Author Topic: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance  (Read 2260 times)

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Offline Brendan Power

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PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« on: January 09, 2017, 09:08:46 AM »
My 3D-printed PowerCombs have been well received by chromatic harmonica players looking to get better reed response from their chroms. Thatís because the chamber volume reduction they offer is based on sound science, and really works in practice.

They fit most popular chromatics, but owners of the more expensive Suzuki chroms with brass-weighted combs could not have it both ways: they had to either stick with the weighted factory combs (with their way-too-large inefficient reed chambers) or switch to a superior-shaped but much lighter PowerComb.

Now they can have it both ways with an easy solution: small 3D-printed shaped comb inserts called PowerPlugs. Video, photos and information here:

http://www.brendan-power.com/PowerPlugs.php#powerplugs

Iím currently designing PowerPlugs for Hohner ABS plastic combs, as used in the CX-12 and 64 chromatics. Coming soon!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 10:02:14 AM by Brendan Power »

Offline Danny G

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 10:52:17 AM »
Great idea !

Offline mozharp

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 03:41:39 PM »
Brendon,

Yeah, clever idea! I can see how this makes the most sense for Suzuki combs, because of the brass weights, but I'm looking forward to the Hohner 64 comb versions. I have a 64 PowerComb and love it, but these inserts would give me a less expensive way of getting much of the benefits of a PowerComb in all my other 64 harmonicas (a mix of supers 64s and 280s). Not all the benefits - the attached metal back plate on the PowerComb is great. But it's nice to have options.

For the Super 64, there are some very minor advantages to the stock comb. Sometimes the super 64 cover plates slide off the edge of my PowerComb slightly - doesn't affect the sound or playing though. And, it's easy to pop the reed plates onto the stock comb without having to align, because of the posts. Again, trivial. The PowerComb is worth it because the high notes are better. But these plugs do sound appealing!

Very creative, thanks for all the innovative work you do for us all! I love seeing creativity in harmonica manufacture and mods.

Steve

« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 05:24:44 PM by mozharp »

Online Crawforde

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 03:46:51 PM »
It sounds like you would benefit from wood covers on the Power 64. 😉

Offline Matmandu

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 09:23:37 PM »
Thanks a million times! I was so frustrated with the change in tone I was about to bore out the PowerComb with a Dremel tool to fit the weights in it.  Now I can slip these in the Sirius and be good to go. 

Edit:  I should also clarify that I do like the PowerComb in general and they are great for non-weighted harps like the SCX.  There is a minimal difference in tone.  But there is a noticeable difference with weighted harps, like the Sirius or Maret.  This may be the the perfect solution.

-Matt

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 01:19:14 AM by Matmandu »

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 06:51:16 AM »
Thanks for the feedback folks! The Hohner 64 and CX-12 PowerPlugs are nearly ready, will be out by this weekend.

Offline BeauKim

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 11:54:28 AM »
Hi Brendan,
Any chance you'd create some for the brown comb Hohner 280s? 

Thanks.

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 06:40:56 PM »
Hohner PowerPlugs are now out, for the CX-12 and all 16-hole Hohner chromatics. Here's the video:

https://youtu.be/4x-swRmh7NY

Pro players like these things! Here's a link for Feedback, Info and Ordering:

http://www.brendan-power.com/PowerPlugs.php
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 02:53:11 AM by Brendan Power »

Offline kvanbael

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 06:46:39 PM »
What a great idea!

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 03:02:10 AM »
@ Beaukim: I don't have a brown comb to check, but I'm 99% sure it is the same as the black and clear Hohner 16-hole combs internally. Could you send a couple of photos?

What would be an issue is reed directions. On the old Hohner plastic-comb 16 holers they were the opposite way around: blow facing in and draw facing away. I could put out a special edition of the PowerPlugs for this layout I guess.

Offline Balcom

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 04:02:02 AM »
Hi.
I thought I'll have a go with upgrade of Sirius.
Plugs arrived few days ago. I've simply followed Brendans video how to install. I did make sure they are laying down properly, otherwise reed plate would rest on plugs instead of comb.
Installation quick and easy.

Reed response after installation?
Man, you did amazing job with that plugs!
Reeds respond so easy! Sounds great.

Thanks Brendan
Sometimes good , sometimes very good...

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 03:46:35 PM »
Glad you like them Balcom. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. Feedback like that makes the time spent in  designing and perfecting them (way out of proportion to their size!) worthwhile, so thanks :)

Offline Mick

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 03:59:44 PM »
So Clever! Brendan is always thinking!
One would think for the price of a sirius (or any other Chrom really) the manufacturer would get this right. They would only have to tool up for it once. Oh well, Brendan to the rescue  :)

Offline Filip Jers

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 04:19:21 PM »
I highly recommend these PowerPlugs! Be sure to adjust the reed gapping, maybe tuning as well after the installation. Then the top octave is like a breeze!

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2017, 10:06:16 PM »
Thanks Filip! If a chromatic player of your skill and discernment likes 'em, that's very encouraging :)

Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 09:53:12 AM »
Hi Brendan -

Are the inserts more like the 'advanced' or 'extreme' version of the high octave of the power comb?

I have several of your 'advanced' power combs for CX12, and while I generally am very happy with the comb, wondering if I'm missing out on whatever extra effect the extreme version might add... If the inserts are like the 'extreme' version, I'll order some and try them on some of my non-power-combed chroms to compare...

Thanks,

- Slim.



http://www.slidemanslim.com
slim@slidemanslim.com

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2017, 08:45:16 AM »
Slim: they are the Extreme shape.

Offline Tubamonica

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2017, 08:55:38 PM »
Hi Brendan,

So does this mean your improved comb that fits Suzuki is only improved on the top four ramps (no changes to the lower section)?

And would you (or anyone) recommend a dab of adhesive in case of buzzing or movement?


Thanks-keep it coming!

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2017, 12:20:14 AM »
Yes, the Suzuki and Hohner PowerPlugs only affect the top octave of the popular chromatics they fit.

This is the critical area where Helmholtz Resonance Coupling can occur if the chambers are too big, to make the high notes feel stiff to play and flatten the reed pitch. Many people are happy with their stock comb in the rest of the range, so I've left that unaffected.

If they want chamber reduction everywhere there are other options, like my PowerCombs. But they are considerably more expensive. I recommend the PowerPlugs as giving the best bang for the buck, whilst retaining the sound of the harmonica you already know and like.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:22:20 AM by Brendan Power »

Offline BeauKim

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2017, 01:02:46 AM »
@ Beaukim: I don't have a brown comb to check, but I'm 99% sure it is the same as the black and clear Hohner 16-hole combs internally. Could you send a couple of photos?

What would be an issue is reed directions. On the old Hohner plastic-comb 16 holers they were the opposite way around: blow facing in and draw facing away. I could put out a special edition of the PowerPlugs for this layout I guess.

Hi,

I'd be glad to send some photos.  This 64 brown comb was nailed, has the long stroke slider with big holes (mentioned in the general chromatic forum), and came in a brown alligator case.

 I almost think just cutting these Hohner plugs in half and reversing their directions might do it. 

Offline streetlegal

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 06:45:32 AM »
This is a great little piece of design work 8). Just worth noting that these inserts wouldn't really be suitable for C Tenor or other keyed chromatics in the lower range - but should improve the response of standard C chromatics in the top octave quite considerably.

Offline jasonic

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2017, 10:35:28 PM »
Soooo. I just got these inserts from Brendan for my Sirius 56s, which my wife bought me as a surprise...(how cool is that?)
I'm here to report they work absolutely beautifully. Upper range is noticeably easier to play, even the upper D, which is notoriously stiff on a Suzuki.
It took around 5 minutes to install them, they were super snug, but popped right in. Now I guess I'll have to buy at least two more sets...
Very, very, clever and effective. I give it my highest rating!
Don't think-just play! ;-)

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2017, 01:52:07 AM »
Glad you like them Jasonic, and I appreciate you taking time to post the feedback. Good to know these little critters are putting smiles on people's faces :-)

Offline Stevelegh

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2017, 08:23:25 AM »
I put some Power Plugs in my Super 64x. Initially I had a few problems with burrs left from the extra material that joins the two halves of each plug.

A quick vid was sent to Brendan, who always replies really quickly and problem was solved. Great product.

Cheers

Steve

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2017, 09:37:19 AM »
I've just done the adaptation to fit PowerPlugs to Easttop 12 hole chroms with ABS combs (normal range, not the Tenor comb).

Actually it wasn't a lot of work, as Easttop basically copied the Hohner 64 comb design for their 12 hole chromatics, simply reducing it down to 12 hole size. So my Hohner 64 PowerPlugs fit almost perfectly - certainly holes 11 & 12 drop right in! The front screw holes are in a different place, so that was the only mod required on holes 9 & 10.

I'll put them up to order, along with a video later this week.

Offline Ed McCullough

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2017, 12:58:28 AM »
Your power plugs work excellently in a Hohner Super 64. Let us know when you have made them for the Easttop 64 with the plastic comb.
    Somehow I ordered from your website power plugs for Suzuki harmonicas, rather than for the Hohner Super 64. Your staff and I discussed it briefly and your staff mailed the ones I wanted before receiving the ones that I returned. That was very kind and helpful of Brendan Powers' organization.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 12:06:01 AM by Ed McCullough »

Offline lomor

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2017, 08:32:50 AM »
hello everybody ! just to let yuo discover the power plugs by another harmonica player :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9hK3qX3UWM

cheers


lomor

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2017, 01:09:48 PM »
Definitely impressive! 8)
CONTACT A.J.Fedor with MeisterMail or click the MeisterMail globe on left

Offline ungar

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2017, 07:51:46 AM »
Just received and installed them on my S64. They really do make a difference.

Offline Brendan Power

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Re: PowerPlugs: Small Comb Inserts to Boost Top Octave Performance
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2017, 09:35:41 AM »
Glad you like your PowerPlugs Ungar, and thanks for the feedback :)