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Special 20 comb mod

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Tuggy B
Nov 06, 2009 9:33 PM GMT

Hi Guys, I'm modding one of my special 20's and I have a question for someone in the know. Can the cross ribs in the slots on the combbe removed for better air flow or should they be left alone? Why are they there? Thank you in advance.

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Comments (6)

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Nov 07, 2009 5:25 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

I personally am not a fan of most plastic combs but that "rib" as you call it does interfere with the air flow and newer harps using different plastic type materials like lucite, polymer (as is used on the Seydel 1847 Silver), or composite type combs (like on the Suzuki Manji) use a solid brick setup rather than the hollowed out setup used with the usual ABS plastic combs that are always poured into an injection mold don't need that rib to stabilize the structure and usually have better airflow and the last two I mentioned work more like the way a wood comb does. However, use extreme caution if you attempt this.

Nov 07, 2009 7:28 PM GMT
Tuggy B Replied:

Thank you for the fast reply Bob, I have read all over this board and I must say that I'm very impressed with your knowledge and your willingness to help people. Working on my harps has given me a better perspective of the instrument, thus helping the learning curve and it's fun too.I have been playing harp since 2005 and I'm extremely addicted to it, it's my girlfriend and she calls to me daily lol. I took one of my Big River harps apart and I noticed the rib was not in that harp. When I blow-draw the BR it feels more solid than the SP20, it's like that rib breaks the flow of air, so I'm going to carefully remove the ribs and see how it works. Thanks again Bob.

Nov 10, 2009 3:51 AM GMT
Not a Replied:

I clip those bits out. I use some small "close cut" diagonal wire snippers to do so. The come out easily, and it makes a noticeable difference to the dynamics of the harp. Easy and well worth it.

Nov 10, 2009 8:01 PM GMT
Tuggy B Replied:

Hi Isaac U, Thank you foryour reply, your method seems like it would work well. What I did, is use my dremel with a 1/16 strait router bit on medium low and I made a cut through the middle of the rib, then I used a #11 exacto blade to carefully shave the ribs down flush with the sides of the slot, being very careful not to ding or gouge the side of the slot. Your right Isaac it did make a difference to the dynamics and it seems to make theblow-draws more solid feeling andeasier to hit exactbend notes and hold a nice tone on them.

Nov 11, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
Adam P Replied:

Kinya Pollard did a piece on removing the cross ribs from Special 20 combs in one of his Monster Harmonica Workbench articles. If you like to tinker with harps and you haven't seen these then I recommend you check them out -

Nov 12, 2009 6:06 AM GMT
Tuggy B Replied:

Hi Adam P, Thanks for your reply. I found the article, an awesome read indeed, I liked the part about the new strain of bacteria Harmonicoccus... made me take a good close look at my harps lol.I started reading thru the back issues contentand found a gold mine of info! On my way back to read some more now. Thanks again.

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