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Industry Close-up-Suzuki SHINOBIX Harmonica with Silencer
Harmonica is a popular and attractive instrument easy to play among wider walks of people. But its comparatively loud sound often becomes a burden when players practice. New Suzuki SHINOBIX 10-hole harmonica with a silencer is expected to solve the sound control problem.
SHINOBIX reduces sound pressure of harmonica to 1 fifth of regular level, allowing players enjoy harmonica performance regardless of place and time. The world’s first mass-produced harmonica with a silencer is attracting interest in the market for its unique character and impressive product name (meaning Ninjya).
Kiyota Yamauchi of Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing says, “We understand there are players who have difficulties practicing harmonica. It goes the same with every type of musical instrument. It’s required that manufacturers provide customer with solutions to expand the market and increase music makers.”
The cylindrical silencer built into SHINOBIX is consisted of 10 parts each responds to individual mouthpieces. By making internal parts helix, the silencer effectively reduces sound pressure. The silencer is removable when not necessary, and maintenance and cleaning are easy. (photo above: Kiyota Yamaguchi, l. and Tokuichi Inoue in Ninjya costume)
Tokuichi Inoue, Product Development Dept. of Suzuki says, “What we sought was a no-nonsense instrument as a traditional harmonica. It should come in close size and be played in the same play feel as standard 10-hole model. Otherwise, it looses its role.” Users with almost all conventional Suzuki 10-hole harmonicas can take advantage of the silencer capability of SHINOBIX simply by replacing top cover.
Player can monitor his or her performance when a microphone is attached to the silencer through headphone, or enjoy different sound adding sound effects.
Suzuki offers 2 packages; Complete Package of a silencer and harmonica for first-time player, Owners Package of a silencer and harmonica cover in addition to a single cover. They are attractively priced, and user-friendly as player doesn’t need to buy multiple silencers for harmonicas of different pitches.
First introduced at the 2018 Musical Instruments Fair in Japan in last October, SINOBIX drew attention and interest of professional and amateur players as well as music retailers. According to Suzuki spokesman, it has almost sold out instantly. The company is planning to develop chromatic harmonicas with silencer.
Yamauchi comments, “We are very excited with the responses from the market and customers. It tells us there’s a sizable market for musical instruments with silencer. We feel customer expectation for unique ideas and products not available in the market before. It’s our great pleasure if SHINOBIX inspires people and get them involved in making music with harmonica.”
Suzuki plans to showcase SHINOBIX at the coming NAMM Show in January and expects distribution in the world markets.