Tested model: Hybrid
in A and C (overblow setup)
The best bang for your
Harponline is German store directed by Michael
Timler, a major actor of the harmonica industry. Michael is a musician who
created Harponline following his encounter with Classical Harp Player Franz
Chmel as they both thought there was definitely something to do regarding
harmonica maintenance. Harponline was the first (and probably still the
only one) store to provide individual reeds and valves for all Hohner
After a time at Seydel as a sales manager, Michael came back to Harponline
and pushed its original concept further, proposing additional options like
"Fine Tuning", "Overblow Setup", "Smooth
Edges" "Harponline quality checked" (see http://www.harponline.de/ for details) and semi-customised harps, which provide an excellent
quality level for a moderate price. This strategy, plus Michael's
dedication to customers satisfaction definitely ranks Harponline among the
top Harp Web Stores.
Probably Harponline' best original idea is to create an hybrid of Special
20 (covers) and Marine Band (reedplates), with an extremely well designed
translucid comb. The harp is really beautiful, the finition is excellent.
Its rounded edges and it small size (slightly smaller than a Special 20
comb) make it extremely pleasant to hold. The front grid is smooth, which
eases the Tongue Blocking. As all the Harponline harps there is a strong
focus on maintenance and the reedplates are screwed to the comb. Plus the
small tool delivered with the harp to screw/unscrew is quite handy for reed
The first run reveals a surprisingly airtight instrument, similar to many
customised harps (obviously the harp benefits from its very flat comb). As
a result the harp answers to the smallest blow, the sound is powerful and
malleable (special mention to the first three holes), the bends are clean
and the overblows are easy to obtain and to sustain at low volume. The
natural notes can still be attacked quite hard.
All in all, the Hybrid is a great harp, totally at
ease with both traditional and chromatic playing. A must have...
- Beautiful instrument. Excellent finition. Fits well in the hand
- Very airtight, responsive and easy to bend.
- The overblows are clean and can be sustained with vibrato.
- The harp can still be played hard without choking the 4th, 5th
and 6th blow.
- Measures to many Customised Harmonicas!
- Very Moderate Price
How to play it:
The Marine Band being a
regular richter harmonica, playing chromatically implies to master the
overblows. See the standard richter harps chromatic playing
In our opinion these
harps really make the chromatic playing reachable. The main problems
inherent in the overblows are drastically reduced, allowing a good overall
sound and a good expressivity. And these harps are so small that one can
bring them anywhere!