Harmonica Reeds

If i buy a harmonica, and it turns out it isnt in tune, can i return it as faulty?

Hello, im thinking of buying a harmonica over the internet and im scared it'l come and be out of tune, i know it might sound like a silly question but if it is, can i return it as faulty? im not talking about seriously out of tune, just bad enough that i cant play along with a keyboard without it being noticeable. thanks :)

Most shops will not allow you to return a harmonica. There's no way to sterilize it and put it back in the market.

Hohner will let you send one directly back to the factory though while under warranty. Other manufacturers probably do the same but I'm primarily a Hohner player.

They'll let you send one back for refurb for it's life too (for a cost) - pretty good deal sometimes, cheaper to buy a new one others. http://www.hohnerusa.com/index.php?1487

Now, a caution for you. First, most harmonicas are not equal tempered like a piano so they won't play in perfect tune with a piano no matter what. It's a design function of harmonicas. Most are just tempered so that they play their chords in tune with themselves. If that's important to you then you'll want a Golden Melody harp - it's equal tempered. http://www.hohnerusa.com/index.php?1487

Second, harmonica reeds are very responsive to the player's breath control (which is why we can bend one a whole step) and if your playing skills aren't peak then you won't be in zero tolerance tuning perfection against a strobe no matter how perfect the factory sent it out.

Cool thing is: it's a "blues harp" and isn't supposed to sound perfectly in tune. That's part of the timbre of the style. Close enough to sound ok but not zero tolerance.

Buy a tremolo harp and they're out of tune on purpose. They're tuned using a variance on the double reeds (one flat and one sharp) to intentionally be out of tune and create the tremolo. Not unlike a French accordion tuning.

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