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Seydel Session Steel vs Orchestra S

Seydel has long been known for its line of Session Steel harmonicas, which combine stainless steel reeds with a modern harmonica design. The Session Steel is available in many different tuning and colour combinations, but one model that is often overlooked is the Orchestra S. Let’s take a look at how it differs from the Session Steel and what sort of players it might suit.

Despite being known primarily by its variation name, the Orchestra S’s full name is the Session Steel Orchestra S. A quick look at the design will reveal that it shares a common architecture with the standard Session Steel – the only visual differences being a metallic burgundy coloured comb and its model name being engraved on the cover plates.

The real differences are underneath the hood, and while its reed plate design and materials are identical to the standard Session Steel, the tuning is quite different. Session Steels are typically tuned to Richter, which is the most commonly used tuning for ten hole diatonics. Other options, such as minor keys Powerbender and Wilde tunings are available, but Richter is what the standard harp will be tuned to. The Orchestra S, in contrast, uses a solo tuning identical to that found on many chromatic harmonicas, where the root note is at hole three, and lower octave notes are available below this.

This makes it the ideal harp for players who may wish to progress to a chromatic at some point in the future, and for those who like to play single note melodies without the need for bending.

For players who are committed to the traditional Richter tuning and don’t want to learn a whole new pattern of notes, the Session Steel is the best choice, but for those who need more low range notes without the need for a low tuned harmonica, or who want to learn the chromatic note pattern, the Orchestra S is a perfect partner.

Seydel Session Steel Harmonica - Richter
Seydel Orchestra S Harmonica
Harmonica NameSeydel Session Steel Harmonica - RichterSeydel Orchestra S Harmonica
Harmonica TypeDiatonic HarmonicaDiatonic Harmonica
Number of Holes1010
Comb MaterialPlasticPlastic
Number of Reeds2020
Spare Reeds Available?YesYes
Musical StylesBlues, Rock, Pop, FolkBlues, Rock, Pop, Folk
Available KeysA, B Flat, D, Low F, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, F Sharp, D Flat, A Flat, Low E, Low D, Low F Sharp, Low E Flat, Low D Flat, Low CA, Low F, G, Low D, Low C
Price from£38.99£44.99
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