Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Hohner Rocket Amp Keys
Hohner Rocket Amp Keys
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Rhartt1234
250 posts
Dec 04, 2018
9:10 AM
I've recently become a Rocket Amp convert. To my dismay while the Rocket is available in the all keys, the Rocket Amp is not.

The side vents don't make that much of a difference in my opinion but how hard can it be to make a few more keys.
What a pain.
florida-trader
1385 posts
Dec 04, 2018
12:07 PM
Rhartt1234 - the Rocket Amp is available in the keys of G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F. Which key(s) are looking for?
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Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
tomaxe
146 posts
Dec 05, 2018
7:13 AM
If the side vents "don't make that much of a difference", what is the reason for choosing the Rocket Amp over the "regular" Rocket? Are not the side vents (and the comb color) the only difference between the two? Or is there something else?

The low tuned Rocket harps have ventless cover plates. I have one in D...it's a nice harp.
florida-trader
1387 posts
Dec 05, 2018
9:34 AM
tomaxe - to some folks, the vented vs. non-vented covers is a big deal. In theory, the AMP does not have vented covers so that it will project the sound of the harp into a cupped microphone, whereas vented covers allow some of the sound to escape through the vents. The theory is that vented covers are better for playing acoustically.
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Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
tomaxe
147 posts
Dec 05, 2018
10:03 AM
Tom-
My bad, poorly written...
I was alluding to the original post where Rhartt1234 says that in his opinion the side vents make little difference (paraphrase). So I was wondering why he was dismayed at the limited key choices of the Rocket Amp when the only thing that distinguishes it from the Rocket "regular"—unless I'm misinformed—is something he feels makes little difference.

Is there something else other than the cover plates that makes the Rocket Amp more desirable to some?

And in MY opinion, cover plates (shape, material vents) may make the most difference in how harps within similar price ranges and intonation schemes (um...is that the correct term?)sound...at least to the player if not the listener. And sure, I would understand why a non-vented cover plate would make sense for a hard cupped amplified playing style....

Now...is the Rocket Amp a harp with something else going for it other than non-vented plates in comparison with the Rocket?
timeistight
2275 posts
Dec 05, 2018
10:45 AM
Do Special 20 covers fit on the Rocket? Wouldn't a standard Rocket with Special 20 covers be the same as a Rocket Amp?
Gnarly
2589 posts
Dec 05, 2018
11:01 AM
@tomaxe "intonation schemes"
I would say temperaments.
SuperBee
5665 posts
Dec 05, 2018
11:29 AM
Tomaxe, i get what you’re saying. I’m reading it as “it’s not the end of the world”. Or, if you like, emphasising “that” (“don’t make THAT much difference, but...)
harpoon_man
259 posts
Dec 06, 2018
4:52 AM
Vented vs. non-vented cover plates make a notable difference in my amplified playing because I don't seal off both ends of the harp with my hands the way Dennis G or Greg Heumann might.

Joe Spiers once made an excellent set of non-vented Thunderbird cover plates for me that he put on a key of A Marine Band Stage 1 harp I had ordered. Apparently it was inconvenient as he said it would be a one-time thing. :-) But it's a great harp and his efforts were worthwhile to me.
florida-trader
1388 posts
Dec 06, 2018
5:58 AM
Do Special 20 covers fit on the Rocket? Yes. The Progressive Series version of the Special 20 and the Rocket have interchangeable components. As you may know, the cover screw hole for the Special 20 is in the center of the tab. On the Rocket it is at the front of the tab a la the Manji or the way many customizers build their Marine Bands. So the comb on both the new Special 20 and the Rocket have holes which will accommodate either cover. In fact, it has holes which will also accommodate Marine Band Deluxe or Crossover covers as well. So, it has a modular design.

Wouldn't a standard Rocket with Special 20 covers be the same as a Rocket Amp? No – the reason being that the Special 20 covers are closed at the back and the Rocket covers are wide open. If you open the back of the Special 20, as I do when I build my customs, then essentially you have the same setup as a Rocket Amp. Open covers – no vents.

Here’s a Rocket and a Customized Special 20 from the same angle.
 photo Slide7_zpsb2fdvtgs.jpg
 photo Slide6_zpsxqjb9h8s.jpg

Regarding cover shape and non-vented vs. vented making a significant difference, that is kind of the Final Frontier – in my book. So much attention has been paid to making custom combs and reed work that covers perhaps haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. I dabbled in cover design last year when I made CNC Milled covers for the Jason Ricci Limited Edition harmonica. You don’t just turn on a CNC Milling Machine and make random passes when you cut a part. Everything has to be well thought out and deliberate – very precise. So, I had to put a lot of thought into the design. I’m not sure if I got it right or not, but the custom covers were well received. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the subject, but it is something I’ve invested some time in. I’ve heard the “arguments”. I have some more ideas on the subject and hope to find the time to continue experimenting with designs.

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Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas

Last Edited by florida-trader on Dec 06, 2018 5:59 AM
Rhartt1234
251 posts
Dec 06, 2018
9:48 AM
OK, I started this thread so I guess it's common courtesy to respond to it.

It was more of a rant than anything. Rockets are available in all 12 keys. It doesn't seem like too much trouble to make the Rocket Amp in all 12 keys.

Florida Trader said:
"Which key(s) are looking for?"

I use Ab for third position a lot. I use Eb fairly often and I even have a song I wrote that I use a Db harp on .

I did say the vents don't make much difference. For me It's more about the open backs, but if I like a particular model of harp shouldn't I be able to get it in all 12 keys?

I will compare an A Rocket with an A Rocket Amp ASAP.
florida-trader
1389 posts
Dec 06, 2018
12:16 PM
Rhartt1234 - I agree with you. The only difference between a Rocket and a Rocket Amp is the color of the comb and the covers. Rockets are available in all 12 keys. It makes sense that the Rocket AMP would be too.

If I can help you in any way, just let me know. I am a Hohner Dealer and can get anything they make - and some stuff they don't make.

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Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Spderyak
244 posts
Dec 07, 2018
5:32 AM
I have a few of the rockets and while vented or unvented ends mean little to me I thought that the difference between the 20's and the rockets was the tapered shape of the comb wider at the front tapering to the rear, though I don't know if that is visible to the naked eye or not.
Also I thought the size of each channel was wider than a 20's by making the dividers narrower.
Curious if I am wrong on all counts cuz that seemed to be a big part of their sales promo on the rockets.

Last Edited by Spderyak on Dec 07, 2018 5:36 AM
SuperBee
5669 posts
Dec 07, 2018
7:34 AM
Those are indeed some of the differences between Sp20s and Rockets.

The difference between Rockets and Rocket Amps are as Tom mentioned; vents and comb colour.
Spderyak
245 posts
Dec 08, 2018
1:39 PM
.For awhile I used the color difference amp and regular to my advantage for visibility, but eventually that wasn't practical. For my type of playing vented or unvented doesn't affect me to much. I like the lower keyed blue ones..makes it easier to find.
Still if you keep em on end with the key facing up ward I find the ink or whatever wears off pretty quickly so I find my self making labels large enough to see ideally.
Others find much the same ?


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