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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:11 pm 
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In May 2007 Just Geoff wrote -
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An interesting and slightly more expensive alternative you might like to consider is the Marine Band 365 14-holer, it's the same price as the 12-hole version I believe. I've only recently discovered it and it's a fantastic instrument. Has a more powerful and richer tone than the regular 10-hole.

I may buy a Hohner 12-hole or 14-hole to use as a base for retuning to my own custom tuning, so I am searching for information on what the original manufactured tunings of these harps are.

Can anyone fill in the gaps below, for currently produced Hohner models?

In USA Coast-2-Coast list four types

Hohner 364S-24 Marine Band 12 Hole Solo Tuned - in key of C only - standard solo tuning on this one, so all is clear (and I already have one myself).

Hohner Marine Band 12 Hole - in keys C, D and G - but no information on tuning.

Hohner Marine Band 14 Hole Low Octave - in keys C and G - but no information on tuning.

Hohner Steve Baker Special - in keys low-C, low-D, low-F, G and A. SBS tuning is well described on the C2C page for this harp, and is consistent with information at patmissin.com. This harp is much more expensive than the other 14-hole harp above, though it appears identical in the photographs except for some small engraving on the SBS top cover plate.

To save on postage I would prefer to order from shops or online suppliers here in the UK. Some of the models above seem to be available, but information shown is a bit lacking or muddled.

Hohner's own European web site lists only two models, the 12-hole solo tuned and the 14-hole SBS models. http://www.hohner.eu/index.php?405


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:31 pm 
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Since you wish to retune the insrument, what difference does it make as to equall temperment....just intonation etc?

The difference between these tunings amounts to only a few cents here and there and shouldn't prevent you from tuning as you please.

The note layout should be the same as the one you allready own as far as the 12 hole.

-Frank.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:17 pm 
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My custom "Fourkey" tuning uses five blow/draw holes per octave. So I need to make some radical pitch changes if I retune a stock harp. The amount of pitch change required on each reed depends on the original tuning of the harp out of the box. (Soloist, Major Diatonic Blues Harp, Steve Baker Special, etc) So that is what I am trying to find out.

10-hole harps:
Best retuning so far was on an Ab Delta Frost. I retuned blow 1 reed up nine semitones by filing off almost all of the heavy reed tip. At top end of harp the biggest change is blow 10 - dropped five semitones by filing root.
Have retuned other blues harps (Lee Oskar, SP20, Marine Band, Seydel Blues Session) with some successes and some failures also.

12-hole harps:
Should give nearly two and a half octaves in Fourkey tuning. Have retuned a 12-hole Hohner Marine Band "soloist", but reeds in holes 11 and 12 very unstable, and one reed broke off, due to radical retuning. Retuned harp plays well on just holes 1 to 10, but only two octaves range again, so no better than my 10-hole harps.

14-hole harps:
This should give me nearly three octaves in Fourkey tuning. But I know I will be pushing the limits of what retuning is physically possible. So, before I buy a 14-hole harp to I need to calculate if the retuning will be possible at the extreme ends of the harp where the largest pitch changes are required.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:45 pm 
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I see....9 semitones is radicall.

I spoke with a guy named Timler when he worked for Seydell and it seems to me that he told me the amount a reed could be sucessfully re-tuned is far less than what you are doing. It may be that the life span of a reed would be in question for such major shifts in pitch.

It is a shame that the technicall specifications on harmonicas are not provided by the manufacturers.

A good place to check would be with a harmonica customizer like Steve Baker, Joe Filisco....Richard Sleigh ect. I am not sure how talkitive these guys are but they surely know how these harps come tuned from the factory.

I hope you can find the information you need without having to actually buy a fourteeen hole harp. Of course, buying one of the harps and using a tuner would let you know exactly how they are tuned.

Want to mention that I believe Seydell will produce harmonicas to purchaser specifications as far as tunings. Also, I believe they sell "loose reeds". If you can find the data on how far one of Seydells reeds can be safely shifted in pitch, it may enable you to take one of their stock reed plates and order certain loose reeds that would need only minor pitch adjustments to create a set of plates with your experemental tuning.

-Frank.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:22 pm 
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In case any beginners, or beginners who think they are intermediates are reading this thread, be aware...Your harp is not out of tune...You are. This is not a beginner topic, so put your grinder back on the shelf. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:00 pm 
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Actually, the originator of this post (Tonedeft) says he is pretty much a beginner.

I guess he has as much desire to reinvent the harp as he has to learn to play them.

Different strokes....for different folks!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:53 pm 
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Indeed guys, retuning should be in the Advanced Discussions forum. (We can continue over there if you have more to say.)

Though I will use the information for retuning, the raw facts about "what notes are where" on Hohner 12 and 14 hole harps would seem to be suitable for the beginners forum.

But as Frank says, it is a pity that some harp makers don't seem to tell us what notes they decide to put on their harps! So perhaps nobody knows?
Full marks to Lee Oskar for freely publishing full data on all their alternative tunings. (Sensible ones that is - not my own new crazy ideas!)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:18 pm 
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Ok....thats a different matter.

You said "tunings" but you were really looking for notation layout. To me, tunings means the number of cents deviation from standard concert pitch in this context and the most I can say is that Pat Misson "believes" them to be tuned to JI.

The 364 & 365 use standard diatonic note layout and treat the extra holes above hole ten as an extension of the normal pattern.

For instance.....the 14 hole 365 in "C" is layed out:

Blow notes in order starting from hole one:

CEGCEGCEGCEGCE

Draw notes in order starting from hole one:

DGBDFABDFABDFA

They consider this a "Tenor" pitched instrument and the bottom ten holes are tuned like a standard diatonic except lower in pitch for the key. The standard ten hole diatonic in "C" has middle "C" as hole one blow.

As you know because you own the 12 hole model 364, if you take away the last two notes in the above notations you have a notation chart for the 364 in "C"

The other available keys can be charted by using the standard ten hole diatonic note layout and continueing the pattern as it is done on the "stamped C" notated above.

As far as the solo tuned models, you can determine that layout by comparing it to the same key of chromatic harmonica notation layout with the slide out in both blow and draw reeds.

These are 12-hole diatonics that use the same tuning pattern as the typical chromatic harmonica, but give the typical diatonic tone and note bending capabilities.

So, a twelve hole solo tuned diatonic in the key of "C" gives you three complete octaves of the major scale of "C".

A twelve hole solo tuned harp in "C" notation;

Blow notes starting with #1

CEGCCEGCCEGC

Draw notes starting with #1

DFABDFABDFAB

Again, to notate other available solo tuned diatonic keys besides "C", just use the same formula as seen directly above or else look at the desired key notation chart of a chromatic harmonica with the slide out. Just dissregard the first four holes of a 16 hole chromatic harmonica notation layout if charting a 12 hole solo tuning notation.

There is information on the Steve Baker tuning as well as the Hohner 360 series tunings at "The Diatonic Harmonica Reference" under the heading of "Special Tunings"

{Added Foot Note Below}

I re-read your original post and realized that you list severall harps that you allready knew the notation layouts for. Actually, after re-reading it seems that the only thing you needed an answer for was the non-solo tuned Hohner 360 series. I believe you are thinking that the Hohner 12 hole and the Hohner 364 are two different harps. I dont think so.

I believe that there are two basic offerings from Hohner in two differing hole quanities....12 hole or 14 hole..... standard Richter or solo tuning.

You will learn from this that the harmonica manufacturers have a basic formula for what notes they put on any stamped key of harmonica. They use the same formula for any stamped key within a certain model number.

Any harp model that deviates from that standard does supply notation documentation as is the case with very inovative Lee Oskar who is the pioneer of mass produced alterately tuned harmonicas as well as the originator of replaceable reed plates.

All that aside, as you may well know from owning the 364S.....these low pitched wooden combed extra length diatonic harps offered by Hohner are not at all what you can consider "airtight" or responsive. Allthough I dont own one myself, the ones offered by Steve Baker are probably much more expensive because he has put the work into them that makes them responsive and airtight.

I have owned the standard tuned Hohner models 364&365 for many years and I dont play them much because they have such a huge air requirement. I have often wished someone made a 14 hole model that added one lower octave to the left of the standard pitched stamped key diatonic note layout in a responsive plastic combed harp. In essence, a standard octave plastic combed diatonic harp on hole five through fourteen with an added four hole low octave on holes one through four.

Still waiting!


-Frank.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:15 pm 
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I hardly understand what is being discussed here. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Yeah.... thats your fault but the original question could have been stated much simpler!

In a nutshell..... a guy wanted to know what the notes were on a certain model and key of harmonica....


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:36 am 
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That's great Frank. Below is your information in a compact layout for future reference. (If anybody is brave enough to come this far through our rambling discussion.)

Each octave is colour coded, and these are all "C" harps.

STANDARD 10 HOLE DIATONIC - the standard "Blues Harp", "Richter Major Diatonic".
Blow - - - - - - - - - - C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C
Draw- - - - - - - - - - D---G---B---D---F---A----B---D---F---A

MARINE BAND 364 12 HOLE - like a standard harp but with two more holes at the top end
Blow - - - - - - - - - - C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G
Draw- - - - - - - - - - D---G---B---D---F---A----B---D---F---A---B---D

MARINE BAND 365 14 HOLE - like a standard harp but with four more holes at the top end
(and overall pitch is one octave lower than shown here)
Blow - - - - - - - - - - C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E
Draw- - - - - - - - - - D---G---B---D---F---A----B---D---F---A---B---D---F---A

MARINE BAND 365 STEVE BAKER SPECIAL ( SBS ) - like a standard harp but with extra bottom octave and one hole at top end
Blow - - C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E---G---C---E
Draw- - D---G---B---D---G---B---D---F---A----B---D---F---A---B

MARINE BAND 364-S SOLOIST - like a 12-hole chromatic with the slide out
Blow - - - - - - - - - - C---E---G---C---C---E---G---C---C---E---G---C
Draw- - - - - - - - - - D---F---A----B---D---F---A----B---D---F---A---B


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Well Done T.D.

So..... can you re-tune to create your dream harp?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Beginners please ignore this post - but you may find the information above useful if you have a Hohner 12 or 14 hole diatonic harp (i.e. one without a slide button on the side.) The charts above show what notes are on these "long" harps as they come out-of-the-box.

Can I retune any of these harps to "Fourkey" tuning?

10 hole diatonic harp
Yes can do. I have six of these! Delta Frost, Lee Oskar, SP20, two Marine Band, and a Seydel Blues Session.

12 hole 364-S soloist harp
Yes can do. I have one of these.

Marine Band 364 12-hole harp

Would be more difficult to retune than the 12-hole Soloist so that one remains the best option for a 12 holer.

Marine Band 365 14-hole "Low Octave" and "Steve Baker Special" harps
This is tempting! Probably not possible for me to retune either of these, but I think I have got to give it a try. The main constraint is the blow reeds, which are identical on both harps. An example re-tuning would be to raise pitch of blow-1 up by 10 semitones and drop pitch of blow-14 down by 11 semitones. I have learnt two retuning tricks that may just make it possible.
Trick 1) Start by buying a low harp, and hope that it has big heavy thick tips on the low reeds. The heavy tips gives plenty of weight that can be removed, raising pitch of low reeds a lot.
Trick 2) To drop pitch of high reeds start by adding a generous blob of lead free solder onto the reed tips. File away most of the solder blob until pitch of reed is, say, five semitones lower than its original pitch. Then work on the reed root area, thinning the metal to drop another five semitones. Those two changes seem to balance each other out, giving a fairly responsive reed.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:18 pm 
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Can you refresh my memory on what the advantages of your "four key" scheme are?


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 Post subject: Fourkey tuning
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:06 pm 
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In brief, Fourkey tuning is a tuning that gives fully chromatic playing using only normal bends, and plays in a lot of keys without using any bends at all.

See information from May 2007 in the advanced forum:
http://www.harmonicaclub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1765

I think it is about time I posted a progress update on that thread, so will do that now. Maybe see you again in the advanced forum thread .......


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