Author Topic: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club  (Read 54928 times)

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frankyb

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #390 on: May 14, 2020, 04:14:08 PM »
Scotty, you might want to consider a Kmise valveless.  It takes less breath to play than any other valveless, with slider, that I have tried.  Also the price is very low.  It is the standard C layout with the extra C removed in the top octave.  That has not been a problem for me.

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #391 on: May 14, 2020, 04:22:53 PM »
Scotty, you might want to consider a Kmise valveless.  It takes less breath to play than any other valveless, with slider, that I have tried.  Also the price is very low.  It is the standard C layout with the extra C removed in the top octave.  That has not been a problem for me.

Thanks, franky--I have thought about it quite a bit since I've read all of the rave reviews, and it's on my list. I simply haven't yet
gotten around to buying any new chromatic with all that's been going on. I was kind of wavering between it and the Easttop, but
will probably go with the Kmise depending on the mp. Does it have round mp holes? That would be a requirement. :)

scotty

frankyb

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #392 on: May 14, 2020, 05:49:14 PM »
Quote

Thanks, franky--I have thought about it quite a bit since I've read all of the rave reviews, and it's on my list. I simply haven't yet
gotten around to buying any new chromatic with all that's been going on. I was kind of wavering between it and the Easttop, but
will probably go with the Kmise depending on the mp. Does it have round mp holes? That would be a requirement. :)
scotty

They are round.

Offline Paulc

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #393 on: May 15, 2020, 03:41:02 AM »
Scotty, you might want to consider a Kmise valveless.  It takes less breath to play than any other valveless, with slider, that I have tried.  Also the price is very low.  It is the standard C layout with the extra C removed in the top octave.  That has not been a problem for me.

Thanks, franky--I have thought about it quite a bit since I've read all of the rave reviews, and it's on my list. I simply haven't yet
gotten around to buying any new chromatic with all that's been going on. I was kind of wavering between it and the Easttop, but
will probably go with the Kmise depending on the mp. Does it have round mp holes? That would be a requirement. :)

scotty

Scotty, I have both the Kmise and the Easttop 1248nv and both are pretty good. I prefer the Kmise as the sound is a bit more bit more lively and vibrant but I regularly play both.
One day I’ll be able to bend a note 😀

Offline Keith

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #394 on: May 15, 2020, 05:04:26 AM »
I've just put my Kmise up against a CX12, & the mouth pieces are near identical, curvature & overall, so you should defo give one a go. :)

Offline Otter

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #395 on: May 15, 2020, 07:03:30 AM »
As it's my first chromatic, I don't have much by way of experience or comparison points. But I think my one minor annoyance with the Kmise is the 10 hole layout - it just feels a little illogical having a nice repeating layout across the first two octaves and then changing it, and I worry that if I get too used to that, it'll throw me off when I get a larger instrument. Other than that it's something I'm really enjoying playing.

Offline Paulc

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #396 on: May 15, 2020, 08:07:22 AM »
As it's my first chromatic, I don't have much by way of experience or comparison points. But I think my one minor annoyance with the Kmise is the 10 hole layout - it just feels a little illogical having a nice repeating layout across the first two octaves and then changing it, and I worry that if I get too used to that, it'll throw me off when I get a larger instrument. Other than that it's something I'm really enjoying playing.

I play the kmise, easttop 1248, Hohner super 64 and don’t have any trouble switching between them. The kmise is just missing the two top holes, 4 notes that a 12 hole has, as far as I am aware there are no differences in the note layout on the first 10 holes. I am sure I will be corrected if that is not the case 😂 I believe those higher holes are rarely played, certainly by me.
One day I’ll be able to bend a note 😀

Offline Otter

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #397 on: May 15, 2020, 08:29:20 AM »
I don't know if they've always been like this, but the (slide out) blow notes on 9 and 10 are E and G, rather than C and E, so it skips one of the redundant Cs. The draw notes are still D and F as you'd expect. I've been playing around with tongue blocking octaves, and it means I don't have an octave any more once I get up there.

Offline Paulc

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #398 on: May 15, 2020, 09:27:00 AM »
I don't know if they've always been like this, but the (slide out) blow notes on 9 and 10 are E and G, rather than C and E, so it skips one of the redundant Cs. The draw notes are still D and F as you'd expect. I've been playing around with tongue blocking octaves, and it means I don't have an octave any more once I get up there.

You’re absolutely right. Mine is the same. I obviously don’t play up there.
One day I’ll be able to bend a note 😀

Offline Otter

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #399 on: May 15, 2020, 10:11:31 AM »
I suspect if I had a couple more holes at the bottom end, I wouldn't venture up to the top much either. I've got an old Chrometta 14 to test that theory, just waiting for some screws to come in the post so that I can reassemble it...

Offline Keith

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #400 on: May 15, 2020, 11:08:02 AM »
Most of the 10 hole chroms miss out on the double 'C' at the top - allows for a couple of extra notes. :)

(It's just the way they are made.) ;)

P.S. If you can handle the Chrometta mouthpiece, (some can't), the 10 hole is nice to play, & has the lower notes; as long as you don't need the higher ones - but of course it's not valveless.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 11:12:23 AM by Keith »

Offline Otter

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #401 on: May 15, 2020, 01:23:38 PM »
Most of the 10 hole chroms miss out on the double 'C' at the top - allows for a couple of extra notes. :)

(It's just the way they are made.) ;)

P.S. If you can handle the Chrometta mouthpiece, (some can't), the 10 hole is nice to play, & has the lower notes; as long as you don't need the higher ones - but of course it's not valveless.  ;D

True, I'm drifting off topic a little! If I get on with the Chrometta, I'll dig up the relevant fan club thread...

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #402 on: May 16, 2020, 03:19:04 PM »
ok! Thanks SO much to Franky, Paul and Keith for answering my questions about the KMise and Easttop - and was getting ready to
just go ahead and order one or t'other, then read the rest of your comments: had completely forgotten that the KMise is only a 10-
hole instrument! Ouch...for me, a 10 hole would only be a knocking-around chrom for the car - and even then, just not all that much
fun :(  mostly because I really am a 16 player who finds even a 12 hole 'not quite enough' but play them because it's the only size a
cx-12 comes in and I SO love the A and some of those other keys I enjoy fooling around with so much.

So I guess the Easttop valveless IS a 12 hole instrument? I'll order one when I can muster up the energy which is in very short
supply currently (still dealing with neck problems), and with so much to do at home right now, just not been dwelling on a valveless
to use outdoors.

I DO appreciate very much all of your input. SPAH is now out of reach this year--so maybe if I get one, by next year I'll be practiced
enough by SPAH in Charlotte (we'd be driving there) and the freezing indoor temps causing the typical windsaver problems, I might actually get to use a valveless. :)
Thanks, guys!

scotty

Offline Paulc

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #403 on: May 16, 2020, 04:30:57 PM »
ok! Thanks SO much to Franky, Paul and Keith for answering my questions about the KMise and Easttop - and was getting ready to
just go ahead and order one or t'other, then read the rest of your comments: had completely forgotten that the KMise is only a 10-
hole instrument! Ouch...for me, a 10 hole would only be a knocking-around chrom for the car - and even then, just not all that much
fun :(  mostly because I really am a 16 player who finds even a 12 hole 'not quite enough' but play them because it's the only size a
cx-12 comes in and I SO love the A and some of those other keys I enjoy fooling around with so much.

So I guess the Easttop valveless IS a 12 hole instrument? I'll order one when I can muster up the energy which is in very short
supply currently (still dealing with neck problems), and with so much to do at home right now, just not been dwelling on a valveless
to use outdoors.

I DO appreciate very much all of your input. SPAH is now out of reach this year--so maybe if I get one, by next year I'll be practiced
enough by SPAH in Charlotte (we'd be driving there) and the freezing indoor temps causing the typical windsaver problems, I might actually get to use a valveless. :)
Thanks, guys!

scotty

You’re very welcome. I only bought a Kmise because of Keith’s recommendation and I havent looked back But the Easttop is also a great instrument. 👍
One day I’ll be able to bend a note 😀

Jellytooth

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #404 on: May 17, 2020, 07:40:50 PM »
I found the slightly different hole spacings of my Easttop 1040nv and my CX12 made life tricky for me when switching between them. And like Otter I was a bit worried I would get used to the different not layout up the high end, so I pretty much didn't bother with songs using notes in  the 9 and 10 holes. But since getting Easttop forerunner I've found the hole spacing of them seem pretty identical (didn't get the calipers out or anything just held them up to each other) and my CX12 is easier to play. Up until last week most of my practice was done on the Easttop 1040nv but inow it's mostly on the  forerunner.

Such a little difference seemed to throw me quite badly, maybe more proficienct players wouldn't have a problem with this but I did.

Originally only bought my first valveless out of curiosity, the information contained in this actual thread and the fact these harmonicas are so cheap. I'm definitely a fan and want to thank you all for turning me onto these moothies.

Does anybody know how well the Kmise 10 hole matches the mouth-hole spacing of the CX12?

Offline brorat

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #405 on: May 17, 2020, 09:36:27 PM »
Billy
I don’t own a Kmise. I do have the East top 1248nv (Forerunner) and a CX12. I feel that hole spacing on the Forerunner is slightly tighter than the Hohner, and it feels much more comfortable to me. I play the Forerunner or my East top valved 1248 a lot. Love the spacing on them.
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline Keith

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #406 on: May 18, 2020, 05:03:50 AM »
In general, Hohner, et al, are about 9mm hole centres, whilst Seydel, & most valveless, are about 9.5mm - enough to throw you at first, but you adjust quite quickly between them, once you're used to them. :)

Jellytooth

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #407 on: May 18, 2020, 08:07:40 AM »
On my CX12 the gaps between the holes is about 2.24mm but on my Easttop 1040nv it's about 2.73mm - yeah I got the calipers out.  I've included a picture to show the comparison, not the best but tricky holding the two side by side with one hand and getting a shot with the other hand.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #408 on: May 18, 2020, 11:02:41 PM »
I'm trying to post a design picture of the slideless valveless chromatic harmonica I'm having built by Will Wu, Will's Make.

Crazy Bob

SUCCESSFUL!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 11:08:53 PM by robertpcoble »

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #409 on: May 18, 2020, 11:08:23 PM »
Here's an actual picture of one cover and the reedplates.

Crazy Bob

Jellytooth

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #410 on: May 18, 2020, 11:40:04 PM »
We're gonna need a bigger boat!

Offline John Broecker

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #411 on: May 19, 2020, 12:19:29 AM »
Hello, Crazy Bob.

Your new harmonica experiment is visually beautiful.
Thanks for the photo.

Is your harmonica design like the Hohner Polyphonia #7
"recording bass"? The Poly #7 is set as a slideless, valveless
chromatic glissando harp, with the reed placement in half
steps, exhale only: D, D#, E, F, etc. It's not made today.

The Poly #7 has 25 mouthpiece holes. Your prototype
appears to have 27 mouthpiece holes.  I suspect that the
comb and covers are made of durable ABS plastic.

If I ever get the funds together, I'd like to custom-make
a special 16-hole Seydel slide chromatic.

Best Regards

John Broecker

JB
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:25:08 AM by John Broecker »
"Human history is, in essence, a history of ideas"--British
novelist H.G. Wells (1866-1946). Replace(Human)with "harmonica", for a new, useful quote.

Offline streetlegal

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #412 on: May 19, 2020, 04:51:21 AM »
Great to see this new design coming together 8).

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #413 on: May 19, 2020, 08:43:55 AM »
I count 27? - of course it could be my eyes  (I DO need new glasses, that's for sure).

scotty

Offline Gary Richardson

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #414 on: May 19, 2020, 08:53:45 AM »
Looking good Crazy Bob.
Let us know how it plays soon.

Gary
Gary Richardson

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #415 on: May 19, 2020, 09:26:54 AM »
J.B. asks: "Is your harmonica design like the Hohner Polyphonia #7 'recording bass'?"

Yes and no.

It is a Circular design, based on the chromatic (NOT diatonic) scale. I know you are familiar with Circular, because you designed the first ever Circular Chromatic Harmonica based on the Seydel Chromatic Deluxe and were the inspiration for the second one - by me.

The Wholetone Tuning results from applying Circular logic to the CHROMATIC scale. (As noted before, I must thank Winslow Yerxa for pointing out that not-so-obvious-to-me detail; I was only trying to apply Circular logic.) It was after-the-fact that I found Pat Missin's description of Wholetone Tuning on Harp-On!

Each hole has two notes - one blow, one draw. These notes are a half tone apart, with the draw note a half tone higher than the blow note. The blow note in the next hole is a half tone higher than the draw note in the previous hole, but a whole tone higher than the previous blow note. Lather, rinse, repeat. All blow notes are a whole tone apart, and all draw notes are a whole tone apart, but blow to draw notes are only a half tone apart in a given hole.

To determine the feasibility, I had Seydel make me a 2-octave version based on the frame of a Solist Pro 12-hole diatonic. It worked, but the two octave range was just too limiting to be a useful musical instrument when playing.

Before starting the comb, cover and reedplates design, I made sure that Seydel made stainless steel reeds that would cover the desired note range (E2-A6). I found that if I used the Seydel Session Steel diatonic as a basis, and picked 6 reeds from those available for each hole (either blow or draw - the reeds in a given hole, whether blow or draw, have the same geometry), then I could use the diatonic reed slot and chamber geometry. Instead of just one hole with a given geometry, I used 3 holes (6 notes) with the same geometry. As a result, I only had to use 9 different geometries (the first 9 holes of the diatonic) resulting in 27 holes. I considered extending it out to 30 or 33 holes, but decided that having the entire human voice range (54 notes) was more than adequate for anything I would ever want to play musically. I've also considered 3 octave (19 holes), 3.5 octave (22 holes), and 4 octave (25 holes) designs. It's fairly simple to design once you get the idea of tripling the holes with a given geometry. The extra hole gives the octave note for the lowest and highest octaves.

I had a local precision machine shop measure the reedplate geometry using CMS (Coordinate Measuring System). I assumed that there would be a certain amount of tolerance built-in, since the Seydel reedplates are punched. I averaged the slot widths and took the average width as the specified width. The reed slot lengths, on the other hand, I used as-is for each slot. Will informed me that the factory could make things to +/- 0.05 mm tolerance. As a consequence, I had Will relax the specifications to match that tolerance. (I had specified values on my drawings to 4 decimal places in millimeters, knowing that was far too precise.)

The comb uses a 4 mm wide reed chamber for holes 1-21, and 3 mm wide for holes 22-27. This is based on some ideas of resonance gleaned from Brendan Power. (It remains to be seen if that helps or hurts the sound of the smallest reeds.) The mouthpiece holes center-to-center are 9 mm apart. The mouthpiece holes are round, 7.5 mm in diameter on the outside, chamfered and narrowing to either 4 mm or 3 mm as the hole goes into the reed chamber. The mouthpiece extends on either end for an extra 18 mm, providing a "landing zone" for the mouth when playing the last hole, without going off the end. I did that because I U-block, and didn't want half of my mouth hanging off the end.

The cover design curvature is based on two shapes - a parabola and a circle. The outer side of the cover in the first 12 mm (on the mouthpiece side) follows a parabolic curve, derived from the shape of the diatonic covers. The remainder of the outer surface follows a slight outward curve. The inner surface of the cover follows a circle in the first 12 mm, and then simply follows the outer curve for the remainder, giving a 2 mm thickness as the minimum thickness. There are 8 "ribs" in the cover, which help stabilize and support the covers. These ribs also allow for cupping around any group of 3 reeds for muting.

The idea of a 1-piece cover came from Antaki's Turbo Harp design. Instead of having two cover pieces that snap together around the comb, I decided to simply fit the comb through a cutout in the cover, and then fasten the comb to the cover with a retaining plate. Unfortunately, machining of that cover design was very complicated; Will recommended that I switch to the traditional two-cover design. One of his innovations is to use magnets to hold the covers on the comb; I asked him to use that idea.

The cover is 3D printed ABS plastic, the comb is silver-plated brass, and the reedplates are brass. The covers and comb could have been made of stainless steel or brass, but it would have added several hundred more dollars to the cost, which was already very high.

Hope that helps to understand the design.
Crazy Bob
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 09:29:07 AM by robertpcoble »

Offline John Broecker

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #416 on: May 19, 2020, 10:15:10 AM »
Hello, Crazy Bob and Scotty.

Scotty: your eyes are fine. My eyes counted 28 holes,
but Bob has confirmed that his prototype has 27 holes.

Bob: Thanks for the details on your slideless, valveless
27-hole chromatic harmonica, range E2-A6.

I didn't need all of the details, but it was interesting
to read of your creative process.

It was assumed that the harp would have 1 reed per
hole, but reading that you've put 2 reeds in a hole,
made your harp more interesting.

Seeing the ribs under the covers sent me in a direction
of the CBH harps, where the ribs are used for acoustical
purposes. Your harp's ribs are used for structural stability.

Quite an ingenious instrument. Good Luck to you with your
new creation. I hope you sell a million.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker

« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:31:42 AM by John Broecker »
"Human history is, in essence, a history of ideas"--British
novelist H.G. Wells (1866-1946). Replace(Human)with "harmonica", for a new, useful quote.

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #417 on: May 19, 2020, 11:00:39 AM »
John,

The ribs do serve an acoustical purpose, in addition to the mechanical purpose. I initially thought about having the 8 "major" ribs for support, combined with smaller ribs to direct the sound outward. Will had used that design for his chromatics. Then I decided that if I could get one rib on either side of 3 holes, that might be sufficient to direct the sound outward AND give the possibility of a small cup around 3 holes for muting.

Where possible, I simplified the engineering problem. Getting rid of the slide and windsavers while maintaining "pure" chromaticism were primary objectives. There are always tradeoffs involved when engineering. The classic three dimensions are quality, time and cost. I opted for a more expensive design (27 holes vice 19) with higher quality and comparable time to build.

One of the anticipated "disadvantages" is the requirement for larger movement to play all the notes. Having seen what great chord harmonica players like Al Smith and Bud Boblink can do with a 48-chord, I'm not concerned with that aspect. (Having Pat Missin's description and a working prototype also convinced me that it was feasible. The hole-to-hole distance of 9 mm and 1.5 mm between the edges of the adjacent holes. This matches the dimensions of some popular chromatic harmonicas. I assume (with no real evidence YET) that I can learn to play it at speed. I recall Vern Smith's "surprise" when he found out that his Hands-Free Chromatic could be played at jazz speed by Granafei.

Thanks,
Crazy Bob

Offline robertpcoble

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #418 on: June 18, 2020, 10:31:37 AM »
Here are the latest pictures of the Charisma's Voice harmonica. It is scheduled to ship from China tomorrow.

It does not have reeds yet. I already have all the reeds from Seydel, and have to install them after I get the harmonica.

I think Will Wu (Will's Make) did a beautiful job!

Crazy Bob

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Re: The Valveless Chromatic Fan Club
« Reply #419 on: June 18, 2020, 11:23:53 AM »
Hello, Robert.

Your photos show a "thing of beauty".
Compliments to Will Wu for his design.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker
"Human history is, in essence, a history of ideas"--British
novelist H.G. Wells (1866-1946). Replace(Human)with "harmonica", for a new, useful quote.