Giant Saliva Quality Awards


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<9406062241.tn902912@xxxxxxx> To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Date: Mon, 06 Jun 94
22:41:54 EDT Subject: Giant Saliva Quality Awards

I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the ring.
Concerning the fact that a reed with go out of tine during playing and then
will get back into tune after store it.  Here is what I think may be
happening.  Due to the saliva getting onto the reed during playing, the weight
of the saliva will cause the reed to slow down in vibration, thereby causing
the reed to be lowered in pitch.  If the reed was tuned a certain pitch, the
the saliva will cause the pitch to be lowered during playing.
 When you store the harp and later come back to it and the pitch is back in
tune, then the saliva has evaporated and the reed will return to its natural
pitch.  I usually tune my reeds about 10% above  441.   When a person plays
the harmonica, there will always be saliva condensation on the reeds.
 Therefore the reeds will lowered in pitch.  If you tune the reeds, say 10%
above your normal tuning (say 441), then the weight of the saliva will lower
the pitch to 440.  When you store the harmonica, the saliva will dry up and
the reed with return to its normal pitch. By the way, I tune the reed with a
dremel tool with a rubber tip.  The rubber tip "buffs" the reed and does not
cause the reed to experience "metal fatigue."  The file action takes a bit of
the metal off of the reed when you file the font part of the reed to raise the
pitch  and the back part when you lower the pitch.  Using the dremel tool with
a rubber tip will only buff the reed and you can raise or lower the reed
without taking any metal off of the reed thereby causing metal fatigure.
 While the metal fatigue will not happen right away (with filing), it will
happen over a period of time, if you continue to file the reed to tune if up
or down in pitch.what really happened with the file is that you  continue to
take off metal and the reed keps getting thinner and thinner and thinner;;;;;

Buffing the reeds with the dremel tool with a rubber tip works well for me on
the chromatic harmonica (e.g., the Silver Concerto) and all the other
harmonicas I own..  As a matter of fact, when I first got the Concerto, two
reeds were out of tune.  I had to retune them 10% up the normal pitch of 441.
 I think the problem may be that most harmonica are mass produced and the
tuning is preset during manufacture.  Sometimes, the technician will check the
reeds to see that they are in pitch, but this is done at random.
 Therefore some reeds that may be out of tune are missed. When you and I tun
the reeds, we can take more time to tune them exactly in pitch to the tuner.

Richard Martin

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