Seydel Sailor steel reeds
#1
Today I recieved a Seydel Sailor with stainless steel reeds in G. I bought this harp from Greg Jones at 1623 Custom Harmonicas.
Short review: This is a great harp. Every bit as good as the Suzuki Humming in G. I am very happy to have it and would gladly recommend it to any tremolo player.

Longer review: The note spacing is the same as the Suzuki tremolo harps. The comb is a little bit thicker than a Suzuki comb and the covers do not taper down as steeply as the Suzuki. This mean the "bite" is a bit thicker and you notice that if you switch between those two harps, but I found both are comfortable in the mouth and it is easy to adjust between the two. The edge of the reed plates on the Suzuki is rounded smoother, but the Seydel is still very comfortable, just more squared off. I could easily round the edges with a smooth sharpening stone if I want (I have done this on other harps) but I have no plans to because it is fine as is. The Suzuki looks a bit nicer. The covers shine a bit more. The key label is printed on the Suzuki and is a decal on the Seydel. They sound the same. After playing both for an hour I couldn't detect any difference in sound or volume. I played a tune for my wife and she couldn't tell the differece either. Where the Seydel Sailor really excelled was the tuning. It is perfect. I mean perfect. Every note low to high. The tremolo rates are even and smooth from note to note. They stay stable at low volume or high. The chords sound great everywhere. This is the best tuned out of the box tremolo I have ran across. I have had others that were close to perfect out of the box. I believe the tuning scheme is the same as Suzuki, equal temperment, but it may be a compromise tuning. It is not just intonation. The reeds are very clean and show limited tuning marks and no "back and forth" tuning (raising AND lowing pitch on the same reed). This Sailor was tuned right the first time. The tremolo rates are very close to the Suzuki rates. Maybe a tad faster, but so close that I can't say for sure without taking frequency measurements. The Seydel Sailor is Richter tuned. It plays chords in the first octave instead of a complete scale like the Suzuki. But I found many of my favorite tunes played just fine without any missing notes. The Sailor has more notes on the high end so the major scale in the third octave is complete. And it goes even higher. Since it is tuned so well playing tunes on those higher notes sounds nice. I was going to record a comparison between my Suzuki G and Seydel G, but it would be pointless because you would hear no difference in volume or tone. A few folks with really great ears might detect the slightly smoother transition of the tremolo rates from note to note, but I think you would have to really listen close to even detect that. By chance I have not shaved for a few days and found the Seydel cover to be a bit of a moustache grabber. Not bad, but it does do it some. The Suzuki harps have never done that. So keep it trimmed if you have one. The case is similar to the Humming case. I will be tempted to eventually buy another Seydel Sailor in another key. Two thumbs up!
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#2
Here are a couple of sound samples. I choose slow tunes and chords so you could hear how nice this harp sounds.
https://soundcloud.com/tremolo-rex/just-as-i-am

https://soundcloud.com/tremolo-rex/jesus-shall-reign
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#3
For those of you who are gear nuts here are some photos of the Seydel Sailor taken apart. Same music as on Sound Cloud. I wanted to share some sound of this new harp on my You Tube channel for my subscribers. Very few of them also follow Sound Cloud.


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#4
This video compares the Sailor and the Humming:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_O37EI5b7E

I have listed this video before under Richter harps, sorry about the duplicate post, but I put it here also because of recent question about how the Sailor and Humming compare.
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#5
(10-20-2016, 11:03 PM)Rex Wrote: This video compares the Sailor and the Humming:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_O37EI5b7E

I have listed this video before under Richter harps, sorry about the duplicate post,  but I put it here also because of recent question about how the Sailor and Humming compare.

Great review.
Thanks
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#6
Today I received a Seydel Sailor steel reed tremolo in D. This is higher than a C, and an octave higher than the standard Suzuki D. This harp gets two thumbs up. It has a wetter tremolo but that is to be expected from a German harp that is higher pitched. I think the tremolo rates are perfect for this range. Since it's close to Christmas I did a quick little medley of Christmas tunes to demo it. I was glad to be able to finally afford this because D is an important key for the types of music I play and the low D isn't always the best choice. Merry Christmas!
https://soundcloud.com/tremolo-rex/chris...edley-in-d
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