Tested model: Overdrive in the key of C.
This new design was delivered by Suzuki some years
ago. The idea is that each reed has a specific chamber leading
to a hole on the outside of the cover. The player can then block
that hole in order to block the associated reed.
Thanks to these chambers, the overblow can be
easily obtained by blocking the blow reed. It is important to
note that it only eases the overblow and that the player still
has to adapt its mouth and its breathing in order to make the
Another application is to block the draw note
while blowing (on the lower side of the harp) and obtain something
similar to the valved bends (bend the blow note one semitone).
This harp is very well built and incredibly airtight
(with only two screws to fix the reedplates!) and loud out of
the box. Its sound is very rich and can be easily shaped but
not really to our taste. This is the best factory harp we've
But blocking the holes with the fingers can be
pretty awkward, especially while holding a mike. It is for example
quite easy to inadvertently block some holes while playing,
resulting in an unanticipated blank in the musical phrase.
In our opinion, the Suzuki Overdrive is useful
to discover the overblows and the valved bends but can't really
be used to deliver real music.
For more information on what to do with the Suzuki
Overdrive, read the very interesting article
by Pat Missin.