Frequently Asked Questions


Drop me an email, and I’ll be glad to answer your questions, but why not check these FAQs first?

Will a customharp last longer?

Short answer – No.

Longer answer, it depends.

First of all, the most important factor for a long-lasting harmonica is the player. With good technique and care, your harp might last you years. On the other hand, if you abuse your harps, they might die on you in just a month; for some, even weeks.

That’s why it’s vital to take care of your harps and, even more important, to work on your technique. It will save you money and boost your sound potential. The biggest benefit of a custom harp is that it will respond in a much better way. This will give players better control and you will not end up stressing the reeds the way you do without this kind of control. All said, the custom harp will last longer, but only if players can master their harps.

Why are they so expensive?

You as a customer pay for my time; the more you want done to the harp, the more time it will take—ergo, more money.

Is the optimized version inferior?

No, the optimized version is simply a harmonica that has been fine-tuned and had its lower reed plate sanded (1847) for maximum airtightness. You’ll get a very good harmonica at a price that’s lower in comparison with the customized ones.

What is just tuning?

This is the best-sounding tuning if you use a lot of chording when you play. There are several ways of tuning just, but the most common one in the blues world is what we refer to as “just intonation seven”. The old Marine Bands were much closer to this tuning compared to the modern ones. Personally I don’t care much for this tuning, as it limits my options of playing in several positions.

What is equal tuning?

This is the tuning that you will find on Lee Oskar and Golden Melodies. It’s a tuning that will work well with single note playing. If you tune your harp to zero cent on your tuner, you will get an equal tuning. The deviation will be none. The chording on a harp tuned in this way will be less full sounding, but it will be possible to play in many positions without feeling too much out of tune. Many jazz players prefer this tuning.

What is compromised tuning?

As the name suggest, it’s a compromise! If you’re a beginner, I suggest that you keep to the factory tuning, which is compromised. There are slight variations between the companies, but each and every one of them departs from the same concept. Obviously, the whole point of customizing is to go beyond standard and tuning is one of the ways to do this.