Tested model: Marine Band in C and G customized
by Tony Ramos.
Playing these harps is a pleasure every harp player
should experience one day. Believe me, I'm not kidding. I think
I'll always remember the first run I've played on a Ramos in
So what's special about these harps?
First the shape of the covers is not the standard
Marine Band shape. The curvature is bigger, which is very comfortable
to play and removes the first draw rattling problem on low key
harps. The covers only have 2 screw holes (instead of 4 on standard
Marine Band) and the reedplates are screwed to the comb.
Then, the wooden comb has been sealed and every
edge has been rounded: the comb, the plates, everything. The
finition is superb.
In terms of playability, these harps are simply
incredibly airtight. They respond to the smallest blow. The
harp can whisper, cry, shout, ... everything the player wants
The sound is brighter than the factory harps one.
This is probably due to high embossing of the reed slots. Fine
Tuning is perfect (Tony makes it to your taste).
This is craftmanship at its best, clearly above
everything else I've played, including other custom harps (I
haven't really tried Filiskos though). Some may argue that the
price is expensive but believe me, it's cheap for both the amount
of work and the result.
Unfortunately, Tony has stopped taking orders
for custom harps as he has taken over HarpOnline. But he will
from time to time offer some custom harps in the Harp Online
shop. If by chance you're here at the good time, buy one. You'll
- Beautiful instrument. Perfect finition. THE bluesharp!
- Customized instrument at its best. Extremely 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.
- Rounder covers (better lip grip and no first draw rattling).
- Probably among the 2 or 3 best harps in the world.
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!