Seydel Skydiver
I just received the Seydel newsletter and saw the announcement of the new Sydel Skydiver, an Asian-tuned 24-hole tremolo with stainless steel reeds. It looks attractive with a bright blue ABS comb and stainless steel covers. At USD 129.95, it's a bit pricier than many popular trems. It comes in the keys of G, A, C, Db, and D. Has anyone seen or acquired one of these yet? I'm sure a review would be welcomed by all.
Thanks for letting us know about this, Joe. This is a welcome addition in my opinion. I like the Seydel Sailor harps so much that I was thinking about getting more in the same keys and tuning up the draw note of the doubled note (for instance there are 2 G notes on the low end of a C harp, one blow and one draw). Then it would play very much like an Asian tuned harp. But now Seydel has made an Asian tuned Sailor and called it the Skydiver. I definitely want one when my budget allows it.
It seems this platform is doing well since they are expanding the line. Seydel dealer Greg Jones told me once that this harp was originally designed to sell in the Asian market so an Asian tuned version makes sense and may have already existed and is only now being sold to the West.
I have 2 of the Sailor Steel Reed tremolo harps and like them a lot. I will say, however, that they have a slightly taller "bite" than the Suzuki. This means I have to open my mouth a bit more. It doesn't matter when playing a few tunes but if I play for an hour the Seydel tires my jaw more than the Suzuki. Not a big problem but I do notice the difference. Of course everybody's anatomy is different so other people may not notice. I have to jut my jaw slightly for the best tone on any harp. The Seydel harps seem to me to be more stable holding their tuning. Of course I have had the Suzuki harps longer. I have had to touch up the tuning on a few Suzuki reeds. They might remain stable for years now, only time will tell. But the Seydel steel reed harps so far have not needed any tuning adjustments. I did gap a couple of reeds on one.
There are some sound samples at their web site:
Hi Rex. I too have a Sailor. It's in G. I haven't yet noticed the higher bite required on the mouthpiece, but I haven't played it that much. My only note of comparison so far is against the Hohner Echo. On the Seydel I find a comfortable playing experience with better accuracy in my playing. It could be the ABS mouthpiece and its profile, compared the slightly bulging maple mouthpiece of the Hohner; I don't know. But I am sure that the astonishing fit and finish of the Seydel instrument will make the Skydiver a real contender in the Asian tuned segment, even at its slightly more aggressive price point. I don't have a strong opinion of steel reeds, either for technical or musical purposes. I don't know which dealers have the Skydiver yet, but Rockin' Ron seems to source Seydels pretty regularly. As I said before, we'd all welcome a review.


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