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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Dabell Story and Noble
Dabell Story and Noble
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282 posts
Jul 07, 2021
12:46 PM
Who's tried these harps and what did you think? Are either of them compromise tuned?
Music speaks where words fail.
1734 posts
Jul 07, 2021
5:47 PM
I have some Nobles, and they're good harps. The tuning is closer to Equal temperament, and pretty accurate. I did give the make some feedback that ET was possibly not the best choice.

Here's a mostly improvised tune, Junior's Crawl, that I recorded recently with a maple-comb Noble in D:

Junior's Crawl
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Last Edited by WinslowYerxa on Jul 24, 2021 11:02 PM
283 posts
Jul 07, 2021
8:26 PM
Thanks, Winslow. Great tune. What a workout!
Music speaks where words fail.
287 posts
Jul 23, 2021
12:55 PM
Apparently, there's not much interest in DaBell in this group at present. I did try a Contender because it is just tuned. It was excellent out of the box. I would prefer vented cover plates but the harp was very well made. Six overblow was fine OOTB. I felt no need to adjust gaps which is rare. Nice full bodied acoustic tone. YMMV

Music speaks where words fail.
2261 posts
Jul 23, 2021
3:27 PM
I have 3 Story harps from a SPAH. One I bought, two I won at the Saturday raffle. They all would overblow on 6 right out of the box. They play easily and sound good to me. The C and A harps I got are definitely gig worthy. The D is good if I play more softly and don't hit the 2 draw bend hard. If I hit it hard, there is a strange sound and reed response, perhaps the reed twisting.

I have used the Story harps around the house and have not used them for gigs. They would do if I needed a harp, but I have accumulated so many good harps while trying out new models and brands over the years. I want to be able to hit a bend hard if so inclined in the moment.

IMO the DaBell Story harps are pretty good. My Easttops are decent, too. My Lee Oskars in my opinion fall in this same group of gig worthy but not optimal for my playing style. These brands are better than many other brand and models I have tried that I won't mention.

Still, my favorite brands and models of diatonics grouped in order are Hohner Crossovers/MBDs/(probably Hohner Rockets, if I had any)/Special 20s. Then come Manjis/Olives that I like best for loud playing, because they can take hard use and not fail. I do have to use a different note attack than on the Hohners. Finally I like Seydel Session Steels and 1847s (which are pricey). Seydel steel reed harps are good harps and have their own feel and sound.

For loud playing I like Manjis and Olives and for finesse the Hohners I listed.

EDIT: I like the Story comb and covers more than LOs and Easttops.

Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jul 24, 2021 12:08 PM
6995 posts
Jul 24, 2021
1:41 AM
I’ve seen quite a few favourable reviews but I don’t have any need for more harps. I bought some Kongsheng Nobel harps a while ago, and they were fine, not really my thing thanks to aluminium comb and ET and I knew that I wouldn’t use them so I moved them along. I’ve got plenty of harps in really comfortable and happy with, and more reeds than I will ever need so just not really driven to try different types at this point.
I believe the people who say they are good
529 posts
Jul 25, 2021
6:36 AM
I have not tried any newer brands/models, but completely concur with Doug. I, too, have found that Manjis are loud, reliable and very durable and that Sp 20s, Marine Band, Xovers, are very responsive, but require a lighter touch. I prefer the Hohners, but use mostly the Suzukis. I set up all my harps, which does somewhat level the playing field as it were, but those basic characteristics seem to remain. I, too, have enough harps that I’m satisfied with, at this point.
10359 posts
Jul 26, 2021
10:37 AM
They are really good harps. I got the Story/Noble deal that Rockin Rons has. I haven't ended up playing them a ton, but that's because I was upgrading some of my less used keys, but they are really good.

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