Back when I was playing harp all the time, I migrated to Hohner' "Pro Harps" because of their volume, rich tone, and reliability. Recently, I wanted to play harp-on-a-bracket on a song I'm working up on banjo. Since I'm now going back and forth between multiple banjos and guitars, I'm also considering getting a harp bracket and harps to go with each of the instruments I use most often. I need C, G, and D harps for my own repertoire.
The last "Pro Harp" I bought cost me $13, if that gives you any idea of how long I've had these. But now they are far too expensive to buy multiples at a time. ($45 plus mail-order).
I could buy Pro Harps in combos, with cases or whatever, but the combinations that had the harps I wanted included stuff and keys I didn't need or couldn't use, and cost too much.
When I started shopping, Musician's friend has three-packs of Special 20s for $98, but they were C, G, and A. A "D" would add $35 to the mix.
They had a case of 5 (C,G,D,A, and E) for $130. (They don't come up on searches any more but I found them here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-tra ... ica-5-pack
So I ordered that set. The case would hold 7, so I ordered F and Bb as well. No 95% of the keys I'm EVERY likely to encounter are covered.
I also ordered three more harp brackets, from Elderly because they had them cheap.
Today, I tried out a song I wanted to play on banjo and use a harp bracket for. It's in the key of A but requires a D harp, so I started with my first "Blues Harp," a D I bought back in the 1970s. It's too far gone, and I've mislaid my D Pro harp, so I fished out the new D Special 20.
In the bracket it doesn't seem to have quite as rich a tone as the Pro Harp. But most people probably don't buy these to use that way. In my hands, it's very responsive and loud, and I have no trouble coaching a good tone out of it. It also has all of the features that made my old Pro harps durable and low-maintenance, so I'll give it 5 stars. Since I'm buying multiples, I'll probably stay with these for my harmonica-bracket uses.
Of course that brings us to the ongoing conundrum - if I want a C,D, and G harp to put in the cases for my other most-used banjos and guitars, I'll have to buy another set with another E harp I certainly won't need.
Anybody have D pro harps or special twenties they have never played that they would like to trade for E harps I've never played?
Oh that's right hardly ANYBODY ever plays E harp.
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