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David's Tip of the Day: Custom Harmonicas - Why They're Really Nice, Part 2 (Longevity and Savings)

David Barrett Admin's picture

The #1 killer of harmonicas is loud playing. Each reed vibrates at a fixed speed. As you play louder, the reed doesn't vibrate any faster, its arc increases, placing greater forces at its flex point (the base, at the rivet end), causing earlier metal fatigue. Custom harmonicas require less air to sound, and players will commonly play softer due to this, making custom harmonicas last longer that standard harmonicas.

I've been playing the same set of Joe Filisko custom harmonicas ( since 2005, only needing one reed to be replaced and two replacement A Harmonicas (I use them a lot). I send in five to six harmonicas once a year to be fine-tuned. These harmonicas generally play well, they just benefit from a light tuning to make sure my octaves sound true. Though the initial investment is high, the savings is seen pretty quickly.

More thoughts on this tomorrow…