At the moment of writing this the Seydel harmonicas are very good at playing overblows. As for value for money the session steel is unbeatable. Some of the high reeds might need some wax to counteract squealing but that goes for most harps and the steel reeds are very strong and apparently will last for a very long time. Especially for the beginning overblower this is an interesting thing because learning to overblow remains a good way of killing a harp.
- The Seydel 1847
- The Seydel Session Steel
- The Hohner Crossover
- The Suzuki Manji
- The Suzuki Firebreath
- The Hohner Special 20
If you isolate the reeds you can get a feel for what the reeds need in order to overblow well.
I noticed though that 1 OB on the low F shoots all the way up to a C if I'm not careful when all I want is an Ab. I think the difference is that you do not need to be spot on in your technique to achieve the overblow or regular bends on the low octive harp. So its proably good for the beginner or when playing a longer composition.
I think at least its worth checking out.
If I meet somebody with a low F I'll certainly give it a try.
The harps sounds good by themselves, but to play with a band the frequency is not high enough to compliment the singer or guitar. In other words, the sound doesn't quite project through the other instruments.
This is a great website!
I don't quite see how they would be easier to overblow than normal special 20's especially if they don't sound good with other instruments.
Warning, the Low octave Harps are great for practice but do not sound good when trying to sit in with guitar or a band.
I only ever found them on ebay.
I just spoke to Seydel and we discussed the favorite black and how their company is developing. He seemed to think that the 1847 classic (wooden comb) was the best harp for overblowing. I'll probably buy both but I wanted to know what you thought, and if you have tried it. The company is also aiming to make all their harps modular and perhaps this would be a good group for you to design a harp with, they were very complimentary of you, your site and I'm sure we would all buy a few.
when did you last get an out of the box GM to play? Setup of Hohner harmonicas has improved a lot over the last 3 years, as can be seen on the Marine Band Deluxe.
I agree with Tinus - at present my favorite harp (even though I only tried one so far) is the Seydel 1847. Mind you, it does need work to get it to be OB-friendlier (concerning squeals especially).
Also, Howard Levy used to claim that a harp with the reeds closer to the mouth (such as Marine Bands, Seydel 1847) is better for OB-ing - I always thought this was BS, but through the years I've come to think he might be spot on (pun intended ;-))
I tried the seydell and it is very good for overblow playing all it needs is a little anty squeek meassures.
There are a few other new harps that are said to be very good for overblow playing; the Suzuki Firebreath and the Hering Golden Blow (terrible name that). Especially the Golden blow, since it appears to have all the modifications that are described on this site already done to it in the factory.
I haven't tried those harps yet.
I recently picked up a Special 20 and found it the easiest harp to OB on I've played so far, but my only other experience has been with Marine Bands and Big Rivers, so I'm no expert. I haven't had it very long, so it's too new and shiny for me to risk buggering it up by fiddling around inside, but even out of the box i can get a pretty clear 6 OB (after a few goes).
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