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About alex_holden

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 02/06/1980

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  • Interests
    Wood carving, metalwork, Morris Minors, folk music.
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  1. alex_holden

    Perfecting a setup

    That's right, Wolf.
  2. alex_holden

    Perfecting a setup

    It depends on the length of the reed, but usually I'm pushing close to the tip.
  3. alex_holden

    Perfecting a setup

    Adjusting the set isn't too difficult. I use a simple tool made from a beech ice cream stick cut across at a sharp angle to push the tongue up or down. To get an idea of the right amount of set, look at a reed with a similar pitch that plays well. Generally there wants to be a very small gap between the bottom of the tongue and the top of the frame; the higher the reed the smaller the gap. If it's too wide, the reed will sound breathy and struggle to start at low pressure; if it's too narrow, the reed will 'choke' at high pressure. Try to bend it a tiny bit at a time; better to take a dozen attempts to get a feel for how much force is required than to bend it way too far on the first attempt. Adjusting the set might not fix the problem, but it is worth a try anyway. The second most likely reason for slow/inefficient reeds, is that they have too wide clearance between the tongue and the frame. It is fixable by replacing the tongue, but that requires more specialised skills. A third possibility is if the valve on the other reed in the chamber isn't closing properly, that can cause a problem by allowing air to bypass the reed. Are the problem buttons connected to very short levers, by any chance? A common problem with non-riveted Lachenal actions is when you push the button down the whole lever depresses and doesn't pivot properly, with the pad opening sluggishly and the pivot making a clicking noise. The problem tends to be worst on the shortest levers. Fiddling with the spring and making sure the cross-hole bush isn't too tight might help. P.S. increasing the set tends to flatten the pitch of the reed by a fraction of a cent and vice versa.
  4. alex_holden

    cleaning brass reeds.

    I slide a piece of paper under the tongue, then brush the top surface with a fibreglass pencil. You need to do it pretty gently with brass reeds because they are so soft. You don't want to remove any metal, just clean off the dirt. After I slide the paper back out, I use compressed air to blow the dust out. Sometimes an old toothbrush comes in handy to brush loose dirt off the frame. Don't worry about rusty screws unless there's loose flaky stuff that might fall off and get stuck in the reed. There's a good chance you'll need to check and adjust the tuning after cleaning the reeds.
  5. alex_holden

    34 button anglo - Maker and date

    More likely it simply got damaged - it's easy to pick the instrument up the wrong way and accidentally poke a finger through it.
  6. alex_holden

    Regondi-ing the duet?

    I could be misremembering that. I searched the site and the only example I found is a post by Lofty halfway down this page:
  7. alex_holden

    Regondi-ing the duet?

    There are good reasons for that. An EC is more balanced in terms of reed pan space because the low and high reeds are evenly distributed across both hands, whereas with a duet you have to fit all the lowest/biggest chambers on the left hand. I believe some vintage makers attempted to solve the problem with 'double decker' reed pans.
  8. alex_holden


    Burnley, though once upon a time I worked for a company based in Middlesbrough. I lived in Thornaby for about six months in 2001.
  9. alex_holden


    Private Message sent.
  10. alex_holden


    What part of the world are you in?
  11. alex_holden

    New look web site

    Try shift+return. That gives you a line break rather than a new paragraph.
  12. alex_holden

    New look web site

    The Signature box is under the Account Settings page.
  13. alex_holden

    Splitting quotes?

    Correction: there's a second way I just found. Select the text you want to quote, and a box pops up that you can click on to quote just that section. Then you can do it again with another part of the message.
  14. alex_holden

    Splitting quotes?

    The only way I've found to do this is to click on 'Quote' twice and then edit both quote boxes to delete the irrelevant parts.
  15. alex_holden

    May Fair EC vs Scholer EC

    I think it works because the pivot design allows the rod to slide through the hook as the lever travels through an arc; I would expect them to bind and stick if you tried to do the same thing with a riveted or Lachenal-style pivot. It's quite a clever idea, though probably a bit clicky when played fast.