Are certain keys noticeably brighter or is the SP20 just bright?

I have a question about “brightness” vs “mutedness” sound in certain keys.

I first bought a SP20 in C. I really like that harmonica, it has a brash, bright sound, and is EXTREMELY easy to bend.

I just got a Suzuki Harpmaster in A and immediately noticed that it was much more muted sounding and not nearly as easy to bend as the SP20.

My question is: is it mostly the brand/type of harmonica that’s contributing to the bright/muddy sound difference or are certain keys, like C just naturally more bright sounding than others like A?

Opening the back of the harp sometimes helps. Sometimes re-gapping helps.

Well…I think I got to the bottom of it.

I opened it up and compared the gap from the reeds to reedplate on the SP20 vs the Harpmaster…the harpmaster gaps were freaking huge!

the gaps on the SP20 draw 1 (for example) were (estimating) .010 to .015 or so…the harpmaster’s gap was AT LEAST .025!

I pushed the reeds down in the harpmaster to match those of the SP20 and lo and behold, it’s easy to bend and it’s much brighter sounding…less “breathy” or “wheezy.”

Thanks for the help.

I’m not going to do a real “gap job” on it just yet…I’m going to live with it for a while and learn to play first.

Glad I could help!