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Seydel is the world's oldest harmonica manufacturer still in operation. While not as widely recognized as their compatriots Hohner, especially among non-players, Seydel's historical significance and global reach cannot be overlooked. Established in Saxony in 1847, they experienced remarkable growth during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, due to their location behind the Iron Curtain, they faded from public consciousness as they merged with the state-owned harmonica manufacturer of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Unfortunately, this occurred at the height of popular music when icons like Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles were popularizing the harmonica, captivating a new generation of players.
A modern and responsive harmonica manufacturer
In the 1990s, they regained family ownership and transformed into a modern and responsive harmonica manufacturer. Operating from their factory in Germany, they now offer a range of exceptional harmonicas with a unique selling proposition. Seydel stands out by utilizing stainless steel reeds in the majority of their harmonicas, enhancing durability compared to traditional brass reeds and delivering the distinctive tone and volume.
Are Seydel the best quality Harmonicas?
Moreover, Seydel is renowned for its exceptional build quality. Unlike many manufacturers, they fully embrace alternative tunings, allowing players to explore beyond the standard "Richter tuned" parameters. Models like Paddy Richter, Powerdraw, and others cater to those seeking new musical horizons. Even their base model, the Session Standard, is available in low tunings at no extra cost, making it an affordable option for those interested in low-tuned harps.
Seydel Chromatic Harmonicas
Their commitment to innovation and quality extends to their chromatic harmonicas. The top-of-the-line Symphony model comes with a heated case to maintain the instrument at the ideal temperature for playing. Additionally, Seydel incorporates stainless steel reeds in their Saxony and Deluxe Steel harps, resulting in exceptional performance.
Diverse selection of Harmonicas
Recognizing the limited options available from manufacturers like Hohner, Seydel offers a diverse range of tremolo and octave harmonicas. Models such as the Sailor Steel and the Skydiver cater to players of these types of harps. Notably, Seydel is the only major manufacturer producing a 10-hole Octave harmonica, the Concerto Steel, since the discontinuation of the Hohner Auto Valve.
Recent times and great performance
In recent years, Seydel has become an agile company, avoiding production delays that often affect competitors. We are delighted to offer the full range of keys in alternative tunings across all applicable Seydel harmonicas. While Richter tunings and popular alternatives like the Session Steel in Wilde Rock are usually in stock, you can order more obscure tunings such as EDHarmonica from our website. Please allow an additional 5 working days for delivery.
Custom tuned Harmonicas
Furthermore, we can accommodate custom pitches. The Seydel Classic in A = 432Hz is a popular choice, and we can craft numerous other custom pitches and temperaments upon request. Contact us with your requirements, and Seydel will tailor a harmonica to your specifications. The lead time for these custom harmonicas is typically one week, plus the usual delivery time.