jewels. I enjoyed the Hering website.
899 posts
Mar 18, 2019
6:03 AM
In regards to Huang not having the quality they used to: they aren't made at the same factory anymore. The factory that used to produce Huangs back in the '80's is now making Golden Bird. They have been at SPAH for the last two years, and have two people distributing them here in the US: Connor Frontera and Jarred Goldweber.
50 posts
Mar 18, 2019
8:14 AM
@Robert: I once bought a Hering Master Solo which turned out to be EXACTLY the same harp as a Swan 12-24, only at 6 x the price ... very cheaply made and almost unplayable. The Special 24 seems to have replaced the Master Solo and I would be willing to give it a try if I can lay my hands on one.
1928 posts
Mar 18, 2019
8:37 AM
I haven't tried the new Herings, but do still have a 8 older different keyed Hering chromatics as well as 5 keys of 1923 Vintage Harps. My comments relate to older Hering harmonicas, not new production.

I love how my Hering chromatics ($80 at the time) play, and how responsive they are to playing with expression. They are less leaky than my old Hohner 270s and I like the Hering round hole mouthpieces. However, the expressive reeds do not stand up well under hard playing and reeds would go flat.

I bought many replacement "combos" (reed plates mounted on a comb, just switch covers and mouthpiece for a "new" instrument) with gig money back when I lacked breath control and was playing them too hard at many gigs.

Replacement combos were relatively inexpensive then, under $40. I have also replaced flat reeds in Hering chromatics using good reeds from those damaged combos.

The Hering 1923s I bought have a nice just intonation, though a bit thin sounding. The wooden combs were very inconsistently flat, with one having deep saw marks beyond sanding flat, causing some leakiness. I seldom play them. My one "Hering Blues" bought in that era did not hold up for long, either.

I stocked up on more replacement chromatic "combos" in different keys at great discount when a vendor had an auction at a SPAH after Hering USA went away, so now I am set up with older Hering chromatic parts for quite a while. Still, I am interested in learning about the revitalized Hering Co. products.

I did buy a Caberet chromatic by EastTop per Danny G. at a SPAH a couple years back and I like it. Very airtight and responsive, with phosphor bronze reeds. It is cross tuned. I prefer straight tuned chromatics for ease of repair (so I easily know which plate a problematic reed is on), but so far I haven't had a need to take it apart to work on reeds.

I have some inexpensive riveted EastTop diatonics that play pretty well, though I didn't care for the black painted covers and swapped in some old Big River covers. All I needed to do to swap was some minor bending of the cover support back tabs.

Doug S.
Lee Shamrock
15 posts
Mar 20, 2019
5:36 PM
Twenty years ago I bought 2 Hering diatonics. Both had multiple reed failures after very little playing time. Never bought another.

Last Edited by Lee Shamrock on Mar 20, 2019 5:36 PM
64 posts
Mar 28, 2019
4:32 AM
I love my SHG-Hering "See See Rider" and their "Special 24" as well. The SSR is a 12-hole chromatic with a "C6" tuning, very nice option there. It is "straight-tuned." The Special 24 is like the old Huang Cadet Soloist only smaller, closer to the size of a standard 10-hole diatonic. It is a solo-tuned diatonic. Both are top quality harps. I love all my Hering harps, never a problem with any of them. I own several keys of the former Hering 501/48 12-hole chromatics, beautiful harps. I have one Hering "Golden Blow" diatonic that is super-easy to ob/od, very nice, full coverplates. And, I have one of the former Hering "Master Blues" with a synthetic, black comb, a very loud harp, also ob/od-friendly. SHG-Hering harmonicas are great, in my book, so glad they are up and running again. Now to find them a U.S. distributor !!!

Last Edited by ROBERT TEMPLE II on Mar 28, 2019 12:29 PM

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