- One of Harmonica.com’s top rated harmonicas for ADVANCED INTERMEDIATES TO PRO
- Key of C
- Stainless steal reeds
- Made in Germany
- Massive tone and the highest level of craftsmanship
- Tuning: Standard Richter
- NOTE: may need to be customized to your preferences (see info here)
Is the Seydel 1847 Silver Any Good?
Verdict – I would not advise beginners to buy this harmonica. However, there are a lot of professional harp players who love this harmonica. Personally, the lack of responsiveness and difficulty bending some of the draw bends makes it hard for me to get excited about, but according to JP Allen these harmonicas shine best when they’re customized by professionals. The stainless steel reeds give this harmonica a beautiful tone that’s much darker to my ear than brass reeds. The stainless steel reeds are less susceptible to corrosion than brass. They make the harmonica more expensive, but they also make it more durable and longer-lasting.
Bendability – I can get all the bends on this harmonica with effort, but I really have to work hard to bend the -3 and especially the draw 2. If you’re wanting to get into a lot of bending, I don’t think this is the best harmonica to learn on. I still give it 4/5 stars because I can bend all the notes, but if you’re not really confident in your bending ability I would steer you toward a Lee Oskar or Hohner Special 20, or a Hohner Crossover for a comparable high craftsmanship instrument, all of which are much easier to bend out of the box than the Seydel 1847 Silver.
Comfort – This harmonica is super comfy on the lips with a polymer comb with rounded chamber partitions, chromed cover plates, a countersunk reed plate that doesn’t jab into the lips. It also has really nicely rounded corners. The height of this harmonica from bottom to top is a bit bigger than a Special 20, and the spacing of the reeds is a bit bigger. This didn’t give me any problem at all, but I have seen some people in the forums for whom the wider spacing is a problem. I’d call this harp a Cadillac for comfort, maybe the most comfy harp I’ve played and enthusiastically give it 5 stars.
Tone – Nice dark tone, medium projection, in tune out of the box. Unlike most harmonicas, this harmonica seems to sound better the harder I play it. If you like to play really hard, this harmonica could be a great choice for you.
Responsiveness – The reason why I have never gotten too excited about the Seydel 1847 Silver is because of its lack of responsiveness. It’s most noticeable to me around the -2 and -3, but I can’t play this harmonica as fast as I can play its competitors. Now it may be that once I try one that is set up aftermarket by a professional, I’m totally wowed. I’ll get back to you and let you know once I get around to doing it – it’s already a dang expensive harp in the first place!
Looks – I think this harmonica is sooooo sexy. I love the white comb and the shape of the cover plates. It was hard for me not to give it 5/5 stars. However, the key labels are difficult to read, and there are no hole numbers engraved on the top cover plate. I don’t personally think about hole numbers much anyway, but this is one more reason why I would never recommend this harmonica for beginners, and all in all I give it a 4/5 stars for looks.
Durability/Fixability – This is another place where the Seydel 1847 Silver really shines. The polymer comb will not be susceptible to any of the swelling, splintering, or cracking that a wood comb could be over time. The cover plates are attached with Phillips head screws which should make this harmonica easy to fix/tune. Also, both the reeds and the reed plates are made out of stainless steel which makes this harmonica expensive, but also makes it very durable, much more resistant to corrosion than brass or bronze. If you play very hard, you can count on the reeds of this instrument lasting a lot longer than you’re used to. So you do pay more upfront, but if it lasts four times as long, it might be a great investment.
From the Manufacturer
- Full and loud, overtone-rich sound and extremely fast tone-response.
- Very long durability even with heavy duty playing due to stainless steel reeds and rivets.
- Reedplates made of non-corrosive German Silver.
- Less air-loss due to fine-cut reedplates – optimized flatness and extremely small tolerances between reed and reedplate.
- The overtone-rich sound can spread out unhindered – covers opened wide at the back and crimped and therefore a good stability.
- Beard- and lip-friendly stainless steel cover plates with rounded edges without any cuts at the mouthpiece.
- Corrosion-free Richter-diatonic harmonica with a solid polymer comb.
Might be “too much harmonica” for a beginner.
May need to be customized (see info here)