Re: [Harp-L] Half-Valving a Chromatic

A chromatic with valves/windsavers intact   ALREADY allows blow blends of a
half-step and draw bends of a half-step, what is the point of removing half of
the windsavers? You don't gain any new notes.

If you don't hear the point in some of the recordings listed here then perhaps the sound of half valving is just not to your taste?

But in my view, you get bends that sound a little clearer and have a
different tone to them.  And they can be controlled in a different way
- more like a diatonic.

Brendan used to have an audio clip on his site demonstrating his CX-10
which really showed a lot of what is possible.  I was blown away by
that clip and listened to it many times.  It can still be found on the
net if you look hard enough.

If you want a chromatic that "bends like a diatonic" get a Hohner Slide Harp
that has the same layout as a 10-hole Marine Band, the access of MOST notes a
half-step higher.

In my opinion, a stock Hohner slide harp will not play,or bend, like a diatonic. A good half valved chromatic harmonica has to be set up by a customizer. Otherwise, it is just a leaky chrom. Perhaps that's what you meant by writing "bends like a diatonic" in quotes.

I think Hering's   Vintage 40 is a FULLY valved 10-hole diatonic
chromatic -- which only allows single reed bends like you get on any standard
valved/windsaver chromatic.

Yes. Also, I tried half valving a Hering Vintage 40 because I think it is more airtight than either of the harps mentioned above. It did not play like I wanted it to. It played like a very leaky chrom.

I sent it to Brendan Power.  THEN it played like I wanted it to - a
chrom that bends like a diatonic.  But even then, you have to play it
with a certain attitude to get it to sound like a blues harp.
Otherwise it can sound like a straight chrom - which is still pretty
amazing considering it is .... missing half its valves!

As far as I can tell, the only downside to half valved chroms that are
as good as the ones Brendan makes - and perhaps a few other great
customizers can make - is that THEY have to make them, ie, a person
with a lot of skill has to put in a lot of time manually doing very
detailed work.

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