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Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe

paul vaughan 29 Jan 13 - 12:24 PM
paul vaughan 29 Jan 13 - 12:59 PM
The Sandman 29 Jan 13 - 01:05 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jan 13 - 03:20 PM
The Sandman 29 Jan 13 - 05:56 PM
Bobert 29 Jan 13 - 07:12 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 13 - 07:16 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 13 - 07:21 PM
The Sandman 31 Jan 13 - 05:30 PM
a gud ole bwoy 01 Feb 13 - 04:37 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Feb 13 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 02 Feb 13 - 06:15 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Feb 13 - 08:11 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Feb 13 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 03 Feb 13 - 02:26 PM
Bob Bolton 03 Feb 13 - 09:51 PM
Bob Bolton 03 Feb 13 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 04 Feb 13 - 04:10 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Feb 13 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,morrisbrendon 05 Feb 13 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Feb 13 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,morrisbrendon 07 Feb 13 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,morrisbrendon 07 Feb 13 - 02:54 PM
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Subject: Chromatic Harmonica any info?
From: paul vaughan
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 12:24 PM

I've just been given an old chromatic harmonica, and would appreciate any info anybody might have. On both sides it has stamped "THE BANDMASTER DE LUXE CHROMATIC" To either side it also says "FULL OCTAVES" and "ALL SHARPS AND FLATS", and to the left and right, near the bottom, it says. "MADE IN GDR" and "SEYDEL SYSTEM"
Now, obviously, some of this is self explanatory, but I would like to know how old it is likely to be. Also any tips on cleaning in order to make it safe to play. Not even sure if it's actually ever been played!
Many thanks!
Paul.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: paul vaughan
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 12:59 PM

I meant the subject to be the thread title! Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 01:05 PM

Back



From Dave Gage's Harmonica Lessons   http://www.harmonicalessons.com/repairs_clean.html



    Cleaning Your Harmonica

   
    Cleaning without taking the harmonica apart- If your diatonic harmonica has a plastic comb (versus a wood or metal comb), you can do a quick cleaning by running lukewarm water through it and then rapping it firmly (mouthpiece side down) against your leg or palm to knock out the excess water. Repeat 2 or 3 times being careful to knock out all the water. Lightly playing big full mouth chords (4 or 5 notes) throughout the harmonica will also help clear out the excess moisture. For a light cleaning, this may be all you need.

   
    For a more thorough cleaning, disassemble cover plates, reed plates, and comb.- Use the appropriate screw driver for your brand of harmonica (flat head or phillips). Find a safe place to temporarily store the little screws and nuts that you will get from your disassembly. If they fall to the floor they may disappear forever.


   

    Parts of diatonic
    Disassemble cover plates, reed plates, and comb.



   
    Cleaning the comb- You may clean the plastic comb with warm water, soap, and an old tooth brush -- rinse completely. If your comb is made of wood, skip the water and soap and merely rub it down with the old toothbrush. If your comb is metal, be sure to dry it thoroughly upon completion to avoid rust and tarnish.

   
    Cleaning the cover plates- You may clean the plastic comb with warm water, soap, and an old tooth brush. Rinse well. If your comb is made of wood, skip the water and soap and merely rub it down with the old toothbrush.

   
    Using metal cleaner or brass polish on the cover plates- Not recommended. It is very difficult to completely remove the chemical smell even after a thorough wash and rinse. The tarnishing of the cover plates won't hurt anything including the sound. In fact, some might take it as a sign of an experienced player.


   

    Parts of diatonic 2
    Disassembled cover plates, reed plates, screws, and comb.



   
    Cleaning the reed plates- You may clean the reed plates with warm water and soap and your fingers. Rinse well. You should not wash the reed plates with an old toothbrush. The bristles could get caught on a reed and do damage. Please note that some brands and models of harmonicas have reed rivets that are made of a non-rusting material, others do not. It is possible that without thorough drying, the rivets may begin to rust over time. Therefore, dry as completely as possible before re-assembly.

   
    Cleaning the reed plates while attached to the comb- Very carefully take the harmonica apart down to the comb and attached reed plates. Then take Q-tips and Hydrogen Peroxide Solution (found at any drug store and most supermarkets) and clean the areas that seem to need cleaning. The Hydrogen Peroxide will sanitize, clean, disinfect, and is perfectly safe. Focus special attention on the areas where you will be putting your mouth. Be very careful not to leave any of the extra fuzz from the Q-tips, especially around the reeds (the little thin brass things with a rivet at one end). If you can find some Q-tip type swabs that are not made of cotton but made of some material that doesn't leave lint, that would be even better. This method when carefully applied will also work with chromatic harmonicas.


    Re-assembling Your Harmonica

   
    Re-attaching the reed plates back on the comb- Use your thumb and forefinger to squeze and slide the plates and comb around until the plates feel "seated" properly within the comb. While securely holding the "seated" reed plates in place, replace the reed plate screws. Do not over-tighten these screws, it doesn't help. Over-tightening tends to cause a warping in the screw areas and increase air leakage. Loose is better than tight. Remember, these plates will also be held securely in place with the final cover plate screws.

   
    Replace the cover plates, not too tight or loose- As with the reed plate screws, do not over-tighten the cover plate screws. Be sure to check that the cover plates are aligned correctly on top of the reed plates before final tightening.

   
    Should one cover plate screw be tighter than the other?- Not necessarily, but you may find that the screw located on the "high end" can cause the harmonica to feel slightly more airtight if it is a bit tighter than the "low end" screw. Sometimes this helps, sometimes not.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 03:20 PM

If it looks clean and unplayed, go easy on the cleaning. You could do the following to make sure its slide works nicely and is clean enough to make to you feel confident, and no dismantling would be required:

1. Fill a bowl or similar with hot water to a depth of half an inch. Hold the harp mouthpiece-down in the water and work the slide back and forth repeatedly. Remove from water, keeping the harp strictly mouthpiece-down and shake it out thoroughly. Allow to air-dry, mouthpiece-down still, for 24 hours.

2. Wipe the mouthpiece thoroughly with a tissue soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Allow to dry.

Away you go. Chromatic harps should be at body temperature before being played, otherwise you might have problems with sticking valves. If you do have such problems, it's a whole new ball game, and you'll find out why a lot of us tend to steer clear of chroms.

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 05:56 PM

thanks Steve, would surgical spirit do for cleaning the mouthpiece?


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 07:12 PM

These harps are hard to play... 90% of all harp players are clueless about them...

True story:

Back around 10 years ago I was invited to do a short segment on the local public broadcasting TV station and went with my harp player, "Harp Boy"...

Now "Harp Boy" was a mighty fine player but had a few screws loose in his head and he had just bough his first chromatic and rather than bring harps that he could play he showed up with his brand new chromatic????

Things didn't go well...

B~


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 13 - 07:16 PM

Surgical spirit will do the job, but any harp that has a wood comb will stink of surgical spirit for ever more. The merest trace getting on to the wood will be absorbed and the stink will be impossible to remove. I speak from bitter experience. I don't know how easy it is to get isopropyl alcohol in the UK. I have a couple of little plastic bottles of it that came as cassette head-cleaning fluid or vinyl record-cleaning fluid. A 50ml bottle would last the average harmonica player forever.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 13 - 07:21 PM

It seems easy enough to buy on Ebay. Not surgical spirit, eh?


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jan 13 - 05:30 PM

how about poteen?


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: a gud ole bwoy
Date: 01 Feb 13 - 04:37 PM

One reason why you should take care when cleaning a cromatic is that the better ones have wind savers. If yours has them don't just dunk it into water and expect it to play soon after because the wind savers will stick. If it has them you will need to warm the cromatic before you play so that the effect of moisture from your mouth on the wind savers is delayed. Some people keep them warm by putting them in very personnel places but a shirt with a pocket on the front under a jumper is really all you need. Cromatics can be a very expressive music maker and give a crisp sound but there's lots of info on the net about how to achieve that.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Feb 13 - 08:05 PM

The traditional place is down the front of the trousers ("is that a 16-hole Larry Adler in C in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"). Failing that, a very good solution, which I use to good effect, is a pair of those cheap gel hand-warmers, the ones you boil up to recharge once you've used them. Set them off, stick them in some sort of pouch with your chroms for ten minutes and away you go. No sticky valves!

And, to add to the post above, if you dunk your wood-combed chrom in water (Hohner 270s, for example), you kill it. Simple as that. The wood will swell and split, so off you go to the harmonica shop.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 06:15 PM

Are "Windsavers" what squeezebox players term "valves", ie flappy bits of plastic that ensure that a "pull" note will not operate under "push" conditions (and vice versa)?


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:11 PM

Yep. They shut down the slot adjacent to the one with the sounding reed so as to channel all air towards the latter and reduce the effort needed to make the reed sound. They can be a real monkey for harmonica players because the air of lung origin blown towards the reeds (unlike in a squeezebox) is moisture-laden. A cold harmonica will result in much condensation on both the reed and the valve, causing all sorts of problems such as popping and sticking, not to speak of providing fertile, moist territory for bits of chip and pork scratching to adhere. That's why it's a good idea to warm the harmonica before playing it.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Feb 13 - 08:15 PM

And confine intake to beer, avoiding chips or pork scratchings. Or anything greasy or involving flaky pastry. Or sugary drinks. Beer is a very good compromise, I find, and it has all the calories you need.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 02:26 PM

And shave that tache!


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 09:51 PM

G'day Paul (et al ... ),

I'm intrigued to see that your ( ... undoubtedly oldish ...) chromatic harmonica, made in what was alleged to be the German Democratic Republic claims :"Seydel System". I'm not sure if it is in any way different from the standard chromatic harmonica scheme ... but it is, presumably, made by the old East Saxony mouthorgan makers (~) Seydel und Sohne.

In Australia, until WorldWar 2, we had a vast range of well-made mouth organs branded "Boomerang" ... made for a Swiss-German luthier Albert who cme out here and did very well. He had a comprehensive range of Australly named mouthorgans (and some button accordions ..) that ranged from cheap ... but playable ... 'beginner' instruments ... to excellent chromatics - for those of that persuasion.

My first mouthorgan was a 10 hole vamper ... with a distinctive, well-crafted round-holed faceplate over the wooded frame ... so that I could play very smoothly ... and never have the annoyance (standard in those days ...) of wooden frames swelling up and interfering with playing. I still have that harp ... and admire the extra skill and work that the Sydel family put into their instruments!

Many Australian mouth organ players got their start on a (Seydel) aka Boomerang, mouthorgan ... and many careers were launched by the national competitions rung by Stanley, in the 1920s and early 1930s.

I hope your old chromatic scrubs up well ... and serves you well.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 10:14 PM

Err ... G'day again,

Ummm ... I seem to have slipped the name of the wrong maker of the wrong intricate free reed instrument into my last posting ... it was, of course, Alberts Music. Now representatives for Music, · Artists & Song Writers ·--- J. Albert & Son Pty Ltd that ran the iconic Australian 'free reed' brand "Boomerang".

My fingers briefly try to conjure up "Stanley" ... (err... presumably the equally iconic repairer and maker ... of that other box of intricate 'free reeds' - the Concertina. "John Stanley "The Concertina Doctor" of Bathurst (New Sout Wales country city) was the repairer ...more than a century ago of my first Anglo concertina and then manufacturer ... and probably did repair the odd mouth organ as well ... but did not create a branding for them!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 04:10 AM

I vehemently agree with what Ebor says about playing chromatics whilst moustachioed. The exquisite agony of getting a nasal hair forcibly extracted by trapping it in the slide is possibly the origin of those whoops and hollers that some blues players are wont to. And probably the reason why they play diatonics!


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 05:38 AM

Blimey, Ted, if your nasal hairs are getting caught in the slide, you're getting a darn sight bushier than I remember you! ;-) Try ditching the Remington personal trimmer and resort to hedging shears is my advice...

And 'tache-trapping, that well-known hazard that has the eyes watering and which induces sudden inchoate rage, is by no means confined to chrom players, I assure you. The only answer is to maintain the bottom edge of the 'tache at least 3.472mm above the working edge of the top lip. The girls like it better that way too.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,morrisbrendon
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:23 PM

I have one of these "bandmasters", exactly as you describe except mine says "three full octaves". I bought it new about maybe thirty years ago and I remember that it was cheap as harmonicas go, I think less that £10, ...I think that's why I bought it. I would have to say that the quality was only fair, but ok for the price I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:58 AM

Bob Bolton, "Seydel System" strongly suggests not made by the international owners of the Seydel trademark. In fact the Seydel factory was socialized and produced only cheap "socialist" quality, but tried to capitalize on its former reputation abroad. (Morris, thirty years ago £10 was loads o' money, I think you could have bought a better instrument for that.)


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,morrisbrendon
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 02:48 PM

Yes, I take your point...I guessed maybe £10 at the very outside, I think really it was probably much less...all I can remember is that at the time I considered it worth whatever I paid, just about.


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Subject: RE: Chromatic Harmonica any info?-Bandmaster Deluxe
From: GUEST,morrisbrendon
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 02:54 PM

Here's one on ebay...might be a good place for mine...




Bandmaster on ebay


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