I bought a second B flat Hohner and took it apart for a brief cleaning. The newest Hohner did not have any of the black build up as my other one did. I sent them to a tech for tuning. It also had more sealant on the inside, as opposed to the older ones that had none. Cleaning this one of these with warm water is a bad idea as they will easily absorb water.
I discussed the residue buildup with a very good tech. Hohner uses the light sealed wooden comb on its Crossover. The original one I had to be replaced by Hohner because of excessive black deposits, some of which were on a reed. Hohner has modified the way the reed plates are finished, reducing or eliminating the black colored build up. The B flat proves this so I looked at the comb of each as well. The first one is only sealed on the outside and the inside of the comb void of any sealant. The B flat has some inside sealant on the inside but but displayed some saw light marks on the comb when looked at with a 10x loop. I used a very light grain 1,600 to take them out. both were placed on a flat surface. I had to take some residual wood off the inside as well. I think the Crossovers will play much better as there is a great tech that Rockin Ron recommends and he is excellent and will seal the combs completely and any other form or service. It was he that filled me in on the black buildup many have seen either out of the box or a few days of playing.
I also decided to try a Lee Osker and it is a great harmonica. Plays so well and I can blow lightly on each note without touching the harp and the reeds sound lightly.
I like the Crossover when it plays well but its had is share of problems. Hopefully now cured. The only thing about a Osker is when giving it a light cleaning involving removal of the face plates is the difficulty of reassembling it. The hold down screws are tough to start the small threaded keeper on and the reed plate screws are slightly different than the face plates. Care has to taken to make sure the screws get back into the correct place until you do it a time or two.
All things considered the Osker is now my first choice as it is a delight to play, especially single notes. Hohner is taking steps to improve the comb and abolish the stains that appear on the red plates. Hopefully they will either offer a plastic comb version or completely seal the entire comb and smooth the saw marks off. Hohner is a good harp as well and hopefully the issues I have had are over. Beating the Osker will be tough. hopefully they will tie for first.