I am cruising on a sailboat and don’t get by many music stores. I usually test a harp before I buy but the store in the town I am in does not have a harp tester.
I want to buy a Special 20 in C. The store will not allow returns if something’s is wrong with it or I do not like it. Should I buy it untested or just wait for my next chance to get one from a store with a tester?
I use the bend it better tool when I test a harp I want to buy.
Do you know how to perform some basic reed adjustments (gapping, mainly) and have the small screw driver(s) required to open up a harp?
If the answer is affirmative, then I would think buying it would not be too risky. If the harp is so badly set up that you cannot fix it, Hohner does sell replacement reed plates for any key that is available when buying the Special 20.
If you have at least occassional internet access then you can find excellent tutorial videos to learn how to perform basic reed adjustments.
I’m with @Slim.
If you aren’t afraid to open her up to do cleaning and adjustments, I’d say go with a Special 20 and take the chance.
If not, wait and do the test, but keep in mind, sometimes an unresponsive reed can be as simple as dislodging a small amount of lint stuck in the reed. Getting comfortable with opening them up can save $'s and heartache.
I buy all my harps through mail-order suppliers. I carry over two dozen harps in my gig box (majors, minors, and spares) I’ve never tested any before-hand and have never received a bad one. I’d go for it.
Thank you all:
Reading your encouraging replies and watching a video on adjusting and tuning led me to purchase the Special 20. I am very happy with it.
One of the reeds (-5) is slightly flat but I am not going to touch it. It does not bother me at all while playing. I will practice adjusting and tuning some older, cheaper harps ( my bluesband in A needs work on several reeds)
Awesome @argold57. Glad it all worked out for ya. Harp on!
When you open the box try taking each reed plate and very lightly rotate it om 1.600 wet and dry. Look at the places that have no evidence of contact. its a good way to isolate the places on the plate that need help. I do not put any pressure on the reeds. once you get a Special 20 right its hard to beat.