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Re: Discontinued

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:25 pm
by CrawfordEs
Thanks for the advice and links!
Technique could definitely be a part of it. I’m a better tinkerer than player.
I did get that first one playing better, it still needs a little work though.
I had missed some of that. I’ll try the overvalve plates, they shouldn’t be too hard to cut from stock. I’ll be tempted to solder mine to the reedplates if I can make them fit just to keep it all tight.
Not Solo or Richter. I can’t play those.
I’m hooked on Paddy Richter and C6 or Bebop on Chromatics, I’m giving Fourkey a try now.
So my chromatic type harps all have the blow lower than the draw.
I’m currently in the process of building a 12 hole Fourkey Chromabender on a thin diatonic style comb. I thought that was my idea. Lol
Tinkering with Harmonicas is how I relieve the stress of work.

Re: Discontinued

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:10 pm
by Sachlaw
CrawfordEs wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:11 pm
I just finished making my own chromabender.
The one I finished is in C, made from 270 reedplates. C6 tuning.
I am working on the same thing. If you don't mind me asking, how did you set up the valves on the X-reed plate? Or did you set up any on them at all. That seems to be a piece of the puzzle I am lacking. Also, did you set it up for one semitone bends or two? I have a C Chromabender (official release) that I set the blow bends up that way. It's pretty fun to play that way, and I am hoping to dupe it soon on a lower tuned harp.

FYI, I am using a Easttop for this experiment. I made a gaskets out of several materials, and I am deciding on which one I like most. It made a big difference once I sealed that mouthpiece area up.

Re: Discontinued

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:20 pm
by Sachlaw
Brendan wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:01 am

You don't want to put any valves in that will interfere with the airflow between active red and x-reed. Assuming you put your x-reeds on the bottom reedplate (as with the ChromaBender), and it's in Solo tuning, you should not put on any inside valves holes 1-3 or an outside valve on hole 4 (or the equivalent notes in the top octave).
Brendan, I have been working on this issue myself. If I were to take this same hypothetical and apply it to your PC tunings, how would the statement, "... you should not put on any inside valves holes 1-3 or an outside valve on hole 4 (or the equivalent notes in the top octave)..." change?

Re: Discontinued

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 pm
by CrawfordEs
It’s easier for me on the 270, you will need a better memory than me anyway.
I just did a major retune (changed the key, and tuning, and made it flatslide) of a crosstuned Easttop Harmonica and made a few mistakes before I made a large simple map to guide me as I soldered and filed and tuned.
Now it has two reeds screwed on.
For the Chromabender type harp:
I tuned the top plate (BLOW draw) Cd, Ef,Ga,Ab,Cd,....
I tuned the reeds of the bottom plate two semitones below the upper plate then flattened the gap until it didn’t play along with the active reed. I’m tempted to flatten them a bit more.
Do you have advice as far as valving the reeds on the active plate?
I don’t really want to go back and emboss more.
Cutting overvalve plated seem like a lot of work, but I might eventually try it.
My darn job keeps getting in the way of all this tinkering 8-)

Re: Discontinued

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:30 pm
by Sachlaw
CrawfordEs wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 pm
For the Chromabender type harp:
Do you have advice as far as valving the reeds on the active plate?
I am looking at the same thing myself. I asked up a bit further how to do it for PC tuning, which is close to what you have done.
Given his comment that "You don't want to put any valves in that will interfere with the airflow between active red and x-reed," I seems like you would only want to have the X-reed plate valves on the outside of the blows, and no-valves on the inside. I could be wrong, so I am am waiting for the master to comment.

As for getting the bends, I have been practicing on a C Chromabender. It took a while to hit the bends with good vibrato, and it definitely made a big difference when I made a gasket for the mouth piece and sealed everything up with vaseline. I actually went down each hole and lowered the X-reed on some holes, so I could get two steps out of the bend, giving you a Bb (b7) coming down from your lowest C. It also give me tons of wiggle room on the half tone. I am trying to model this with my build on my own Easttop.

Kinda getting to where I want to just get it made custom, but working on one myself is teaching me quite a bit.

This thread it compiling good info on setting one up though, which is good for this forum. Frankly, I am surprised there is not more diatonic players setting their chromes up this way. It really opens some expression possibilities that are very consist with diatonic style playing.

Re: Discontinued

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:19 am
by Lizzy
Brendan wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:29 am
The ChromaBender was discontinued due to problems with the maker, Hering. They have been taken over by new management and communication, always difficult, became too tiresome to deal with. Eventually the hassle factor outweighed everything else and it was simply easier to cease dealing with the company any further. Sadly I am not the only one to have reached that point over the years.

However the concept of the ChromBender, an X-Reed Solo tuned harmonica with 3 reeds per chamber, is not dead. If you really want one, there are various ways to do it:

1. Make your own. If you understand the X-Reed principle and can tune reeds, you can make one from a standard chromatic with an old-style mouthpiece, like the Hohner 270.

2. Pay someone to do the job. If you don't have the skills, pay a customiser to do it for you.

3. Buy it from Seydel. Their Configurator allows you to input alternate tunings, which will allow the ChromaBender reed layout to be made, in many keys. Their Deluxe model chrom has the right kind of mouthpiece. You will need to set the reed gaps but the tuning will be done by Seydel.

4. Wait for my new 10-hole UniBender, coming very soon. This is a quad-reed X-Reed harmonica using two diatonics behind a single mouthpiece. It can be tuned in Solo tuning. You can see/hear it in the last part of this video:

I hope that helps. How do those options sound?
One question that comes in mind is if it is possible to find spare reeds and self repair the chromabender. But maybe thats not possible?