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TOPIC: Harmonica gaskets ?

Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7689

  • spideryak
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I see harmonica gaskets available for a variety of diatonics.
I'm not familiar with them, so I'm wondering if they are widely used or seldom or never.
Thanks
spdr
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Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7690

  • Reed Smith
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@Spdr,
I used to cut my own gaskets from Micro-pore surgical tape. I put 'em on Sp20s to make for a tighter seal,
I gave a gasketed Sp20 in A to Gerald (Suave) a couple years ago. Since Hohner Re-tooled in 04 I see no need.

If you are referring to the gaskets *Turbo Harp offers, I don't really know any more than what info is at the site.
I would shy away from *Teflon, after all you hear about non-stick pans.

I will tell you from experience that a double reed plate harmonica plays like a ton. Tom Halchak @ Blue Moon Harmonicas
has kits, and completely assembled harmonicas. I bought a kit, and did it myself.
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by Reed Smith.
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Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7691

  • Reed Smith
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@Spdr,
Gaskets are super easy to make. I use Curad latexfree* tape, it is 1" wide so it doesn't need trimming.
Simply cut a piece to length, apply it to the comb, and using an exacto knife, trim between the tines.
Re-assemble the harmonica, gasketed.
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Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7723

  • spideryak
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Thanks...I'm seeing them mostly for the special 20's and now for the rockets.
I'd be curious to give it a try...think it's overkill on the rockets ?
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Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7724

  • Reed Smith
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Suzuki and Seydel whipped Hohner's ass in the early part of this century, offering tight tolerances and
better responses because of it. Hohner meanwhile noticed the loss in sales (imagine that) and re-tooled in
04. The result is better instruments across their range, Hohner even now seals the flagship 1896 Marine Band
with lacquer.
The supreme customizer and harmonica wizard Joe Filisko claims to play MBs straight outta the box now no work done.

I love the Rocket harmonica, I do re-profile the reeds and flat sand the bottom comb, if I emboss I do just the tip of the
reed slot to make the reed "pop". For the most part a Special 20 and a Rocket are the same harmonica, the reed plates
are the same, the difference is in the comb and mouth covers. If you work on your own instruments, you have no doubt
trained your ear to hear where air is being lost. If your hearing it and feeling it when you play, then yes, a gasket will help.

Any time you make an adjustment to your harmonica, try to make an A-B comparison, before and after. Ask yourself, incrementally how is my work effecting the playability/responsiveness of my harmonica.

What a double reed plate does is gives the reed a longer throw in the slot, very responsive, luscious bends. The draw back
is because of the deeper slot, you can wear reeds out faster, especially if you pull bends to the floor, 'cause the floor is father away.

I'll give you a rule of thumb to go by when gapping, the gap should be as wide as the tip of the reed in that hole. If you notice the weighted reeds 1-3 are gapped about as thick as the tip.
The reed should enter the slot along its length, like a door closing.
If the reed tip or any part along the reed is entering first correct this. It is okay if a bit of the heel enters first but only there.

I flat sand the bottom reed plate to take out the "dimple" left after the rivets are punched thru. The dimple didn't allow the reed plate to seat as well as it should for air tightness. There is no need for this process on welded reed plates.
I hope this takes some of the mystery out of enhancing your harmonicas playability.
When you work on your instruments you get a much deeper understanding of how it all comes together.
Regards, Reed
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Harmonica gaskets ? 6 months 2 weeks ago #7743

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I appreciate the explanations.
This is my 1st upgrade where I actually set aside some $ to upgrade my harps
I think it took a few years till I finally said not all airy or missed notes were technique only. Plus I couldn't help but notice how many things people do to their harps to improve play- ability. I'm to old to spend the next 30 yrs trying to be figuring it all out..
I do depend on advice from those who have been playing all these years . ( picked up a 57 mic, then put a bulletizer on it...it does have a nice sound)

I think the expression would be something along the lines " take advice with a grain of salt..then season to your own taste"
merci encore, spdr
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by spideryak.
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