Rethinking Richter on the XB-40

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    I thought I'd do a post now that some of us have XB-40's, and check =
in on how everyone is doing?

I know I'm not alone in admitting that I've been waiting a long time for =
this axe to hit the streets. While we were waiting, great strides and =
advances have been made on Custom harps, Tweaking and Overblow/Overdraw =
techniques on the diatonic harmonica. Although I've made steady progress =
with OB and tweaking etc, I was still waiting for an axe that I wouldn't =
have to lower the "action on" to get the extra notes I needed. I have =
worked a long time developing a tone I'm comfortable with and it does =
require me pushing alot of air thru the harp and I have developed a =
style playing off that "tension". For my style of playing, when I get a =
harp set up decent for OB/OD the tension and response are severely =
compromised, as I'm  used to hitting the plates in a more aggressive =
fashion. I'm sure this is the case with lots of other players as well. I =
will however, continue working on the setups on my OB harps until I can =
get that 'happy in between' gapping. T'aint easy though,-)

   Hence the XB-40, a richter harp that has all bends available on BLOW =
and DRAW notes. I realize that I won't be able to get the note scheme =
that OB/OD provide me with but IMO, this a GREAT advance for the =
diatonic population. I had a student ask me what "Standards" were =
playable now with the extra bends on the XB?

    So I spent a few hours yesterday in Cross (2ndPos) to see and jotted =
down some tunes that felt pretty comfy and all the notes were there with =
the extra bends (with some tasty twist and turns for embellishment too!) =

Tenor Madness
Hard Times (Crusaders)
There will never be another You
Watermelon Man
The Work Song ( we finally get the missing note w/o OB!!!!!!)
Nostalgia in time Square IMingus)
You don't Know Me
America the Beautiful
Au Privave
Little Suede Shoes(Parker)
Cherry Pink
All of Me
In the Mood
Chicken Shack
Days of Wine and Roses
Moon River
Over the Rainbow
Angel Eyes

and that's all I had time one sitting, James Conway is =
telling us that the accidentals needed for some of the Irish tunes are =
there as well. My XB 40 is an A, I to can't wait to get the other keys =
so I can start using these babies in my Recording Set as well as my Kit =
for Live Gigs.

    Rick mentioned in his Spah seminar that a "new"  reed profile is =
being used because of the greater stress the reeds must endure with this =
chamber design. He further reported that this new reed is working so =
well that is be incorporated into the other model harmonicas as well. =
The playability and response on my XB is superb and from the other =
reports I'm getting, quality control is looking pretty decent at this =
time. I think this reeds are going to be a tremendous asset to the stock =
diatonics & chromatics.

    Hats off to Rick Epping on a truly groundbreaking addition to the =
world of Diatonic Harmonica! I wish him all the best and sincere =
appreciation for his meticulous work to improve our instruments. Bravo =
Rick and Thank You!

    Hope y'all enjoy playin' some of these tunes and let me know how you =
make out and what other tunes in Cross as well as other postions are =
workin' for you.

all the best
Rob Paparozzi

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