A big factor stopping more players trying valves in their harmonicas is the fiddly process of fitting them: one-by-one, with glue. It's skilled work, and easy to get wrong. After nearly four decades of laboriously fitting individual valves to my own harps I finally came up with a better idea: the Gasket-Valve!
This is a one-piece unit with ALL the internal valves attached. Made of a thin resilient material, the Gasket-Valve fits between the comb and draw reedplate without any adhesive. Its precision design aligns all the valves perfectly to the reed slots, with the minimum valve footprint sitting on the reedplate. Combined with a slightly dimpled texture to reduce capillary attraction, this eliminates sticking, and reduces valve 'slap' noise to virtual inaudibility. Plus, because all the valves are part of the same piece of material, they lie flat by default.
I've designed two main styles of diatonic Gasket-Valves, to suit the two main tuning scales. In the standard Richter Tuning used by 90% of players, the breathing pattern reverses at hole #7. In the lower 6 holes the draw note is higher than the blow, and vice-versa in holes 7-10. For half-valving, in order to retain the original Richter bending notes (holes 1,2,3,4,6 draw, & holes 8,9,10 blow), whilst adding the benefit of valves on the normally unbendable notes, you need inside valves on holes 1-6 and outside valves on holes 7-10. I add one more inside valve on hole 7, to allow valved bending expression on it. This is the style of Gasket-Valves you need for Richter, Paddy-Richter, Country Tuning, Melody Maker, Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor and any other tuning where the breathing pattern reverses at hole #7.
In the past 20 years I've pioneered Regular Breath tunings for diatonic harps. Because they have just a single breathing pattern and allow draw bending on every hole, they're quickly becoming more popular.
In these tunings, the draw note is ALWAYS higher than the blow note, in all 10 holes. Well-known examples are my own PowerBender, PowerDraw and PowerChromatic tunings, as well as Will Wilde’s tuning (which is based on PowerBender). Other great Regular Breath tunings are Augmented, Diminished and Easy Diatonic.
The correct way to half-valve all these tunings is to have all 10 valves on the inside, and none on the outside.
To ensure you get the correct Gasket-Valve set for the harps YOU play, please make the right choice in the drop-down options in the Payment box.
Check your harmonica's tuning to make sure you order the correct Gasket Valves. Common examples are below:
RICHTER & RELATED TUNINGS:Standard Richter,Paddy Richter,Country,Melody Maker,Natural Minor,Harmonic Minor,Major Cross
REGULAR-BREATH TUNINGS:PowerBender,PowerDraw,Will Wilde Tuning,Augmented,Diminished,Easy Diatonic,Bebop,WholeTone,Solo*,Orchestra*
* (These are not strictly Regular-Breath Tunings, because one hole in each octave reverses the breath. However 10 inside Gasket-Valve style is the correct choice.)
I love your gasket valve sets! In particular, they make the PT style blow bends that I'm trying to do much more secure... If you're inclined to make some more, I'd be glad to buy a dozen, so that all of my Seydel 1847 Major Cross harmonicas can have this upgrade.
Tony Eyers, USA
If you're inclined to make some more, I'd be glad to buy a dozen, so that all of my Seydel 1847 Major Cross harmonicas can have this upgrade.
Tony Eyers, USA
" These valves are absolutely brilliant - so much easier to install and no glue to mess with. Brendan should get a Nobel Prize for this! "
Tim R, USA
Installed the valve gasket set into a Hohner Rocket - wow they are really good, no sticking squeaky valves, reduced flapping noise and has greatly improved my volume control up and down the harp especially playing Irish tunes up the top end - I am a valve convert..
They are so easy to install.....no problem at all. I've been playing my harp at different breaths, hard and soft fast and slow everyday since installing them and have not identified problems with the valves or the gaskets in any way what so ever - definitely recommend them.
Paul Sanders, Australia
At first, I said Wow!
I mean that the gasket is very helpful to get more bigger sound!
I tried it with double reedplates.
I usually use embossed slots for some reasons.
however, I believe it's quite different story to get big sound.
This gasket is very effective if players wants more loud, airtight,and good bending notes including half valved bend.
I like it!!
Khan Ousmi, Japan