Are you looking for a personalised harmonica? Are you wondering about trying the feeling that comes when holding and play a design harp; made of wood or some other precious material? If you get fascinated by people who make customized musical instruments, using their brain, passion and hands, then you are like me, and have come to the right place.

What's new on harmonica learning

In this article, I'll introduce you to the Dortel Harmonicas, some very original products, handmade by a photo professional that worked more than twenty years in the photo studio and decided to combine his passions for design and music.

The name of the manufacturer is Christophe and this is what one of his customers says: “He combines artistry and the beauty of gorgeous hard woods into a fine-crafted musical instrument worthy of anyone seeking the finest wood harmonica. The tone is warm, clear, true and projects with amazing volume. The finish is easy on the lips and feels like an extension of your hand. My only problem is I can’t go back to playing stock harps!”

Custom harmonica by Dortel

The Dortel Harmonicas are primarily a sound design.They are unique pieces that can be adapted to the taste of each, according to the chosen woods and the options proposed. Also, these harmonicas, as many other ‘boutique harps’, are built using a precious and natural material: wood; in particular, Dortel custom harps are manufactured using both artisanal and digital techniques, and how just said before, are designed with sound in mind. These instruments show also an incomparable aesthetic and finish.

There are three different types of Dortel harmonicas, they mainly differ by their design. Some features are common to all harmonicas. Following some of the sepcifications: 

The woods : The woods determine the timbre. If the differences are minimal in the ear, the feelings for the player are quite different. You can get to "shine" the sharp tones with hard woods or "flatter" the bass tones with soft wood. The aesthetic is also to be taken into account. 

The setting : Airtight is the common basis for reactive play by allowing modifications and overloads. All the Dortel custom harmonics are optimized in this way.

The tuning of the gap is specific to each harmonicist. The setting will give you some ease to play chromatic, but may not be optimum for you. This step, if you deem it necessary, is quite simple to make and requires only a paper clip as a tool. Keep in mind that the technique of overnotes is within everyone’s reach, but requires a period of learning. A well tuned harmonica will only shorten this step but will not dispense with it.

Dortel custom harps made with wood

Following some specifications about the Dortel custom harps:

Type 1 covers come in at the level of the plates which no longer hurt the lips.

Particular of Dortel custom harmonica

Some other specifications include:

Marked notes of the harmonica's tone an inlay (exclusive design deposited).

The covers are made independent by a threaded insert incorporated into the comb. Disassembly is greatly facilitated for adjustments or cleaning.

All angles are rounded so as not to fatigue the hand. The glide, ensured by a very rigid varnishing (norm "contact food") is much superior to metal harmonicas.

A metal seal is encrusted in the wood to ensure a perfect seal and an identical setting after disassembly.

Particular of the rounded custom harp

Some options make it possible to improve the airtight, to modify the timbre. They are to be determined together at the time of the order.

Extra screws : 2 screws are also added for perfect clamping of the plates on the comb. Assembly can be made without the screws on request.

You can choose between two different combs.

Classic comb : We know that it is the density of wood and its structure that influence the harmonicas timbre, is then interesting to adapt the comb according to the tones of your set. Sanded, varnished, polished, here only the wood used will give the stamp to the harmonica.

WT comb (Warm-Tone): it is also possible to heat the timbre of a very hard wood or to accentuate the heat of a soft wood. Silicone inserts can be placed inside to absorb vibrations and thus remove many harmonics. These inserts can be removed and thus offer an additional shade.

Extra screws on the custom haronica comb

If you want to know more about the Jibaten custom wooden harmonica, click on the link below:

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