Dissapointed in Golden Melody

I have 7 harps now. Started with a Piedmont set of 7. Started replacing with Hohner blues harps. They were little hard to bend.Got a Big River, I liked it alot, finally picked up an S20. I Love it. I was ready to try a GM. The damn thing buzzes on the 1, OR 1&2 draw. If I play with complete breath control I can avoid it. But in the middle of jammin I get this horrible buzz vibration from the cover plates. If I remove the lower cover it stops. Any one else have OR had this problem before? Seems like a design flaw. I have about a yr under my belt now. Is it just me.

While you have the bottom cover off put a small piece of tape inside the mouthcover to dampen the buzzing caused by the reed hitting. This is the easy fix, the other way is to “peen” the mouthcover and deepen it to accept the wide swing of the lower reeds. This problem is most noticable on the lower pitched models because of the longer reedslots. I use “3M micro-spore” tape, a surgical tape with very fine spores (holes) I also use this tape as a gasket in Special 20’s and Golden Melodies between the reedplate and the comb, but, that is a whole 'nother thread.
Supert Prez

Thanks, I will be getting some of that micro tape today. After closer inspection I see how the GMs cover plates bend down at he edges more then my other harps. Its just hard to believe that reed moves enough to hit the cover.
Thanks again. I will let you know how it goes.

I just coated this GM with Micropor tape.(had some in the band aid drawer). STILL buzzing.Yes, I see this reedbending excessively. covering the spot where the reed & cover make contact did not help. it seems to be the reed buzzing when it touches anything. I Made a gasket to lift the covers…but 3 layers(still) are not enough. I originally returned this to Hohner. They returned it REPAIRED…NOT. I see how the covers bend down towards your mouth, when all my others seem to deepen,(increase in height) Its starting to seem like a design flaw…? ???

If the tape doesn’t help when applied to inside of the cover, no amount of gasketing is going to make a difference, if the gasketing is done correctly the distance between the cover and reedplate would become closer, and hence create more buzzing. Gasketing is done between the reedplate and comb. A gasket between the mouthcover and reedplate would only serve to make the instrument more airy as the mouthcover on a sandwich style harmonica (ie: Golden Melody) fits into a groove on the reedplate to facilitate a seal.
I would suspect it is the result of an improper emboucher or attack that is at the root of your problem. I have several GMs in lower keys (long slot) and have had no problems whatsoever with “reed rattle”. On models I own that do exhibit this problem I have noticed it to be controllable with a moderated attack and a little tape.
It is easy to blame a “design flaw” but I supect perhaps the flaw is not so much the instruments, and could be a bit of a technique flaw. Use as little tape as possible to dampen the offending reed, too much tape is only shortening the throw space of the reed and compounding the problem. A lighter attack will work wonders too (the breath control thingy). Lastly, when working on harmonicas, less is always more.
Super Prez

Is it a low key harp? Key of A perhaps? Lower key harps have longer reeds, especially low tuned harps. So 1 draw reed is prone to hitting the coverplate - and that can be a sign of simply drawing too hard. Breath control may ease or even eliminate the situation.

Just a note…I don’t know if this applies or not…

But the lowest notes on my Low C MB still ‘ring’ aka vibrate after I stop playing it…just for a little while, but it might be that buzzing you’re talking about…


I have steadied my breath control, That did have a big effect. I have also beat the hell out of the cover plate. both have helped a little, but it is still there. Oh Well. you win some & ya lose some. GMs are just not my choice in harps. It will be my pocket harp tell it gets crushed. I will be replacing it with a Big River for now, but I will get a Suzuki when the budget permits. Thanks for all your responses.

New here. thought I’d jump in. I have a 70s vintage set of GMs. Through some years of neglect I had them in a drawer so I have them well worn and broken in, and some of em just plain broke. The C was dropped long ago too many times and now I have a marine band in it’s slot in my case. THe G has been failing badly, two upper notes went flat and then a drop and the cover plate has to be held tight to play. So, I am deciding to start trying something new and a guy in my band takes pity on me (it’s a bluegrass gospel band, people really do help each other) and gets me a new GM in G. I was starting to think of trying the Suzuki Blues master as a replacement but since the GM showed up, onward.

But there’s the weird thing, maybe it cause my old G was so well worn in but the old 70s GM had a much easier blow and draw and the tone was much fuller and softer. This new G is almost tin-y sounding and it takes more air. I am glad to have it of course since many bluegrass songs are in G. But … I could swear this newer GM is less than my older GM. I will reevaluate after a few months of good hard use to see if it was the break in that is making it sound and feel different.

Curios though.

Hohners can be very different quality-wise, and that depends on the date of manufacture. Even early 70’s and late 70’s can make a huge difference.

I had the same problem I did something like what Super President advised and it seemed to work for me!

Sorry couldn’t be of more help

Harmonicas can differ in quality even within the same model

Just my $0.02

I went through a Golden Melody phase in the '80’s. I soon got over my initial fascination with “something new” and decided I didn’t really care for them. I can’t find any of them now which tells me they must have been real junk. Quality wise, I don’t know what might have changed at Hohner since then, but I will not be revisiting the Golden Melodies.