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Which Chromatic is best to buy?

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Jan 27, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
I'm going to try to make the San Jose Dave Barrett Masterclass this year--and Dave and Dennis Gruenling are teaching a two-part lesson on Chromatic--as a part of the festivities.

I love that big Chro sound--but I haven't been able to find much on which one I should get to practice before the classes--anybody have opinions on this?

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Comments (14)

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Jan 29, 2009 12:26 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

the hands down most popular it seems is the hohner 279. i have used hering 5148 for a few years now though and find them to be a good solid harp that works well for me. lucite comb helps a lot, a wood comb with swell out and always gave me fits! best key would probably be a C although i have gotten a lot of use out of a G 5148 also.

my first chromatic was a hohner chrometta, which a lot of folks say is more a toy than anything. but i found it to be a great first chromatic, easy to play and fairly durable, plus a decent price at the time. they, like any hohner it seems, have gone up in the last year. but worth checking out.

mostly i use a chromatic in third position, which is what the blues and jazz guys i favor do. when i first started out and had no idea about other positions, i just used a chro in second, which made for some awkward moments since the notes are set up as a full chromatic scale, ne bends needed. one caution, bending on a chromatic can wreck a reed in a hurry. i found that out on a loud stage, trying to hear myself. to me resonant playing with a low or medium volume band is best. also good amplification, either p.a. or an amp with some authority and a clean sound.

i use either the p.a., or a replica '59 bassman 4x10 with a crystal mic. this gives great tone and clear reproduction depending on how the amp is set.

just my $.02!

Jan 29, 2009 12:40 PM GMT
Kingley Replied:

Hering 5148 is a nice chromatic to play.
The Hohner 270 Chromonica is the classic 12 hole one.

Personally I'd get a 16 hole chromatic, Hohner 64 Chromonica, Super 64 or a Hering 64 Deluxe

If you're playing blues you'll want that bottom octave a lot of the time.

Jan 29, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
Oldwailer Replied:

Thanks for the comments--I'm going to be watching Ebay for one of these.

Jan 29, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
Zooza Z Replied:

I like the Hohner super 64 was my first chromatic will probs buy another as well,but you will probably want a smaller 12 holer chromatic too I have also heard good things about the Suzuki line of chromatics

Jan 29, 2009 10:54 PM GMT
AirMojo (Ken H) Replied:

Those 12-hole Hering 5148's are nice. I wish I would've bought a Baritone C (lower octave). I have a few in other keys. Nice chro, but seems impossible to get these days... I bought mine at a few Buckeye Fest's over the past several years.

I have a Hohner CX-12 Tenor C that is nice.

I like the lower octave on a C in the 12-hole, rather than the regular with a higher octave. That's why I would go with a Tenor or Baritone (why can't they make up there minds!)

I have a Hohner CBH-2016 that I bought new years ago when I first started playing, and I like it a real lot! But not your typical blues sounds chromatic, but it will do it. Norton Buffalo liked those CBH's too (probably still does!).

I don't play chro's that much, but all harp players need them.

3rd position on them sounds really cool, and easy to play.

My favorite chro song has always been Norton Buffalo's "Puerto de Azul", but I've never totally figured it out.

Feb 03, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
deshiblue Replied:

Hey Wail...I have Herings 64 and several Velvet Voices in different keys

Theyre tight and both ends blow well. I could show you the soind on skype. gary

Feb 04, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
Oldwailer Replied:

Hey Deshiblue, What is your skype name? Mine is Oldwailer. Also--we just need to work out a time when we can get together. . .

Feb 05, 2009 9:31 AM GMT
Civet Cat Replied:

Man I like those Suzuki's!

Feb 05, 2009 12:24 PM GMT
Fredrik H Replied:

The Hering 16 hole 64 Chromatic is really good, and resonably priced as well.

Feb 05, 2009 1:50 PM GMT
HARPMAN Replied:


Feb 07, 2009 2:03 AM GMT
Madcat Replied:

I just got a new Hering Stan Harper Chromatic with the plastic body. It's the nicest chromatic I ever had! The Stan Harper Model is a 14 hole Chromatic so it has 2 extra holes on the low end extending the range down to a G note, making it the same range as a violin. WARNING: don't get the Stan Harper with the wooden body... the wood combs tend to warp a lot.

May 21, 2009 10:14 AM GMT
Bart L Replied:

Hi! I tried some chromatics (Larry Adler, CX12, Super Chromonica, Suzuki SCX-48, Seydel DeLuxe, and Chromonica 270 Deluxe).

Seydel DeLuxe is great to classical music (every hole is valved!).

I like to bend reeds a little bit in jazz tunes, so the best for me is Suzuki SCX-48 and CX12.

But I didn't try Seydel Saxony, Pat Bergeson told me many many goods about this model.

May 26, 2009 12:09 PM GMT
Ana R Replied:

I can't help you with this because I've just recently got my first chromatic harp.

It hohner's Super Chromonica 48 in C Baritone.

I've never tried to play on any other model so I can't compare it.

I'm still struggling with it and for now I can play some regular songs but still can't play any blues:)

May 26, 2009 3:01 PM GMT
Bluesie Replied:

I have a 270 Deluxe and I would not go for it. I find it sounds a bit on the thin side. I also have a Larry Adler Professional 16 from the fiftees and this one is a marvel. I could not compare with the new ones but, I heard it is not as good. By the way, hello Ana and have fun on the chromatic. I'd like to find one that can bend a bit at least to make it feel a bit more natural for a diatonic player. Some recommendation anyones?

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