Posted by Jeremy Steinberg on December 17, 2002 at 19:33:41:
In Reply to: Difference in Harps Question posted by Andrea on December 17, 2002 at 19:22:23:
: I was interested in learning to play the harp. I saw one "advertised" on ebay as a Hohner Special 20 Marine Band c key. Is there any difference between Hohner Special 20's and the Marine band Types? if so, what are they?
: Any help for this amature is MUCH appreciated. Thank you
The marine band diatonic harmonica is the only one that still uses a pear wood comb, or body. The Special 20, which John Popper uses, among others, has a plastic body, as do the Golden Melody, LO, Hering blues, Suzuki blues master, etc. The Meisterclasse, perhaps the best diatonic made, uses a milled aluminum body.
The wood comb is considered to have 'warmer' acoustic properties, but has problems with swelling, leakage, etc. The plastic bodied diatonics have a 'brighter' tone, but they are more airtight, which makes playing them more efficient, and easier.
Of course, there are customizers in the marketplace who will make a marine band more airtight, adjust the reed gaps, cover plates, etc., all for a fee...
Regards, Jeremy c/o JSteinberg@ucwphilly.rr.com
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