RE: XB-40 Retunings

I have thought that this would also be a cool reworking of the XB40. Why the 
trouble & expense if you can get the same result with valves? Do you prefer 
the XB40 tone and response to valved diatonics?
Do you have any recordings available on valved diatonic? I only know of one 
other dedicated valver, that's Mike Curtis.

As for XB40:
I would keep a whole step bend on 7 Blow as it seems to flow better for Bb 
(C XB40) than does the
7 draw bend.

Hole 1 Blow down to Bb is also pretty cool.

My overblowing mind still has trouble with the layout and the tone is a bit 
wimpy. I'm thinking  that CX12 button chrom may be a better option for me in 
the long run. Expression bends are all there too.

Michael Peloquin

>From: "Jr Bliggins" <JrBliggins@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>Reply-To: "Jr Bliggins" <JrBliggins@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>To: <Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: RE: XB-40 Retunings
>Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 12:08:53 -0800
>The XB-40 Retuning thread has peaked my interest.
>I have played valved diatonics for years.  For about 5 years valving was my 
>major approach.  Although currently I am mostly playing standard diatonics 
>( slight modifications and gapping to my preference),  I still like to use 
>the valved instruments for a few songs and several exist in my kit.  I also 
>have one factory XB-40 and one instrument I made as an experiment similar 
>to the XB-40 that I call my XB-30 because I use 30 reeds not 40.
>I think of and play my XB-40 exactly the same as I think of and play any 
>valved diatonic.  I believe the transition from a valved diatonic to a 
>XB-40 is much simpler then transitioning from using an overblow technique 
>(which I also use to some degree) because the tonal layout is the same on 
>valved diatonic as it is on the XB-40; at least for the missing chromatic 
>tones. The only difference (excluding the additional enharmoic notes on the 
>factory tuned XB-40) is you use dual reed bend instead of single reed bends 
>for the "missing chromatic tones".
>I have retuned my XB-40 so that it is exactly like a standard diatonic 
>one blow bends 1 half step
>two blow bends 1 half step
>three blow bends 1 half step
>  four blow bends 1 half step
>  five blow bends 1 half step
>  six blow bends 1 half step
>  seven draw bends1 half step
>  eight draw bends 1 half step
>  the nine draw bends 1 half step
>I like this setup because on my retuned XB-40 the opposing reed stops the 
>bend at or near the "missing" chromatic tone.  It is true that it is very 
>difficult to play the diatonic harmonica with good intonation even in the 
>very popular cross harp approach.  I find that returning the XB-40 as I 
>have outlined makes most notes either completely bent or completely not 
>bent; however those same pesky half bends of course still exist in holes 
>two and three draw and ten blow.  It is still a great challenge to play in 
>all keys but fun to try at least as an exercise.  The  instrument can be 
>used effectively to outline chords that could not be played on a standard 
>diatonic.  For me the retuned XB-40 is at least equal in effectiveness to 
>the overblow approach or the valved approach to obtain chromaticisity, and 
>IMHO better.
>I understand that the standard XB-40 has many more enharmonic notes and 
>slides available then my retuned model, but I prefer to trade that 
>advantage in, and instead have the opposing reed act as a stop on the bends 
>at or near my target note.
>Jr. Bliggins

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