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Customizing Golden Melodies

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Reed Triller
Aug 25, 2009 6:47 AM GMT

One thing I definitely want to do to my GM`s is bring the comb and reedplates flush with the front of the cover plates.

Are there any GM specific tutorials on this and other GM customizations anywhere? I have not seen any on

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Comments (31)

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Aug 25, 2009 1:48 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

Many of the customizations that you see on these videos can be applied to nearly any diatonic harp. There aren't any specific to it that I know of at this point, but it would be well worth your time to get in contact with as many customizers as possible.

Aug 26, 2009 6:38 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

On a side note - I took the first GM I got 3-4 months ago apart a few minutes ago planning to clean the reeds and all.

There is a simple youtube video about cleaning a GM which involved removing screws from the reedplates to seperate them from the comb.

I opened mine to find the reedplates attached by nails.

Maybe the GM in the video was customized with screws,or?....

Aug 26, 2009 1:49 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

The first GM's were all held together by nails (actually escutcheon pins) as was the SP20's, so there's no way that's gonna be a custom job at all because very few of them use nails. They were changed to screws during the late 80's, reverted back to nails for a short time i the 90's, and went back to screws again.

Aug 27, 2009 3:56 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Then considering its possible age(dating back at least to the 90s)I am even more sure the guy I bought it from was as honest as he seemed.

I got it from him for $15 bucks.He told me he hated how it felt in his hands so only tried it out for a couple minutes and put it away,There was really nothing to clean off of the reed plates or insides of the cover plates.

Aug 30, 2009 11:26 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Any reccomendations for getting the plastic comb flush with the coverplates all around? That and the edges of the reed plates extending out a bit are the only thing that ever bugged me about the GM.

Aug 31, 2009 3:29 AM GMT
walterharp Replied:

dremel grinding wheel, careful, can take care of that

Sep 01, 2009 4:06 PM GMT
Hammik Replied:

Here is a video from Dave Payne that I believe will help you get those reedplates to be more comfortable.

Sep 02, 2009 2:22 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

I`m familiar with that video.The issue other than the plates is the plastic comb.It seems like it would be difficult to grind down a plastic comb and have it be smooth.

Sep 02, 2009 5:38 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

yup dremmel will take edges of reed plates down, but grinding plastic is not such a great idea

Sep 02, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
Elk River Replied:

Dedicate one spare set of GM coverplates to the killing floor, put the killing floor coverplates on whatever harmonica you are working on while you are working on it. Then just sand the thing flush. If you want curvature, you're gonna have to use sandpaper I think. Otherwise, use a whetstone.

Sep 03, 2009 12:02 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

The mighty hath spoken!

Thanks for all the input :)

Sep 05, 2009 3:58 AM GMT
Elk River Replied:

Dude, you can totally grind the dog piss out of plastic, btw. I grind them on beltsanders and under jackboots with impunity. The Grim Belt Sander Reaper does not care for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee plastic. It'll grind plastic the same as it will wood. Just don't get in too big a hurry. Friction = heat. Wood comb catches on fire, whatever. Who cares? It just kind of smolders and I get that manly wood smoke smell in the shop and I'll maybe get the old clay Scottish MacDougal pipe to help it along. Plastic catches on fire, it is bad.

Sep 05, 2009 6:17 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Good to know.Can it be brought back to a shine by using finer and finer grit?

Sep 06, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Well,only one of my GM`s was $15.My other 3 GM`s were store bought at normal price.

Sep 06, 2009 7:58 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Nope.The $15 one,my first GM,was a C. I also have a G,A and D

Sep 06, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
Elk River Replied:

"Can it be brought back to a shine by using finer and finer grit?"

I don't know.

Sep 06, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

I was just wondering about that.Don`t want a rough comb,lol.Maybe i`ll just get some customs.

Sep 08, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Custom comb,not whole thing lol

Sep 08, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

I'd try for those.

Sep 08, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

Mark Lavoie, to the best of my knowledge, has largely been making combs for the Hohner MS series for most everybody else, and maple combs for Joe Spiers. The combs for the MS series will not fit a Golden Melody at all. Pearl makes them specifically for GM's. Lavoie's are sealed with beeswax, which is acheaper ealant, but also extremely dangerous to work with if you're not careful (you can get a very serious burn from the hot wax), but beeswax isn't completely moisture proof, and there's where the Pearl ones alone ar ebetter because the sealant being used isn't beeswax. Lavoie also makes the best sounding metal combs I've ever played for a diatonic using titanium, but again, they're only avalable for the Hohner MS series and again, they won't fit th e GM's at all.

Sep 08, 2009 10:51 PM GMT
Joe Replied:

Through a private agreement between us, Mark sells me raw, unfinished Vermont maple combs for my custom Marine Bands. I shape, flatten and seal them to my specifications. As far as I know, Bob is correct that he only sells combs for MS series harps.

Another source of quality combs is Chris Reynolds of He supplies the raw combs that I finish out for use with my Stage III harmonicas.

Oct 09, 2009 11:00 AM GMT
Randy S Replied:


I sell G.M. combs of the flush tine variety for $45.They also have brass inserts for the covers.

Oct 09, 2009 3:26 PM GMT
Sjoeberg D Replied:

Hello Ray,

You may want to check my Custom GM Combs out at Free shipping worldwide. Sterling silver pipes, for optimum sound projection, made so they are flush with the reed plates. etc. etc. Reed all about them at my web pages.

Best regards

Sjoeberg D

Oct 10, 2009 6:31 PM GMT
blogward Replied:

Hi D Sjoeberg: I like the look of those combs, have ordered one:)

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