I’m listening to a Youtube of Brendan Power playing the new Suzuki SUB30, an instrument tuned to standard Richter layout with a new design (30 reeds on a diatonic harp)…

I’m listening to a Youtube of Brendan Power playing the new Suzuki SUB30, an instrument tuned to standard Richter layout with a new design (30 reeds on a diatonic harp) that allows significant bending on 18 out of 20 diatonic pitches, as opposed to the 8 available in a standard 20-reed Richter harp.

I have long wanted a diatonic harp with this kind of expression on every reed, and I am going to buy an SUB30 as soon as I can.

Click here
for Suzuki’s story on this instrument. Sounds convincing to me, especially as I listen to Brendan working the bends on that harp. The only thing that’s of any concern at this point is the price, which is apparently unannounced at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the $75 range or higher.

Update August 4: a post on Harp-L asked whether it was true that the SUB30 is priced at $219. If that’s true, I may not buy one after all. That’s about the price of 4 Manjis or Hohner Marine Band Deluxes, and they’re good instruments. Granted that they don’t bend on every reed…

4 Comments

  1. I have to agree, the Suzuki SUB30 looks very good, and I was looking forward to buying one but $219 is way over the top. That smacks of outright greed on the part of the company. In fact it’s put me off ever buying a Suzuki harmonica, I’d rather buy a Hohner Marine Band for $25 and still get hours of enjoyment out of it. In fact it’ll only be a matter of time before other Harmonica companies start to replicate the SUB30 at a far lower and much more reasonable price. I feel it’s an insult to the harp playing family to price the Suzuki SUB30 so high. I’ll just sit and wait and hope Hohner do a SUB30 Marine Band 1896 and sell it at the same price as a regular one. It’s a sad day when a diatonic harmonica is priced so high that you feel cheated before you’ve even played the thing.

  2. Richard and at large harmonica communiy:
    Hi, hey I don’t like the Sub 30 price either but if you think about a few factors, it’s not that surprising they are charging so much. They may not even want to sell very many of them yet for the following reasons: To begin with, probably every player will want a full set of them to replace potentially every other diatonic AND chromatic harp they make for which they have spent vast amounts tooling for the manufacture of as well as research and development investment for the pricey Fabulous, Manji, Firebreath and others as well as R&D costs for the Sub 30 itself which they’ll want to recoup. R&D for the Sub 30 itself must have been unusually high and tooling for its manufacture also unusually high. Until the existing inventory of so many of their harps other than the Sub 30 are sold down, don’t expect it (Sub30) to drop much in price. Suzuki probably expects having to sell a good many of them at the higher price before they gear up fully to make them in large numbers and all the keys. Then the price should hopefully drop but that could be years off so maybe not by much even then.

  3. Folks might want to know that Suzuki USA will only honor the warranty on harps purchased from USA dealers. I see cutthroat Sub39 sellers on ebay from Japan and China. Cheap yes, warranty, no!

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