OB1 CanOB

Hole 1 OverBlow Booster

£8*

 

Up to 50% off for bulk buy!

OB1 CanOB
* £8 each for one, £6 each for 2-4, £5 each for 5-10, £4 each for 11-20

Please read our terms and conditions before ordering.

Quick Demo Video
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Many diatonic players these days have adopted the overblow/overdraw style as a way to augment note bending to achieve full chromatic scales on the traditional Richter-tuned 10-hole diatonic. However, the hole #1 overblow is very challenging to achieve as a stable, sustained note, even on a highly customised harmonica.


Hole 1 OverblowBooster for ALL Diatonic Harps!
(In-depth Fitting Video showing two methods)
André came up the concept of creating a special accessory part that could be retro-fitted to diatonics to overcome this problem. He mentioned the idea to Brendan, but wasn't sure how to make it into a workable part.

After giving it some thought, Brendan came up with a simple solution: a U-shaped piece of foam that can be fitted under the coverplate, enclosing the hole 1 blow reed with an outlet to the rear. In regular use the harp plays as normal. However, when the player wants a stable, strong overblow on hole 1 to get the missing note between hole 1 draw and hole 2 blow, they only need to cover the rear outlet of the foam enclosure with a finger.

This stops the player's breath from escaping through the hole 1 blow slot, so that all the force is directed to hole 1 draw. Suddenly, hey presto: a strong stable overblow pops out on hole 1! It works as well on stock out-of-the-box models as customised harps.

Our Hole 1 OBB is a universal part that can be added to any brand diatonic harp or model. It's super easy to install, and can be fitted by anyone to their harp within a couple of minutes. Check out the Quick Demo Video to see how quick it is to fit and how great it sounds!

Although the effect of our Hole 1 OBB is amazing, because it's such a simple part the price is very affordable. Most players have a bunch of harps in different keys, which would all benefit from having it installed. That's why there's a good discount for buying a bunch of them!

MORBENDZ

The Blues Harp with a Soul Button!

£215 - £300*

Key:

Tuning:

Custom:


* On the custom version the reedplate slots will be expertly embossed, reeds chamfered and reed profiles adjusted to ensure optimal playing, with increased dynamics and volume, from holes 1 to 10. Also, draw reedplate will be flat sanded and tuning will be precisely adjusted for perfect octaves and great sounding chords.
Please read our terms and conditions before ordering.

MORBENDZ Harmonica MORBENDZ Harmonica MORBENDZ Harmonica
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The MORBENDZ video
Welcome to the webpage for the radical new X-Reed MORBENDZ Harmonica! It’s a collaborative effort by both X-Reed tech partners: invented/designed/developed by Brendan Power, then assembled/gapped/fine-tuned by André Coelho. The Initial Limited Release is of just 40 hand-made, signed and numbered MORBENDZ harps in Richter Tuning and related scales (those with a reversed breathing pattern in the top octave - eg. Paddy-Richter, Easy Third, Melody Maker etc), to gauge interest in this unique new type of diatonic harmonica. If the response is good, we will extend the concept to popular Regular Breath tunings like PowerBender, PowerDraw, Wilde Tuning etc.
MORBENDZ Harmonica MORBENDZ Harmonica

CONCEPT and Effect with RICHTER TUNING

What makes the MORBENDZ radically new is that it gives you all the missing bends in Richter tuning - with just one push of a button! In 2017, Brendan invented a unique new way to arrange the existing reeds on a diatonic harp. Instead of the upper blow and lower draw reeds being aligned vertically in the same comb chamber, he created a comb with double the number of chambers, and then displaced the two reedplates by the distance of half a mouth hole. Looking from the front, the blow and draw reeds are now arranged in a zig-zag pattern, each in its own discrete comb chamber (see graphic below). However, each reed pair opens to a single front mouth hole, so they still work together – just as in a normal harp.
MORBENDZ Harmonica

The 10 mouth holes are set in a horizontally moving MouthSlider (another invention of Brendan’s, originally used on his Switch-Harp). This is shaped at the rear so that each mouth hole selects two of the blow/draw comb chambers - and thus a blow/draw reed combination. When the MouthSlider is in the default position, the blow/draw reed pairs are exactly the same as on a standard harmonica - so you can play everything you normally do, in your familiar way.

As most diatonic players know, blues-harp pitch bending is possible when you get an interval of two semitones or more between the blow/draw reed pairs. On a Richter harp, this allows a player to get 8 bends: 5 draw bends and 3 blow bends. However, the remaining 12 reeds in the harmonica cannot be bent… which is a bit sad ☹

The MORBENDZ magic happens when you press the Soul Button! That’s the button on the right of the MouthSlider, shifting it horizontally along the comb by the distance of one comb chamber. Due to the ingenious design of the comb/mouthpiece combination, suddenly new blow/draw reed pairings are created - using the existing reeds! This means that many of the previously un-bendable notes can now be bent in a beautiful, easy, expressive way. To see what’s happening, look at the graphic below. (Draw bends are shown in yellow, blow bends are in blue):

MORBENDZ
Click to enlarge

MORBENDZ Harmonica
The top image is of a Richter tuned MORBENDZ harp with the MouthSlider out. You can see that the note pairings are the same as any standard Richter harp, and the 8 bends (5 draw and 3 blow) are the same also. The bottom image shows the new note pairs created by moving the MouthSlider. Now you get 6 NEW bends: 4 blow bends in the lower two octaves, and two draw bends in the top octave. This gives the harp beautiful new expressive power - as well as 6 more of the missing chromatic notes, available through easy bending technique. And all this with just one press of the 'Soul Button'!

OTHER TUNINGS

MORBENDZ Harmonica
The diagram shows what happens on the MORBENDZ in standard Richter tuning. If you order your harp in another tuning related to Richter tuning (that is, with reversed breathing pattern in the top octave), the existing and new bends will be different. Some examples of related tunings you can order are: Paddy-Richter, Easy Third, Country Tuning, Melody Maker, Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor, Dorian Tuning, Parrott Tuning.

The reason the first Limited Release Edition of the MORBENDZ is in Richter and related tunings only is that it has a special construction, with 21 reeds (instead of the usual 20). This is necessitated by the reversed breathing pattern of these tunings. In future we will release a simpler 20-reed version of the MORBENDZ that suits the Regular Breath tunings now gaining in popularity - such as PowerBender, PowerDraw, Wilde Tuning, Easy Diatonic etc

LEARNING TO PLAY

MORBENDZ SOUL Button
The great thing about the MORBENDZ is that, with the MouthSlide out, it’s configured exactly like the regular harp you’re used to. So simply start with playing some of your familiar licks… After a while, when desired press the Soul Button to put bending and vibrato somewhere in the lick (maybe the last note?) you weren’t able to bend before - such as 6 blow, 7 blow, 8 draw. Even that limited use will give you a “WOW” factor! After some time, you can explore more to create new chromatic licks, transfer familiar licks to new places on the harp, and much more.

To help with new musical ideas you can try, André and Brendan will be creating a bunch of short instructional videos for the MORBENDZ - coming soon!