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Can you identify this problem? Updated w/ pictures


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7 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

I was wondering if more traditionally made reeds in concertina [as displayed in the photos in this topic] are they perhaps more prone to humidity change than the 'steel Accordion' type reeds [mounted differently; or not?

I am not saying in particular that one type is better than the other; just maybe that it is one possibility?

 

 

Yes, I think that is true. Higher quality reeds can be more prone to issues too because the gap between the tongue and the frame is really small, so it doesn't take much pressure to distort the frame enough to cause it to interfere with the tongue. Also solid wood reed pans are more humidity sensitive than the plywood construction you often find in cheaper instruments.

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On 4/25/2022 at 3:35 PM, d.elliott said:

Have you noticed a flattening of the reed?

Seanc, I'm close to you in upstate NY and I have a similar problem.  As you say, the weather here is still cold and VERY damp.  My offending reed appears fault free and does not respond to the pull out and re- insert technique.  The symptoms are the same as yours but it does flatten with increased pressure.  I'm thinking maybe it's too tight and being pinched by the swollen wood and that's why pushing it firmly back in doesn't solve it.  I'm interested in Dave's response. 

 

I'm also getting annoyed by opening and closing each time to test it.  I'm thinking of using a little compressed air to check it while it's out.  Any other methods?  Fireplace bellows?

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1 hour ago, wunks said:

I'm interested in Dave's response.

 

 

Me or Dave Elliott?

 

I also live in Upstate New York and have in the last few days found it necessary to fix several internal problems with my 1980s Wheatstone Hayden. While playing for my Morris dancers on May Day morning, a spring broke on the right side. I finished the gig on the Pipe & Tabor. Once I had replaced the spring, two other problems became apparent. Another key on the right was riding just a little high, so that the pin on the bottom occasionally missed the hole in the action board. Also, a few notes on the left were bleeding into each other (pressing one key sounded more than one note). All the notes involved were positioned at or near one corner of the hexagon, and sure enough, the little wooden triangular prism in the corner of the bellows that is supposed to support the reed pan had come unglued, so the chamois on the upper surface of the reed pan wasn’t being pressed firmly against the underside of the action board, allowing air to flow between reed chambers.

 

It’s all fixed, now. Bottom line: All of my reeds are playing appropriately.

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I'm looking for Dave Elliott's further remarks on the flattened reed but any Dave'll do.  I'm recalling a comedy sketch from long ago:  "Is Dave there?".....😄

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1 minute ago, wunks said:

"Is Dave there?".....😄

 

Cheech and Chong.

 

I went to Brandeis University in the 1970s. My roommate and I were both named David, as were the two roommates next door. One of them was dealing drugs, so occasionally there would be a late night knock on our door, someone looking for the wrong Dave. “Dave’s not here, man.”

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Sean, a fairly straightforward test on a unisonoric instrument is to swap the push and pull reeds in the offending chamber. If the problem stays on the same direction, look at a valve issue. If the problem switches directions with the swap, it is a reed issue.

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I am here! just about.

 

We had seven Davids in my year at University, we all went by our middle names, or acquired nicknames. 

 

RAc just a point on swapping reeds in a reed pan, the tuning will usually be different between the reeds, this to compensate for the differences in reed performance due to being in the chamber, or under it.

 

If the sound change is a sudden occurrence, then it is the outcome of some specific event, not wear etc. My query about the muffled reed's potential flattening was a concern that you might have microcracking occurring in the reed tongue, possibly in a filing mark. Cracking weekends the reed and it plays flatter, and flatter, and flatter, then fails.

 

If you are suffering from humidity/ wood swelling issues, ease the dovetail slot to that the pinch onto the reed frame is across the frame tip and across the reed frame clamp areas. Also check the vent in the wood to ensure there is plenty of clearance and no raised fibres. Finally smooth the reed tongue edges and check the frame's vent for witness marks, and fash, or verdigris salts build up.

 

As a longer shot, look at the chamber walls from the reed pan edge. the chamber wall should stand at 90deg to the surface of the reed pan, some times they develop a lean. If the lean is towards the adjacent valve, and or the valve is set too close to the chamber wall, then the valve can catch and hang on it., the valve need repositioning. Or perhaps one of the valve pins is missing, or bent down towards the valve.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, d.elliott said:

 

RAc just a point on swapping reeds in a reed pan, the tuning will usually be different between the reeds, this to compensate for the differences in reed performance due to being in the chamber, or under it.

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. In any case, I never meant this to be a permanent solution, only a troubleshooting technique to narrow down the problem It's certainly a good idea to swap the reeds back after the test is completed.

 

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