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Show Us Your Reeds!


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Hi folks,

 

I have tried (and failed) to find pictures of the various types of reed mentioned here on Cnet.

There is much talk of reeds, their construction and composition but no specific pictures of such that I can find.

Having recently restored a couple of unusual instruments with what I would consider to be unusual reeds I thought it would be a good idea to post some pics so that you can see for yourselves what the reeds look like, so here goes, first pic is from a very early 'Louis Lachenal English No. 9133' which has ZINC reed frames/shoes and huge steel rivet.

 

It's not immediately obvious that they are zinc because of all the tarnish but when cleaned...

 

The top,left picture shows the grotty state that zinc can get into, ALL reeds had gone this way.

Top,right shows how to clean Zinc and how it reacts with Hydrochloric Acid to give Hydrogen gas.

Bottom,left shows the result after the acid (10 seconds)

Bottom, right after quick once over with a wire brush.

 

 

post-623-1151314843_thumb.jpg

 

 

I'll post more as they appear, do you have unusual reeds? lets see em!

 

Regards

 

Roy

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  • 2 weeks later...
You dont come across these very often; upside down reeds where they get wider toward the tip!

post-623-1152093425_thumb.jpg

Not sure what term I'd use to describe those, but "upside down" isn't it. For that I'd expect... well, the normally "up" side to be underneath. :D I think some folks call those "spade-shaped".

 

From a technical view-point, what's the advantage?

Y'mean, what difference does it make? I believe such reeds are one of the features of concertinas with a clarinet-like timbre.

 

I don't know whether the different shape affects the response in any way.

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You dont come across these very often; upside down reeds where they get wider toward the tip!
Not sure what term I'd use to describe those, but "upside down" isn't it. For that I'd expect... well, the normally "up" side to be underneath. :D I think some folks call those "spade-shaped".

 

From a technical view-point, what's the advantage?
Y'mean, what difference does it make? I believe such reeds are one of the features of concertinas with a clarinet-like timbre.

They were called "fishtail" reeds when Wheatstone's used them to make clarinet, and Saxophone, concertinas, though I have a German instrument that calls them "conical" reeds.

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They were called "fishtail" reeds when Wheatstone's used them to make clarinet, and Saxophone, concertinas

I've heard a concertina with fishtail reeds played just once and the sound was nice and surprisingly subtle. Was there any technical reason why so few seem to have been made or was it just fashion?

 

Chris

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I've seen a Jones with "fishtail" reeds (but I don't know they called them that). My memory of them is that the wider, free ends had rounded corners rather than crisp. I don't remember anything special about the sound. I would think that these would be considerably more difficult to produce, not only due to the shape of the reed tongue, but also because the clearances in the vent as the reed would swing downward and a bit toward the base requiring the shoe/plate undercut to be more pronounced.

 

I would imagine that such spread reeds would also be considerably shorter than "normal" reeds as having so much mass near the tip would typically make them lower pitched - so to keep them at the intended pitch, they'd have to be shorter. I also wonder if there may be some longevity/durability issue as having so much mass out there with so little in the critical bending area might weaken it prematurely.

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