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Marine Band with Star on back

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Eric S
Mar 14, 2010 7:14 AM GMT

Just aquired a couple of Marine Bands with Six pointed stars in the circle on the back. Do they Have any special significance in harmonica lore? Is this a pre WWII harp? Anything I should look out for when trying to customize it? Eric S.

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Comments (5)

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Mar 14, 2010 8:23 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

If it has the Star of David on it, it's a pre-WWII harp and personally, I'd leave it alone as they play better than most of the stuff that's around now. They used bell metal brass, which hasn't been made since prior to WWII and those harps have been the gold standard for decades. The brass is a much softer brass, tho for reed material, was stronger than much of what's being used now.

I own several of them, including a few that were made in the early 1900's and the only place they are gonna be is in my house.

Mar 17, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

Here's a link to Pat Missin's "How has the Hohner Marine Band changed over the years" web page.

It will let you get a better sense of how old your MB's are.

Required reading for any serious harp student.

ain't busted but I'm badly bent

Mar 18, 2010 1:14 AM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

If you subscribe to harp customizer Richard Sleigh's netters, he has for free an entire PDF file about the Marine Band that's worth it.

Mar 20, 2010 6:14 AM GMT
Eric S Replied:

I have ch'd out Pat Missans site and got some good information there, the combs are rusty and corroded any way to bring them back? Bob you are right they have a very sweet sounEric S.

Apr 15, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

Check out Jason Ricci's youtube videos on cleaning harps. He goes a bit overboard but it's good info. There are also several really good youtube series on fixing up old marine bands, cleaning, sanding and sealing the combs and converting to screws. Try searching the harp-l archive for cleaning tips.

ain't busted but I'm badly bent

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