Over the year or so I have been playing I have tried a few different harmonicas, Hohner Marine Band and Special 20’s, Seydel 1847 Silver, Lee Oskar, and Suzuki Pro Master.
All have their strengths and weaknesses but even the variability of the same model and same key has been surprising. Nominally identical harmonicas can vary in tone and pitch to quite an amazing degree.
I have played about trying to maintain my own harmonicas, trying my hand at gapping and tuning reeds, with varying degrees of success.
A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to see what proper customising can do so I started to search for custom harmonica makers. A fair number in the US and some in Europe but the one that I decided to go with was Antony Dannecker in the UK. I ordered up a Special 20 and it was delivered within 24 hours! The finish and tone is amazing and well worth the premium paid, even at that you are looking at 33GBP for a custom Sp 20 less than the cost of 2 stock Sp. 20’s. Based on my experience of the Sp. 20 I am now saving the pennies for a Dannecker Blues Harmonica or two 🙂