Special 20 versus Crossover revisited

So, I think I’ve discovered the problem I’m having playing the crossover as compared to my special 20. I think that it has to do with the opening on the sides of the harp compared to the closed sides on the special 20. I found that if I kept my hands tightly choking off excess air entering through the side vent I’m sucking in much less air. Has anybody else experienced that problem?

1 Like

Hi @JGFR3318

Since I do not use the original comb on my only Crossover (it was defective and rather than sending it back for a new one I just bought a metal custom comb to replace it), I cannot really be sure about this; however, I doubt that the side vents on the cover are the problem – otherwise this would be a well known and publicized problem given the popularity and sales of that particular model.

My guess is that the reed gap(s) are incorrect and need to be adjusted. When a reed gap is too large you need to use more air to play that reed’s note. Covering the side vents in the covers might improve things but that is not at all a good solution to the problem.

The other possible cause is that there is air leaking between the reed plates and the comb. This can be caused by a warped comb or by reed plates that are not perfectly flat (or both at the same time! :astonished:). Unfortunately, this is not a lot of fun and not so easy to correct (which is why I purchased a custom metal comb to replace the defective one in my Crossover). Blue Moon Harmonicas sells high quality custom combs (metal & acrylic, etc) for the Crossover and other harps. They are priced at about U$ 35 and up. Just read posts by @stevenlois1 (or ask him) about these combs – he swears by them !!

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

5 Likes

Thanks maybe I’ll try that

2 Likes

@JGFR3318

Greetings!

I have a Special 20 and a Crossover and have had no problems with either of them. They both play great! The Crossover has a slightly different tone and plays a little easier than the SP.20, but both are great harps! Wish I had some reference to help you out, but zero problems here.

Best of luck!

Paul

2 Likes

I’d say that the side vents are most likely not the problem. The covers affect volume but don’t affect volume of air flow since the back opening is relatively much larger. I have crossovers and a special 20. Crossovers are typically a little more responsive than the special 20, assuming both have reeds that are properly gapped as @Slim says. But before you go messing with the gapping… Is your special 20 in the same key as your crossover? The lower keyed harmonica will take a little more air, especially if you are just learning to bend. Maybe the other thing to check is your embouchure - if you’re using a pucker, are you using a deep relaxed position? If your pucker is shallow, maybe you’re experiencing a leakage at your lips due to the different design of the crossover - the exposed reed plates on the comb vs the s20’s solid plastic comb.

3 Likes

Hey @JGFR3318 I agree with everyone else, I don’t think the side vents are your problem.

2 Likes

So, I took my C- Crossover apart. In a very unskilled way, I played around with the reeds. Now, plays much easier. Much less air to move the reeds. However, I could only set them by trial and error. This was very frustrating at times. I had no real sense of how much to close the gap on the reeds that were losing air. Everything else was airtight from what I could see, from the comb apposition to the reeds and the cover plates.

2 Likes

Did you get it to the way you want?

yes, my “c” Crossover is perfect. But, no matter what I did for my “A” Crossover helped. So, I figured id order new reed plates but, they don’t seem to be readily available.

1 Like

Hi @JGFR3318

Where did you try to order the reed plates? Where do you live? Hohner sells them.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

1 Like