The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
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Brendan
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The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Brendan » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:37 pm

This TwinDiatonic harmonica can be configured in so many ways! Its patent-pending airtight sliding mouthpiece allows you to switch instantly between two 10-hole diatonics attached behind; the sound you get all depends on what setup, key and tuning you choose for the two harps. The mouth hole spacing is the same as a normal harp, and you can operate the slider with your thumb in full-cupping position.

Lots more info, and ordering options here:

http://www.brendan-power.com/harmonicas ... -minichrom

Thanks to my website Guru David Ireland for managing to streamline the large variety of buying options into a logical sequence. If you need a website making/fixing, he's your man: cyber-lion.co.uk

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Brendan
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Brendan » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:30 am

Here's a tasty new video from Mitch Weiss playing the MiniChrom:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZhiff ... e=youtu.be

CrawfordEs
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by CrawfordEs » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Hi Brendan,
Would it be possible to scale the minichrome up a bit and lengthen it so that two 260s or two Autovalve Harps would fit?
Then you could have a fully chromatic Octave Harmonica. Or a slide Diatonic Octave Harmonica.
That would be fun!

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Brendan
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:57 pm

I will scale up for two Lucky 13s, but for the harps you mention I already have another solution: the DoubleChrom type:

http://www.brendan-power.com/harmonicas-twin.php

I am working to reduce the cost and size of these

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Brendan
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Brendan » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:34 pm

One of the most exciting prospects for the Switch-Harp to me was the chance to use it to make an X-Reed chromatic, by combining two Suzuki SUB30 harps behind the master slider. For those who don't know, the SUB30 is an X-Reed diatonic with 30 reeds.

After a couple of days devoted to combining the SUB30 with the Switch-Harp, the news is not good: Mr. Helmholtz has spoiled the party once again.

All the notes play fine, and draw bends are good. So are blow bends holes 5-10. But lower down, the blow bends develop a horrible vibration, a kind of frenetic warble, that ruins the whole instrument.

When I play the SUB30 by itself the same blow bends are fine; when assembled with reeds about 10-15mm further away from my mouth they have this terrible added vibration.

I don't know the exact mechanism, just the cause and effect. Based on my findings, a TwinDiatonic X-Reed chromatic doesn't work well enough to offer for sale at this stage.

However I will be putting up the Suzuki lipped front unit for Harpmaster, Bluesmaster etc. If someone else wants to combine it with two SUB30 harps they are welcome to try, as they will fit. Should be up by end of Tuesday.

Brendan

CrawfordEs
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by CrawfordEs » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:00 pm

Anyone get one yet?
Impressions or issues, or tips for assembly and playing?
I have one on order, but I was just wondering if any regular players had given it a run yet.
Brendan, Boris, and Mitch make it sound great!
But then, they could play blades of grass and sound good.

Lizzy
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Lizzy » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:44 pm

CrawfordEs wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:00 pm
Anyone get one yet?
Impressions or issues, or tips for assembly and playing?
I have one on order, but I was just wondering if any regular players had given it a run yet.
Brendan, Boris, and Mitch make it sound great!
But then, they could play blades of grass and sound good.
I have a minichromatic/Switchharp. For me it took a while to get used to bend the lowest holes 1 and 2 on lower keys if you intend to use it as a switchharp. I guess it need a little more customizing to be really airtight. As a minichromatic it works just fine with no problems. My slide was not straight from the begining and my lips got stucked between the two pieces and caused my lips to bleed a little :? But after tighten the slide screws a bit and checked it over a light table it was no issue anymore.

CrawfordEs
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by CrawfordEs » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:12 pm

Thanks ,
I’ll be sure to watch out for that when I put mine together.

Lizzy
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by Lizzy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:53 pm

CrawfordEs wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:12 pm
Thanks ,
I’ll be sure to watch out for that when I put mine together.
And...
As Brendan advice halfvalving is a must, but this is only standard procedure for me since i have done this for serveral years already. I use Seydel valves but Brendans stealth valves is hard to beat if someone is not use to add valves.

jazmaan
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Re: The MiniChrom / SwitchHarp is Released

Post by jazmaan » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:21 pm

Excited to have my Melody Maker Switch Harp in hand for the first time! The sound is excellent. The mechanism will take some getting used to. Specifically, the slider movement is not like a chromatic because instead of having the slider move while everything else stays static, on the Switch Harp the entire mouthpiece moves within your mouth. Or alternatively, the slider stays fixed on your lips and the mass of the two harmonicas behind moves.

Brendan do you move the slider within your lips or keep the slider fixed and move the harp(s)? I'd be tempted to put vaseline on my lips, but that's probably not wise.

The bends are there, but the low bends seem to require more air/force, probably because the reeds are further away from your mouth cavity. Again that's probably just a matter of getting used to it.

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After a few more minutes of play - a few more impressions. I'm comparing my Melody Maker Switch Harp to a Melody Maker X-Reed Sub-30, another fine harp! For chromatic play, the advantage goes to the Switch Harp. For bluesier play - I have to give the edge to the X-Reed. The Switch Harp bends aren't as fluid or easy to achieve - yet. That may change as the harp gets "broken in" (or as I do!)


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Ha - ha , and now I'm noticing the available valved bends from Brendan's "Stealth Valves". Nice!

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And now I'm realizing that if I push the harp further into my mouth and rest my lips on the covers, the slide moves more freely. Tongue blockers might like that embouchure more than pucker players like me!

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And the more I play the more I like it! Truly a novel and unique harmonica with an excellent tone. (Mine is based on Seydel 1847's, customized by Boris Plotnikov.) Don't read too much into the nits I've picked above - that's just my nature! I really am enjoying this harp!

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