Buy and Self-Construction of Spiral Harmonicas
Acquisition of a Spiral Harmonica

Scheme of Retuning

Example for reeds attached with screws and nuts done the Harponline Service System way

Acquisition of a Spiral Harmonica → ↑
If you want your own spiral harmonica, you can order the plates from → Michael Timler von Hohner.

Until the end of 2010 I recommended the Harponline Service System to tune and repair your harps or change the layout. Regrettably Harponline closed by now. Harponline also was the only place I knew where you could order single reeds. I hope that the → Hohner CSHOP will come up with a comparable system soon - so watch the CSHOP.

For retuning a Richter harp into a spiral standard (natural minor), it requires less work to use a Richter harp in a key that lies 3 full steps deeper than desired spiral harmonica key.

That means you retune a Richter harp in C into a spiral harmonica in E minor, a
Db lowto Fm
Eb lowto Gm
F lowto Am
Gto Bm
Abto Cm
Bbto Dm
and so on...

Scheme of Retuning → Top of Page

Scheme of Retuning
Spiral G3B3D4F4 A4C5E5 G5B5D6
+1+1+1   -0,5-1-0,5-1,5
RichterF3A3C4 F4A4C5F5A5 C6F6
Richter G3C4E4G4Bb4 D5E5G5Bb5D6
+1   +0,5 +0,5+1+1+1
Spiral A3C4E4G4B4 D5F5A5C6E6

The scheme describes the retuning of a Richter harp in F low (named after hole 1 blow) into a spiral standard in A natural minor (named after hole 1 draw).

The scheme is applicable on all keys:

The notes in 1, 2, 3 blow and 1, 8, 9, 10 draw are declined a whole step (+1),
the notes in 7 and 9 blow are diminished half a step (-0,5),
8 blow is diminished a whole step (-1),
10 blow is diminished one and a half step (-1,5),
5 and 7 draw are declined half a step (+0,5).

The retuning of holes 1,2,3 blow and 1 draw is no problem, and the half step changes in holes 5 and 7 are easy to tune as well. The 6 highest reeds should be replaced though because otherwise the reed material gets too weak and breaks easily.

The expenditure of time of such a retuning and reed changing with the right tools is about 2 hours.

Example for reeds attached with screws and nuts done the Harponline Service System way: → Top of Page