This is not a review per se, as I’ve not played them…but I can share what I know so far…
SEYDEL’S NEW 16 HOLE SYMPHONY GRAND ORCHESTRA MODELS…BOTH IN ALUMINUM AND ACRYLIC COMB MODELS…$799.95…
Finally…it happens. The world’s finest mainline harmonica maker, Seydel, has listened to requests for a 16 holer and delivered in spades…
Details are as follows:
COMBS…In an interesting twist, they are releasing the new Symphony Grand Orchestra harp in both Froggie Green acrylic (ACRYL model) and Dark Storm Sky Black anodized aluminum (ALUmodel) comb.
These two combs may be easily compared to the Seydel Saxony aluminum comb, and the De Luxe Steel’s acrylic comb. Both are superb combs. If patterns hold true, the Acrylic comb will have a bit warmer sound, the Metal comb more brightness in tone, or (so my listeners say when comparing the Seydel Saxony and De Luxe Steel models.)
Of course, the acrylic comb weighs less. Yes, acrylic scratches easier than Metal, but let’s say the AKRYL and ALU are equally fascinating friends. Personally, I want them both.
COVERS: Cast and finished aluminum with integral stanchions. As you know, covers of a harmonica have about the same impact on sound as the cover of a piano…the more open, the more volume, brightness, and distinct harmonic interplay….the more closed the cover, the darker the tone.
Shape is a factor too…when covers are open at the back you get more projection of sound.
Never underestimate the impact of cover design and material on sound of your harp…it is yuuuge.
I project this cover set will have a warmish tone for a stainless steel reeded harp, and their shaping which is relatively close to the reedplates near the mouthpiece, then deeply scooped in the middle for a great grip…then flaired open at back MEANS distinct harmonic interplay of overtones and nice volume. A nice mix.
Why is brightness of tone desired? Quick answer…you can take brightness away with embouchure and hands, but can’t add it.
Notice that there are no mouthpiece screws on the top face of the mouthpieces…hey, where’d they go? Screws come up from the bottom.
A plus of owning both is that you can go back and forth from the rounded mouthpiece to the trapezoidal, and that ergonomic variation means less fatigue to the player.
I have not seen the parts, nor seen an illustration of the disassembled parts, so cannot comment.
DA BUTTON….AHHHHH….DA BUTTON:
No more concave button, this one is nicely convex meaning bulbed out a bit on the end, which will be comfortable at many angles of activation, and it has a bit of scroll work at its end too.
REEDS…STAINLESS STEEL…A+ on that…
When Franz Chemel created his $12,000 NC64 harp in response to breaking 2 brass reeds a day in play, he went with stainless steel reeds. Phil Sardo uses stainless reeds on his Elite model harp.
Stainless steel reeds are very tough and just as important, very thin…so they respond immediately to breath. Combine that with the fact that the fit of reed to reedplate is superbly close on Seydels, and we have a very sensitive harp to breath indeed.
Stainless steel reeds are long lasting, with bright tone, yes they do require a dremmel or rotary tool to tune…but stainless is very stable pitch wise over time. A+ on the stainless reeds.
With the cast aluminum covers, the sound from the reeds will be a slightly warm balanced brightish tone. The Acrylic comb should be a hair warmer tone.
REEDPLATES….GERMAN SILVER…my choice
1 mm thick German silver reedplates are simply wonderful, and easy to make look new with a quick wipe of a jeweler’s cloth.
This is not a gimmicky harp with meaningless junk…it is a significant step forward for Seydel…from the best mainline manufacturer of harmonicas in the world today.
True I must play these harps to know them best…but what is above is very likely right on the mark.
CASE…GET THE HEAT…
Totally cool impact case with foam interior, and optional heater. Saaaawheeet.
Take yer pick Froggie Green acrylic or Dark Storm Sky Black…$799.95…
Maybe the best $799.95 you’ve ever spent.
In 2017, Seydel won the LOVE OF CHROMATIC HARMONICA Manufacturer of the Year Award, along with Psardo harps. Seydel is top notch among the big shops, and these harps are likely must have.
LINK TO SEYDEL SYMPHONY AKRYL AND ALU HARPS…