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Brendan Power
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My Twin-Harmonica System is not just a new harmonica, but a whole new category of them. It pushes the envelope of harmonica design to offer a huge range of exciting new options and enhanced performance never seen before. I believe it's a genuine game changer.

Essentially it's two harmonicas behind a single mouthpiece, generally with a slider to select between them. These harmonicas can be of any type you can think of: diatonics, chromatics, tremolo and octave harps, chords and bass harmonicas.

That sounds simple, but it's not easy to do well! A few customisers have made one-off double harmonicas in the past, but they were generally bulky and suffered from lack of volume & response. But now, using CAD with 3D Printing and laser cutting, I've reduced the size and improved playability by inventing a new design. My Patent Pending Twin-Harmonica System opens up a new world of expressive possibilities to every player who wants to explore beyond current harmonica models - which have remained largely unchanged for over 100 years.
The extent of harmonica combinations is as wide as your imagination, in terms of tunings, sizes, types...! The offerings will widen over time to reflect that. But to start with there are four main options based on the 12 hole chromatic format. They come in two brands, Hering and Hohner, though this will expand as time goes on to other makers.

Patent Pending

I have taken out a Provisional Patent on my new design with the United States Patent Office. It establishes a priority date for my invention, and gives me the security to be able to market my product and seek possible licensees before applying for a full patent.

Brands & Sizes Available

My aim is to offer the Twin-Harmonica System in all the popular harmonica brands: Hohner, Suzuki, Seydel, Hering, and others. I also intend to offer a range of harmonica models and sizes.

For now, I have only the 12 hole size in two brands/models, Hohner CX-12 and Hering 5148. Every brand and harmonica model is different, and requires extensive R&D to make the find adjustments necessary for fitting. New base models will be added regularly once the R&D is done, so what this space!

Pre-Ordering

Each THS model is made to order, so there is a waiting period. The appropriate harmonica models need to be purchased and then the work begins. These complex harmonicas are very labour-intensive to make, which takes time. That attention to fine detail is also reflected in the price, plus the high parts cost - remember, there are two new chromatic harmonicas in each THS model! (However it is possible to save money on the CX-12 options by just buying the upper unit/housing and inserting your own harmonicas behind).

The wait is not excessive: Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within three weeks of the initial payment.
Five prototypes for the Twin Harmonica System
Five Prototype Double Chromatics



As its name implies, this is a double-chromatic harmonica: two full chromatic harmonicas in the one instrument! For any serious chromatic player, this is heaven in your hands. The new phrasing and expressive possibilities are immense. You can use all your traditional playing skills by playing it as a normal chromatic, and then massively enhance the creative power by pushing the master slider and accessing a different chromatic altogether. A huge range of musical options is possible for the Twin-Harmonica System DoubleChrom, limited only by your imagination.

To start with I'm offering one famous chromatic brand and model as the base harmonica for this revolutionary new instrument: the popular, user-friendly Hohner CX-12. This is one of the cleverest harmonicas ever designed, with convenient snap-fit construction. It makes assembly/disassembly of the THS DoubleChrom a breeze - as you can see from the video below.

There are many colours of upper unit available and a range of keys, all in traditional chromatic Solo tuning. To save money you can just buy the upper slider-mouthpiece and lower enclosure. You can then insert your own CX-12 rear units and sliders. (However, this option will not give you the bespoke laser-cut rear sliders and slider-locking bar, as seen on the video).

Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

Promotional Video

Playing/Assembly Video

A NOTE ON KEYS

Low keys work best with the DoubleChrom. Because of its longer air chambers and the Helmholtz Resonance effect, high keys (above G) start to suffer in the top octave. Therefore, if you insert your own rear units, make sure they are lower keys, like the ones listed here.

You can choose any key combination you want from the drop-down lists. I would suggest two keys a tone apart (eg. Tenor C/D, or F/G). This will give you wholetone trills, which is a massive plus for any classical/folk/jazz player. Plus you'll get fantastic alternate phrasing possibilities. If a given phrase is difficult in the traditional way, just push the master slider and you can try two or three other ways to play it! It opens up a massive box of new tricks for the advanced chromatic player. If you want alternate tunings, they can be made for an extra price - email me to discuss.

Embossing

Optimum airtightness at every stage of the air passage from lips to reeds is critical for the performance of the Twin Harmonica System. The laser-cut sliders are hand ground to get the best fit in their slider channels, and the composite parts are carefully sealed. To gain the ultimate performance it is advisable to improve airtightness at the reeds themselves, via slot embossing. This is expertly done under a microscope to give crisp, clean tone and maximum response. You can choose it as an option below.

Buying Advice

Prices are listed in British Pounds. Trackable International Postage is included. PayPal will do the conversion from your currency automatically.

CX-12 Complete DoubleChrom (Base Price: £750)

Embossing:

Colour Option:

Key Harp 1:

Key Harp 2:


Ultra Compact DoubleChrom
Upper Unit/Housing Only (Base Price: £350)



Colour Option:


Jean Sabot plays Bach's "Badinerie"
using his own original tuning pattern

Jean says: "The DoubleChrom has a very subtle sound, particuliarly well adapted to
Barroco & Classical music due to its endless possibilities, Thanks Brendan!"

See more of Jean's videos on his YouTube Channel
Jacob Venndt tearing out all the stops and pushing all the sliders on the new Double Chromatic Harmonica
Check out more from this amazing musician

Earlier CX-12 models

Here are some photos of earlier versions of the DoubleChrom, including the Flying-V:
earlier versions of the DoubleChrom earlier versions of the DoubleChrom earlier versions of the DoubleChrom earlier versions of the DoubleChrom
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.



The rich octave sound, two reeds playing together an octave apart, is one of the most appealing free-reed tonalities. It has never been available on a slider chromatic before - but now it is! My OctaChrom gives you that rich double-reed timbre and loud volume with all the sophistication of a slider chromatic. Great for any kind of music, but especially Tango!

Prices are listed in British Pounds. Trackable International Postage is included. PayPal will do the conversion from your currency automatically.

Hering (Base Price: £535)

Colour Option:

Key:

Embossing:




Embossing

Optimum airtightness at every stage of the air passage from lips to reeds is critical for the performance of the Twin Harmonica System. The laser cut sliders are hand ground to get the best fit in their slider channels, and the composite parts are carefully sealed.

To gain the ultimate performance it is advisable to improve airtightness at the reeds themselves, via slot embossing. This is expertly done under a microscope to bring the reeds and slots as close together as possible, to give crisp, clean tone and maximum response. You can choose it as an option with all the models featured.



Still in R&D, when approved for commercial release (see 'Work in Progress' note below), the X-Reed Chromatic will be a quantum leap in expression for all harmonica players. It brings together the best elements from two hitherto divided camps, those of the blues harp and the chromatic harmonica. For decades players have generally been on one side or the other, with often a big gulf in between. Now that division is blown away in the X-Reed Chromatic.

This one amazing new harmonica marries the wailing sound of the blues harp with the easy full chromaticism of the slider chromatic! It is incredibly expressive, because virtually every note can be played as a bend or as a normally played reed. It offers tons of new soulful expression to traditional chromatic players, and gives diatonic harp players their familiar bluesy tone plus all the chromatic notes built in with a slider. I can’t wait to hear the fabulous new music that will be played on the X-Reed Chromatic in the near future.

The X-Reed Chromatic can come in a range of sizes and tunings, including the two most common ones, Richter and Solo tuning. In 12 hole solo tuned form, the X-Reed Chromatic contains two of my ChromaBenders a semitone apart.

A Work in Progress


The all-bending X-Reed Chromatic is a very demanding harmonica to make, as it has to be extremely responsive to a player's embouchure-based pitch control throughout the range. Having a slider and the reeds further from the mouth makes this tougher to achieve than on a simpler diatonic x-reed harmonica. You can hear from the video clip I have achieved proof-of-principle in my Mk1 model, and the slimmer Mk 2 improves performance further. However I don't feel the overall playability is good enough yet to sell the X-Reed Chromatic commercially. Below is the story so far...

Large Mk1 Model gives way to the Slimline Mk2

After extensive work I managed to reduce the size of the X-Reed Chromatic dramatically from the first Mk1 version. By designing and making my own thin combs I could also halve the size of the upper unit, slimming the compact Mk2 down to almost the size of a conventional chromatic harmonica. It also plays better than the bulky Mk1, because of the smaller air channel volumes. In addition, I added rear screws for quick, easy disassembly of the two harmonica units. But I'm still not satisfied, and am currently working on an even smaller Mk3 model - so watch this space!

X-Reed Chromatic Mk2
THS X-reed Chromatic Mark 2
THS X-reed Chromatic Mark 2
THS X-reed Chromatic Mark 2
X-Reed Chromatic Mk1
THS X-reed Chromatic Mark 1
THS X-reed Chromatic Mark 1

The QuarterTone Chromatic is a microtonal double-chromatic, to allow Middle Eastern musicians to play their music authentically on the harmonica for the very first time! The idea came from the brilliant young Israeli musician Roni Eytan, who asked me to create the first one for him.

Promotional Video by Roni Eytan

Introducing the QuarterTone (featuring Roni Eytan playing in a jazz context)

Playing/Assembly Video

Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom Ultra Compact DoubleChrom
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return.

Buying Advice

Prices are listed in British Pounds. Trackable International Postage is included. PayPal will do the conversion from your currency automatically.

Ultra Compact DoubleChrom
CX-12 Quartertone DoubleChrom (Base Price: £850)

Embossing:

Colour Option:

Key Harp 1:

Key Harp 2:


Embossing

Optimum airtightness at every stage of the air passage from lips to reeds is critical for the performance of the Twin Harmonica System. The laser-cut sliders are hand ground to get the best fit in their slider channels, and the composite parts are carefully sealed. To gain the ultimate performance it is advisable to improve airtightness at the reeds themselves, via slot embossing. This is expertly done under a microscope to give crisp, clean tone and maximum response. You can choose it as an option above.

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