Comb and cover materials

I have been playing harp since 1969. Back then, the Marine band was it. Since then, I have tried a lot of the ever growing choices. I treated myself to a Joe Filisko solid brass Special 20 harp many years ago. That inspired me to try experimenting, assembling harps using different materials and designs, to see what I liked best.
I tried variations of materials for the combs and cover plates. The comb material had the biggest impact on the sound. I used combs from wood, plastic, aluminum, titanium, bamboo, composite, steel and brass. The SOLID brass combs (purchased from Tom Halchak
Blue moon harmonicas) sounded the best. They have a more pleasing tone, sounding fuller and have a louder acoustic volume. Please note, I am referring to the RECESSED version (for $64.95). This version is airtight, so you can play with minimal breath and increased nuance. Assembly is easy. First gap the reeds to your taste. Then drop the reed plates into the perfectly fitted inset. Now ENJOY! These are true lifetime instruments. I have been playing them for 8 years and HIGHLY RECOMMEND them.
You don’t have to take my word for how great these Combs are. You can try them yourself without any worry. Here is the guarantee from the website:
“We stand behind everything we offer with a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.”

I have tried wood, plastic, silver, brass and chrome for the cover plates. None of the various materials improved the tone. In fact, the silver muffled the tone, in an unpleasant way.
There are, however, various processing enhancements for the stock cover plates. I have only tried the powder coated cover plates, from Blue Moon harmonicas. They seemed to make the tone clearer and are smooth on the lips. Also, they come in different colors, so it makes it easier to grab the right harp in a dark club. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!


Wow, Steve! This is amazing. I have NEVER heard of a harmonica with a brass comb in my whole life, but it sort of makes sense that it would sound great, since brass reeds sound so great to my ear.

(I personally am not a big fan of the phosphor bronze or stainless steel reed tones. I love the brass most.)

The only metal combed harmonicas I’ve played are the aluminum and silver ones, and they are ok, but I prefer the tone of wood and bamboo, and plastic.

You’ve really piqued my curiosity to hear what a solid brass combed harmonica sounds like!

Thanks again for sharing.

Rock on,

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You owe it to yourself to try one. Tom Halchak, the owner, is all about customer satisfaction. If you do not like the sound of the brass comb then he will give you 100% of your money back, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.