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New problem reed on Dipper GD

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Hi, all,


A few days ago, the D push reed on the D row of my Dipper started to sound off.  I took it out, checked it for obstructions and put it back in.  It took 2 goes but it now sounds OK.


A day or two later, the F# on the adjacent button very suddenly stopped sounding and started to squeak like a party tooter.


This is a Dipper, with traditional reeds in small brass shoes, individually slotted into channels or sockets in the edge of the reed pan.


I have had the reed out several times and done the following:

  • Checked it for hairs and other obstructions, including sliding a piece of kitchen foil under the reed.
  • Held it to the light to check that it is not touching the reed frame/shoe
  • Blown through it orally and heard it sound cleanly.
  • Checked that the action is working cleanly and the pad is sealing.
  • Checked that the valve is not sticking or creased.
  • Checked that the slot in the reed pan is not obstructed.
  • Checked that the reed shoe is neither forced in too tightly nor sitting too loosely in the socket in the reed pan.


Each time, I have put the end back on with care, and the reed is still squawking rather than sounding cleanly.


Any ideas, please?  I'm at my wits' end.

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Thanks to those who responded.  The reed shoe was indeed nipping the reed.


After several attempts myself, I took it to a friend who repairs free reed instruments and plays concertinas.  He also owns various Dippers and says that around the time mine and his were made (1980s) the clearances for the reeds were very close.  He has had similar problems with his own Dippers.


His cure was to take a tiny amount of brass away from the inside of the shoe, and also to use a paper shim.  I learned much as I watched him.  All sorted now.

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