From: Douglas Tate <;100576.32~ompuserve.com>;
Date: 06 Nov 95 18:35:01 EST
Subject: CX and die!

Winslow writes about CX12

>;But then I imagine you know all this and were just looking for an
>;pretext to roast an instrument for which you have no great
>;fondness.

Moi?? Roast the CX?? Never. ... The W.X. maybe!

Yes, I am being unfair to the CX12. I think mostly because it lacks some
qualities (to my mind) that Hohner should have been capable of building in with
all their experience for the price they are asking. The sound in some regions
of the instrument is very good, but I feel that the natural good sound should
extend further than it does before the player has to start working at it. For
example, the #270 has been with us for a long time. When I used to buy
instruments (ah, sweet youth) you could buy them in the UK and get maybe half
which were good. There was, at that time, a folklore which said that if you
bought in Germany the quality was better. This was rubbish, the quality was
superb. There was no comparison. ( I have always thought that it was a subtle
way of the Germans getting back at us). The basic design and functionality of
the 270 was pretty good, large range of good tone and a pretty stable
construction. Badly engineered in the 'non-essentials' like slide, mouthpiece,
covers, great in the reeds. The CX12 seems to be the logical path from that
instrument with a lot of the bugs ironed out and using modern materials.
Trouble is that they seem to have forgotten what shape the mouth is and how the
human being reacts to certain materials. I think that this is one of the
reasons I am a little disappointed and scathing.
Hohner got the mouth shape right with the 14 hole Meisterklasse chromatic (but
the innards were drastic. With a little help they have almost got the Amadeus
superb. The Silver Concerto was and is a disaster. There is a guy in Europe
producing hand crafted chromatic harmonicas which I understand are fabulous by
any standard, however
a) I haven't any more children to sell and
B) I already have a rather nice instrument.

A player SHOULD be able to ignore the instrument and get on with the playing.
(doesn't happen with clarinets, oboes etc harps, pianos et al, about the only
instrument which doesn't need petty maintenance is the woodblock ... and the
varnish on THAT is pretty bad) There is no real reason why a harmonica
shouldn't grow and mature like a fine violin. If it does, technique,
expressiveness and subtlety will improve because all the tiny 'differences'
become a part of a players unconcious. You think how long it takes to get a new
harmonica fit to play. I don't have that problem.

Douglas T



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