Since being discontinued some years ago, the CBH-2012 and CBH-2016 have become some of the most sought after instruments by players of the chromatic harmonica. The CBH of course stands for the name of the designer, Chinese-born harmonica virtuoso Chamber-Ber Huang, who was awarded this patent in 1973. This design features many innovations, not least of which was the use of materials such as Teflon and Delrin, instead of the more traditional wood and metal. The slide is a semicylindrical plastic member, instead of the usual flat metal piece and despite the instrument being cross-tuned (see FFAQ), the button which operates the slide only has to be pushed a fraction of the distance that the slide is moved. This button is placed towards the rear of the instrument to allow the right hand to be used more effectively for cupping.
The covers are also unique, having individual chambers over each pair of reeds that are more open towards the high range of the instrument:
If the picture at the top of this page looks a little unfamiliar to those of you who own a CBH, that is because there are several features covered in the patent which did not appear in the production models. The most notable of these was a second set of openings from the cover chambers which were directed towards the player and the amount to which these were opened could be varied by turning a rotating member:
The CBH chromatic was also covered by German Patent 2260752 and GDR Patent 104643. For further reading, I strongly recommend Danny Wilson's CBH 2016 History.
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