Tombo Pocket Bass harp: re-tuning

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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IaNerd
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Location: Iowa, USA

Tombo Pocket Bass harp: re-tuning

Post by IaNerd » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:39 pm

NAME: Tombo Pocket Bass harp: re-tuning


BASIC CONCEPT:
The standard Tombo Pocket Bass harmonica has the following notes: F/D -- C/A -- G/E -- D/B -- A/F#. Research suggests that, among popular songs in the Western world, the most-used accidentals are F# and C#. I added a C# to the Tombo.


WHEN/HOW: January of 2018.


LAYOUT/DETAILS:
Of the original natural notes, only the D is repeated. I re-tuned the lower left D to become a C#. This project was easy to do and the resultant harp works very well.
Last edited by IaNerd on Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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triona
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Re: Tombo Pocket Bass harp: re-tuning

Post by triona » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:03 pm

IaNerd wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:39 pm
Of the original natural notes, only the D is repeated.
No. The A besides the D is duplicated too.

If you want to break the order of the notes in fifths from left to right and in thirds from the lower row to the upper row, then you can do so. You even can retune one of the A's into a G# or a Bb. Then you win one more accidental, that is used quite frequently. Anyway you will not get a fully chromatic instrument by doing so. But you will partly loose the original tuning pattern, that provides a more smooth and intuitive playing in accompaniment of songs in C and G, for which this pattern is thought for, especially when increasing the speed.

And btw, you can take an Easttop Mini Bass (if you do not mind welded reeds). Following the same pattern of the layout like the Tombo, this has furthermore a Bb (left of the F) and a second G, one octave higher than the other (left of the D in the lower row). Then you could retune some more notes to gain one or two more accidentals. But you get an even more chaotic and less intuitive order of the notes. And a fully chromatic instrument it is not yet either.


dear greetings
triona
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


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IaNerd
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Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Tombo Pocket Bass harp: re-tuning

Post by IaNerd » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:58 pm

I understand and respect all of Triona's comments on this topic. Thanks!

I have now re-tuned the lower-left A to a B-flat. I would like to get the Easttop, but they are suddenly less available in the US and more expensive than they were a couple months ago.

As I was re-tuning the A to B-flat, I was using a new tuner/tone-generator and noticed that all of the Tombo's reeds came from the factory VERY sharp (compared to my choice of A443). Then I noticed that those same reeds were nearly perfect when "plinked", but then horribly sharp when played at modest volumes. (I am not a loud/hard player.)

I hypothesize that my Tombo was factory-tuned by plinking. But in actual play, all reeds needed to be lowered in pitch.

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