Those have been out of production since 2014 and they have always been tuned that way and also, unlike most chromatics, they're also tuned to 7 limit just intonation whereas most chromatics are tuned to equal temperament. Little Walter uses one on one of his classic tunes, Oh Baby. Below is Little Walter using that chromatic, which was tuned to the key of C, playing it in the key of Ab, with the slide pressed in:
---------- Sincerely, Barbeque Bob Maglinte Boston, MA http://www.barbequebob.com CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
Last Edited by barbequebob on Oct 10, 2023 8:45 AM
I have a Koch 10-hole chromatic in the key of C that I was told by a reliable source was brought to the United States after World War II. It plays remarkably well. I don't know when it was made. Does anyone know how it's age can be identified, or anything else about it?
The Koch was given to me by Pete DuPre, a US soldier in WW II. Pete's brother was also a soldier in WW II and gave several harmonicas, including the Koch, to Pete after he returned from Germany several years after the end of the war.
Pete died several years ago at the age of 99. He played harmonica his whole life and became well known in the harmonica world (mostly from YouTube) in his 90s for playing at veterans events and sports events. He never played the chromatic, always an echo harmonica. I was honored to play at his funeral. Tom
Last Edited by Tom585 on Oct 16, 2023 11:26 AM
Hohner acquired Koch around 1930, and redesigned the 980 model to conform with Hohner's own 10-hole 260 chromatic - you sometimes see photos of the pre-Hohner Koch 980 and it looks very different.
The 980 has always been tuned like a diatonic, as were Hohner's 260 models for several years, though there are overlapping periods when you could bet them in three different configurations: diatonic tuned, solo tuned starting on middle C, and starting on E above middle C.
BTW, Hohner may still have parts for those discontinued models. I have some 260s and the Koch 980. I ordered a new wooden body for one of the 260s and they sent me the equivalent part for the Koch. When I wrote to them they sent me the correct part. This was some years after they stopped selling the complete harps, maybe 2018 or even later.
Another BTW; another great blues record which features the Standard tuned 10 hole chromatic, played in Ab, is Sonny Boy (Miller) Williamson’s “Dissatisfied”.
Martin Lang is a good person to talk to about them. The Koch has no valves. The body has fins dividing the chambers in an effort to make them a little more air-efficient. I think a half-valved 260 is a good option if you want to get double reed bends.
This thread caused me to take a look at a chromatic that a friend gave me (it was his father's I think). I had not really looked at it because I'm not much of a chromatic or third position guy. First thing, I see it's a 10-hole; then I pick it up and it's Richter tuned!! How cool. Brown box, cover plate says "The 'Chromonica'" (just chromnica in quotes on the cover. The box cover has gold print; CHROMONICA is curved (smile-like) with green beams coming out from "the." M.Hohner is in green print to the right with small beams coming out from top and bottom. Inside box top has a blue and gold diamond-shaped (flattened) graphic with 5 arches and a female dancer. Inside bottom of box has label with M.Hohner in profile on left with red, white and blue vertical strips behind him. Some text is on right ending with boldface "(M.Hohner) M.Hohner,Inc., N,Y., Successors." (definitely looks like a comma after the N) Ah, no 5 draw, no 10 draw - I can usually fix this on a diatonic -- not sure if it will be easy on a chrom.
Edit: center of bottom cover plate has six-pointed star between the hands. Latest award on bottom cover plate is 1937 Grand Prix Paris.
Last Edited by TetonJohn on Nov 05, 2023 8:54 AM
Nov 18, 2023
One of these just showed up for repair—looks to be the same vintage. The slide, back plate and cage are brass—what year did they stop doing that and go to the nickel plating? Big ass crack in the comb . . .
I picked one up very reasonably 10 years ago. In great cosmetic condition and pristine box. It didn’t play as well as desired so I got an Extreme PowerComb from Brendan Powers and had some work done in addition to replacing the comb. I haven’t used it much and after hearing what Mitch Weiss does with a similar harp may never play mine in public. I’m used to playing diatonic, so there’s some learning involved to get the most out of it. It’s fun to play. ---------- BnT www.BluesWithAFeelin.com
Last Edited by BnT on Nov 24, 2023 10:17 PM