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I've not been playing much over the last year or so but when I do I tend to pick up my Hohner Deuce and a Quarter to play. It's in the key of A so it doesn't sound so squeaky as the higher keys and that wooden comb just has a sound to it that I love. I know that folks say there's no real difference between wood and plastic but I swear I can hear a difference. I've sealed it with 4 coats of Butcher's Block Oil so it's water tight so I don't have to worry about swelling with it. If/When this harp dies(as they all do if you play them a lot) I'll probably go with a Hohner Blues Harp since it's the closest thing I'll be able to find that'll have the same wooden comb as the Deuce and the price won't break the bank. Hohner Blues Harps are only about $34 bucks and once it's comb has been sealed it should be as nice as the Deuce and a Quarter.
I have Hohner Special 20s and a Lee Oskar, which are both very good, but the Suzuki Hammond impresses me the most so far I've what I've tried. Rather pricey and might not suit your style, but I like it.
TN Frank, I like the Hohner Blues Band harps, too. Also Huang Silvertones. I don't wear them out very quickly, because I only play them on less than a half dozen songs during the course of the night, as the mood strikes me.
Mikeo wrote: Have a couple of Hohner Golden Melody's that have really lasted. I also have the whole kit and kaboodle of Hohner Special 20's, and very old Hohner260 Chromatic.
Harps used to be cheap, but not any more
Yup...when I started playing harmonica (back when dinosaurs still ruled much of the Earth), a Marine Band was $3.95, a Blues Harp was about a buck more...nowdays, either'll run just south of $40!
My beloved Big River Harps nowdays run about $25, but they seem to last a lot longer...I used to go through 5 Marine Bands (A, C, D, E and G) 2-3X a year, but this last batch of BRHs have held up for almost 5 years, and I don't know that I'm any more careful w/ 'em than I've ever been...otoh, I have a brand new set of BRHs on standby.
Golden Melody from Hohner and Lee Oskar although I also like the good ol' Hohner Blues Harp.
I don't play the blues, the blues is just what comes out of me when I play.----------------------------------------------------------------------Harmonica (Lee Oskar & Hohner Golden Melody)Ukulele (National, Martin, Gibson, Kala)Electric Guitar (Fender MIA Strat, AVRI Tele, MIM Duo Sonic)Conga (LP "shorty" Originals Conga, Aspire quinto)
I just got a Hohner Special 20, and it's my favorite harp. The sound is just great - to me, perfect - loud, clear,detailed, soulful, three-dimensional. As the cliche goes, it's the sound I hear in my head when I'm thinking harp.
I even did something I've never done - phoned the music store to tell them how much I loved it.