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

What is the "electric" harmonica? Does it still have reeds?

> 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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