Author Topic: C# / Db 270 Chromonica  (Read 2979 times)

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Stevelegh

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C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« on: February 13, 2017, 11:04:09 AM »
Hi Everyone,

As I've mentioned in my introduction, I'm a bit of a Stevie Wonder fan and have an opportunity to play the tune Do I Do with a band. Only problem is, they play in the original key of B. Stevie played harp in Bb, with the backing slowed down, then brought it back up to pitch.

I've asked around UK customisers and my two favourite guys aren't doing any Chrom tuning, so getting a C chrom tuned up a semi tone doesn't seem to be an option over here. I've looked at Seydel's and Hohner's custom shops and I'm looking at around £300.00 ($375.00) which is a lot to spend on the off chance that this band keep the song in their set, let alone record it.

I thought about the following and thought I'd ask here if people think this is doable.

I have a Chromonica 270. I could use the C# / Db reed plate and buy a set of reed plates in D, fitting the D reed plate and turning the slide upside down. This option will cost me around £65.00 / $82.00.

Any thoughts if this would work?   
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 12:00:56 PM by Stevelegh »

Offline llumagsara

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 12:35:05 PM »
hello Stevelegh

you can do that with a C tenor, the D reedplates are lower than the normal C...

good health

Agustín
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Offline Brendan Power

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 03:18:13 PM »
Steve: Just do this with a standard C chromonica:

1. Retune the C plate to D, all notes up a tone. It's only 24 reeds won't take that long if you use a rotary tool with polishing wheel.

2. Assemble the harmonica with reversed slide. C# will now be the home key, D will be slide-in.

Here are the polishing wheels I use:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/proxxon-flexible-silicon-polishing-wheels-477212

Use them in a Dremel or similar at a slowish speed (about 30% of full speed on a Dremel). Practice on an old harmonica, using a shim to support the reed tip.

Once you get the knack, you can tune a reed up a tone in about 10 seconds. Fine-tuning will take another 10. 20 seconds per reed x 24 reeds = 480 seconds = 8-10 minutes. It might take you 30 minutes or even an hour as a beginner, but that's still not long. And you will learn a very useful skill.

Stevelegh

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 05:53:27 AM »
Hiya Brendan,

You know, you could be right here. About time I popped my tuning cherry. I'm going to order a Dremel and bits. It'll probably cost more than the reed plates, but as you say, I'll have learned a valuable skill. I'm ordering a stand too as I have a bunch of harps that would benefit from drilling out and putting screws in. In for a penny eh?

I've taken a look at the polishing heads you sent a link to and they appear to be out of stock. Would these ones to the job?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Proxxon-28294-tools-supplies-accessories/dp/B0017M063G/ref=pd_sim_60_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QD8EQVDF011PC3BFT8DZ

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 06:38:56 AM »
Yep! Same thing

Offline streetlegal

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 06:43:26 AM »
I wouldn't recommend using a power tool like a Dremel if you are just starting off with tuning. Time isn't really a big issue if you have just one instrument to tune. I would recommend using a small horizontal blade as a scraper and tune your reeds by hand - gradually bringing them up to pitch, checking frequently as you go with your tuner. If you apply those grinding wheels to the tip of a reed at a high rpm you could do a lot of damage in a very short time - especially with those tiny high end reeds. So save your money and take it easy 8).

Stevelegh

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 12:22:25 PM »
Hi Streetlegal,

Thanks for the reply. I've ordered the Dremel, stand and polishing wheels. I have plenty of other uses such as drilling combs for screws and I have enough knackered harmonicas to practice on. Thanks for the advice on being cautious. I'll be working on longer reeds with the power tool at its lowest setting until I'm good at it. and finishing the upper ones as you suggest.

I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks for the advice.

Cheers

Steve

Stevelegh

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 11:12:02 AM »
OK, tools have arrived. I've got a pillar stand as well so I can drill combs and reed plates accurately, but I digress.

I have a question that may appear obvious, but will stand me in good stead for the future. When working on the tip of a reed (whether with or without a power tool) Am I correct in assuming that you work away from the end of the reed, or is it not important? I'm thinking there may a chance that I could accidentally snap a reed if I work in from the end along the reed.

Sorry for the novice questions, but after all, I am a novice to doing this stuff....

Offline streetlegal

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 06:15:54 AM »
I always work toward the tip of the reed - not right on the tip, but from a little way back. The bigger reeds usually have a kind of raised part at the tip end, so this is where I would start scraping metal from. I always put something flexible between the reed and the plate for support - a strip of aluminium from a drinks can works fine for this.

Stevelegh

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Re: C# / Db 270 Chromonica
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 07:06:12 AM »
Thanks Streetlegal and Brendan.

First attempt tonight. I've got some old diatonics to practice on. I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers

Steve