Re: [Harp-L] TurboHarp develpment bench - ELX

What advantages does this system have over a mic plus processor combo to
offset its high cost and lack of flexibility?

On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 8:04 AM, James F. Antaki, PhD <
turbodog@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Friends,
> This is not meant to be a shameless plug for my website,
> ,
> and definitely not any promotion or endorsement of our innovative line of
> TurboHarp products....
> I need your advice. You might be aware that we have been developing an
> "electric" harmonica for quite a long time. To date, there are 6 prototypes
> in existence, which I have been circulating to players, like Madcat, Randy
> Singer, Harmonica John, Dennis Cooper, and others for their feedback.
> Truthfully, the response has been mixed. Some absolutely LOVE it, and want
> to buy one at (virtually) any price. On the other extreme, some offer a
> shopping list of features they dislike about it. Being a perfectionist,
> this
> has been stifled me from proceding with releasing it for sale.  But now it
> has occured to me that there might be six people "out there" that can
> accept
> a little imperfection, and would enjoy owning and playing one of the ELX's.
> After all, *I* myself really think its alot of fun.
> At this juncture, the ELX can do the following:
> 1) Provides feedback-free amplification of any Special-20, or equally sized
> acoustic harp. Hence providing the "touch and feel of an acoustic harp."
> 2) Provides a wide range of effects, offered by the Digitech RP-70, to
> which
> it is coupled
> 3) Offers monaural line-level output.
> and (4) amaze your friends, and make you the life of the party :-)
> The Limitations fo the current generation (Gen-3) are:
> 1) Does not provide easy swap-out of harp bodies, but requires two screws
> to
> be removed to separate the halves of the covers.
> 2) Requires a wire from the harp to an effects box.
> 2a) Some people do not like the mini-phone jack that connects to the rear
> of
> the harp body.
> 3) Without the effects box, there is a low level "hiss" that can be
> annoying. (But with the box, the hiss is gated out.)
> 4) Does NOT provide midi output.
> 5) Does not run on batteries.
> 6) Does NOT allow any hand cupping effects. (Think of it as analagous to
> the
> electric guitar.)
> 7) Is rather expensive to produce, hence expensive to buy. We're talkin
> about $400-range. (Digitech RP70 and gig case included.)
> The NEXT generation (Gen 5) version that we're now working on will solve
> problem (1) above, by incorporating a hinge and snap closure to the lids.
> Item (2) will have to wait until the Generation-5.  Item (2a) could be
> addressed by providing a micro-usb-type connector that should be less
> suceptible to motion. Item (4) (midi output) is something we've determined
> is do-able, but with will require a Major investment. On the other hand,
> the
> output of the acoustic version is readily midi-fy-able offline (not real
> time) with appropriate software.  Item (5) power, will be addressed in
> Gen-5
> by use of phantom power. Item (6) is something that is intrinsic to the
> product, like the electric guitar or any other electrified instrument. Item
> (7), cost, can be reduced slightly by eliminating the RP-70 from the
> package, and allowing the player to use his/her own effects box. And of
> course, economy of scale would also bring the price down if there was
> sufficient demand.
> My Questions for you are...
> 1) Do you know anyone who might be willing/able to pay $400 for one of the
> Gen-3 prototypes. (Featured on youtube, and our website.)
> 2) In your opinion, how low would the price need to be to make it
> appealing?
> 3) Which of the above limitations do you think is the most critical? (I.e.
> where should I focus my attention?)
> (sorry for the length of this message... you can tell I've been thinking
> about this for quite a while)
> Sincerely,
> Turbodog

Arthur Jennings

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