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What is the difference between different reed metals. (Brass vs steel)


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Hello, Im not sure what the sound difference is between the different reed metals and im ordering reeds from a company and I can choose the metal here are the choices: aluminium, zink or brass. so now I need to know what the different sound qualities are.

                                                                                                                                    Thanks, Kane.

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I guess you are ordering from harmonikas.cz? If so, you can ask them to send you samples, so you can hear the difference for yourself. The difference in tone is a result of each of the materials ephasizing/cutting different harmonics. Brass ones sound honky, „round” and a bit deeper than aluminum. Zinc have this distinct harsher, bandoneon „tin” sound and aluminum ones have the same sound as any other accordion reed out there - full and equalised, but somewhat boring. There is also one other difference, not sound related - brass and zinc plated reeds are significantly heavier than aluminum ones.

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Steel reeds will possibly be described as louder, generally, and  people will agree and disagree on which is best for reeds,.  I believe traditionally brass is the one most used. 

Myself maybe I am swayed by steel reeds as my concertina has them inside it, and I personally speaking, the big sound you can attain from them, is my own preference. And you can play them quietly too. 

You have to be certain you are selecting for the reeds themselves; as queried above, it isn't clear whether you mean frames or reed tongues.

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50 minutes ago, Łukasz Martynowicz said:

I guess you are ordering from harmonikas.cz? If so, you can ask them to send you samples, so you can hear the difference for yourself. The difference in tone is a result of each of the materials ephasizing/cutting different harmonics. Brass ones sound honky, „round” and a bit deeper than aluminum. Zinc have this distinct harsher, bandoneon „tin” sound and aluminum ones have the same sound as any other accordion reed out there - full and equalised, but somewhat boring. There is also one other difference, not sound related - brass and zinc plated reeds are significantly heavier than aluminum ones.

Yep im ordering from harmonikas.cz

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