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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Which is better for chromatic blues
Which is better for chromatic blues
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3073 posts
Sep 20, 2022
10:02 PM
I just retuned a Hohner 260 to my favorite tuning, Orchestra Bebop, this one in D (starts on A--it was an A).
It seems to me that the 10 hole chromatic has an advantage for blues in that you can cup the harp to get better compression.
But I know that many players prefer a 16 hole chrom for the octaves.
What are your thoughts?
2330 posts
Sep 22, 2022
3:02 PM
I like the 16 hole for the extra room to play octaves, but often use a 12 hole. William Clarke used 12 hole chromatics, so 12 is fine.

With the longer chromatic you may have to shift where the mic is held. A 10 hole chromatic really would limit space for octaves. I don't feel the same need for a tight seal on the mic with a chromatic.

Doug S.
3074 posts
Sep 23, 2022
10:09 PM
Thanks for the reply, nice to see you back on the forum.
792 posts
Sep 24, 2022
8:44 AM
Hope I don't get obliterated for being honest but--

I use a 16 hole, partially cuz it has more 'wow' effect. The bottom octave, with the band at normal volume, is close to impossible to hear. Its in C.

Gonna study up on the 260
793 posts
Sep 24, 2022
8:49 AM
Is the 260 "solo tuned?
3075 posts
Sep 24, 2022
5:54 PM
Solo tuned as manufactured. I tune them to my tuning, bebop, and I like Orchestra tuning, starts on the five.
7077 posts
Oct 06, 2022
5:11 AM
The 260 was discontinued about 2013. I have one which is standard-tuned, like a Koch harp, but it’s pretty old. I used it to play along to a couple of famous records in Ab just to understand what was going on but I never used it outside that context. I almost always use a CX12 if I’m playing with a handheld mic. I play 3rd position chromatic on just a couple of songs and I play Little Walter splits rather than octaves. I have a super 64 but I’m just not adept enough to really get the most out of it.
Now you mentioned it though, I don’t see much advantage in the 12 over the solo-tuned 10 other than the range of keys available and the fact I get on pretty well with the cx12 model.
I struggle with a common problem when playing chromatic with a band; when the band gets loud I struggle to hear and I start using more air. The 64 and my 270s do not like me to do that, but the CX12s cope better with my problems. I keep saying I’m gonna put in more time with the 64 and get it to the point I can use it on stage but I’m really well practiced at procrastination.
So it’s the 12 for me at the moment but now I’ve got 2 great ideas to put off until next week, or next month. Maybe next year.

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