Air leaks can be one of the most frustrating problems that a harp player can have, there is a possibility of an air leak from many parts on the harmonica.
the mouth piece on chromatics, reed plate to comb, cover plates and reed slots,
many modern harmonicas now come with screws holding the reed plates to the comb improving on the old fashioned nail, SEE HARPCLAMP PAGE
the comb to reed plate must mate to each other true and flat, just like the head gasket on a car there must only be one way out for the air flow and that is past the reed
there are many tips and tricks on the web, Vaseline, silicone, varnish, bees wax, and of course the secret potions used by the old blues legends they got from the devil himself at the crossroads in exchange for a soul.
what ever you decide to use remember if any gets on or in the reed gaps it will spoil the flow of air and then have to be removed. or forever produce a sound not unlike the scream of a cat being slowly pulled inside out !!
wood or plastic ? thatís one debate that goes on and on like the chicken and the egg
sealing wood combs with varnishes makes sense as saliva has an effect on wood combs made from pear wood or any other material, and although against the grain of all the purists out there that say wood sounds better, its this problem that offers a good case for using plastic as a comb material, its not as cold a metal comb so it warms up quicker, the SUPER 64X has a acrylic comb!
that said there is evidence of a difference in tone that a trained ear can pick up.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Many years ago the British motorcycle industry ignored the inevitable demand for improvements in product quality and advancement in technology thinking that the heritage and reputation would see off the competition the Japanese manufacturers picked up on this kicked the ball between the legs of the BMI and went on not only to score a goal and win the match but they have been winning the world cup with one legged players blind folded while playing a mouth organ!
well I think you get where I am coming from! AND I sincerely hope hohner do !