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John Potts Estate Harps

Last year the Harmonica Community lost a good one.  His name is John Potts of Toledo, Ohio.  John was not a famous recording artist.  He was what I refer to as a “Harmonica Enthusiast”.  John was well-known on and  He would often engage in friendly debate or offer advice about a wide variety of topics including music theory, positions, alternate tunings, tube amps, effect pedals and more. John was an attorney and a lifelong bachelor.  With ample discretionary income and no wife to tell him not to spend money on his toys, he was in a unique position to cater to an addiction which many of us share and is commonly referred to as G.A.S. – Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  I did a lot of business with John over the years, and he also patronized several other harmonica merchants – customizers, comb makers, amps, pedals, mics, etc.   


John was especially fond of my Anodized Aluminum Combs and Powder Coated Covers.  He was also very creative and dreamt up some interesting ideas for custom harmonicas.  Aside from the usual Golden Melodys and Suzuki Manjis, I personally built multiple unique sets of harmonicas for John including the following:

  • Hybrid harmonicas consisting of Suzuki Manji reed plates mounted on Golden Melody combs with Golden Melody covers. I had my machinist custom make aluminum combs for this project to accommodate the different screw hole patterns for the reed plates.  The spacing of the slots is the same for Suzuki and Hohner harmonicas so changing the screw holes was pretty simple.  And of course, the reed plates had to be modified to fit on the Golden Melody combs.

  • Hybrid harmonicas featuring Seydel 1847 reed plates mounted on Golden Melody combs with Golden Melody covers. Once again, my machinist accommodated us by making custom aluminum combs with wider spacing and screw pattern to fit the Seydel reed plates.

  • A complete set of Suzuki Manjis tuned to A=432Hz.

  • A complete set of Suzuki Olives tuned to what he referred to as “Mad Cat Tuning”.


And, apparently, I was not the only Harp Tech/Customizer who catered to John’s imagination.  One of the sets left behind is a set of Hybrid Golden Melody/Manji harps on Dock Sjoeberg Dymondwood Combs built by Joe Spiers shortly before he became a Hohner Affiliated Customizer.  Another set of Golden Melodys (with Golden Melody reed plates) was built by Mike Fugazzi in 2011.


I have been working with John’s estate off and on for the past year plus to help liquidate his collection, as none of John’s relatives play the harmonica and would very much like to see their way to other enthusiasts who will play and enjoy them.


Here is a short list of what I have available.  I am motivated to find new homes for these harmonicas and avoid dealing with eBay.  Therefore, I am offering them via my network of harmonica players on Facebook, and  I could probably fetch more money by going through eBay but after the seller fees and expenses, it would probably net out at about the same.

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