Posted by Jeremy Steinberg on January 14, 2003 at 18:02:31:
In Reply to: Lee Oskars posted by Doron Diamond on January 13, 2003 at 19:12:56:
Hello Don -
Every diatonic has some drawback or other, particularly when compared to the other manufacturers and models available. Yes, LO's are bigger. But they also have better 'right-out-of-the-box' playability, and they have a reputation among serious harp players of being more durable, i.e., the reeds will not flatten as quickly, and the harp will probably last longer than others, assuming you don't abuse it. As far as the 'feel' in your mouth, while it may feel 'fuller' than a Marine Band, try a 4-octave Hohner 64 Chromonica, Super 64, or Super 64X, if you want to feel 'big' in your mouth. It's actually a good exercise to play a large chromatic regularly as well - it will make the LO seem much smaller the next time you pick it up! And the chromatic scale will open up your thinking, and expand your diatonic technique!
Marine Bands are smaller, but wait for the pear wood combs to swell, and cause your lips problems. Also, not nearly as airtight as LO's. That's why alot of players use Special 20's (like John Popper). Plastic comb - and more air-tightness like the LOs, but smaller, so maybe more comfortable in your mouth.
Also, I'd probably recommend staying away from the Golden Melody's - they will feel even bigger in your mouth than the LOs!
Incidentally, the durability of LO reeds is thought to be associated with the final tunings done at the factory - the scratching is done to the reed length-wise, as compared to angled, or across the reed. The flow of the scraping might be more in 'tune' with the actual grain of the reed. MBs scraping is done more crosswise. Don't know about the others.
Hope this helps.
Regards, Jeremy c/o JSteinberg@ucwphilly.rr.com
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