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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Got Suzuki Fabulous Just tuning today !
Got Suzuki Fabulous Just tuning today !
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Frankie
88 posts
Mar 15, 2018
11:04 AM
Today I received my Suzuki Fabulous harmonica the most expensive Suzuki harmonica :)

The whole day I am playing and trying to understand if it worth the money.

Some one told me I need to play it for a while and will realize that it worth it so I will keep playing :)

But I still do not understand why it is so heavy
it is 157 G . M

an it is heavy and not comfortable.

Last Edited by Frankie on Mar 15, 2018 11:05 AM
Flbl
134 posts
Mar 15, 2018
11:43 AM
My only experience with a Fabulous is a Manji with Fab reed plates, it sounds good but base on that I think I would have a lot of trouble buying a real one, and I'm a big fan of Suzuki harmonicas.

As for the weight, they have a metal comb, so I would think they would be similar to a Promaster or a Hammond.
Frankie
89 posts
Mar 15, 2018
12:39 PM
I have promaster it is 90 Gram but this one is 157 G it is very heavy too heavy.
Flbl
137 posts
Mar 15, 2018
1:08 PM
Wow, that's a big difference, I know the difference isn't in the reed plate,is the comb thicker? Honestly though on one hand I want one, but at the same time I could get 4 or 5 Manji's or Olives for the price of one Fabulous.
Could also buy custom harps for the same money.
Flbl
139 posts
Mar 16, 2018
6:37 AM
I looked on the Suzuki web site the Fabulous has a brass comb, that's why it's so heavy.
MindTheGap
2543 posts
Mar 16, 2018
10:22 AM
Gulp - that's £220 in the UK! Come on...twenty times more expensive than my favourite EastTop harp :)

It'd better make the tea...
Frankie
94 posts
Mar 17, 2018
9:26 AM
Thanks

Last Edited by Frankie on Mar 19, 2018 1:25 AM
MindTheGap
2544 posts
Mar 17, 2018
11:33 AM
Frankie - sure but that's opening a can of worms!

I wouldn't think that putting either brass or aluminium in your mouth is good idea. Stainless steel maybe not so bad but I don't suppose it's 'medical grade' that hey use for covers.

One of the features of brass instruments (I mean trumpets etc.) either plain or silver plated, is that they naturally supress the bacteria, mould etc that would otherwise grow in their warm, wet tubes. Might be doing the same to your mouth!

And what about the wood combs or the lacquer they seal them with? Just because wood is a natural product doesn't mean it's good to chew on. All kinds of nasty things in wood.

The plastic combs use ABS I believe which is used for storing food, so that's something. But it's plastic so, you know, always a question mark.

I had one very nice harp that played well but it tasted funny - so I stopped using it. Alarm bells.

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Mar 17, 2018 11:39 AM
Frankie
127 posts
Dec 06, 2021
1:46 AM
UPDATE: After using this harmonica for 3 years...



I sent a post but it seemed I sent it to wrong forum. After using this harmonica for 3 years I hate it so much. I hate it so much that I wonder if this harmonica is counterfeit , Now my question is there any way to know that a it is counterfeit? I purchased it on an online store located in Japan and I have purchased other harmonicas from same store without any problem. The sore seems to be reliable so I wonder

Last Edited by Frankie on Dec 06, 2021 1:46 AM
SuperBee
7016 posts
Dec 06, 2021
3:28 AM
The sound difference is largely down to the brass comb. Not my thing either.
Suzuki are really skilled at creating expensive harmonica lines. The Gold Promaster was super exxy when it came out, then there is the Pure Harp, and also the Fabulous.
I think there might be one or two other diatonic s they charge a lot for, but none of them interest me. Maybe once they would have but I think I’ve tried enough harps to know there’s a limit on how well as harp plays and how good it sounds to me. I suspect I have a tin ear about these things but I will try and stay relevant.
Is there a way to tell if its counterfeit?
I do not know. I’ve reckon if you could get it to a Suzuki dealer or repair person they would quickly tell you.
I’m not sure why, but in my mind I think you are living in Korea. If I’m correct, I think I can’t even recommend any people. I know one person in Japan who works on harps but otherwise I think it’s just the factory and dealers and I don’t know what representation Suzuki have in Korea. I think you bought this from an online store so that might limit your options too. If you could find someone who has a Fabulous w with which they’re happy maybe you could do comparison photos of the reeds and reedplates, look for tuning marks and such.
Suzuki do use some fairly distinctive markings on their plates but a good fake would copy that. I believe the comb should be silver-plated. Sounds like it’s genuine brass.
I expect the reeds should be lazer tuned. That’s a fairly distinctive look. If you see file marks or chisel marks or grinder marks I’d think that suspect.
Suzuki harps have good quality hardware. Compare the screws to other Suzuki harps you have. Do they look to be same or better quality, even threads, no burrs. Are there any rough edges?
Basically the fabulous would make an attractive target to fake because it has a high price tag, but it would not make sense to fake it if you had to produce a harp that cost just as much to make as a real one. You may as well just fake a cheaper harp that’s easier to copy. The fabulous would be tough to fake well, with that silver plated brass comb. How many facilities are even capable of knocking those out? It would take quite an investment on the forgers part.
So I doubt it’s a fake. I reckon it’s just a dud.

You know I’ve got 5 gold pro masters which were over $200 each when they were new. I bought them from a super-reputable dealer as NOS, in a clearance deal. All odd keys, B, Db, HiG, Ab, and F (not that odd but still not that popular). Anyway I got them for a cheap price and on the surface it was a fabulous deal but in reality they were a pack of absolute lemons. Not one of them is what I’d call “playable”.
On inspection they are obviously pretty old stock. The reed plates are not threaded on several. Instead the reed plate bolts thread into a flat nut. One of them had valve glue in several slots, making the reeds impossible to play. One had such deep chisel marks in a reed that the reed was severely compromised.
And the combs were all horrible. Aluminium of course but not flat. I got a couple of custom combs which did improve them somewhat but still hard work to play.
I’ll tell you how bad these are. The best of them is the B harp and even with a custom flat comb, I’d still rather play the late 80s marine band I found in a box of broken junk harps. That old marine band is so bad that the original owner threw it away with his broken harps, but it’s still better than the best of these 5 gold promasters.
You might think I’m exaggerating. I swear I am not.
So now that I’ve got that off my chest, my point is that the fact a manufacture charges a high price for a harp made from exotic and rare materials is really no indication one can be assured of high performance.
Obviously there are awesome players who use Suzuki products and find them wonderful, but dud products still get out the door at times.
For me, my aspirations don’t go to much I can’t do on a Marine Band, so probably take my ravings with a heaped teaspoon of salts, but I doubt you’ve got a fake fabulous.
Frankie
128 posts
Dec 06, 2021
3:57 AM
Thanks for your help

Please see this

https://i.imgur.com/rMEmARu.jpg

What do you think? Nothing like laser :)

Last Edited by Frankie on Dec 06, 2021 3:58 AM
SuperBee
7017 posts
Dec 06, 2021
5:57 AM
That looks like totally unprofessional hack work, like not a new harp. Like something from the reject bin which has been scavenged. You can see where the file has been dragged over the edge of the reed plate taking chunks out of the edge.
I don’t know if it’s a fake but it’s definitely not something that should have come out of the factory like that. Egads!
Frankie
131 posts
Dec 06, 2021
7:57 AM
Well I suppose I can do nothing about it as 3 years passed :)
Frankie
133 posts
Dec 06, 2021
9:03 PM
:) I contacted the seller just in case and showed him the image. This is their answer:


Regarding the harmonica that purchased in 2018,
We are handling genuine harmonica.

In addition, small scratches as shown in the image, are thought to
have been attached during the manufacturer's manufacturing process.
and also discoloration is thought to be due to aging, so it is not
considered to be an individual defect.

Moreover,It has already been 3 years since the purchase,The warranty
has already expired.
SuperBee
7019 posts
Dec 06, 2021
10:12 PM
Wow. I think those scratches on the lip of the plate are unacceptable. I read Tom Halchak’s post about the laser tuning and understand it doesn’t apply to the Fabulous, so that’s ok but those marks where they dragged the file across the leading edge is unacceptable to me. If I did that to a client’s harp I’d be sacked, and I’m the boss.
I see Tom offered to fix it for you. Good offer but depends if you feel like throwing good money after bad maybe. If you don’t like the weight and timbre from the brass, you might still not like it even after Tom has sorted it out.
Frankie
134 posts
Dec 06, 2021
11:09 PM
Thanks SuperBee , Actually money is not that much a problem so I just ignore it and keep that in my collection . Now I have more than 50 harmonicas from different companies some more than 2 or 3 in same keys , So let it be but I am happy because after buying this harmonica I stopped spending more money :) Next time I buy a harmonica I will also open it and have a look what it going on in there.


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