I play in a country blues folk punk band trio...stand up bass, 8 string banjo and harp. I have to play a fair bit of rhythm chucks and so far the good ol marine band has the perfect raspy tone and chording. The golden melody is great for me too, as i'm mostly a pucker player and it seems to have quicker action. Any opinions on one versus the other for modern roots music with an older feel to it?
In my opinion, the golden melody harps are harder to bend than the marine bands. When you play in first position, it may cause no difference, but for playing in second position I prefer the MB. My two golden melody harps also use a bit more air, the reeds respond a bit later. But I don't know if it's just a weakness of a particular harp or of the whole series.
They both use the same reeds but they use a different temperament. The Marine Band chords will sound smoother. The GM melodies will sound more in tune. I'd lean a bit more towards the MB for an older feel but it's fairly subtle (and I'm not a fan of the MB because of wood comb issues.) The Crossover has a temperament tuning in between the two and I think is a bit better harp, without the wood comb issues the MB has.