After my wedding last weekend, my wife and I escaped to NYC for a week-long honeymoon. One of the secret reasons I was so excited about this was because I could actually find a store in NYC that carried Seydels! Have you ever tried shopping for a Seydel in person? It’s hard, let me tell you! I’ve looked in Vancouver, Toronto and now New York City and only found one store that actually carried them. The good word just hasn’t gotten around yet!
To find my harp for my wedding, I went through Seydel USA and was pointed to a store in Burlington, Ontario called Music Gallery. While it’s nice to know that I’ll be able to order through them from now on (awesome customer service!), it’s still not the same having to order something online and wait for it. I much prefer the temporal experience of choosing my harmonica from amongst a selection, of taking it from the case to examine it, of placing it on that “iron lung” at the store and testing the reeds myself. So, needless to say, I was thrilled to find on Seydel’s website that there was a store in Manhattan that carried their wares!
I tracked down the store that Seydel claimed would have the harps but was met with blank stares from the employees at said store when I inquired as to where the awesome Seydel harmonicas were located. In doing a bit more looking around online, it seems that this store is part of a chain and that chain does business with Seydel, thereby giving that chain’s each and every location as a potential portal for your Seydel purchase. Boo-urns, I say. If the harmonicas aren’t on the shelf, I say they shouldn’t be listed as a retailer. But I digress.
With some quick Google-fu, I was able to locate another store (oddly enough, not listed on Seydel’s website) in Manhattan that carried Seydels – East Village Music Store. And this time they actually had the harps in their case! So after a bit of hemming and hawing over my choices, I walked out of the store with a beautiful new Blues Soloist Pro in G!
Oh, what a sound! Instead of the stainless steel reedplates of the 1847 Classic, the Blues Soloist Pro has German silver reedplates. I’m not sure yet how this might affect the tone, but I think it will primarily affect the longevity of the harp. The stainless steel plates are touted as a long-lasting alternative to the easily-distressed brass reeds found on other harps. The Soloist has the same sealed wood comb as the Classic, though, and produces just as awesome a sound.
I walked the streets of NYC for an hour or so and ducked into a subway or two to try this new beauty out. The gapping seems to be as pristine as the Classic, though it’s difficult to tell since this is a G and my Classic is a C. Lower harps respond differently than higher ones. In any case, I am thrilled, yet again, with the quality of this out-of-the-box harmonica! Much more so than any other harp I’ve purchased. I think this one sealed my fate as a Seydel man, for sure.
The tone that this harp produces is rich and warm, like the Classic. A chugging blues riff on this harp has so much more character and depth than the same riff on my Suzuki Promaster in G and my Blues Harp in G. There is a pleasant crispness to the changes from draw to blow that I attribute to the well-set reeds and the tight slot tolerances. I am amazed, too, that this harp lacks the air loss and looseness typically associated with low keys. It’s like Seydel managed to gap a G as tightly as they gapped their C.
I am the impressed.
Image credit goes to Flickr user le-topographe. Thanks!