Friday, December 11, 2009

Hohner Marine Band Crossover harp

I finally received my MBX harp after it had been on backorder at Musicians Friend for weeks.

First impressions:

-It is nicely made, looks like an MB Deluxe with a bamboo comb.

-It is loud! The back is opened up even more than the MBD, similar to the way I do it with my own Marine Band harps.

-Very responsive. I can play with very little breath and get good response and great tone. The tone is warm, less "brassy" than the MBD. Bends are smooth and precise.

-The compromise tuning sounds good.

-The little harp pouch that comes with it is a nod to Herring's 1923 Vintage harps. I hate those harps but the little cases are cool.

I'll report more after I've gigged this harp a few times. I'm looking forward to that.

Update 12/14/09: I lent my Xover harp to local harp phenom Ronnie Shellist. His verdict? The Crossover is "almost perfect." Most of Ronnie's harp collection is made up of expensive custom creations, so that is high praise. He said it is more airtight than the MBD. Great response, great playability. I listened to him get four distinct beautiful bend tones on the two-hole draw. Nice!


EV630 said...

I got the first one to arrive in Oz via the local distributor.

It's a nice harp - brassy, loud, great tuning. The only thing for me is that the reeds appear a little less robust than the MB Deluxes I use. This means that instead of using mixed embouchure, I just use TB-ing for the first 7 holes, as TB bends put less stress on the reeds and won't force them to give up the ghost when doing, say, a heavy slow vibrato bend on the 2 draw.

Mind you, I only have one (in C). Have put 4 on back order, as they are tough to get right now.


metal clarinet said...

Out of the box, the 4 draw barely works. I'm not good working on harps, but I now have it close to right. Probably I'll fool with it some more and break something. Tone is good and the bends on the bottom three draws are very easy.