[Harp-L] Final word on the SUB-30

Tom Halchak info@xxxxx
Wed Aug 23 11:32:57 EDT 2023

This is just my opinion but here is a little more information about the

Suzuki launched the SUB-30 at the 2012 SPAH Convention, which happened to
be my first SPAH, and led to my involvement with the instrument.
Apparently, Brendan Power had “Invented” the triple reed design twenty-five
years earlier but then discovered that there were two patents that
prevented him from manufacturing it.  He waited until the patents expired
and then teamed up with Suzuki to build the harp.  It is truly a
revolutionary design and had it been produced in the 1990s or early 2000s,
it might have become a dominant player in the market.  Why?  Because
diatonic players have always had a desire to make the 10-hole diatonic
harmonica more chromatic.  But, alas, the harmonica Suzuki produced is
somewhat lacking.  As an Out of the Box harp, it leaves much to be
desired.  That is one of the reasons why Brendan commissioned me to make a
custom comb for the SUB-30 immediately after it was introduced.  When you
add a custom comb, an External Valve Plate and extensive reed work to the
SUB-30, it becomes a very fine instrument.  It also makes it a lot more
expensive.  And only a handful of customizers ever bothered to learn its
secrets.  I was only one of two custom comb makers to produce a custom comb
for the SUB-30.  And I am the only one with enough of a vested interest to
develop an additional valve plate for it.  Bendan developed the “Over-Valve
Plate” which only valved holes 1-6 and was very difficult to install.  My
External Valve Plate adds 10 valves and is super easy to install.

The SUB-30 is still in production, albeit in only three keys – A, C & D.
The reasons why the SUB-30 has never really caught on or gone mainstream
are 1. The poor quality of the stock harp, which makes it very difficult to
make use of the additional bends available; and 2. The booming popularity
of Overblows and Overdraws.  Had the SUB-30 been introduced in the 1990s or
early 2000s, it might well have caught on and might have beaten overblows
and overdraws to the punch as far as offering the ability to play a 10-hole
diatonic harmonica chromatically.

By the way, PT Gazelle plays and promotes half-valved diatonics (another
invention of Brendan Power’s) which makes use of single reed bends to
produce the additional notes on the chromatic scale.  The breath pattern
for the half-valved harps and the SUB-30 are identical.

In conclusion, the SUB-30 is still alive and is still a viable option for
those seeking to play chromatically on a diatonic.  There are those who
prefer the tone of a SUB-30 vs. Overblows and Overdraws.  More power to
them.  I should probably do a better job promoting the SUB-30.  Brendan has
invented another 20 or 30 different types of harmonicas in the past 10
years since the launch of the SUB-30, so he has moved on.

*Tom Halchak*
*Blue Moon Harmonicas LLC*
*P.O. Box 14401 Clearwater, FL 33766*

*www.BlueMoonHarmonicas.com <http://www.BlueMoonHarmonicas.com>**Blue Moon
on Facebook* <http://www.facebook.com/BlueMoonHarmonicas>
*(727) 366-2608*

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