one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

sorry for all the annoying questions folks.
simply put, i don’t have the availability or means to just pick a bunch up and pick one.

so, i’m in part relying on what a majority thinks/suggests for someone starting out but wanting to get the best he can from the start.

I’m going to play Irish/Cajun exclusively (love fiddle, horns, accordian tunes) — and it will be SOLO.

I HAVE decided on Diatonics, and Paddy Tuning (thanks group !)

But I’ve discovered the choice of harp still remains large (i thought focusing on a music type and tuning would narrow it.)


I’m REALLY been paying attention to SEYDEL Harmonicas. They seem the most "custom" one can get aside from actually buying custom (grin).

I was considering:
Seydel Blues Session
Seydel Favorite (aluminum comb)

—temporarily thought about XB-40, but that’s a whole other beast.

I don’t know if I’m missing anything — or maybe on the wrong path completely.

I saw the Seydels hole spacing is different than most, a slight bit wider, and depending on the harp, smoother holes, taller holes etc…

I don’t know if that’s Better or Worse for faster pace music like Irish (guess notes for a newbie might be cleaner, but also slower?)

Then tonally, I imagine the Aluminum comb must do something different than the plastic?

I LOVE that the Session has the plates and covers tucked into the comb (no sharpies),

But I LOVE that the Favorite has chromed plates (you might say I’m moisture generous in my playing — and I’m not technical enough to take apart a harp to clean it.)

Can anyone put up with me and offer a hand? (not up the side of my head, but a helping hand, haha.)


(ps- im a little time crunched as i have to load up my paypal soon if im going to get these harps any time soon.)

((NOTE: sidenote, I’m getting a PADDY "G" and either a PADDY "D" or LOW D ——-> is there MUCH advantage to learning on the LowD as opposed to D ? for the cost difference?))


Merry Christmas !

Re: one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

Hi Jimbo,
Have you had a look at
I have the Big River Custom Paddy tuned G and am very pleased with it and the Pro Harp D. The tough reed plates last well. Price compares now sterling and euro are about the same!
I have the Seydel Blues session A Paddy, to me it gives a softer sound. I don’t reckon the comb material makes any noticeable difference.
I have a low D Paddy Seydel and it is slower in response compared with the ordinary D I have. It is easier to play quickly on the D and of course being higher it’s more noticeable.
I have an XB40 in G that I altered to Paddy tuning, it’s easy to bend the notes but the bluesy sound might not be to everyone’s liking.

Re: one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

I like the feel of the Seydels, but the sound on them is a bit weak compared to the Lee Oskar. The reeds don’t last nearly as long also.

If you don’t want to tune it yourself (and it seems that you don’t feel ready to do so), you can use a standard Lee Oskar harp (Richter Tuned in G) and switch out one plate for a Melody Maker harp (D) and get a Paddy Richter tuning. It’s actually going to end up costing about what the Seydel Session costs and will last quite a bit longer, have a stronger sound, and get you a bit more comfortable with opening up a harp.

Eventually you will just want to tune your own. I actually use a Delta Frost for my High D and C and I’m considering tuning one to Paddy when either I get the gumption to buy another, or my current Lee Oskar finally needs to have a reed plate replaced. For now, I’m happy with what I have though.

That said, I still think the irish tuned G that Seydel does for chromatics is one of the best things one can get. There will always be a tune or two that you want to play on the chrom (for accidentals). It’s relatively inexpensive for the chrome and it’s perfect for the music.

I still have yet to try the XB40.

Re: one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

I forgot to mention that I primarily play LOW D for D tunes, but switch out depending on where the tune lies on the harp and how it sounds (much like I did with whistle and low whistle). I use a Special 20 for Low D because honesty, it’s the best I’ve found so far.

Re: one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

Jimbo, You are focusing too much on hardware….just go to the local store, buy a harmonica in the key of D, and start learning tunes. There are many, in many keys, that can easily be played on a D harmonica without Paddy tuning, slides, lower tones or other trickery. Tunes in G that avoid the C note, like Off to California and Out on the Ocean. Scads of tunes in E dorian. Of course, tunes in D, and even most session tunes in A. You are going to own a lot of harmonicas if you stick with it. So start with an inexpensive one, and get playing!!!!! The sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy joining in to the fun!

Re: one last Question — Paddy Tuned, but which brand ?

Al has good advice there. Plus, it doesn’t matter how good the hardware is, you’re still going to initially have trouble with, for example, the 2 draw. Everyone does! Just get something and play, then optimise later.

For what it’s worth, my usual session instruments are Antony Dannecker (see LurcherJohn’s link above) Meisterklasse/Cross Harp combos. I also have a couple of Brendan Power customised Suzuki MR350V’s, which are lovely and get played regularly. Everything else I play is fairly bog standard kit (I have quite a few Big Rivers) which I have retuned myself.