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Hohner CX-12 Jazz

When Hohner brought out the CX12 back in the early 1990s, it was hailed as a breakthrough in harmonica design, with its modern look and ease of disassembly. It quickly became the instrument of choice for many players, but one recurring complaint was that the radius of the mouthpiece was a little too big, making it uncomfortable for some to play it for extended periods. This criticism has now been addressed by Hohner with the CX-12 Jazz. Actually, the most noticeable change is not the redesigned mouthpiece so much as the colour scheme - a very striking red/gold duochrome finish, which make the CX-12 Jazz a very visually appealing instrument. Most of the dimensions of the covers have not been changed and in fact, the cover for the CX-12 Jazz is completely compatible with all the other versions of the CX. However, the mouthpiece now has a more conventional tapered shape, rather than the rounded cross-section of the original design. I never had a problem with the original shape, quite the opposite in fact, but I loaned my sample of the jazz to a couple of people who had previously found the CX uncomfortable - they both said that the newer version was much better for them. The CX Jazz also features the new reedplates and reed alloys that have been the subject of much discussion on the various internet harmonica forums. The 1.05mm thick reedplates have long slot reeds which change to a narrower reed in hole 8 and above. Although there have been mixed opinions of these new reeds, I have to say that this particular instrument is extremely responsive and the adjustment of the reeds allows for good bendability across the full range of the harp, which is what you would probably want in a harp with the word "jazz" in its name. Tuning is also very good, although at A=444Hz, it's perhaps just a little sharp for my own personal taste.

So if you really liked the CX-12, but found yourself coming down with a case of lockjaw after playing it, you might wish to investigate the CX-12 Jazz. I believe the Jazz cover is also available separately, which would be a cost effective way to upgrade an old CX that you might have lying around gathering dust.

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