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Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?

Henry Krinkle 09 Nov 12 - 04:10 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Nov 12 - 04:19 AM
Doug Chadwick 09 Nov 12 - 04:41 AM
Hamish 09 Nov 12 - 05:14 AM
Henry Krinkle 09 Nov 12 - 05:35 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 12 - 05:37 AM
Leadfingers 09 Nov 12 - 05:52 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 12 - 06:01 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 12 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 09 Nov 12 - 06:16 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 12 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Nov 12 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 09 Nov 12 - 09:41 AM
goatfell 09 Nov 12 - 09:53 AM
goatfell 09 Nov 12 - 09:53 AM
wassail 09 Nov 12 - 11:00 AM
Splott Man 09 Nov 12 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,sturgeon 09 Nov 12 - 01:08 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 12 - 02:33 PM
Georgiansilver 09 Nov 12 - 04:29 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 12 - 04:51 PM
PHJim 09 Nov 12 - 11:51 PM
colleen's fancy 10 Nov 12 - 07:58 AM
Artful Codger 10 Nov 12 - 11:19 PM
Henry Krinkle 11 Nov 12 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 11 Nov 12 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Desi C 12 Nov 12 - 09:48 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 12 - 10:15 AM
Commander Crabbe 12 Nov 12 - 06:54 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 12 - 07:20 PM
Jack Campin 12 Nov 12 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,songbob 12 Nov 12 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Geo. 13 Nov 12 - 08:40 AM
Henry Krinkle 13 Nov 12 - 09:33 AM
Jack Campin 13 Nov 12 - 12:58 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 12 - 03:20 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 12 - 03:30 PM
Jane of 'ull 13 Nov 12 - 04:13 PM
Lonesome EJ 13 Nov 12 - 04:30 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 12 - 08:25 PM
Ernest 14 Nov 12 - 01:50 AM
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Subject: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 04:10 AM

Personally, I think it's disgusting. But I see them for sale at Craigslist. I think it should be illegal to sell them. Spread disease. Your thoughts?
=(:-( 0)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 04:19 AM

caveat emptor
A very apt rule.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 04:41 AM

Would you buy second-hand underpants?


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Hamish
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 05:14 AM

Oi, Doug! I resent your insinuation!


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 05:35 AM

I'd likely buy used underpants if she's really cute and pretty.
=(:-( P)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 05:37 AM

I thought you prefered diapers Henry


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 05:52 AM

Reminds me of Richard Stilgoe's 12 Bar Blues verse :-

Now dont you loan your Mouthorgan , not even to you best friend

Now dont you loan your mouthorgan not even to your best friend

For you may survive the blowing , but the suckings going to get you in the end


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 06:01 AM

didn't bother bobby d for a single moment butt the show must go on


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 06:02 AM

I've bought used harmonicas, but I buy the ones I know I can deep-clean easily before use. That isn't so easy with valved or wooden-combed harps, so I'd be more hesitant about those. Not so bad if you know where they've been and you can at least clean the parts that you hold and put into your gob. By deep-clean easily, I mean dismantle, wash all parts in soapy water, removing crud as you go as necessary (though a really cruddy harp probably wasn't worth buying). An old toothbrush can be carefully employed to clean the reeds, but stroke in one direction only, from fixed to free ends. Dry, wipe down with isopropyl alcohol and reassemble.

On the whole, I've found that there aren't too many bargains among used harmonicas. Reeds have relatively limited lives and are easily damaged by unsympathetic playing. That's almost a bigger consideration than hygiene in my book. Buy new is good advice all round. Compared to most musical instruments even decent ones are cheap.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 06:16 AM

Er.. no. I never buy used, nor do I lend or borrow harmonicas for the simple reason that I'm a bit choosy what I put in my mouth. I asked my GP once whether a rather persistent chest infection I was suffering from could be down to re-infection from playing, and he was of the opinion that it would be unlikely for germs to live long enough outside the body to be a problem, but not impossible. I also suffer from occasional cold-sores which are ragingly infectious and it wouldn't be kind to inflict that on anyone else. Remember, enthusiastic playing, a long gig or a slightly damaged cover plate can easily open up a cut on your lip, and that's inviting problems.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 06:28 AM

Hi Ted. Remember me from The Bush in Morwenstow? Howya?! :-)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 06:44 AM

Recently - a friend sent a video.

He and his son were both playing a trumpet that had been stored 30 years.

While brillant fun - the wife / mother later commented that father and son both came down with nasty broncial infections.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
Yuummmmmm....love those spit valves.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 09:41 AM

@Steve Shaw: yes of course, and I hope you are well.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: goatfell
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 09:53 AM

no have you not heard of aids


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: goatfell
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 09:53 AM

how do you know where their mouth has been?


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: wassail
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 11:00 AM

Sonny Boy Williamson once borrowed mine. I had hopes that I might catch the talent, but unfortunately I didn't.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Splott Man
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 11:09 AM

I wouldn't buy a used one for general playing.
I have bought or been given vintage ones that get brought out occasionally.
A good clean on acquisition as above is a always advisable.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,sturgeon
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 01:08 PM

Goatfell is an ignoramus. You can't catch AIDS at all since it's a condition that develops following HIV infection. In the extremely rare chance that a previous owner who is HIV positive has filled her/his harmonica with semen, blood, vaginal secretions or breast milk then there is a slight chance of transmission, but only if the harmonica is purchased and played within minutes of said former owner filling his/her instrument with an infectious fluid.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 02:33 PM

And it wouldn't play very well. Or taste too good. One's mileage may vary in respect of the latter.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 04:29 PM

The only new one (harmonicas and mouth organs) I ever had was bought for me when I was 11 yrs old and was a Hohner Band mouth organ which I still have... I have had and own several vintage ones... Larry Adler 16 , Hohner Vignetta, Bass Mouth organ and several other Hohners and a few other vintage ones... all second hand.. Been playing used ones since I was about 16.. and I'm still here nearly 50 years later....... No problem!!


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 04:51 PM

There wouldn't be a problem most of the time. You can't go round thinking that half the human race is going round infested with life threatening lurgies that they are intent on passing on to you. The problem for me is more of an aesthetic one. A mate of mine gave me a bag of his harps for me to fix and tune up for him. They all stank of tobacco. I told him that in future I would only be fixing his blow notes.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Nov 12 - 11:51 PM

I got a couple of mouth harps from Willie P. Bennett's harp belt. His sister gave me a choice of brand new ones or ones that he'd been using. I hoped these would still have some of Willie's mojo on 'em.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: colleen's fancy
Date: 10 Nov 12 - 07:58 AM

At the Beggar's Folk Club on 1st Nov. Keith GAy took out 3 harps and while he went off to talk to someone, he place them on top of a pile of books. Not knowing that the books were part of a bric'abrac stall for the club funds. While he was away chatting someone actually bought them from the stall. A week later he was telling Bernie Wood at an open mike night about his loss, calling the purchaser all the names under the sun and then Bernie stopped him mid stream to say it was him who had bought them from the stall. Two red faces, what a picture.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Nov 12 - 11:19 PM

I've gotten a fair number of harmonicas used. A thorough clean in a diluted hydrogen peroxide/alcohol bath was all it took to set my mind at rest. There are lots of people who buy harmonicas thinking they'll play them, but give it up within days or weeks--their harps are no worse than those bought new, and cost far less for the same quality. We put all sorts of nasty things in our mouths (frequently without knowing it--check the allowable levels of rat droppings and such in foods), so worrying about what you might contract from a used harp after cleaning is just indulged hysteria.

Buying any harp is a bit of a crap shoot (intonation and play-wise) unless you learn to adjust them yourself or spend as much again to have an expert set them up for you. On this score, lightly used is as good as new. On the other hand, reeds do wear and become stressed, detuning them beyond feasible adjustment, so it helps to know the age and type of usage a harp has had.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 11 Nov 12 - 01:08 AM

Some people will put anydamnthing in their mouth.
=(:-( P)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Nov 12 - 02:33 PM

I stopped playing because I didn't like the look of them when they'd been in my mouth.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 09:48 AM

I can't play one and too old to learn, but yes I'd buy one and did when I was much younger. And as kids in Ireland we often passed round a mouth organ. They can be cleaned after all and second flutes etc make very good money. By the way for the benefit of some ignoramus below you can't catch AIDS from a MOUTHorgan!


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 10:15 AM

Passing a mouth organ around is a sure-fire way of spreading colds, 'flu and cold sores, all of which are viruses that can survive for a short time on surfaces. I suppose most people carry the cold sore virus in any case.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 06:54 PM

Thats kissing out of the window then!!!!

CC :-)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 07:20 PM

I'd take the risk.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 08:54 PM

Pathogens are nothing like as big a risk as moulds. Some kinds of mould will never infect a human but instead poison you by giving off toxic fumes. This sort of problem:

mould toxicity mechanism

This is a notorious issue with mouthblown bagpipes, and may also affect sax and clarinet mouthpieces. A mouth organ is a much smaller chemical warfare agent factory than a pipe bag.

One kind of illness that can result from mould fume exposure is sarcoidosis of the lung (progressive auto-immune scarring of the lung tissue - it can be fatal).


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,songbob
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 09:28 PM

My understanding is that commercial establishments, at least, can't legally sell a harp that hs been played. That's why stores have those bellows thingies, and will properly insist on your buying one if you play it with your mouth.

Private persons, however, may be able to avoid legal repercussions.

I have inherited a few over the years, and bought a couple on eBay (vintage ones), but typically use the thorough-cleaning system mentioned above. I typically use alcohol (vodka or gin, the cheaper the better) in place of soap and water, figuring that it'll dissolve crud better.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: GUEST,Geo.
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 08:40 AM

I once went in to buy a Blues Harp from a music shop. Picked out the one I wanted and asked the man if I could try it first. He said no, not allowed but I'll use this little bellows on it. I explained that this tells me very little as some notes take more air than others and you need to feel that. He said sorry still not allowed. I said OK then as I'm in to buy an instrument anyway what if I buy it, try it in front of you and if I'm not happy you take it back and give me another one. He said OK then. I bought it, tried it, explained and showed him that a couple of notes were taking too much air. He gave me another one, put the original 'back in the box and back on the shelf'!   ???


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 09:33 AM

Disgusting.
=(:-( 0)


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 12:58 PM

I suppose most people carry the cold sore virus in any case.

I'm not sure what the incidence is, but it's far short of everybody.

The cold sore virus was used for one of the oddest bits of evolutionary detective work I know of. It's a descendant of the genital herpes virus. By counting the variances between the two in DNA base pairs and assuming the usual rate of genetic drift, we can infer that the split took place about three million years ago.

Now, the mode of transmission of genital herpes is a pretty inescapable part of continuing the human race. But catching oral herpes isn't. Conclusion: kissing evolved about three million years ago.

Or perhaps it was harmonica playing.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 03:20 PM

The cold sore virus was used for one of the oddest bits of evolutionary detective work I know of. It's a descendant of the genital herpes virus.

Which explains why it's so prevalent in Cockermouth... :-)

As for its pervasiveness, as I understand it, about three-quarters of humanity harbours the cold sore virus. It doesn't mean you'll get cold sores.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 03:30 PM

I tend to buy harps online (I do know what I'm looking for). If I buy one in a shop I want to try it out. A charlatan will try to convince you that those stupid little bellows thingies are the test of quality. I always say that I'm going to buy this harp but I'm going to play it first. You have my word that I'll hand my money over if all is well. You have my word that the harp is faulty, and should not be sold, if I don't hand my money over. If this is not acceptable, walk away. The bellows tell you nothing. Almost every one of the dozens of harps I've bought down the years has needed some adjustment by me to get it to play the way I want it. I accept this and am prepared to do the adjusting. Typically it means one or two reeds regapped and maybe the odd reed retuned very slightly. A shop harmonica is a huge compromise. Learn how to set up a new harp is the best advice.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 04:13 PM

No. Yuk!!


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 04:30 PM

I could make someone a terrific deal on about a dozen with defective reeds. I have heard that boiling them in beer will both sterilize them and restore the reeds to original caliber performance. I just don't have any spare beer.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 08:25 PM

I remember a guest at the Tree Inn folk club, Stratton, in the mid-90s (I won't name names!). He played the harmonica on a couple of songs, very nice too. I had a natter with him in the interval and he told me that he would never buy Lee Oskars again after one had let him down in a gig with a note that wouldn't sound properly. I got him to blow the offending harp and it was immediately obvious that the "fault" was a reed that needed gapping, a thirty-second job. Hey, the bloke wouldn't let me fix it for him! I wonder how many people have got drawers full of "duff" harmonicas that just need a slight tweak here and there - but the owner has never learned how to do it!

Boiling in beer or anything else won't help, but it might be worth checking whether a bit of gunge has trapped itself between the slot and the reed.


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Subject: RE: Used Harmonicas? Would You Buy One?
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 01:50 AM

@ Lonesome EJ: are you saying that you`d have to pour the beer away after boling the harps in it???????????????????????????????????????


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