Seydel Chromatic DeLuxe
Winslow, you were the one who convinced me to give Seydel a try, and I've found I really love their diatonic line of harps and the 1847 in particular. Now, I'm moving on to the next step in my lessons, and I'm looking at adding a chromatic harp to my collection. I know that David is recommending the 270, but I would like to give Seydel a chance if the choice would be a good one.
I'm looking at the Chromatic DeLuxe model - the new one with the acrylic glass comb. I checked out your reviews at Harmonica Sessions, and listened to the wave clips for the models you tested. I really liked the sound of the 270. It seemed darker and more full-bodied. The Seydel Saxony sounded a bit tinny for my ears, and thin on the high end.
So a couple of questions...
Have you tried the Seydel DeLuxe model (with the acrylic comb)? Can you provide a comparison between the Seydel DeLuxe and the Hohner 270? If you've played with the Seydel, how would you characterize the sound? I've heard some complaints about the 270 for air-tightness, and I've seen some concerns posted about the wind-savers. Would you say the Seydel acrylic model has a tighter construction? How do you find the wind-saver action? If you had to choose, which would you pick (focusing on blues and rock as a genre)?
Since the chromatics can be a bit pricey, I want to make sure I select carefully up front. Thanks ahead!
The Deluxe and the Saxony are different instruments in so many ways - comb material, reed material, reedplate material, slide and mouthpiece design. So you can't go by the sound of a Saxony as a clue to the Deluxe.
One thing various people (including me) have experienced with the Deluxe is the slide binding - i.e. sticking and grinding in its channel. This almost never happens with the 270 in my experience. One of my students bought one because it was, at the time, going for $100, just after they introduced the acrylic comb after switching from wood. She wasn't all that happy (though some of that was due to the usual beginner problems with notes in the bottom octave sounding like a sick cow due to pre-bending by the player).
The one strike the standard 270 has against it is the difficulty of service due to the nailed-on reedplates. Not everyone likes the square holes, but for me that's not a problem (and I tongue block most of the time). Depending on the individual instrument, it can be tight or leaky - but that's true of many models. Much of the leakiness can be dealt with by reducing leakage in the slide/mouthpiece assembly. A cheap (but laborious) way to do this is to apply Scotch Tape to one side of the slide, then cut out the little holes. This makes the slide effectively thicker, reducing the gap between the slide and the neighboring parts (the backplate and the U-channel). You can also shave down the U-channel, but that takes tools and a certain expertise and confidence with making tiny and permanent alterations to metal parts.
One option is to go for the 270, then have a chromatic customizer like Steve Malerbi or Mike Easton set it up for you to get the real potential this model possesses in tonal richness and responsiveness.
Another way to go could be the Suzuki SCX-48. Much better slide and mouthpiece than either the Deluxe or the 270, tight plzstic-comb, screwed together construction. The tone is brighter than a 270, though.
Not much. The 270 Deluxe does have the distinct advantage of screwed-on reedplates.
If it were me, given a choice between a Seydel Deluxe and a 270 Deluxe, I'd be inclined to go with the 270.
How many layers of scotch tape should be used?
I've neve done it, but those who have usually use a single layer.
Cool. I'll try it out.