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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > old Folkmaster and Huang S D
old Folkmaster and Huang S D
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6404 posts
Dec 27, 2019
1:55 AM
Today I found a couple of harps from the very early days of beginning, which was around 24 years ago, ‘95 or ‘96. ‘96 I think.
Folkmaster, key G, and Huang Silvertone Deluxe, key D

I think I didn’t play the Suzuki much. Mainly because the key in combination with the flat little Folkmaster covers probably didn’t project much and in those times the way I played it was not very satisfying.
The Huang on the other hand, was used a lot. I recall I really liked it and probably abused it terribly.

They had both been put away clean so out of interest I played them both today.

The Huang still was sweet to play. I’ve played a lot of harps and I still really value D harps. I use the key for nearly half my repertoire. I’ve got some nice custom D harps. This old Huang, although its needs a tune up, is still up there for me. If I tuned it, I could use it on a gig no problem.

The Folkmaster, to my surprise, was quite playable. Much better than I expected. I did not even mind the shape.

Someone recently said the current Folkmaster is made in the factory where the Huangs were made back in the day when they were good. The implication being that a Folkmaster with Huang covers could be a decent unit.
6405 posts
Dec 27, 2019
1:56 AM
Best captcha for a while:
Fatd 4u
761 posts
Dec 27, 2019
6:51 AM
I have a Bb Huang Silvertone from back in the early 90's and it plays quite well. It gets a lot of use during the summer because I keep it in my fishing bucket to play while I'm sitting on the river bank waiting for mr.big catfish to bite.
Wisdom does not always come with old age. Sometimes old age arrives alone.
936 posts
Dec 27, 2019
9:47 AM
The factory that made the Huang's from the 80's and 90's now makes Golden Birds. I heard that from Alan, the owner of Golden Bird.
6407 posts
Dec 27, 2019
2:13 PM
Thanks, Philosofy.
Your post prompted me to go looking. Eventually I found that post I was thinking of, and yes, I had misunderstood.
It’s not that Folkmaster is now made in the factory that once made Huang (which is how I read it at first).
It’s that the Folkmaster seems to be the same harp as the Huang, just with different covers.

This totally aligns with some other info I noticed yesterday when I was looking for a reed and consulted Pat Missin’s document “SLOTS.txt”

He listed the Huang and Folkmaster together, as in “Huang/Folkmaster”.

By the way, slot 9 of a Seydel 12 hole chromatic is very similar dimensions as slot 7 of a Lee Oskar.
I had a ‘Jim’s True Chromatic’ in need of a blow 9, which is E5.

Tricky reed to find. Most C chromatic will have a C6 - Eb6 in that slot. I had a Lee Oskar Low F, and the draw 7 (E5) was about <0.5mm too long, but almost exactly the right width. After carefully trimming it and fitting, it measured at about 45 cents below F#5 which was easy enough to bring back to E5

Lee Oskar reeds are at least as good as Seydel brass so I’m quite happy with the outcome.

That Pat Missin document is a good resource. It has saved me a lot of time.
Also, collecting old reedplates of decent quality reeds. I don’t get much call to repair Lee Oskar harps but more than once I’ve been able to use the reeds in other harps.
Most other types I looked at didn’t get narrow enough until slot 8, by which time pitches were just too high in the common range.
I had to replace the 7 slot reed in this one too. That was wider, and a 6 slot reed from a Low D 1847 was a perfect fit.

I actually love repairing things.
3508 posts
Dec 27, 2019
5:03 PM
the only 5 draw reeds Ive blown were in 2 folkmasters…...that's a common reed to blow......those reeds must be very weak
6408 posts
Dec 27, 2019
6:29 PM
yeah, probably. i did the retro fit with Silvertone Deluxe covers and discovered they aren't fatter at all, but there probably is a bigger overall volume of space under the covers due to the Silvertone being full-length. and, yes, they are obviously the same harps with different covers. the Star Performers appear to have the same reeds too, just with a different shape reedplate and comb.
After giving it a decent session with the huang covers in place. i've decided my G folkmaster is unlikely to see much more action while it remains in my possession, but its quite a decently playable harp in its way
Bob E
7 posts
Jan 02, 2020
4:18 PM
Funny, I've had a G folkmaster for about a year that doesn't get played much either. It's a pretty decent harp for no more than what you can buy them for.
Are the new Huang's still any good? I was just looking for some reviews on those today.
6414 posts
Jan 02, 2020
5:28 PM
Haven’t seen good words written about the contemporaneous production Huang for quite a while. “Patchy” is about as good as it gets. I think it’s a case of you might get lucky but probably not.

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