The inventor of the Hei Ba Shi chromatic, Zhang Ting manufactured this interesting instrument in 2021 in a small quantity. He also is the patent holder (patent no.: CN216014792U ) of the unique external spring mechanism.
In his own words Zhang wrote: after spending many years developing this new chromatic harmonica with a unique and revolutionary button mechanism, it is finally available. The button is located in the middle of the right side of the harmonica. This puts it close to the joint of the index finger, which produces a better finger pressing experience. Moreover, it is not like the traditional chromatic where you use one finger to press the slider. With this model you also have the convenience of pushing the button with the palm of the hand.
The Hei Ba Shi slide mechanism uses an internal compression spring similar to the Koch chromatic
Covers, mouth piece as well as the body are made out of titanium which keeps the weight down. This model comes with Suzuki reed plates and is cross tuned. The slider package consist of two parts only (mouthpiece and slider).
Zhang Ting developed two more 12 channel all titanium instruments with a conventional slider mechanism. One is cross tuned using Suzuki reed plates, the other is straight tuned and equipped with Hohner Hard Bopper reed plates.
Hei Ba Shi conventional slider chromatics. In front with Suzuki and in the back with Hohner Hard Bopper reed plates