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Brendan Power Lucky 13 Bass Blues Harmonica w/ Black Cover Plates. Price Includes US Shipping

$60.00

(Quantity discounts available)

5.0 average, based on 4 reviews

Manufacturer: Brendan Power

Product Information

keys in stock: A, Ab, B, Bb, C, D, Db, E, Eb, F, F#, G  
 
Hi folks, we are excited about these new harps. Brendan has a solid reputation so we had no reservations in stocking these harps.  Make sure you READ and UNDERSTAND Brendans warranty before ordering. It is mentioned below the videos on this page. Any issue regarding the harps playability, tuning, gapping etc... will be handled with Brendan Power. If you receive your harmonica and feel it is out of tune or has any other issue please do NOT contact RockinRonsmusic. We will refer you to Brendans WARRANTY info. Only Brendan is allowed to handle the Lucky 13 warranty issues. He does expect the player to know how to tune and gap a harmonica. 
 
TWO HARPS IN ONE! 
 
HISTORY
Long Ago (1980) and Far Away (New Zealand) I started making my own custom 'Stretch Harps' in 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 hole sizes, by slicing two normal harps and joining them back together. My 13-hole Stretch Harp was in Richter Extended tuning: normal 10-hole range plus an extra low octave on the left. It wasn't easy to make, as in those days I had to add a lot of solder to the extra low reeds as well as do the cutting/joining of parts - but the result was worth it: a 4-octave diatonic with the same hole spacing as a normal harp! I became addicted to having that extra bottom-end built in, and nicknamed the harp my 'Lucky 13'.
 
I later discovered I wasn't the only one to think of the Richter Extended idea back in the 1980s. Steve Baker did too and, after he became a consultant for Hohner in 1987, tried to persuade them to make a 13-hole harp (as noted in his 1990 book The Harp Handbook). They demurred, but did agree to make his SBS 4-octave model out of the Hohner 365 14-hole harp, released in 1989. Steve is to be commended for being the first to get a 4-octave harp into the market, and the SBS has a nice sound. Unfortunately it also suffers from several drawbacks, reflecting its origin as essentially a re-tuned version of an existing older harmonica: wider hole spacing than standard 10-hole harps, raw pearwood combs that can warp and crack, nailed assembly, limited range of keys, lowest key of only C, a redundant 14th hole, and a bottom cover not deep enough to stop the lowest draw reeds from rattling.
 
My hand-made 13-hole Stretch Harps had none of those issues. They had screwed construction, non-absorbent combs, standard diatonic 7.5mm hole spacing, and a deeper lower cover (taken from the Hohner 364 model). I also made 13-hole A, G and Bb harps with extended range below the standard keys - not an octave higher as with the SBS. Other players liked them too, and I decided to make a fully-optimised Lucky 13 that anyone could buy.
 
 
THE MODERN LUCKY 13
I pitched the idea to the respected Chinese Easttop harmonica company in October 2014. They liked the concept, and were willing to invest in the considerable cost of molds and tooling to make the all-new comb, reedplates, and covers for this unique harmonica. In the nearly two years since then we have worked together on every detail to make the Lucky 13 the very best it can be, and I'm really proud of the result.
 
The Lucky 13 has it all: the standard range you're used to plus that Big Bottom, right there in your hands! Once you get used to a 4-octave Bass Blues Harmonica it is very hard to go back to the restricted range of a 10-hole harp ever again. It's two harps for the price of one: normal and low range, without having to buy/store both or switch harps in a tune.
 
Here are the main features, 13 of them!
  1. World's first 13-hole harp, Patent Pending.
  2. Exactly 4 octave range in Richter tuning, with lower octave tagged on to normal 10-hole range.
  3. The same 7.5mm hole spacing as a normal 10-hole harp! That means it's easy to adapt to.
  4. Comfortable curved top cover, bottom cover raised at the bass end so the draw reeds never rattle.
  5. Holes in the coverplate ends, for extra volume.
  6. Solid comb, flat-sanded.
  7. Durable phosphor-bronze reeds.
  8. Thick chromed reedplates, secured with 11 screws for uniform airtightness.
  9. Clear visual numbering on top cover relates to the 10-hole diatonic, to make sure you never lose your place.
  10. Key indicators on front and ends of the comb, for those who like to stack harps vertically.
  11. Perfect for low chord rhythm or melody lines, and extended octave playing.
  12. Possible to retune the lower 3 holes to create new chords or extended alt tunings.

Check out the Demonstration Video to hear it in action:
 
Showing the box/case - Introducing the extra 7 keys to complete the 12 key range 
 
Todd Parrott tries the Lucky 13 for the first time at SPAH 2106:
 
Guarantees & Repairs
If for any reason you find fault with an item after receiving it, you must inform me in the first week of ownership. Email me if it is concerning a harmonica, and please attach an MP3 sound clip and/or photo of the issue you're experiencing. 
 
If the problem can't be fixed by email or phone, the harmonica or other item must be returned by you in as-new condition no later than 3 weeks after it was received. Once I receive it I will examine the reported issue. If there is indeed a problem, I will then repair or replace and re-ship at my expense, covering your return postal cost in addition. If there is no problem with the item, I will either re-post at your expense (with postal payment up-front), or offer you a refund minus 10% of the original price. This is because used harmonicas will require ultrasonic cleaning to return them to a hygenic condition.
 
Assuming either way that I post the harmonica or other item back, if you decide then not to keep it, it must be posted back by you in as-new condition no later than 1 week after it was received the second time. In that circumstance, once I get it back again you will be due a refund minus 30% of the total cost of your order. 
 
How you play is important for the long life of your harmonica! Some players blow out reeds very quickly due to bad technique. You should be careful not to blow and draw too hard, or bend any notes so low that the pitch is flat. Some reeds should not be bent but in the case of those that can, just bend to the note you want, to stay in tune and not over stress the reeds. Let the harp dry out after playing and keep in its case. 
 
Check out this rave review from Richard Hunter

Product Code: L13

Quantity Discounts

You can save money on this item when you purchase several at a time. The table below shows the minimum quantities required to benefit from this offer, and how much they'll cost.


Quantity Price per unit
2+ $59.00
3+ $58.00
4+ $56.00
5+ $55.00
6+ $53.00
12+ $49.75

Customer Reviews

Average Rating: 5

Lucky 13 harmonicas

Picked up a set of Lucky 13 harmonicas key of A C D F G nice harps really like them want to thank Ron Rockin Rons best service ever will be doing business with Ron from now on he's on it like Bluebonnet thank you so much Ron for your service. Thanks Bernie PS: five stars for the harps five stars for Ron

Bernard Valley :: 02 Oct 2017, 08:18

Lucky 13

BRENDAN POWER HARMONICAS LUCKY 13 IS A GREAT BLUES HARP UPDATED Posted by Richard Hunter · Leave a Comment Brendan Power is a virtuoso harmonica player and a tireless innovator in building new tools for harmonica players, including new instruments and add-ons that increase the usefulness of traditional harmonicas. One of his latest innovations is the Lucky 13, a harmonica that adds a full lower octave to the standard Richter diatonic layout. The layout of the low octave is the same as that of a standard diatonic, only an octave lower. The resulting harmonica has a 4-octave range with a powerful low end and all the flexibility (and traditional sonority) of a standard diatonic in the top 3 octaves. Like A Hohner 365, Only It Works If this layout sounds familiar, you must have encountered an SBS-tuned Hohner Model 365 at some point. The Lucky 13’s reeds are laid out exactly like that instrument (until you get to the 14th hole on the 365, which the Lucky 13 doesn’t have), and that’s a good thing–the SBS-tuned 365 had a great range and an easy-to-learn reed layout. The even better thing is that unlike the Hohner Model 365, the Lucky 13 is a well-made and set-up instrument that plays responsively from top to bottom of its range right out of the box. The reed plates are emphatically screwed to the comb in a dozen places, and the Lucky 13 feels nice and tight, with none of the hissiness of air escaping through contact gaps between reed plates and comb that’s endemic to the Hohner 365. Lucky 13, Black Cover Plates It has at least as much dynamic range as most diatonics, with a wailing sound when played hard that’s very gratifying. It overblows easily in the middle register where a standard harp would, another sign of airtight construction and solid setup. It’s compact and fits easily in the hand, with a feel similar to that of a standard 10-hole diatonic; I found that I could wrap my hands around it without a lot of either end of the harp hanging out. Traditional hand effects and articulations like wahs and vibratos work well with this instrument. A Solid Choice for Diatonic Players Its extended range and blues harp playing feel, coupled with a layout that’s enough like a standard diatonic to make the learning curve pretty easy for intermediate level and up harmonica players, make it a solid choice for blues harp players who want to bring some new sounds to their game. Players who like to overblow will find the Lucky 13 to be as responsive to overblowing as any other mid-priced diatonic harmonica, with a wider range than any 10-hole. The Lucky 13 also comes in all 12 major keys, making it a potential go-to instrument for diatonic players in general. As you can see from the photo, the black-cover version of the Lucky 13 has the first three holes highlighted in gold on the top plate. The next 10 holes are numbered 1-10, as they would be on a standard diatonic, with the same reed layout for those holes as a standard 10-hole diatonic. (On the chrome-cover version, the first three holes are highlighted in gray.) That means that players who use tab or other hole-oriented notation systems instead of, or in addition to, standard notation to navigate the diatonic harp don’t have to make adjustments to their tabs to use them with the Lucky 13. I’ve only had the Lucky 13 for a few days, so I can’t comment on its durability, except to note that fit and finish are good, and a few hours of full-on harp playing don’t seem to have damaged it. It’s an Inspiring Instrument I found the Lucky 13 to be an inspiring instrument to play. I recorded the clips below into my iPhone’s voice recorder. (In other words, don’t expect the highest sound quality available within the state of the recording art.) I played a Lucky 13 in D into a Fireball V mic into a Digitech RP500 running my patch set for Digitech RP. Both clips include improvised leads over looped accompaniment. In the first clip there are two harmonica parts, one played with a patch that models a Gibson GA40 amp and cab, played in the Lucky 13’s second octave and up, the other with the same sound plus vibrato, played in the lowest octave. It’s pretty bluesy. In the second clip, I started with the same vibrato harp part and added somewhere around four more effected parts, with the lead harp played on a Digitech BlackBass amp model with an FX25 autowah effect. It’s still got plenty of blues in it, but the 21st century is in the room too. Both clips make clear how nice it is to have the low end on that Lucky 13 for rhythm work. This harp is a looper’s delight. Lucky 13 two harp loop Audio Player 00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Lucky 13 big harps loop Audio Player 00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Good value for Money The Lucky 13 offers very competitive performance for the price. The instrument comes from Rockin’ Ron’s with a choice of black cover plates ($59 shipped, with prices per harp declining when you buy more than one) or chrome ($64 shipped). I went for the black cover plates; I like black, and I like having $5 in my pocket. $59 for a high-quality harmonica is thoroughly competitive with prices for the Suzuki Manji, Seydel Session Steel, and Hohner Marine Band Deluxe, and none of those instruments offers a 4-octave range. In point of fact, one Lucky 13 replaces two standard harmonicas; my Lucky 13 D harp has the low end of a Low D and the high end of a standard D covered, with all the expressive moves available that go with either of those instruments. For that very reason, people who’ve been shelling out for low-tuned diatonics might want to switch to the Lucky 13 instead and get the equivalent of two harps for the price of one. Did I mention that the Lucky 13 can also be purchased in Powerdraw, Powerbender, and Paddy Richter tunings? (But unfortunately not Natural Minor, Dorian Minor, or Country tunings, alas.) If you’re US based, it’s easier and less expensive to buy the Lucky 13 from Rockin’ Ron’s. Wherever you’re based, the Lucky 13 is a solid buy: an uncomplicated instrument that does something very useful, very well, at a very reasonable price. I intend to buy at least a few more of these, and I’m already thinking about how to use them on the recording sessions for my upcoming release “Blue Future.” UPDATE: I took one of my two Lucky 13s in D and tuned up the draw 5 reed a half step–in other words, I gave it a Country tuning. It sounds great on this harp–whatever temperament they put on this thing, the chords sound beautiful. Now that I’ve heard one of these harps with a Country tuning, I’m more eager than ever to hear it with Dorian and Natural Minor tunings. While I had the cover plates off, I noticed that the gaps between reeds and plate in the bottom octave were pretty high. I reduced those gaps, and I think the harp sounds even less breathy than before in the bottom octave. It seems to me that the factory tried to optimize the low end for high volume–hence the wide reed gaps–and the middle register and up for overblowing, hence closer gaps there. Anyway, Brendan generally recommends that players set the gaps on their reeds to suit their own style, and I think that’s good advice. If you don’t know how to set reed gaps on a harmonica, I’m sure you can find a video on Youtube (look for Rupert Oysler and/or Richard Sleigh) to teach you how. I also noted that the reeds in this harp show few signs of file marks–in other words, the reeds didn’t require, and didn’t get, a lot of tuning with a file after assembly. That’s a good thing in particular because reeds that are heavily worked to get them in tune are weakened in the process, and need more-frequent replacement. It’s one more indicator of a quality instrument. UPDATE: I took all my Lucky 13s–A, Bb, C, D, D Country, and Eb–and set the reed gaps to where I like them. I found that the lower-pitched harps in general were given much larger gaps at the factory for the reeds in holes 1-4. The C, Eb, and D harps were generally closer to where I would have set them, meaning smaller gaps in general. I don’t think I touched any reed gaps above hole 6 on any of the harps. The top two octaves on every one of these harps speaks loudly and overblows easily, and when it’s working that well I just leave it alone. UPDATE: Now that I have half a dozen of these harps, I decided it was worth getting a case that holds them. So I bought a case designed to hold 12 Lucky 13s from Rockin Ron’s for about $40. A case that holds five Lucky 13s is about $26, but I’ve already got more Lucky 13s than that. I think it’s a good idea to protect harps in a case, especially when you know you’re going to use them. Every Lucky 13 comes with a zip-up case that’s nice, if a little bulky, but it’s not easy to carry more than one or two of those around at a time, and you don’t want to have to zip or unzip the case every time you pick up a different harp. So a case for multiple harps makes life and performance a lot easier. The 12-harp case is lightweight and strong enough to protect the harps inside, which are laid out side by side horizontally, a simple and effective layout for performance. Both size cases have a useful handle. No strap, unfortunately, for either size, which is a drag especially for the 5-harp version. My Suzuki Manji small case holds eight harps and is about the same size and weight as the 5-harp Lucky 13 case. But the Manji case has a shoulder strap, so I can carry it around hands-free. (The Manji case came as a free accessory with a set of 8 Manjis from Rockin’ Ron’s. I didn’t expect to care much about the case, but it turned out to be a very useful thing for occasions when I don’t need a lot of different harps.) Even without a strap, a Lucky 13 case is a useful accessory if you plan to own more than one or two Lucky 13s.

Richard Hunter :: 30 Aug 2017, 17:18

Great for altered tunings

I bought a C Lucky 13 and retuned it to solo tuning. The customer liked it so well she ordered another! I do a lot of altered tunings, and this harp is perfect for the ones that are four holes per octave (Brendan's Power Chromatic) or five holes per octave (Newton FourKey, PentaBender). This instrument is superior to the 365 Hohners I have been using for those tunings. I also used a SBS 365 to create a unique tuning I call New World, and this harp would be great for that--Richter on top, circular on the bottom. Thumbs up Brendan!

Gary Lehmann :: 12 Dec 2016, 01:03

Great fun! Good value!

Brendan Power, the man who's never met a harmonica he didn't want to take apart and re-tune to weird intervals, has teamed up with manufacturer Easttop for this great variation on his friend Steve Baker's Hohner SBS. I met Brendan at SPAH this year, and at his urging (of course, not only is he a great musician, but he's also a great salesman!) tried one of these at the Easttop vendor table, and as soon as I got home ordered one (in A) directly from Brendan. I couldn't have been more pleased, and I am now even more pleased that Rockin' Ron has arranged to sell these fun harps. (I've just ordered another, this time in G, from Ron.) The basic 10-hole Richter set-up on the top end of the harmonica's 13 holes has a nice "punchy" sound, even volume, and good bendability for a novice like me. It plays and sounds like a top-tier instrument from any one of the other great makers. But then, a la the Steve Baker harps, you get the low-tuned bottom three holes, so you essentially duplicate 1-4 in two octaves. (The covers are designed so that there's no rattle on the low reeds on my A, by the way.) These types of "bass blues" or extra-low three holes harmonicas are a bit different, but they aren't a gimmick. I bought my Steve Baker after I heard R.J. Mischo use one in performance on one of his songs, where it added just the right amount of "special sauce" to his set. Maybe you're a regular performer who would like an instrument for one number that will make audiences used to your regular kit go "hey ... what was THAT?" Or maybe (more like me) you just like to sit alone on the porch chugging out I-V solo riffs 'cause you like the sound. Either way, this will be a great harmonica to add to your arsenal. It's apparent that Brendan and Easttop worked hard to create a quality instrument at an excellent price point. (And while I don't get excited about the extra goodies some makers throw in, its a nice detail that the key is engraved in visible gold at both the high side, and just left of hole 1, on the comb, and that it comes with a nice neoprene case that looks to have come from the same source as the ones that Hohner ships with its Crossovers.)

Rob Sawyer :: 14 Oct 2016, 09:28

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