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Rod Pearce

'Breathy' reeds that won't adjust

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I have a 20 key Anglo that I have recently restored and tuned, but I am now having trouble with 3 reeds on the left hand side that are breathy, causing them to sound quieter that the rest and a lot of bellows travel. The reeds are steel. Several times I have adjusted the reeds and the breathiness reduces but it comes back after playing the instrument for 15 mins or so (I say playing, but as a beginner I really mean attempting to play).

 

The worst case is note C (3rd finger, push).

 

Can anyone offer any advice on how I can sort the problem?

 

Thanks in anticipation.

 

Rod

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Air is probably not going though the reed as designed. I have found that Lachenal instruments usually have warped action boards allowing air to escape over dividers of the reed pan. Also reed pan may not fit snug allowing air inefficiency. Air bypasses reed by going through gap instead of reed.

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Frank

 

Thank you for your response. I'll check it over and see if any of this applies.

 

Regards

Rod

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Agree with Frank.  Also check that the reed is a firm fit in its slot.  Too loose or too tight can both cause problems. 

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Frank, Theo

 

I have checked the fit of the reeds and they are all tight. However I did notice as I removed the reed pan that the inside chamois had become flattened and  hardened with age. I roughed this up a little and re-closed the instrument.

 

Hey presto! The breathiness has disappeared and the reeds in question are much louder and more responsive. The whole instrument feels much tighter. Next step is to repeat on the remaining chamois.

 

Thanks again for your invaluable advice.

 

Regards

Rod

 

 

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If the problem returns, just double check the height to the reed-pan supports, and if necessary lift the chamois off the inner walls of the bellows frame, then shim it with thin card. Try without gluing, if it works then re-fix with shims, I use Gum Arabic.

 

Dave

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