Last August at SPAH I bought a Seydel Session Steel harmonica in the key of A from Rupert Oysler. Since then I’ve been playing that instrument frequently and hard, and it still plays and sounds pretty much the way it did when I took it out of the case for the first time. That makes it the most durable instrument I’ve ever owned, not to mention louder, punchier, more responsive, and more generally playable than the vast majority of the harps in my collection.
I just took delivery on three more Session Steels in Bb, C, and D, and I’m looking forward to putting them through their paces. If they’re up to the standard set by the A harp, I’ll be very impressed. These harps aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re certainly price and performance competitive with the Hohner MB Deluxe and Crossover, Suzuki Manji and Olive, etc., and so far they seem to be more durable than any of the similarly-priced competition. (Certainly my MB Deluxes and Manjis don’t hold up under hard playing the way my A Session Steel does.) Stay tuned for more commentary as I work with my new Session Steels.