Header Graphic
Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Low Octave Harmonicas--Seydel?
Low Octave Harmonicas--Seydel?
Login  |  Register
Page: 1

1 post
Jan 25, 2021
8:47 AM
I'm doing some recording for a friend of a friend who wants me to play on a song in F#. In a standard cross I'm playing f#. Which is really high.

I don't have a low F#. And the only ones I can find online are made by Seydel. I'm not familiar with Seydel, although I can tell they make a variety of harps.

Any advice or reviews re: Seydel harps?

2 posts
Jan 25, 2021
8:59 AM
I should add that I usually play Hohners--either Special 20 or Marine Band.

How are various Seydels similar to or different from Hohners?
2225 posts
Jan 25, 2021
9:47 AM
I have Low F Silver, and Low D, and Low C Seydel SSs and they all work fine for me. I find that the Low C is not very bendable FOR ME in the low octave.

I don't have my Low F# in Seydel, but Low F# is 1/2 step below a G and should work fine for you.

Seydels have slightly different spacing and may be a little thicker in your mouth, but even though I play mainly Hohner SP20 or MB variants (and sometimes Manjis) I have not had a problem when I switch to Seydels. It was an easy adjustment for me, and their low SS harps are a relative bargain.

My Low F# harps are Hohner MB Deluxes, bought as they were being phased out, and a Low F# Big River I bought with Low Eb and Low E Big Rivers on clearance at a SPAH years ago. The Big Rivers initially played poorly, but they work better now on Zajac combs.

My MBD Low F#s are superior to the Big River in ease of playing.

Seydel SS Low F# should be fine for you. If I didn't already have several I would buy a Seydel SS Low F#.

Doug S.
3 posts
Jan 25, 2021
11:05 AM
Thanks Doug.
64 posts
Jan 25, 2021
11:08 AM
Why not play a B harmonica in F# ?
4 posts
Jan 25, 2021
11:13 AM
Thanks Tony

I see that I wasn't clear. The song is actually in Db. So crossed into second position I'd be playing an F#. I suppose I could play crossed into dorian mode and use a B. Hadn't really considered that.
127 posts
Jan 25, 2021
11:13 AM
Seydel makes low harps in both Stainless steel reeds and brass reeds. I usually play Hohner brass reeds harps and found that I like the brass reed Seydel low harps better that stainless steel. A bonus is they are less expensive.
14 posts
Jan 25, 2021
2:37 PM
I have a Low F and a Low A from Seydel. The Low F is from the "1847 SILVER" series, and the Low A from the "1847 Noble LOW" series (both with stainless steel reeds). Both harps are really nice, especially the Low F has some great bending possibilities in the low end.

I would recommend the "1847 SILVER", because the "1847 Noble LOW" have a 20% thicker comb, which, as I think, is not so easy to deal with.

Comparing them to my Hohner Rocket in Low D, it is easier to control bends on a Seydel 1847 SILVER. The chords sound quite a bit better on the Hohner, but when you order at SEYDEL you can choose just intonation for 20$ more, if you like ;)
5 posts
Jan 25, 2021
4:31 PM
Thanks Cotton and Troni. This is all helpful. I ordered one Seydel with the steel reeds and I'll see if I like it. I'm more worried that the spacing may be a little different from the Hohners than I am about the reeds.

Unless I have a problem with the spacing, next time I need a new harp I'll try a different Seydel--maybe with the brass reeds.
Dougie Blue
1 post
Jan 26, 2021
2:30 AM
I hope the Seydel you bought works for you - I was going to suggest ordering one with brass reeds as it will be much more like your Hohners. I bought some Seydels with SS reeds about 5 months ago, and they just don't work for me - I don't have the control over the bends I have with brass or bronze reeds. In short, some love them, some don't. You just have to try and see for yourself.
2226 posts
Jan 26, 2021
9:04 AM

After you have played it a couple weeks please let us know how the Seydel with steel reeds is working out for you.

For me it was a seamless transition with no issues, but I have played many makes and models of harps over the years. For me the Seydels with steel reeds are solid gigable harps.

Doug S.
7 posts
Jan 26, 2021
6:20 PM
I realize everyone has preferences and some don't like them but Lee Oskar makes a wide variety of low, high, and minor tunings all for the same price. I play Lee Oskar and Hohner Rockets and have never had problems with either. I did have some problems with some Special 20s about 15 years ago and that made me switch to the Lee Oskars. I only started playing Hohners again when the Rockets came out.

Last Edited by beachwolf on Jan 26, 2021 6:22 PM
8 posts
Jan 26, 2021
8:46 PM
After my last post I was on Reverb and saw a Hohner MB in low F# for $40 at a place called Guitar Graveyard. I have bought from them before and it is a very reliable seller.
264 posts
Jan 26, 2021
10:38 PM
Another thought - Brendan Power's Lucky 13 bass harmonicas. The first two I bought were F# and Db and I started writing songs to use them.
10337 posts
Jan 27, 2021
9:27 AM
I haven't played a low tuned Seydel with steel reeds but I've played low tuned Seydels and played Seydel's with steel reeds.

Great harps, every one of them. The spacing is just a tiny bit different. I switch back and forth between Hohners, Seydels, Kongsheng, Suzuki and Lee Oskars regularly. When I was first starting out the very slight spacing difference would throw me for the first couple minutes when I switched. Now I don't even notice.

One tip though. If you have problems with the spacing make sure you play with both hands. I remember noticing that if I just held the harp in my left hand I had a harder time. I mean, I play with both hands on the harp 90% of the time anyway, but having the second hand on the harp when the holes are a little different sort of makes your brain think of how far you move on the harp in terms of percentage of the whole harp vs. a distance if you have it in just one hand, and it gives you a little more precision.

Thread Organizer (A list of all sorts of useful threads)

First Post- May 8, 2009
6 posts
Feb 01, 2021
2:55 PM
The Seydel Session Steel Low F# showed up a few days ago. After playing some music on it 3 times now, I can say that it's a great sounding harp. I haven't noticed it being harder to play or requiring more air than a Marine Band or Special 20. But maybe I'm just extra full of hot air.

Thanks all for the advice.

2960 posts
Feb 01, 2021
6:00 PM
Manji comes in low keys, but not F# (although they made one for a Mooncat).
I tuned a SP20 down a half step for the one in my kit.
I did a similar thing with an Easttop (Danny G's rebrand, called Caberet) in Low F to get a low Eb.
It's nice to have high and low for certain keys (the ones on the end, high and low).
I'm thinking of Orange Dude Blues . . .

Last Edited by Gnarly on Feb 01, 2021 7:47 PM

Post a Message

(8192 Characters Left)

Modern Blues Harmonica supports

§The Jazz Foundation of America


§The Innocence Project





ADAM GUSSOW is an official endorser for HOHNER HARMONICAS