Diamanté Wind Vox
September 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm #7630
Diamanté Wind Vox
After over two years from conception to fruition, I have completed the construction of my own mouth keyboard, I call it the “Diamanté Wind Vox” Diamanté for short. Translated (Diamond Wind Voice) For a long time I have wanted to have my own signature sound and quality built instrument that I could be proud of performing with on stage and in the studio. Most of all, I wanted it to do things that my other melodica’s could not do, and that was to bend notes and chords both up and down. The sound is that of a darker and warmer Clavietta with pitch bend of a saxophone. The decision on what materials to use was not easy. As a former cabinet maker, I have worked with many exotic woods and metals and I chose some of my favorites. I decided on Koa wood for the natural keys, Gaboon ebony for the accidental keys and Macassar ebony for the body. I also used stainless steel, aluminum, brass and carbon fiber. The main plate is a proprietary clear acrylic blend made especially for the Diamanté that took close to a year to perfect, this information will remain confidential for now as well as the pitch bending system that I designed for the Diamanté. I hope to share pictures of the inside of the Diamanté someday but for now I can only show the exterior. The valves are similar to those of the Clavietta, but work on a dual spring system. The throw on the key (key plunge) is about 1/2 of most melodica’s, this makes it a very fast keyboard and pitch bend by breath very easy. I have set the tension almost to that of a Fender Rhodes electric piano of which I am extremely happy with as it feels more like a real keyboard to me than an accordion or organ. The keys can easily be adjusted for a lite tension if needed but at this time they will remain as is. Thumb screws allow for removal of the wooden body without the need of a screw driver, allowing access to the single stainless steel reeds quickly. The reeds sit on a silicon gasket that allows a reed to be changed without the need to remove and replace bees wax. You can actually remove the replace a reed in less than 2 minutes. I have included a moisture release in the mouth piece receiver (similar to the one I created for the Vibrandoneon but a shorter version) that helps minimizes the amount of moisture that enters the air chamber. There is also a moisture release at the end of the air chamber via a stainless steel thumb screw where moisture can be removed. In the process of building the Diamanté I created a system to tune the reeds outside of the instrument and installing the reed with no change in intonation. I will admit that the trial and error process was quite long and as simple as the end results were, it works to a variable of +-1 cent on the mid keys and +-1-2 cent on the lower keys. Note: The air chamber does not need to be removed to replace the reeds so the variable is caused by my hands on the body of the Diamanté if I block a sound hole, I can live with this variable and honestly, if you can hear a 1-2 cents difference, your head should be cut off so mankind can study it. Well maybe not. As for the finish I hand rubbed oil on the natural keys (15) coats and used black shoe polish on the accidental keys (6) coats and lacquered sealer and finish top coat on the Macassar Ebony body (2 &4) coats. Finally, I hand waxed the Koa and Macassar Ebony with pure bee’s wax.
This coming week, Greg Myers of Myers Pickups and his team will be meeting with me to design a new pickup specifically designed for the Diamanté, so you will be able to see that on their website in a couple of months. I had intended to share a video and pictures taken during the build process but I will need to hold off on that for a while. I may share some pictures of the finish and of the milling process as soon as I get the OK. We are currently recording right now and I will record a few parts on our new Monsters of Melodica video so you can hear a little of it. Also I will be doing a very simple guitar and Diamanté recording next month and will post that here on Melodicaworld. I do not intend to manufacture the Diamanté as I built this beautiful instrument for my private collection and use. I do intend on starting a new build at the beginning of the year.
Monsters of MelodicaSeptember 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm #9352
Hi, Oscar. I was searching for melodica which can bend the note for a long time. Even I was planing to make my own. Unfortunately I didn’t find anything till today. More then one year passed since your post. Maybe you have changed your mind and manufacturing these beautiful instruments now? Or something similar? I really want to buy solid and beautiful instrument with the ability to bend a note to either side, for live playing and for recordings. Give me hope, Oscar, please!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.