[Harp-L] Suzuki SUB-30 & "Double Reed" bends

Clarke Comollo comollo@xxxxx
Wed Aug 23 09:47:15 EDT 2023

> "Most people who play harp are usually singers. Nobody hires a
> harmonica player, unless they are starting a Chicago style blues band.
> Also, most people who buy harmonicas are not interested in virtuosity.
> Very unlikely they will learn to overbend."


> On Aug 22, 2023, at 10:37 PM, Rick Dempster <rickdempster33 at xxxxx> wrote:
> "Double reed bend" is my term (as far as I know). Conventional bends
> are double reed bends. You start by lowering the pitch of the higher
> reed.
> As it descends, the opposing reed vibrates as well. When the higher
> pitched reed reaches a semitone higher than the opposing reed's
> natural pitch,
> it will take over, and play at its 'reverse' pitch. Both reeds
> continue to vibrate, producing not only the sought for note, but a lot
> of harmonics, which is why it sounds
> so much richer than an 'overbend'. An OB is a single reed bend, played
> in reverse; that is to say, the air is flowing from tip to rivet (or
> anchor point)
> Because the opposing reed is not in sympathy, you do not have the
> 'start up' from that reed.
> I do a lot of stuff on the Sub30 that you cannot do with OBs. I can
> play one of the 'new' notes, and bend the neighbouring reed as well.
> I intend to do a video comparing the OB with the Sub30 bends.
> The diatonic needs to be more flexible to allow its use in a broader
> sphere of popular music.
> Most people who play harp are usually singers. Nobody hires a
> harmonica player, unless they are starting a Chicago style blues band.
> Also, most people who buy harmonicas are not interested in virtuosity.
> Very unlikely they will learn to overbend.
> If a properly valved thirty reed harp was produced and made available
> at a reasonable price (and at least in Ab, Eb, Bb, F,
> C, G, D, A, E (B and F# could be safely ignored at least to begin with.
> If Power & Suzuki hadn't messed it up between themselves, we might
> have seen a better result. Three keys? How useless is that? let alone
> no valves.
> At least poor old Hohner had the guts to make the XB40 in all keys.
> That was a beautifully designed harp, but the tone, for some reason,
> was
> too mid-range, and the bends were a bit like wading into a muddy swamp.
> I have a stock of Sub30s, and at 70 years old, there should be enough
> to take me out.
> I play a lot of old twenties pop tunes in an all acoustic band (I
> hesitate to call it 'jazz').
> I don't hear anyone doing that kind of thing on harp, so that may be
> part of the reason nobody shares my point of view.
> All due respect to all those great overbenders out there; but I can
> spot an OB a mile off.
> Sounds like a reed being tortured in solitary confinement to me!
> Cheers,
> RD
> On Wed, 23 Aug 2023 at 03:18, Laurent Vigouroux
> <laurent.vigouroux at xxxxx> wrote:
>> Hello Tom
>> Thanks for the clarification regarding “Double Reed” bends.
>> If I’m correct, some regular bends, like the 3”’ are actually only produced by one reed (3”’ = 3°!!), but I see what you mean.
>> Going back to comparing overblows and “double reed bends” sounds, I don’t really share Rick’s and Michael’s opinions.
>> For me, overblows actually are as easy to make sound well and blend with regular notes as bends. And even easier than the 3”, which is so difficult to make sound well.
>> Regarding the Sub-30, I’m disappointed it didn’t find its place in the market. I was enthusiastic when I tried Brendan’s prototype back in the 00’s. But it seems that producing a factory harmonica with this design was a big challenge.
>> Cheers
>> Laurent
>> De : Harp-L <harp-l-bounces at xxxxx> de la part de Tom Halchak <info at xxxxx>
>> Date : mardi, 22 août 2023 à 18:58
>> À : Michael Rubin <michaelrubinharmonica at xxxxx>, harp-l at xxxxx <harp-l at xxxxx>
>> Objet : [Harp-L] Suzuki SUB-30 & "Double Reed" bends
>> So far, nobody has got it quite right when describing how a SUB-30 works.
>> SUB-30s 30 reeds (hence the name SUB 30) on two reed plates.  The top reed
>> plate has 20 reeds and the bottom reed plate has 10 reeds. The additional
>> reeds on the top plate are referred to as Sympathetic reeds or Extra Reeds,
>> which is where Brendan Power got the name for his custom SUB-30s.  The
>> lower six chambers have 2 blow reeds and 1 draw reed.  The upper four
>> chambers have 1 blow reed and 2 draw reeds.  X-Reed Harmonicas.  Part of
>> the genius of the SUB-30 is that it is set up just like any other Richter
>> Tuned harmonica.  Same blow draw breath pattern.  Same draw bends.  Same
>> blow bends.  The difference between a SUB-30 and a standard Richter Tuned
>> harmonica is that you can blow bend on the lower six chambers and draw bend
>> on the top four chambers.  You cannot overblow or overdraw on a SUB-30.  A
>> standard SUB-30 has 10 valves installed on the bottom reed plate, which
>> enable you to control the airflow to the proper reed.  I make a component
>> that I call an External Valve Plate that adds 10 more valves to the SUB-30,
>> which dramatically improves the response.
>> Regarding double reed bends.  Double reed bends are hardly exclusive to the
>> SUB-30.  Any time we bend the pitch on an unvalved harmonica, we engage the
>> reed on the opposite plate, hence all bends are actually doube reed bends.
>> Hope this helps.
>> *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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