Brendan Power Signature
Brendan Power
 
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Suzuki PowerPlugs

My 3d-printed PowerCombs have been a hit with chromatic harmonica players looking to get better reed response from their chroms - because they really work (read more on the theory behind that).

They fit most popular chromatics, but the owners of the more expensive Suzuki chromatics with brass-weighted combs could not have it both ways: they had to either stick with the weighted factory combs with their too-large inefficient reed chambers, or switch to a superior-shaped but much lighter Suzuki PowerComb.

Now I've got the perfect solution for them: PowerPlugs!

PowerPlugs PowerPlugs PowerPlugs PowerPlugs
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

PowerPlugs are precisely designed 3d-printed inserts that fit in the top four reed chambers of ALL Suzuki ABS chromatic combs, including the GM48, GM48-W, Sirius and SCX chromatics. Here are their advantages:
  1. PowerPlugs offer the same efficient chamber reduction of PowerCombs for superior reed response in the critical top octave
  2. They are quick and easy to install, a simple press-fit (see the video)
  3. They allow Suzuki chrom owners to retain their factory-made comb, including the brass weights in the more expensive models
  4. A set of PowerPlugs is considerably cheaper than buying a full PowerComb
It's a win-win all the way! Check out the video to see how simple it is to install them.

Buying Advice

Powerplugs cost £15 for one set, £12.50 per set for two, £10 per set for three or more.

Postage

All prices INCLUDE International shipping
Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

Suzuki PowerPlugs

Discontinued
PowerPlugs

Hohner PowerPlugs

My 3d-printed PowerCombs have been a hit with chromatic harmonica players looking to get better reed response from their chroms - because they really work (
read more on the theory behind that).

The Hohner CX-12, 64, Super 64 and Super 64-X are popular chromatic harmonicas, and rightly so: they have great reedplates and a good tone. But one area lets them all down: the too-large comb chambers of their ABS plastic injection-moulded combs, especially a problem for reed response in the top octave. Players of these nice Hohner chromatics had to either stick with the inefficient factory combs, or buy a superior-shaped but expensive PowerComb.

Now I've got the perfect solution for them: PowerPlugs!

Hohner PowerPlugs Hohner PowerPlugs Hohner PowerPlugs Hohner PowerPlugs Hohner PowerPlugs Hohner PowerPlugs
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

My Hohner PowerPlugs are precisely designed 3d-printed inserts that fit in the top four comb chambers of the CX-12 and all 16-hole Hohner chromatics. Here are their advantages:
  1. PowerPlugs offer the same efficient chamber reduction as my PowerCombs, for superior reed response in the critical top octave
  2. They are quick and easy to install, a simple press-fit (see the video)
  3. They allow Hohner chrom owners to boost the performance of their factory comb without spending a lot of money
It's a win-win all the way! Check out the video to see how simple it is to install them.

Buying Advice

Powerplugs cost £15 for one set, £12.50 per set for two, £10 per set for three or more.

Postage

All prices INCLUDE International shipping
Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

Hohner PowerPlugs

Discontinued
PowerPlugs

Diatonic Hohner 10 Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Suzuki 10 Hole Models – Manji, Low Manji, Hammond, Fabulous, Olive, Promaster (valved and standard)

Suzuki 10-hole harps have earned an enviable reputation for hard-gigging reliability. The first to introduce welded reeds, Suzuki is a leader in applying high-tech features to their harmonicas. For those who love Suzuki harps, my 3D printed PowerCombs add unique new features to their popular diatonic models - like Valve Pockets, Personalised Name Option and the LookDot – plus 15 colours if you want them! Because of the PowerComb's Valve Pockets, ALL Suzuki diatonics can be easily valved with my new Stealth-Valves.
Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

ORDERING OPTIONS

You can buy the combs finished and ready to fit, or save yourself quite a bit of money by doing it yourself. To see how, please watch the Sanding/Finishing video. The Sanding Jig will help you achieve even sanding using two combs at a time - this is how we do it; good results are guaranteed! Watch the Sanding Jig video to see how it's made and used.

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig
Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Diatonic Suzuki 10 Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

Seydel 10 Hole Models

TBD

ORDERING OPTIONS

You can buy the combs finished and ready to fit, or save yourself quite a bit of money by doing it yourself. To see how, please watch the Sanding/Finishing video. The Sanding Jig will help you achieve even sanding using two combs at a time - this is how we do it; good results are guaranteed! Watch the Sanding Jig video to see how it's made and used.

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig
Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Diatonic Seydel 10 Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

Hohner 12 & 14 Hole Harps – Hohner 364, Hohner 365, and SBS (Steve Baker Special)

The Big Beasts of the diatonic harmonica world, Hohner's 12 and 14 hole models have a beautiful sound and extended range that appeals to many. However their raw pearwood combs tend to swell and warp, and the nailed construction does not help with disassembly. Both these factors make them less than user-friendly.

Now my 3D printed PowerCombs offer a way to revive those big Hohner diatonics mouldering away in your closet! They are impervious to moisture, with smooth rounded fronts for comfortable playing and slotted screw holes front and rear for easy assembly and an airtight seal. The big Hohner PowerCombs have Valve Pockets to allow easy valving with my new Stealth-Valves, a longitudinal Tuf-Strut for extra strength, come in 15 colours – and you can add your name to the treble end if you wish.

My unique LookDot is the icing on the cake – several of them in fact! Spaced out at regular logical intervals, the LookDots will help you negotiate your way around confidently on all that frontal real estate. You'll quickly come to appreciate their value as soon as you start playing.

The big Hohner diatonics come in two reed sizes: long-slot (higher keys) and short-slot (lower keys). Unlike most other custom comb makers for these great old harps (who only offer one size comb), I've designed a Universal comb with long slots, and a Short-slot comb. This stays true to the original Hohner nailed wooden comb, which came in two slot lengths.

If you don't know what size your reeds are, choose the Universal PowerComb, as it will fit all. However if you have a higher-key harp with the short reeds, then choose the Short-slot as it will play more sweetly. You can see from the video the differences in reed sizes on these harps. I encourage you to remove the coverplates and check your harp before ordering. WARNING: long-slot reeds will NOT work on the short-slot comb.

(You or a customiser will need to do the conversion from nailed to screwed fitting. Please use Hohner-size 1.6mm screws for fitting to my combs – fatter screws will require enlarging the screw holes).

Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

ORDERING OPTIONS

You can buy the combs finished and ready to fit, or save yourself quite a bit of money by doing it yourself. To see how, please watch the Sanding/Finishing video. The Sanding Jig will help you achieve even sanding using two combs at a time - this is how we do it; good results are guaranteed! Watch the Sanding Jig video to see how it's made and used.

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig
Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Diatonic Hohner 12/14 Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

LUCKY 13 PowerCombs and Stealth-Valves!

The Lucky 13 was released in August 2016, and has already gained many thousands of fans around the world. Exactly a year later the range was expanded to include Paddy Richter in C, G, D keys, plus PowerBender and Power Draw tunings in all 12 keys. Hot on their heels are some exciting custom options for all Lucky 13 harmonicas: PowerCombs and Stealth-Valves.

My 3d printed Lucky 13 PowerCombs add unique new features to this modern classic harmonica. Hand-sanded and finished, they have smooth rounded fronts for comfortable playing, slotted screw holes front and rear for assembly to suit your preferred mouth feel, flat-sanded reedplate surfaces for an airtight seal, a Tuf-Strut for extra strength, Valve Pockets for hassle-free valving – and a Personalised Name Option.

Because of the PowerComb's Valve Pockets, the Lucky 13 can be easily valved with my new Stealth-Valves. Half-valved setup is how I play my Luckies! It allows you to keep all your bends but gives extra expression and volume on the low notes in each hole.

My unique LookDot is the icing on the cake – two of them in fact! Inspired by the location dots on guitar necks, one is placed to mark the join between the normal low octave and extra-low range, while the other is between holes 5 & 6 of the standard range. The LookDots will help you negotiate your way around confidently on that bigger frontal real estate with ease - you'll quickly come to appreciate their value as soon as you start playing!

A special video on valving the Lucky 13 is coming soon. In the meantime, see how easy it is here.

Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

ORDERING OPTIONS

You can buy the combs finished and ready to fit, or save yourself quite a bit of money by doing it yourself. To see how, please watch the Sanding/Finishing video. The Sanding Jig will help you achieve even sanding using two combs at a time - this is how we do it; good results are guaranteed! Watch the Sanding Jig video to see how it's made and used.

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig
Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Diatonic Lucky 13 Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

Seydel Twin Big-Six Comb!

The Seydel Big Six is a popular model for players wanting just the main meat-and-potatoes lower 6 holes of a Richter harp. I recently had some enquiries from players who wanted to put two Big Sixes together on one comb to combine a couple of keys, or make a specialist chord harmonica. Having two Big Sixes on the same comb opens many possibilities, since each Big Six can be specially tuned in Seydel's Configurator.

I liked the concept, so have created a 3D printed PowerComb to do the job! Like my other combs, it is valve-friendly, with each chamber having Valve Pockets so valves don't get pinched between comb and reedplates. You can either use Seydel's valves, or buy a Stealth-Valve kit from if you want to easily valve your Twin Big-Six yourself. My Twin Big Six comb comes in a big range of colours, and you even have the option of having your own name imprinted on the side!

All you do is disassemble two Big-Sixes and put the parts straight on my double comb; they will fit perfectly! This new combo-harp offers a lot of new possibilities - why not think up some for yourself?

Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

ORDERING OPTIONS

You can buy the combs finished and ready to fit, or save yourself quite a bit of money by doing it yourself. To see how, please watch the Sanding/Finishing video. The Sanding Jig will help you achieve even sanding using two combs at a time - this is how we do it; good results are guaranteed! Watch the Sanding Jig video to see how it's made and used.

Tech videos

Tech 1: Making a PowerComb Sanding Jig
Tech 2: Sand and Finish your Diatonic PowerComb

Diatonic Seydel Big Six Comb Finished

(Ready to fit)

Price: £30 (price reduces for multiple buy)

Discontinued

STEALTH-VALVE KITS - Fast and Easy valving for Diatonic Harmonicas

I invented half-valving in 1980, and have played all my harps (diatonics and chromatics) that way ever since. Half-valving means that half the reeds in your harmonica are valve-affected - the low-pitched reeds in each chamber. That leaves the high-pitched reeds to bend as normal.

Why do it? Because the low-pitched reeds on a standard un-valved harp are quieter and have no capacity for any expression: bending and vibrato are impossible on them. Half-valve your harp and suddenly those unresponsive reeds become full of soul! They are louder, purer in tone, and you can bend and add vibrato to the notes.

Where you put the valves depends on the tuning. For a standard Richter harp you would add valves inside for the lower 6 reeds, and 4 valves outside. For PowerBender and PowerDraw, all the valves are inside and none on the outside.

Adding valves is perceived as tricky and fiddly - but it doesn't have to be! To allow more players to enjoy the benefits of half-valving, I've developed my own rugged Stealth-Valves, plus an easy way to add them to all popular harps with accuracy and confidence. Please check out the two videos showing how it works. Video 1 shows full valving, 20 valves on a 10 hole harp. Video two shows half-valving on a Richter harp, plus fitting the reedplates to one of my PowerCombs with special Valve Pockets to give the valve bases plenty of room.

The valve strips are precisely cut in the correct shape for each harmonica model. Laminated from two materials, they have a springy outer layer and a soft inner layer. They are rugged, reliable, quiet and lay flat without sticking. Once fitted you'll forget they're inside your harp - hence the name Stealth-Valves.

The Stealth-Valve Kit comes as two valve units, plus two adhesive strips, carefully packaged to keep everything flat. If you order a Stealth-Valve Kit with your PowerComb, postage costs are reduced - so we can offer a lower price per kit.

Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

VALVE SCISSORS

My notched Valve Scissors simplify and speed up accurate cutting of the installed valves to length, as shown in the videos. They can be ordered as an optional extra.

Stealth-Valve Kit £17

Currently unavailable


Valve Scissors £20

Add to Cart



Diatonic PowerCombs Diatonic PowerCombs

ALL SUZUKI 12-HOLE CHROMATICS: SCX-48, GM-48, GM-48W, Sirius S-48S, Fabulous F-48S

Suzuki chromatic harmonicas are deservedly popular. They look great and play nicely out of the box, plus have the outstanding durability of Suzuki's phosphor-bronze reeds. They come in a variety of models: the modestly-priced SCX series, the more costly GM-48/48W & Sirius S-48S, and the eye-wateringly expensive brass-comb Fabulous F-48S.

All Suzuki chroms except the Fabulous have ABS plastic injection-moulded combs. ABS is a good material for harmonica combs but useful thickening and filling of some areas of the comb (especially in the top octave to overcome the effects of Helmholtz Resonance Coupling), cannot be done properly with injection-moulding. My custom 3D printed PowerCombs keep all the advantages of ABS plus the ability to shape it into the perfect forms for optimal airflow and small chamber volumes. This gives improved reed response - especially in the very top holes, which don't work well with the over-large comb chambers of stock ABS combs.

PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12 PowerComb for the Suzuki-12
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

The main body of the PowerComb is 3D printed and sanded flat, with a stainless steel front-plate bonded on (also flat-sanded). This is an improvement over the injection-moulded stock ABS comb, which has intrinsic high and low points caused by uneven cooling when it comes out of the mould. Besides their superior performance qualities, my PowerCombs come in lots of fun colours! This gives the player the chance to customise the look of their Suzuki chrom for the first time.

The Suzuki PowerComb fits ALL Suzuki 12 hole chromatics: SCX-48 (all keys), GM-48, GM-48W, Sirius S-48S, even the Fabulous F-48S. Fitting a new PowerComb to your Suzuki chrom is a breeze! Here is a video showing the whole procedure step by step, with useful tips for those not accustomed to disassembling their chromatics.

Buying Advice

All prices include international shipping. Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

PowerComb for the Suzuki-12

Suzuki 12 PowerComb


Sorry this product has been discontinued.

Check out our Suzuki PowerPlugs option. These allow you to keep your stock comb whilst adding the performance advantage of PowerComb-style internal profiling in the critical top octave. They will also save you a lot of money!

SUZUKI 14 HOLE CHROMATICS: SCX and Sirius

Suzuki chromatic harmonicas are deservedly popular. They look great and play nicely out of the box, plus have the outstanding durability of Suzuki's phosphor-bronze reeds. Suzuki has two models of 16 hole chromatic: the modestly-priced SCX-56 and the more costly Sirius S-65. The reedplates, coverplates and mouthpiece parts from both models will fit my Suzuki 14-hole PowerComb.

The SCX and Sirius have ABS plastic injection-moulded combs. ABS is a good material for harmonica combs but useful thickening and filling of some areas of the comb (especially in the top octave to overcome the effects of Helmholtz Resonance Coupling), cannot be done properly with injection-moulding. My custom 3D printed PowerCombs keep all the advantages of ABS plus the ability to shape it into the perfect forms for optimal airflow and small chamber volumes. This gives improved reed response - especially in the very top holes, which don't work well with the over-large comb chambers of stock ABS combs.

PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14 PowerComb for the Suzuki-14
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.
The main body of my PowerComb is 3D printed and sanded flat, with a stainless steel front-plate bonded on (also flat-sanded). This is an improvement over the injection-moulded stock ABS comb, which has intrinsic high and low points caused by uneven cooling when it comes out of the mould. The internal ramped design means I’ve been able to increase the ‘swing zone’ for the long low-end blow reeds considerably over stock combs, to ensure they never strike the comb - even under hard blowing.

Besides their superior performance qualities, my PowerCombs come in lots of fun colours! This gives the player the chance to customise the look of their Suzuki chrom for the first time. They come in two types, the single-ramped Advanced and the double-ramped Extreme. There is not a lot of difference in the sound; Extreme goes to the max in reducing chamber volumes, but the Advanced allows you to adjust blow reeds more easily. If you’re not sure, choose Advanced for that reason.

Fitting a new PowerComb to your 14-hole Suzuki chrom is a breeze! Here is a video showing the whole procedure step by step for the 12 hole model, with useful tips for those not accustomed to disassembling their chromatics. The procedure is identical for your 14-hole PowerComb.

Buying Advice

All prices include international shipping. Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

PowerComb for the Suzuki-14

SUZUKI 14 HOLE CHROMATICS: SCX and Sirius


Sorry this product has been discontinued.

Check out our Suzuki PowerPlugs option. These allow you to keep your stock comb whilst adding the performance advantage of PowerComb-style internal profiling in the critical top octave. They will also save you a lot of money!

SUZUKI 16 HOLE CHROMATICS

Suzuki chromatic harmonicas are deservedly popular. They look great and play nicely out of the box, plus have the outstanding durability of Suzuki's phosphor-bronze reeds. Suzuki has three models of 16 hole chromatic: the modestly-priced SCX-64 series, the more costly Sirius S-64C, and the eye-wateringly expensive brass-comb Fabulous F-64C. The reedplates, coverplates and mouthpiece parts from all three models will fit my Suzuki 16-hole PowerComb.

The SCX and Sirius have ABS plastic injection-moulded combs. ABS is a good material for harmonica combs but useful thickening and filling of some areas of the comb (especially in the top octave to overcome the effects of Helmholtz Resonance Coupling), cannot be done properly with injection-moulding. My custom 3D printed PowerCombs keep all the advantages of ABS plus the ability to shape it into the perfect forms for optimal airflow and small chamber volumes. This gives improved reed response - especially in the very top holes, which don't work well with the over-large comb chambers of stock ABS combs.

PowerComb for the Suzuki-16 PowerComb for the Suzuki-16 PowerComb for the Suzuki-16 PowerComb for the Suzuki-16 PowerComb for the Suzuki-16 PowerComb for the Suzuki-16
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

The main body of my PowerComb is 3D printed and sanded flat, with a stainless steel front-plate bonded on (also flat-sanded). This is an improvement over the injection-moulded stock ABS comb, which has intrinsic high and low points caused by uneven cooling when it comes out of the mould. The internal ramped design means I’ve been able to increase the ‘swing zone’ for the long low-end blow reeds considerably over stock combs, to ensure they never strike the comb - even under hard blowing.

Besides their superior performance qualities, my PowerCombs come in lots of fun colours! This gives the player the chance to customise the look of their Suzuki chrom for the first time. They come in two types, the single-ramped Advanced and the double-ramped Extreme. There is not a lot of difference in the sound; Extreme goes to the max in reducing chamber volumes, but the Advanced allows you to adjust blow reeds more easily. If you’re not sure, choose Advanced for that reason.

Fitting a new PowerComb to your 16 hole Suzuki chrom is a breeze! Here is a video showing the whole procedure step by step for the 12 hole model, with useful tips for those not accustomed to disassembling their chromatics. The procedure is identical for your 16 hole PowerComb.

Buying Advice

All prices include international shipping. Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

PowerComb for the Suzuki-16

SUZUKI 16 Hole PowerComb


Sorry this product has been discontinued.

Check out our Suzuki PowerPlugs option. These allow you to keep your stock comb whilst adding the performance advantage of PowerComb-style internal profiling in the critical top octave. They will also save you a lot of money!

Hohner 64, Super 64, Super 64-X

Hohner's lipped plastic comb 16 hole chromatics have been around for a long time, and have an enduring popularity as they look good and play nicely out of the box. However, their ABS injection-moulded combs are not optimal for reed response. ABS is a good material for harmonica combs but useful thickening and filling of some areas of the comb (especially in the top octave to overcome the effects of Helmholtz Resonance Coupling), cannot be done properly with injection-moulding.

My custom 3D printed Hohner 16-hole PowerCombs keep all the advantages of ABS plus the ability to shape it into the perfect forms for optimal airflow and small chamber volumes. This gives improved reed response - especially in the very top holes, which don't work well with the over-large comb chambers of stock ABS combs.

PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64 PowerComb for the Hohner-64
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.
The main body of my PowerComb is 3D printed and sanded flat, with a stainless steel front-plate bonded on (also flat-sanded). This is an improvement over the injection-moulded stock ABS comb, which has intrinsic high and low points caused by uneven cooling when it comes out of the mould. The internal ramped design means I’ve been able to increase the ‘swing zone’ for the long low-end blow reeds considerably over stock combs, to ensure they never strike the comb - even under hard blowing.

Besides their superior performance qualities, my PowerCombs come in lots of fun colours! This gives the player the chance to customise the look of their Hohner 16 hole chrom for the first time. They come in two types, the single-ramped Advanced and the double-ramped Extreme. There is not a lot of difference in the sound; Extreme goes to the max in reducing chamber volumes, but the Advanced allows you to adjust blow reeds more easily. If you’re not sure, choose Advanced for that reason.

Fitting a new PowerComb to your 16 hole Hohner chrom is a breeze! Here is a video showing the whole procedure step by step for the 12 hole Suzuki SCX+48 model, with useful tips for those not accustomed to disassembling their chromatics. The procedure is identical for your 16 hole Hohner PowerComb.

Buying Advice

Important Note

Old 64 chromatics with brown combs and nailed reedplates won't fit my 64 PowerComb.
Hohner originally made the lipped 64 model with the blow reed facing in and the draw reed facing away. Later they switched to blow facing away, draw facing in - which is the norm for most manufacturers, like Suzuki etc.   All their modern chroms have that layout, and that’s what my PowerComb 64 is designed for. It won’t fit the older reedplate pattern. So please check your reed layout before you order.

All prices include international shipping. Orders of £60 or over are sent with Tracking also (you can include a mix of items from the website to make up the £60).

PowerComb for the Hohner-64

Hohner 64, Super 64, Super 64-X PowerComb


Sorry this product has been discontinued.

Check out our Hohner PowerPlugs option. These allow you to keep your stock comb whilst adding the performance advantage of PowerComb-style internal profiling in the critical top octave. They will also save you a lot of money!

PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 & CX-12 Jazz

* These products have been discontinued *

Check out our Hohner PowerPlugs option. These allow you to keep your stock comb whilst adding the performance advantage of PowerComb-style internal profiling in the critical top octave.
The CX-12 chromatic caused quite a stir when it was released by Hohner in 1992. Packed with innovative ideas, its instant snap-together assembly represented a radical departure from traditional screwed construction. The unique housing combining mouthpiece and covers in one part looked great, as well as being really comfortable in the mouth. It incorporated a quick-release slider with a coil spring, another first in the conservative world of chromatic harmonica design.

Being so radical, the CX-12 tended to polarise opinion amongst players: they either loved or hated it! Enough loved the CX-12 to make it an instant hit and an enduring modern classic whose popularity has not dimmed in over 20 years. I was one of the smitten, and have lovingly hacked the CX-12 into many forms ever since it came out. As well as using it on my own gigs and recordings, it formed the basis of several of the most successful models in my early years as an online seller of custom harmonicas (my unique CX-16, CX-14 and CX-10 chroms). More recently I have used it to make my THS DoubleChrom

The CX-12 is indeed a wonderful chromatic, but it suffers from two main flaws: a loose-fitting slider, and a comb with over-large air chambers. The stock slider is not very airtight, and noisy to boot. The comb's large reed cavities mean that the highest notes suffer from Helmholtz Resonance coupling, where the resonant frequency of the mouth/comb chamber clashes with the pitch of the reed. This flattens the pitch of the highest reeds and makes them feel unresponsive. I have tackled both issues and created solutions, which I'm now offering to all who love the CX-12 and want to get the most out of it.

PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

CX-12 PowerSlide

My lasercut custom slider is finely designed to exacting dimensions, and each one is hand-sanded to just the right thickness. Slightly wider and significantly thicker than the stock slider, it gives a perfect fit in the slider channel for quiet operation and optimum airtightness. I have made a video showing how it can be fitted to the slider button, and how to sand the comb to ensure smooth running of this precision part. Because of the hand-sanding element it is not cheap, but it will give you a striking improvement in response that will make playing your CX-12 so much more pleasing.
PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide for the Hohner CX-12
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

CX-12 PowerComb

Building on the experience of my 3D printed PowerCombs for traditional Hohner chromatics, I've created my first lipped comb for the CX-12 and CX-12 Jazz. Considerably more complex to design and make than the ones for traditional chroms, it took a lot of hard work and testing to perfect. To make the front lip and slider base I combine the 3D printed body with a laser-cut stainless steel slider baseplate, bonded to the comb and hand-sanded flat

However the main feature of my CX-12 PowerComb is its radically changed internal profiling compared to the stock item. It comes in two versions, Advanced (single ramped) and Extreme (double ramped). Both reduce chamber volumes significantly to combat Helmholtz Resonance Coupling and improve reed response. The effect of this is especially noticeable in the top holes, where the reeds play more easily and without pitch flattening. The Extreme is theoretically more efficient throughout the range, but in actual playability there is not much between the two types - it's personal preference.

They may be made using 21st century technology, but these combs are individual craft items. After they are printed there is a considerable amount of hand work: sanding the reedplate surfaces flat, bonding on the steel slide slider base, sanding it flat and general finishing. All that is reflected in the price. However I believe you'll feel they are worth the money when you start to play! Added to the improved playability the many colours to choose from give the element of making your CX-12 more of a personal instrument. See the video on fitting your reedplates to the PowerComb.


Jazz Adventurer BILL BARRETT demos the CX-12 PowerComb and PowerSlide

THE OVERBLOW BOOSTER

Overblowing is the common term for an increasingly popular technique used by players of the 10-hole Richter diatonic harmonica to obtain missing chromatic notes on the instrument. A more accurate term is "overbending", because it can be done on both breath directions: blow notes are raised with overblows, and draw notes with overdraws. Even though they are different, the widely-used term that applies to both is Overblowing. Combined with traditional interactive-reed bending (which lowers reed pitch), overblowing raises the pitch; using both techniques players can achieve a full chromatic scale on an ostensibly diatonic instrument.

But it's not quite that simple. For overblowing to work well, the harmonica needs to be finely adjusted, with close reed gaps and slot-embossing. Out-of-the-box harps will overblow, but any serious player who uses the technique will either buy expensive hand-customised harps, or spend considerable time working on their own harps to optimise them for overblows and overdraws. Even with such customisation, overbending is a high-level playing technique that takes years to master throughout the whole range of the harp. As a result, the number of really good overblow players in the world is still small, even 40 years since the technique became widely known. Harmonica chat groups are littered with posts describing the struggles of beginners trying to incorporate overblows and overdraws in their playing.

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My Overblow Booster makes overbends much more user-friendly, enabling total beginners to overbend with ease straight away - all the way from hole 1 to hole 10! For advanced players, it enhances their sound, volume and expressiveness. It gives greater control of both overblows and overdraws, allowing easier bending of them, adding soulful expression such as vibrato on overbends, plus new effects never before possible. The Overblow Booster works great on standard harps without any special gapping or embossing. Even the difficult-to-get overblow in hole 1 is now a breeze to get on a stock harp out-of-the-box! On a fully customised harp the overblows will sound and play like butter, sounding as strong and expressive as standard bends, and give expert overbend players a whole heap of extra fun. Watch the video to see/hear for yourself.

For a long time it's been known that if you stop the lower-pitched note in a chamber from sounding, the overblow/overdraw plays much more strongly. Various harps have been created in the past to make this happen, but none succeeded - because they were either too complicated, too expensive (often both), and forced players to buy new harmonicas. My Overblow Booster is far simpler, cheaper, and doesn't require you to buy a new harmonica: it can be added to your favourite harps in under a minute, and removed just as quickly!

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The Overblow Booster only works with harps that have open-back covers. These include the Hohner Crossover & Marine Band Deluxe, Seydel 1847, Suzuki Manji, and some of the models from the excellent new Chinese brands Easttop and Kongsheng. Make sure the harp you are ordering for has open-back covers; select the brand and model in the drop-down list. It comes in two versions: Basic and "Full Monty". The Basic version comprises two light ABS plastic parts that sit almost invisibly beneath the coverplates, fitting snugly to the harp with small tabs that correspond to the reedplate screw positions for each model. The open outer ends of the individual reed channels can be closed with your fingers as you play, thus stopping the inactive reed and making the overblow/overdraw much stronger, and play with greater control.

The Full Monty version adds the Booster Bar: a rear hinged lever attached at the bass end of the harp that closes all the coverplate channels with one quick movement - thus avoiding the need to select the individual channels with your fingers. The Booster Bar's neoprene pad seals to the channel openings when closed, but the harp plays normally when it's held away from the back. It doesn't affect the tone of the harp, hand wah-wah effects can be used on all notes (including overblows/overdraws), and it works well with a handheld microphone too. Watch the first video from 9:15 to see the Booster Bar in action!

ORDERING OPTIONS

The Overblow Booster requires harps with open-back coverplates, such as the ones listed below. However it can be added to other harps (eg. Hohner Marine Band 1896) if the rears of the covers are opened up. Here are the prices for the Basic and Full Monty options; choose the harp model that you want to fit your OBB to.

Overblow Booster

£20-£30

The OverBlow booster products are currently unavailable while we work on a new and improved design

All prices include international shipping. Orders over £60 will add Tracking
Update 14 July
I've now updated the Hohner version of the Booster Bar to a quick-release attachment system: it can be snapped on and off in seconds, and you can switch it over to another harp. This means for Hohner harps, if you wish, you only need one Booster Bar for multiple harps. This saves you money! Check out the Quick-release Booster Bar in this video 0:10-1:45 I'm developing the quick-release system for the other brands/models - but for now, they all have the screw-fit Booster Bar.

FITTING - it's a Breeze!

If you want to get playing straight away, simply remove your coverplates, position the two parts of the Overblow Booster in place, replace the covers and start overblowing! The longer part goes on the blow reedplate, the smaller one on the draw reedplate. It’s pretty obvious how they fit around the reedplate screws; watch the video on the main page from 7:20. However, I recommend you take a bit more time to get the seal on the lower surface of the Overblow Boosters really airtight. For a demonstration of some simple steps you can take to that end, as well as advice on fitting the Booster Bar, please watch the video below.

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