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Mr. Bellows

Buzzing Reed!

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One of the brass reeds on my english buzzes. I have tried sliding paper between the tongue and shoe (didn't work). When I hold it to the light it looks like there is clearance between the tongue edge and shoe. Any ideas on what is causing this? Suggested remedies?

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It is possible that you have not been able to see a region of the tongue that could be just touching the shoe; I always examine my reeds with a head-magnifier, which shows up much more than even my be-spectabled eyes can see! If you do see such a region, you need to gently lever the tongue away, prefarably using a piece of shim-steel; be careful, however.

 

Chris

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I find it is not enough just to look at the reed/shoe clearance, you need to push the reed down into the slot to see what the clearance actually is...

 

regs

 

Chris

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I find it is not enough just to look at the reed/shoe clearance, you need to push the reed down into the slot to see what the clearance actually is...

 

E.g., it's possible that the reed is actually rubbing against the side of the slot in the wood of the reed pan. I've seen that more than once.

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It's also possible that the reed/shoe clearance is fine when the assesmbly is removed from the concertina but NOT when snuggly seated in it's dovetailed slot. This is particularly troublesome with lower notes (longer reeds) and less wide shoes.

 

Check your dovetail for uniformity and try a paper shim at the tip end and at the butt end leaving the side section adjacent to the reed tongue shimless.

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E.g., it's possible that the reed is actually rubbing against the side of the slot in the wood of the reed pan. I've seen that more than once.

Eureka! that's it. Thanks for the help everyone. :)

.

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I believe that this is the cause of a buzzing reed (the pull D on the lowest note of the G row on a G/D Anglo) that I'm dealing with now. But what's the next step? Carefully enlarge the slot in the reed pan to allow clearance for the reed? And if so, what's the best technique for that?

 

E.g., it's possible that the reed is actually rubbing against the side of the slot in the wood of the reed pan. I've seen that more than once.
Eureka! that's it. Thanks for the help everyone. :)
Edited by Daniel Hersh

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It is possible that you have not been able to see a region of the tongue that could be just touching the shoe; I always examine my reeds with a head-magnifier, which shows up much more than even my be-spectabled eyes can see! If you do see such a region, you need to gently lever the tongue away, prefarably using a piece of shim-steel; be careful, however.

 

Chris

Hi Chris,

 

could you describe this in a bit more detail as I'm experiencing this problem on a steel reed in a Jones Anglo. Are you just trying to gently move the position of the reed with respect to the side of the shoe?

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I'd be very reluctant to mess with the slot for various reasons. Sometimes, the fix Richard outlines will do the trick. If the reed seems to be touching at the tip, putting a piece of paper (I like to use a piece of gummed label so it won't fall out next time the reed is removed) aourund the tip will move it back enough to clear the edge of the wood. More often, it is the sides of the brass frame which are pushed inwards causing it to come into contact with the tongue. Richard's solution is especially effective in that case. In any case, my caveat has always been, "Don't do anything which can't be undone." In this case don't remove wood from the slot.

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Another though---could it be that the reed is just loose in the frame? A drying & shrinking of the wood due to humidity changes is often the culprit, especially on older instruments. A paper shim would work in that situation, as well.

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I don’t know if this relevant to concertinas but certainly on accordions the valve on the opposing reed can vibrate in sympathy with the reed being played. If this is the case then simply replacing the valve should cure it.

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Thanks very much for the suggestions. I have considered or tried some of these already but will take a closer look.

 

I'd be very reluctant to mess with the slot for various reasons. Sometimes, the fix Richard outlines will do the trick. If the reed seems to be touching at the tip, putting a piece of paper (I like to use a piece of gummed label so it won't fall out next time the reed is removed) aourund the tip will move it back enough to clear the edge of the wood. More often, it is the sides of the brass frame which are pushed inwards causing it to come into contact with the tongue. Richard's solution is especially effective in that case. In any case, my caveat has always been, "Don't do anything which can't be undone." In this case don't remove wood from the slot.

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Thank you all for sharing your experience.

 

A mildly buzzing reed has been driving me up the wall. Middle button (G), G row, brass reed Lachenal 30-key anglo.

 

Now I will ever so carefully try everything mentioned above. The outcome will be reported here in a few weeks.

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Okay, have carefully taken the left side off the Lachenal 30-key anglo.

 

There is a bed of reed pairs. Of each pair, one is in clear view with the tongue where I could pluck at it if I wished. The matching reed is "upside down" and inside, where I cannot get at it easily or perhaps at all.

 

Is anybody able to tell me which may be the "push" reed & which the "pull" reed?

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Hi Steve, the reed tongues you can see are the pull reeds. To access the other side of the reed pan put your thumb through hole in the reed pan, rest your fingers against the bellows frame edge and carefully pull the pan from the bellows frame. You may need to work your way around the flats of the bellows frame in order to evenly draw out a tightly fitting pan. Be careful not to catch any reed tongues on the underside of the pan with your thumb!

 

The pan will be stamped at one point with 'L' or 'R' depending which end you are working with, the bellows frame will have a similar stamp. Line these markings up when refitting the pan.

 

Pete

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Couldn't fix it the problem wasn't a buzzing reed (perhaps a "sympathy vibration" as describe above by Tony) have since encountered an actual buzzing reed, which responded brilliantly to the method recommended above by Frank Edgley.

 

Thank you all for the advice.

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