Special 20's vs Lee Oskars vs Golden Melody

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Posted by Brian Cade on March 03, 2002 at 16:03:23:

Besides the difference in tuning of Special 20's and
Lee Oskars (justified vs equal temperament), I've noticed
several structural differences that ought to affect sound
and playability. Special 20's (and the Golden Melody) have
a thin plastic horizontal divider midway down the channel.
Lee Oskars don't. The Special 20 also has narrower channels
with greater separation between adjacent channels (i.e. thicker
dividers). Perhaps this is why it is easier to flatten out
reeds on Special 20's; too much air pressure in a narrower space.
I like the sound of both Special 20's (better for rhymic chording)
and Lee Oskars, but the Special 20's do seem to get flattened
reeds faster. I have tried the Golden Melody lately and find it a good
alternative to Lee Oskar's. The Golden Melody has reeds
mounted closer to the front and this seems to make them
a little more responsive to subtle breathing compared to
the Lee Oskars or Special 20's. Seems to me that reed location
in the channel (forward or back) should make a big
difference on how the harp plays as should channel width
and separation. But what is the effect of the horizontal divider in
the Special 20's and Golden Melody's? Any thoughts or
observations from other experienced players out there?

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