Fender Blues DeVille - Worth the Dough?

Luke Reviews the Fender Blues DeVille

As you may know I’m a huge fan of the value of the Fender Blues Deluxe .

For the price, it’s a big bang for the buck, and my 2nd favorite budget harmonica, overshadowed in value only by the EastTop 008k.

Several people have asked about the Fender Blues Deluxe’s older brother, the Fender Blues DeVille. Is it on par with other professional harmonicas? :thinking:

The short answer: No. In my opinion it’s not on par with other professional harmonicas like the Lee Oskar or the Hohner Special 20.

Rather I find it to be on par with the East Top 008k. The tone is shrill and thin, but it’s A GREAT HARMONICA FOR $20!

The problem is - the Blues Deville ain’t $20! (At least, not where I live.)

The key question is: WHAT’S THE PRICE?

Here in the States the Blues DeVille tends to sell for around $40 , which is the same price as the Lee Oskar or the Special 20 , either of which I would take any day of the week over the Blues DeVille.

:+1: Like the East Top 008k, the Blues Deville looks great, is very responsive, easy to bend, and comfortable.

:-1: Also like the East Top 008k, its big deficiency is TONE. It’s a thin, shrill tone compared to the professional competition. It might even be MORE shrill than the East Top! :astonished:

Even if you’re saving $5 or $10, I’d rather shell out the extra dough for the Lee Oskar, Special 20 or a comparable professional harmonica.

BUT if you’re a beginner on a tight budget, and you’re getting it in the $20-$25 range (which is possible in some territories and/or if you’re getting a pack of 7) then GO FOR IT!

Hear it for yourself in this short video review:

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I found the following review for the Fender Blues Deluxe. The price of a C harp has fallen from around € 53 to € 38.50, and a D harp is even cheaper.

The reed plates are screwed to the stable comb with nine (!) screws.
On closer inspection, it turns out that - at least on my copy - the release distances of the reeds are set quite large ex works. This is not usually a problem as adjusting the release distances is part of the standard maintenance work that a harmonica player learns quickly.
However, the material of the reeds (phosphor bronze) seems to be a lot more brittle than the brass (or steel at Seydel) that is otherwise used. In any case, one reed broke suddenly when adjusting. This is usually not a problem either, as long as a replacement in the form of a new reed is available. Unfortunately, Fender does not offer replacement tongues, either individually or as a whole set. Big minus. But even if there were a new reed, you couldn’t simply change it because the reeds are not riveted - as is usual - but welded. Big minus.

:thinking::woman_shrugging: Greetings from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:

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