My low harp case: mostly Lucky 13s, with other worthy contenders
A pic of my case for low diatonic harps: 5 Lucky 13s (A, Bb, D, D Country, and Eb), 4 Special 20s (2 Low D, Low Eb, Low E, one with Turbolids, which do indeed sound more focused and louder), and 1 Seydel 1847 Low C. I keep my Low F harps in the same case as my other go-to harps, because I’m as likely to use a Low F on a tune as the higher F.
They all play well, but after playing through all of them this morning, my faves are the Lucky 13s. First, you can’t beat a 4-octave range, at least not with a 3-octave range. Second, they have a nice screech to them because their second octave is the same as a normal first octave, which is where a lot of screech and holler lives, and the low octave has its own screech. Finally, the extended range lets you get an awful lot of lead and rhythm going–you can even invert the normal ranges of lead and rhythm lines. Way cool.
I tuned up the Lucky 13 D country myself–Brendan Power does not offer this tuning OOTB, but it’s only one reed. Still waiting hopefully for Lucky 13s in Dorian Minor tuning. How ’bout it Brendan?
the 21st century blues harmonica manifesto in sound