[Harp-L] Re: was Renny, now Chmel

Sorry for the late reply, but thanks to Frank Evers for more information about Franz Chmel's chromatic ideas (all quotes Frank's).

The first time i read about this new harmonica was in Didi Neumann's
Harmonica-Player-News No. 54 (it´s in german, so it´s probably not
interesting for the vast majority of u if you wonder why you never
heard of it) in spring 2007:

Not reading German that would explain why it was news to this list.

This means like Franz Chmel and Lutz Nölle built a new chrom and the
first tests are very promising, but testing is still in progress.
...new valve design...  ...they´re going to produce this new
instrument themselves...

Franz , being asked about it on the "harpchat" mailinglist responded
that he had already tested  the new chrom more then 200 hours and also
played a few live gigs with it, he couldn't go in detail though.

Sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing more about it when they get to production.

"About your answer regarding durability:
I play only chrom...very loud...with a lot of vibrato
At my Hohner Super 64s, that i played for over 20 years, the first
reed failed after aprox. 25 hours of playing. After that 4-6 reeds a
week broke. I'm keeping record of broken reeds :))
Now we have steel reeds...the result:
I'm playing already over 1000 hours!!!!!!!!!!! WITHOUT a single broken
reed and WITHOUT retuning. But again: i'm playing Chrom!!
That for now... more in a few month on my new website:))"

That's good, though I've always wondered how he manages to go through reeds so quickly. Certainly it's not the norm for most classical chromatic players. It is a pretty good testament to the durability of these steel reeds (I assume from Seydel).

So that new harmonica will have steel reeds and innovative valves.
On a third occasion i remember him writing about this harmonica
something like "It will all be new" meaning full of innovations.

Very good, it's always nice to see something truly new coming around.

A rumor i heard ist that the reed plates do not have just one
continous thickness, but that they´re thicker on the low notes and
thinner on the higher ones, but i don´t know where i heard that

That sounds intriguing. Certrainly graduating the size makes sense from a scaling perspective, though it presents some rather significant design challenges: how to maintain a slot at right angles with the comb on a reed-plate which is not at a right-angle to the comb. I suppose you could do a stair-case reed-plate, but that would be rather expensive to manufacture (from what else you wrote I got the impression this was not simple a Super 64X arrangement, but rather a continuous change from low to high).

Thanks for the info, and I will be excited to see the website when this does come out.

JR Ross

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