[Harp-L] ACE Chromatic New wood inserts by Tom Halchak at SPAH

bad_hat@xxxxx bad_hat@xxxxx
Wed Jul 19 19:03:33 EDT 2017

Apologies to Brendan Power.  I'm going to just paste in a Slidemeister 
post of his from last year regarding the ACE (acoustic coupled elements) 
harmonica patent and how the design is solving a problem with injection 
moulded harmonica combs.  Brendan's post and a link to the patent are below.

Last year Pat Missin made me aware of a German patent filed by Hohner 
for a new type of chromatic harmonica comb, with the inventor listed as 
Richard Weiss. Richard is Hohner’s product manager; some of you may have 
met him at SPAH or the NAMM show. A big guy, youngish, smart and likeable.

I didn't realise he was an inventor too, but he's produced a very 
innovative design:


The two main features I can ascertain are:

1.   The main structure is injection moulded plastic. However, because 
the wall thickness is thin everywhere, it allows small chamber volumes 
to be shaped without the danger of uneven cooling of the hot plastic 
when it comes out of the mould. That is the main problem with current 
injection moulded chromatic combs, making it impossible to fully fill in 
the upper chambers for an optimal shape.

2.   Different materials can be inserted in wedge-shaped blocks from the 
rear into the main structure. These could be wood, stone, metals, 
whatever. They can presumably be bought as a pack and the player can 
change materials if they wish.

This could be the ultimate harmonica to settle The Great Comb Debate! 
(Or maybe not…) But it will certainly be an interesting chromatic 
harmonica to try if and when it comes out as a commercial model.

I quizzed Richard about the patent last year. He was surprised I knew 
about it and quite cagey, naturally. At that time he thought the new 
chromatic would be launched at this year's NAMM Show in Los Angeles, but 
apparently it's been delayed. Not too long I hope!

the above post was written by Brendan Power and it originally appeared 
on Slidemeister May 12 2016.

Here's a link to the original and some follow up posts.


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