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Wheatstone Reeds


Seán Ó Fearghail
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Hi, A question for the experts......

What would the difference have been between

'Steel Reeds' vs. 'Best Steel Reeds' vs. 'Best Tempered Steel reeds' in the Anglo/duet 1920's wheatstone price lists?

I know that the long scale reeds were considered the best but would the 'best steel reeds' be long scale reeds as well?

I know it has probably been discussed before but i can't find a definitive answer.

And unfortunately i don't have one of each to compare. :)

 

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Hello Sean,

 

not sure if there are any real experts in this, someone who had made a lot of reeds and also repaired a lot of Wheatstones might know. Perhaps if anyone does, the Dippers know.

 

One issue is disentangling sales copy from technical description. Steel Reeds vs Best Steel Reeds sounds clear enough and I accept Best is at least better. Best Tempered Steel Reeds sounds like a technical description but I think it is a sales slogan because I can't imagine there were untempered reeds before. Long scale reeds have been seen as best, but for what? They might have been best in Aeolas but would they have been as good in a Linota?

 

I suspect in any set of reeds where the lengths and widths are roughly the same as a 1920s Wheatstone, which is to say, pretty much every concertina, the variables are; steel quality, the clearances, the shape of the reed slot and the profile. I think every Wheatstone would have had a similar steel, and probably about the same profile and reed slot shape. The major difference would have been in the clearances.

 

It is possible a major factory could have worked its quality control such that the reed makers generated many reeds and someone graded the individual reed quality and put them into ordinary/best/exemplary sets. The exemplary reeds could be fitted to concertinas drawing an appropriately high price. Then again individuals might have been very skilled and assigned to the high range of concertinas. Either way the major difference would likely have been in the clearances.

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One issue is disentangling sales copy from technical description.

 

Amen to that!

 

Long scale reeds have been seen as best, but for what? They might have been best in Aeolas but would they have been as good in a Linota?

 

My recollection is that "ebony-ended" 30-key Linotas that I've worked on have had long scale reeds (though there are plenty of black-ended ones out there that only got "blacked-up" after they left the factory, and don't!) but the 40-key ones have shorter reeds because there's less room.

 

Then again individuals might have been very skilled and assigned to the high range of concertinas. Either way the major difference would likely have been in the clearances.

 

That would be more my understanding of how it was done, with an individual tuner making all the reeds for an instrument.

 

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Thanks a million guys. Really appreciate the info. Interesting about the 40 keys. I understand that there was a lot of reeds to pack into that space but imagined that they would be the longer scale... But still.. Suppose if the clearance is good it makes a huge difference. Thanks again! If i ever win the lotto... Ill get one of each and compare...

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  • 2 weeks later...

post-11647-0-13795500-1456080791_thumb.jpgI know that wider reeds were marketed as "broad". A reed in my box went bad and in my effort to replace it, realized it was wider than standard size. I am unsure of what, if any, effect this has. i did a side by side comparison. the broad reeds appear to be a bit shorter than their standard lachenal counterparts

Edited by nicx66
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