D harmonica compromises

We have some evidence, however, that you may have to pay for the reeds.
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boyd
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D harmonica compromises

Post by boyd »

I have paddy richter tuned harps by Seydel and Suzuki.
The D and the Eb are both a bit tinny as high pitched.
And the D is missing a note which requires either a 2draw bend to get the G
or you play up an octave and end up in a very high pitched place using tone holes 4 to 10
And blends less well with other instruments.

I have bought a low E richter tuned marine Band which requires a draw bend for one note in the lower octave but will be fine for slower tunes eg hornpipes
and for accompanying a singer.

But I wonder what fellow harp players do for the D ?
Tips and ideas welcome !!!

(Anyone out there using a D chromatic?)

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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by Boyen »

Play a low D, or play paddy Richter tuning, you're still missing the low G with paddy richter (only with a double bend) but I'm fairly sure you can manage most tunes without.
A low D in paddy richter tuning should cover all bases.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by boyd »

Re: low D in Paddy Richter

Thanks for the post
Where do you source one of those?
Or do you have to do the re-tuning yourself?
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by Boyen »

You can get Paddy richter tuning in any shop really. It's an easy modification to do, even for a beginner to be honest. But usually it's about 5-10€ extra from the shop.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by boyd »

Thanks

I have 4 Paddy Richter tuned harps already
Here you have to buy them online as music shops haven't heard of that tuning let alone stocking them
(tremolos are more commonly used for Irish and Scottish Trad music here)

To get a Paddy low D I'd have to modify or have someone do it for me I guess
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by hans »

If you get a low D Seydel, get one with stainless reeds. My brass one broke after very short time due to fatigue on the seventh reed (if I remember correctly). This seemed to be a particular issue with low D Blues Session Seydels (as I read on some forum)(my G Blues Session never failed yet). The reeds on the stainless (Session Steel) model are supposed to be longer lasting. I did the "Paddy" modification myself, not too difficult, but just fiddly.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by boyd »

Hi Hans
thanks for that

what did you use to make the modification?
(a Dremel or something like that? or a file?)



(haven't seen you for a bit. hope things are good!)
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by hans »

I used a needle file, just filing the end a bit thinner. I used a narrow strip of thin aluminium, as you can cut out of a used teelight alu holder, as a wedge to hold the reed above the reedplate (put between reed and reedbed) while doing the filing. A dremel would be a lot faster, but I was anxious not to cut too much away.

I am fine, thanks, just not having gone out so much.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by brewerpaul »

hans wrote:If you get a low D Seydel, get one with stainless reeds. My brass one broke after very short time due to fatigue on the seventh reed (if I remember correctly). This seemed to be a particular issue with low D Blues Session Seydels (as I read on some forum)(my G Blues Session never failed yet). The reeds on the stainless (Session Steel) model are supposed to be longer lasting. I did the "Paddy" modification myself, not too difficult, but just fiddly.
I had the same problem with the same low D Seydel. The 7th reed broke in a very short time, and I'm not a hard or frequent player. I sent it back to them and they replaced the plates with stainless steel at a 30% discount. After playing it for a long time I really found myself missing the low B note so yesterday I retuned it to Paddy Richter. I used one of the thin plates of a spark plug gapping set to support the reed and filed the reed with a diamond file. Most online instructions for this tell you to only take a couple of strokes before testing the note but I found that it took a LOT of filing to get the note I wanted, probably because of the stainless steel reed vs brass. I covered the holes 1-2 and 4-5 with tape to make it easier to isolate the note I was working on. I also noted that as I got closer to the B the changes came more quickly so be careful. I love the result and can now play most tunes down in that rich lower octave.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by hans »

hans wrote:I used a needle file, just filing the end a bit thinner. I used a narrow strip of thin aluminium, as you can cut out of a used teelight alu holder, as a wedge to hold the reed above the reedplate (put between reed and reedbed) while doing the filing. A dremel would be a lot faster, but I was anxious not to cut too much away.
Just did the same on a Seydel Favorite LLF and took photos:
Image

Image

Reed plate is fixed on a small vice, which has rubber-protected jaws. Two small nails, which are sticking through two holes of the reed plate, are holding the reed plate in place on top of the vice, at comfortable height to do the delicate filing. I use a finger as guide while filing, but could not get that on the photo. Zou can see the thin alustrip holding the reed above the plate while filing. I used a Snark tuner, which works on vibration, for the tuning, and tuned relative to the other reeds. Overall the tuning changes when the reed plates are back under the covers of the harmonica, the tuning goes down a bit with covers on.

Strange that Seydel did not fix the obvious problems with the seventh reed. But the stainless reeds go well on the Session Steel low D.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by Crawforde »

[Thread revival - Mod]

I’m currently working on a low D Paddy Richter, ten hole harmonica with slide.
I’m trying to decide if I should make the second reedplate a half tone off, and change 2 draw to the 4th for almost complete chromaticism over 3 octaves (only missing 2 semitones, and they can be bent). Or making the second plate a whole scale tone lower, but making the Cs natural so I can play fully in D or G with natural sounding in scale ornaments? Any thoughts?
As this will be my primary harmonica for Scottish and Irish Music do you think I should put it in Equal Temperament or some compromise?
I’ve Already made a chromatic version in Bb. It’s my favorite harmonica right now. Almost finished with one in Low Low F that is pretty nice but needs a little tweaking. The LLF has Osage Orange covers and the L Bb is lacewood. The wood seems to make them mellow and smooths out the overtones.
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Re: D harmonica compromises

Post by Crawforde »

The Low D Manji from Suzuki is a nice harmonica that can be easily retuned, and it has a nice sound.
Those Stainless Steel Seydels are nice too.
Are commercial recommendations ok here?
I recently got a tweaked and retuned Custom Paddy Richter LBb Thunderbird from an ITM player/ harmonica customizer in the E.E. that is just wonderful. His prices are very close to off the shelf harps. Sometimes lower. Just flat out amazing work.
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