Author Topic: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48  (Read 6521 times)

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swing604

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Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« on: January 03, 2011, 08:54:34 PM »
I finally got around to converting my key of C, SCX48 to half valved diminished after receiving a new slider (thanks Gary) & in short....wow! If anyone is considering trying half valving , IMHO this harmonica is a very good choice as it remains quite airtight without outer valves. I've tried half valving on 270's & wood combed 280's (not so good), plastic combed 280's (much better) but this harmonica gives me a whole new frame of reference. I'll be converting a key of C, CX-12 to half valved diminished as my next project & It will be interesting to see how it compares to the SCX48.

Jeff.
 

Offline Jason Rogers

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 10:01:04 PM »
That's awesome Jeff!  Just this morning I was playing a CX12 dimi half valved.  I was playing simple blues scales, but it sounds good.

F Ab Bb B C Eb where F and Ab is draw, Bb is a draw bend, B is draw, C and Eb are blow.  Then, I pushed the slide in and had F# blues.

Let us know what you think about the comparison!

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 01:04:40 AM »
I bet your CX is just as airtight as your SCX--mine are!
Gary

Offline Jason Rogers

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 01:14:21 PM »
How would a half valved SCX compare to a half valved Sirius or G48 in your opinion Gary?

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 10:26:08 PM »
I'm not that familiar with either high end chrom--I haven't spent that much time with them.
I am not a rich man, and all my chroms are the less expensive ones--CX-12, SCX, Seydel Deluxe, Hering 1248.
The rule is, the more airtight, the better half valving works--so I expect that the pricier harps would work better.
Having said that, both the CX and the SCX are plenty airtight--
I tried half valving and didn't care for it . . .
G

mikesmics

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 12:36:07 AM »
So, just a dumb question:  half valving is removal of all of the outer (blow) valves - the ones that tend to give problems?

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 02:53:18 AM »
That is correct, sir.
G

mikesmics

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 10:44:30 AM »
Hmmm. :-\

Ribcracker

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 05:04:42 PM »
Just so I'm clear here, which valves are which? Do you need to remove the reed plate to get to the blow valves?

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 07:35:52 PM »
I am not sure what is meant by blow valves, so here is what I know.
The valves on the outside are the ones that make the draw reed slot airtight. They are the ones that get wet, because breath is so moist.
The valves inside stop air on the blow. Outside air is dry(er), and so they don't have the same problem.
Note: I had this backward in my initial reply. I have edited my reply. Thanks to Agustine for his correction.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 10:08:29 AM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline llumagsara

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 04:50:42 AM »
hello

perhaps we can say: blow open valve (in the outside) and blow close valve in the inside. Draw open valve in the inside and draw close valve in the outside.

good health

Agustin
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 04:41:31 PM by llumagsara »
[oooooooooo]=<)

mikesmics

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 11:18:34 AM »
Now my brain hurts.

Offline llumagsara

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 12:16:19 PM »
well the outside valve when you blow is open, when you draw is close...
the inside valve when you blow is close, when you draw is opened...
both valves act when you blow, or draw, so english speakers, please find a good definition (trying to put a smiley icon here, but don't want), for me foreign speaker, saying blow valve don't tell me which of the two is...

good health

Agustin
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 12:21:10 PM by llumagsara »
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pyro_fire60099

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 12:50:08 PM »
This is kind of like " Who's on First "

mikesmics

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 01:35:50 PM »
This is kind of like " Who's on First "
:D

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 01:53:26 PM »
How about this--
The "outside valves" are the trouble ones--they are the ones you take off to half valve--usually on the higher reeds.
The "inside valves" usually are trouble free--as much as any windsaver can be.
Gary

Ribcracker

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2011, 02:32:35 PM »
Hooray, Gary! There's the bottom line! And that mod seems simple enough. I imagine that if you removed the valves very carefully, you could reattach them should you be unhappy with the result.
Gary, you mentioned that you tried it and didn't like it - please expound. Was it because of leakiness or was it something else?
Though there are many, my main bedevilment with the chrom is the sticky valves.
Swing604 was pleased with the results. Anyone else try it?

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2011, 03:01:28 PM »
I am reflecting the values of Doug Tanner, who posts here as Wendellfiddler--
You can't get the backpressure vibrato without the valves.
OTOH, you can get the diatonic style bends--
I prefer the former.
Gary

swing604

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 06:54:12 PM »
Quote
Swing604 was pleased with the results. Anyone else try it?

Past SlideMeister Chromaddict (Grant) & one of my favorite players, Brendan Power, inspired me to take the plunge. Here are a couple of Brendan Powers past posts that really got me thinking about making a switch to half valved, diminished tuned chromatics;

Quote
I've been playing and recording with half-valved chromatics exclusively ever since I first started on the chrom over 25 years ago.

'Half-valved' does NOT mean cutting the valves in half, it means removing half the valves from a harmonica (I also play half-valved diatonics). Cutting the valves down in length has a similar effect: it stops them working, in effect the same as removing them altogether.

The intention is to allow interactive reed bending on the high pitched reed in each air channel (same as on an unvalved 'blues harp'). This is where the blow and draw reeds act together to create a very stable, earthy-sounding bend that is different to the bending you can get on a fully valved chromatic (which is from valve-isolated single reeds).

I came to the chrom from the diatonic; like others who make the same shift I missed my gutsy blues bends! Straight away I started experimenting with removing valves and alternate tunings.

It's something that will appeal more to people who (like me) play diatonic as well; those who started on chrom from the beginning will probably not like half-valving. The reeds with valves removed sound breathier and less 'pure', and require a slightly different breathing technique.

If you want to try it on a standard C 12 hole chrom in Solo Tuning, you need to look at the scale first. Only on half the holes is there a tone difference between blow and draw, which will allow a semitone interactive-reed bend: the odd-numbered holes (1,3,5,7,9,11).

Remove the covers and pull off the OUTSIDE valves on those holes. This will allow you to get semitone bends on all the D, D#, A and A# notes through the range (the draw notes in holes 1,3,5,7,9,11).

Actually most chroms already don't have an outside valve on hole 11, and you often hear players like Toots or Stevie Wonder bending the A and A# in hole 11; that's interactive-reed bending! By removing the other valves mentioned, we are simply extending that ability on the usable reeds through the rest of the range.

You need to have a chrom that is very airtight to start with, as removing valves will reduce the response on the affected draw reeds. To minimise the difference, make sure the mouthpiece/slider and reedplate/comb airtightness is really good. In addition, minimise the gap on the BLOW reed in each hole wher the outside valve has been removed. This will reduce the amount of air that comes in through the blow reed when you draw, and improve response and bending ability significantly.

ADVANTAGES
a. The extra soul and expression of diatonic-type note bending.

b. Lots of what I call 'Bend Enharmonics': notes of the same pitch that can be obtained through playing the built-in reed AND by bending the appropriate draw reed. For example, the slide-in C# and G# blow notes can be obtained by bending down the draw D and A notes. The slide-out draw D and A notes can be emulated with slide-in D# and A# bend draw notes.

This gives you more options with tone and pitch, as well as many extra phrasing possibilities for the same series of notes.

C. Last but not least: much less hassle with sticking valves! It's the outside valves that cause all the trouble; remove them and you remove the trouble. If you like, you can remove ALL the outside valves to this end (and to even up tone on all draw notes), although the bending effect is negligible on the even-numbered holes 2,4,6,8,10,12 (because the draw/blow relationship is only a semitone).

DISADVANTAGES
1. Altered tone and response on draw notes
2. Difference of tone between blow and draw notes

Both of these effects can be minimised as described above, but will still probably be enough to deter most chromatic players (a very conservative bunch, by and large  

REMOVING INSIDE VALVES
I have tried this and don't personally like it. However, if you are an overblower, doing this on a VERY airtight chrom will allow you to overblow the chromatic as well, giving yet more enharmonics and phrasing possibilities.

ALTERNATE TUNINGS
If you really want to get the most from half-valving, you need to retune the chrom so that there is a tone or more difference between ALL blow and draw notes in each air channel.

The Diminished and Wholetone/Augmented tunings have this difference, and are great with half-valving. There are loads of other possibilities, and I use several of my own tunings which allow interactive-reed bends on the high-pitched reed in every hole.

If you want to hear half-valved chromatics (and diatonics), check out any of the music clips on my website. Every one is recorded with a half-valved harmonica.

Regards,

Brendan

Also;

Quote
The Standard Diminished has every draw a tone above every blow, slide out and in. That means you can half-valve it and get juicy semitone interactive reed bends on all the draw notes. That give extra expression and LOTS of what I call 'Bend Enharmonics'.

For example, every slide-in blow note can be doubled by a slide-out draw bend. Every slide-out draw note can be doubled by a slide-in draw bend.

On a 12 hole chromatic, Diminished layouts offer 12 normal enharmonc notes. However, The Bend Enharmonics on a half-valved Standard Diminished offer 24 more notes that can be played normally or bent! That's 36 same note options out of 48 instead of 12!

It offers a lot of extra phrasing possibilities: for example, EVERY scale or phrase you can think of can be played without use of the slider if the player prefers that choice.

In fact, if you want to use bending to get your notes, the Standard Diminished needs only TWO scale patterns to get all 12 keys: one starting on a blow note, and the other on a draw. One does 4 keys, the other another 4, and the slider allows you to duplicate one of them a semitone up to to get the final 4 keys.

There are even two options to choose about which you two breath/bending patterns you prefer:

1. Starting blow slide-out, blow slide-in and draw slide-out.
2. Starting draw slide-in, blow slide-in and draw slide-out

As someone who uses half-valved diatonics and chromatics for all my work I can't see the advantage of missing out on all that extra expression and phrasing flexbility. However, if you prefer your chromatics full valved


I'm a relative newbie to chromatic, (but a long time active musician) & after 3 months with standard solo tuning, I decided to try the diminished half valved. I'm now 7 months into this tuning & I plan on sticking with it as my standard tuning/setup. I really like the fact that this mod eliminates most all valve issues. No popping, sticking, way fewer warmup issues & no heating pads required. In regards to the volume difference Mr Power mentions, I find this to be extremely minimal on my SCX48. My plastic 280 with channeled mouthpiece, also has minimal volume difference (middle C & up) but it is less airtight overall than the SCX. My understanding is that the CX12 & latest Suzuki models seem to be the best choices for half valving.

Jeff.
 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 10:25:33 PM by swing604 »

swing604

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Re: Half Valved, Diminished Tuned, Suzuki SCX48
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 09:09:08 PM »
Quote
I am reflecting the values of Doug Tanner, who posts here as Wendellfiddler--
You can't get the backpressure vibrato without the valves.
OTOH, you can get the diatonic style bends--
I prefer the former.
Gary

For vibrato, I've found that controlled, light front to back "shaking" of the chromatic, can sound quite good. I started practicing this a few months ago after someone here (I think) mentioned that PT Gazell uses this technique with his half valved diatonics.

Jeff.  
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 11:17:10 PM by swing604 »