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Renaissance Chromatic Harmonica.

The "star"instrument in my collection of harmonicas is my ILUS Renaissance harmonica.

Back in the 1990s, I was "going back to my roots", and I wanted to obtain a really good chromatic harmonica. I started out playing music when I was a child, as a chromatic harmonicist, but when I was a young teenager, I decided that I wanted to play the "blues harp", and for many years, the diatonic "short harp" was my main instrument.

But I just LOVE the sound of the chromatic harmonica.

I met the late Douglas Tate through the international harmonica player's internet "list", Harp-L. Doug explained to me that he and his American associate, Bobbie Giordano, were together designing a concert chromatic harmonica that was to be just about the best instrument of its kind in the world.

I was intrigued... I already owned a few chromatics, several Hohner Super Chromonica "270s" as well as a 16 hole Larry Adler Professional. At that time, I was running a successful business, and I actually had some money.... So I ordered my own "Renny". Douglas constructed it especially for me in 1997, and it was ILUS Harmonica's Renaissance Harmonica #8 built.

It was... And still is... An awesome harmonica. Almost entirely constructed from stainless steel heavily silver plated, it looked just beautiful when brand new, and still looks great after nearly 15 years of use.

Harmonicas need regular servicing, and mine is no exception. The "standard" reed plates that my harmonica came with were as fitted to Hohner's "Mellow Tone" chromatic. When Larry Adler passed away, I had the opportunity to purchase a set of "new old stock" Hohner Silver Concerto plates, that had been reserved for Larry Adler's instruments. However, they didn't suit MY instrument. So more recently, Michael Timler from Germany supplied and fitted some brand new "Mellow Tone" plates, and "#8" has never sounded better.

So, is a "Renaissance" harmonica worth the money? My answer to that is a resounding "YES".

I have had years of excellent service from mine!

Circumstances change, my "day job" business went down during the recent "slump", sometimes called "the recession". These days I simply no longer have thousands of Pounds to spend on any musical instrument . However, my Renaissance harmonica is probably the best harmonica that I have ever played, and I am truly privileged, and very lucky to be able to use such a marvelous musical instrument.

Sadly, Douglas Tate is no longer with us. He was one of the world's greatest harmonica players, as well as being a true gentleman, a marvelous engineer, and a good friend. Luckily, he has left us the heritage of a truly great harmonica, the Renaissance, which is now being built to order in Germany, by C.A.Seydel, Sohne, GmbH.

Link: http://www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel.sf/en_GB/?ObjectID=12821

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