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 Bends Harmonicas?


Doc has been dealing with the distributor for the USA, but has been unable to get a shipment in from Bends. He was wanting to place an order months ago, but the distributor wasn't able to at the time. Now, one of our customers has been able to obtain a Bends harmonica and below you will see what he has to say about. As a result, Doc is waiting to see what the market has to say about Bends harmonicas, before he purchases any Bends harmonicas, even when the distributor can handle an order from us.
 
Doc would like anyone else who has obtained a Bends harmonica to email him with there opinions, and he will also post their opinions below, so our customers can read them and make their own decisions.
 
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Hi Doc,

You may not recall but in one of my emails I mentioned a harmonica brand called "Bends" from Brazil and that I was going to try one. The only US supplier I found was called instrumentalsavings.com and they are a bit expensive. I finally got the one I ordered called a Bends "Juke" with a wood comb and they really hype the fact that there are 7 screws in the cover plates producing an extremely air tight harp. Well, mine has 4 screws down, 1 screw half-way down, and two empty holes.

This harp is as air tight as a sive, the cover plates are loose, it is a Marine Band knock off that is so poorly built that any serious player would laugh at it.

To make matters worse, the place I got it from just ignores my request for help. At 1st I thought this was a strong point; that is the harp comes in a box that has a seal to prove it has not been opened however it also doesn't show what you are buying until after you pay for it. Granted, Internet sales ends up the same way but I'm sure there are many that buy from a walk-in outlet.

I wouldn't know where to start but I figured you have many contacts in the harmonica world so perhaps you could give a "heads-up" concerning what I received.

Take it easy,

Ed Stanwyck

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Update Doc,

I had the feeling the screw that wasn't down was because the holes didn't line up so the assembler just let it go. I went to the web site in Brazil and found the "Juke" has a total of 7 screws, 5 inside & the 2 outside but somehow that translated to having a 7 screw lock down inside but the supplier had it wrong.

I decided rather than go through the mess of trying to return it that I would look for myself. I took off the cover plates and all screws were very loose with one a thread from coming out. The cover plates moved side to side in the "just opened state" which in part explains why it wasn't air tight.

I tightened them all (even the one half way down) went down without any trouble, put the plates back on and it worked fine.

My question: If I wasn't me, that is not afraid to open it to have a look, what would the "other guy that is do?

One would have to go through the hassle and expense of returning a harp to have screws tightened down. I am an optimist but one that doesn't win lottery's & raffles so it is hard for me to think mine is an isolated case.

Speaking of isolated cases, I must not forget the Fire Breath which surly couldn't have been anything else but; has Suzuki ever given you an idea of what could have happened with that harp?

Anyway, I wanted to give you this update as to what I had to go through/do to make the "Juke" at least seem like it was almost worth the close to $60.00 bucks ($48.00 & $10.00 shipping) and three weeks waiting for delivery from California. 

One day at a time,

Ed

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Hi Doc and Andrew -

I'm writing to let you know that I am a happy Bends customer. I'm not affiliated with them in any way other than as a customer. Thiago

(cc'd) mentioned that you had invited Bends owners to comment on the instrument (http://www.harpdepot.com/index1.html?ext188.html&1) and I'm happy to do so.

I am the proud owner of two Bends Tonica 12s. This model has a very distinctive sweet sound and it is extremely comfortable to play. They were both set up nicely right out of the box, and the coated slides are stick-free for many more hours of playing then can be expected with anything I've played other than a CX12. Also, they are straight- tuned which I have a slight preference for over cross-tuned chromatics. For an under $250 chromatic, it is very, very nice.

The Bends guys have been really helpful and responsive to my request for spare parts and Thiago is one hell of a player too!

Thanks,

- Slide Man Slim, October, 2009

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