a) lower: blues harp (C) "Victory" :
b) upper: Tremolo Harmonica "Unsere Lieblinge" (Hohner)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are looking for a top quality harmonica there are plenty out there to choose from. The leader in the market is Hohner who has made them for over 150 years. Some other famous makers of harmonicas include Lee Oscar, Suzuki, and Bushman. You may want to try out several brands as well as several models to find the one that you are really happy with. Harmonicas can be expensive but if you want a quality sound you need to make a good investment in one that will last.
Most harmonicas are very durable and they will last you for a very long time. However, you need to do your part to take care of them. When not in use the harmonica needs to be in a carrying pouch. This will prevent it from getting damaged and the sound changing. You also need to clean it out on a regular basis.
Some professionals clean their harmonica by dipping it into a cup of water mixed with denture tablets that dissolve. They believe it takes away the stale taste that can build up in the harmonica after you play it a great deal. This process is very simple and it doesn’t seem to have resulted in any harmonicas being ruined or altered the sound of them.
Over a period of time, all harmonicas will need to be tuned again. You may end up doing permanent damage to it if you don’t keep it clean. In most cases when your harmonica is out of tune you will need to replace it. Repairs can be time-consuming and expensive yet they don’t really seem to work for long before it is out of tune again.