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Helpful Votes: 49




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Johnson BK-520-SET Blues King Harmonica Set
Johnson BK-520-SET Blues King Harmonica Set
Price: $69.94
5 used & new from $63.95

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great case, ok harps (off key, low volume) not for beginners, April 10, 2008
The case is excellent, very light and protective, although some of the screws in the handle fell off and had to be reattached with superglue. That said, let's talk about the harps.

Well, first of all, I'm used to the hohner blues harp MS, so have that in mind. Comparing to the hohners, my first impression is that these harps sound like they have half of the volume. I tried to use more air but that would result in no significant increase in volume (and sometimes in a non-sounding hole). Also, as a first impression I noticed that these harps are very light weighted.

Almost half of the harps in the set are somewhat off key (some more than others), but I just notice it when I play chords. Another issue is that in order to get some notes to sound properly you must have good air control (like the one you need for bending). These harps are easy to bend, but not so different (probably less easy) from what I'm used to with the hohner. Also, you must get to know the harps in terms of air flow. If you don't know your way around them or have poor air control you might end up with many dead notes (the holes just won't sound). I found that by playing around with them for a while until I realized the right amount of air that I should use to get the notes and the bends (this air amount might vary from harp to harp). Even though I could get all holes to produce their respective notes, sometimes I had to used so much air (probably due to air leaks) that I consider these holes (mostly upper ones, like 9th or 10th) unusable in practical scenarios.

With all these restrictions (having to use weird variations of air flow, low volume, off-key harps, etc) I don't thing these harps should be used by beginners at all. Also, having to take care of all of this to get a proper sound makes you have a low/shy volume playing.

If you are a beginner buy a good C diatonic harp, learn the basics with this harp first, and then consider buying this set (probably to have more keys, I can't think of other reason).

If you're not a beginner, well, what can I say? All arguments will fall based on the price (btw, I bought mine for 49 bucks). These harps are damn cheap, dude! It's almost like you're buying a case and getting back-up harps as a bonus.
Also, I think if you have the skills to tune then up you might end up with good harps. So I think it's worth a shot.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2012 4:09 AM PDT


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great case, ok harps (off key, low volume) not for beginners, March 25, 2008
The case is excellent, very light and protective. That said, let's talk about the harps.

Well, first of all, I'm used to the hohner blues harp MS, so have that in mind. Comparing to the hohners, my first impression is that these harps sound like they have half of the volume. I tried to use more air but that would result in no significant increase in volume (and sometimes in a non-sounding hole). Also, as a first impression I noticed that these harps are very light weighted.

Almost half of the harps in the set are somewhat off key (some more than others), but I just notice it when I play chords. Another issue is that in order to get some notes to sound properly you must have good air control (like the one you need for bending). These harps are easy to bend, but not so different (probably less easy) from what I'm used to with the hohner. Also, you must get to know the harps in terms of air flow. If you don't know your way around them or have poor air control you might end up with many dead notes (the holes just won't sound). I found that by playing around with them for a while until I realized the right amount of air that I should use to get the notes and the bends (this air amount might vary from harp to harp).

With all these restrictions (having to put less air, low volume, off-key harps, etc) I don't thing these harps should be used by beginners at all. Also, having to take care of all of this to get a proper sound makes you have a low volume playing.

If you are a beginner buy a good C diatonic harp, learn the basics with this harp first, and then consider buying this set (probably to have more keys, I can't think of other reason).

If you're not a beginner, well, what can I say? All arguments will fall based on the price. These harps are damn cheap, dude! It's like you're buying a case and getting back-up harps as a bonus.
Also, I think if you have the skills to tune then up you might end up with good harps. So I think it's worth a shot.


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