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Suzuki Bluesmaster vs Harpmaster

Suzuki's Bluesmaster and Harpmaster harmonicas are relatively inexpensive ten hole diatonics that find favour with both old and new players. Although they are quite similar in price and construction, there are some important differences that we will examine in this article.

Suzuki has been manufacturing harmonicas in Japan for over 70 years, and, like its contemporary, Tombo, produces almost all of its harps in equal temperament. This makes Suzukis particularly suited to single note melodic runs, at the slight expense of chordal purity (the nuances of this are slight, however).

Both the Harpmaster and Bluesmaster are made in Japan, but the Harpmaster is the slightly cheaper of the two. There are a couple of reasons for this: first, the reeds on the Harpmaster are brass, as opposed to phosphor bronze on the Bluesmaster; and the former harp features folded, rather than stamped cover plates.

Do these features make a difference in practice? The stamped cover plates are certainly more ergonomic for players with facial hair, as they are of a shape that is less likely to (painfully) catch a moustache or beard hair whilst playing. For others, they make little discernible difference. However, the phosphor bronze reeds of the Bluesmaster certainly have a slightly darker tone, and, whilst harder to bend in extremis than brass reeds, do tend to offer more precision with whole tone bends. They also last considerably longer, for most players, than brass reeds, which more than offsets the initial extra expense of the Bluesmaster over the Harpmaster.

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Suzuki Bluesmaster Harmonica
Suzuki Harpmaster Diatonic Harmonica
Harmonica NameSuzuki Bluesmaster HarmonicaSuzuki Harpmaster Diatonic Harmonica
Harmonica TypeDiatonic HarmonicaDiatonic Harmonica
Number of Holes1010
Comb MaterialPlasticPlastic
Number of Reeds2020
Spare Reeds Available?YesYes
TuningRichterRichter
Valved?NoNo
Musical StylesBlues, Rock, Pop, FolkBlues, Rock, Pop, Folk
Available KeysA, B Flat, D, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, F Sharp, D Flat, A FlatA, B Flat, D, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, F Sharp, D Flat, A Flat
Price from£27.99£26.99
View details & BuyView details & Buy
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