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Suzuki Promaster vs Suzuki Promaster Valved

The Promaster and Promaster Valved are both popular diatonic harmonicas made in Japan by Suzuki. They feature alloy combs, phosphor bronze reed plates and are well priced compared to similar competitors, such as the Hohner Meisterklasse and Seydel 1847 Noble. The only real difference between the two, besides the colours of the plastic case is the reed plates; the MR-350's are standard, whilst the MR-350V, as the name suggests, have valves, or windsavers on the some of the reeds. Let's look at why these valves are there and what differences they make in practice.

Valves were first introduced on chromatic harmonicas many decades ago. Chromatics have longer reeds than diatonics, which create more space for air to escape when the opposing reeds is activated. Greater air loss leads to breathy harps that are difficult to play, so thin strips of plastic are added to all but the highest pitch reeds, and these help to improve airtightness when the reed isn't activated.

Blues style bends on a diatonic involve interaction between the two reeds in a chamber, so full valving of a diatonic would not be useful for most players. However, if the first 6 draw notes and top 4 blow notes are valved (as on the Promaster Valved), the standard blues bends are available on the draw, and extra blow bends are also available. This opens up new ways of playing and additional range in a simple 10 hole harmonica.

If you want a great sounding, bright harmonica with excellent longevity, and you're not interested in learning new techniques, then the standard model is the one for you. If, however, you wish to experiment with new techniques and extend your range of playing, try out the Promaster Valved, which is an excellent choice for the more experienced player.

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Suzuki Promaster Harmonica
Suzuki Promaster Valved Harmonica
Harmonica NameSuzuki Promaster HarmonicaSuzuki Promaster Valved Harmonica
Harmonica TypeDiatonic HarmonicaDiatonic Harmonica
Number of Holes1010
Comb MaterialAlloyAlloy
Number of Reeds2020
Spare Reeds Available?YesYes
TuningRichterRichter
Valved?NoYes
Musical StylesBlues, Rock, Pop, FolkBlues, Rock, Pop, Folk
Available KeysA, B Flat, D, Low F, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, G High, F Sharp, D Flat, A FlatA, B Flat, D, Low F, G, C, F, E, E Flat, G High, F Sharp, D Flat, A Flat
Price from£51.99£49.99
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