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Suddenly silent note


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My McNeela Phoenix suddenly stopped making any noise on the pull of button R6. Has been working fine for about two years except for one slightly sticky key on the other side. Opened it up and nothing looked obviously broken. Otherwise I have no clue what I might be looking for. Please help! 

PXL_20230813_033030518~2.jpg

Edited by Samuel Chapman
typo
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The reeds we can see in this picture are the ones that sound on the push. The reeds that play on the pull are where we can’t see them, on the flip side of the reed plates.

 

A likely cause of what you’re describing is a speck of something (dust, insect, whatever) stuck between the reed and the plate that got sucked in with the air moving into the instrument while you were pulling.

 

Lift the valve (the white rectangular strip) on the left in your red circle. Now you can see the silent reed. Take a wooden toothpick and poke at it gently, deforming it slightly away from you to increase the space between the reed and the plate where something might be stuck. Blow on it to shake loose anything that didn’t fall out on its own from what you did with the toothpick. You probably won’t see any evidence that you’ve fixed the problem until you put it all back together and play it.

Edited by David Barnert
typo/auto-incorrect
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14 minutes ago, David Barnert said:

The reeds we can see in this picture are the ones that sound on the push. The reeds that play on the pull are where we can’t see them, on the flip side of the reed plates.

 

A likely cause of what you’re describing is a speck of something (dust, insect, whatever) stuck between the reed and the plate that got sucked in with the air moving into the instrument while you were pulling.

 

Lift the valve (the white rectangular strip) on the left in your red circle. Now you can see the silent reed. Take a wooden toothpick and poke at it gently, deforming it slightly away from you to increase the space between the reed and the plate where something might be stuck. Blow on it to shake loose anything that didn’t fall out on its own from what you did with the toothpick. You probably won’t see any evidence that you’ve fixed the problem until you put it all back together and play it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Definitely needed clarification on which one was on the pull. I had been trying this for a bit, plinking both the reeds, but finally using a tiny syringe full of air while I pushed on it with a knife got it working again! Life saver!

Edited by Samuel Chapman
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Glad you sorted it.

 

It seems counterintuitive at first, but a reed starts to work by allowing the air to push it into the slot.  Think of the air pushing a slightly ajar door closed, rather than pushing a slightly ajar door open.

 

When you are squeezing the bellows, the air is coming out of the ends of the instrument, and the "squeeze reeds" are the ones where the reed plates or shoes are mounted with the reeds facing the inside.  It takes a little effort to get your head round at first.

 

Coincidentally, I had just been resolving a "suddenly silent push reed" on my Lachenal Piccolo before logging onto this forum.

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A  little late,

Before opening an instrument, this old Tina makers /repairers quick attempt of clearing a stuck reed due to fluff or minute obstruction may work first.

Whilst gripping each end of the instrument with the fingers and thumbs, depress and hold down , with the palm of the hand, a group of buttons surrounding the button of the affected note.

Then, move the bellows quickly in and out by couple of centimetres sounding all those notes, both push and pull.

Not guaranteed to be effective but worth a try.

I am no expert but it seems that the vibrations set up by the many reeds sounding causes enough sympathetic movement of the affected reed tongue to release the obstruction.

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