RE: Purpose of windsavers?


Mike Curtis gave a good reply to your question - just thought I'd throw in my
1 1/2 cents worth.

On 23-Jan-1995 Steven D. Levine wrote...

>Can someone please explain to me exactly what windsavers do? Do they just 
>extend the life of the reed or do they affect the mechanics of the 
>chromatic and the way the reed sounds?

Chromatics are leakers - due to their larger reeds, there is more room for the 
air to escape around the read. The higher reeds are smaller and don't need 
windsavers. (They also leak around the slide/mouthpiece)

When you play a blow note the windsaver (valve) closes on the draw reed which 
is in the same hole - thus no air leaks out through the draw reed. When you 
draw, the opposite happens - the draw windsaver opens and the blow closes.

>I'm still having trouble with the windsavers buzzing in my 280. I tried 
>to peel off the top part of one windsaver (the two pieces had become 
>separated and I think that's what was causing the buzzing). The whole 
>windsaver came off.

Some windsavers are double and are supposed to be separated rather than glued, 
or stuck together - Except they are joined at the end where you glue them on 
(the rivet end of the reed). That's probably why the whole thing came off. 
These two piece WS's are usually found on the lower octave or so. The top is a 
stiffener. The idea is to make the WS lay flat and help it seal the leaks on 
the larger reeds. The two piece WS can eventually become stuck together from 
moisture, etc., making it lay crooked or twisted and causing it to buzz or pop. 
(The single piece windsavers can do this too if they get bent, twisted, or 
temporarily stuck. They can buzz or pop when they break loose).

>I played the reed without the coverplate and it 
>didn't sound any worse without the windsaver (in fact, it sounded clearer 
>and it didn't buzz). Should I try to reglue the windsaver on? Would it 
>aversely affect the harp if I took off other buzzing windsavers?

Take Mike's advice and put it back on or replace it with a new one.

If you had the mouthpiece / slide assembly off as well and were blowing 
directly into the wood, then your harmonica would respond very well - this is 
because you are about 1/4 inch closer to the reed.

Of course it depends too on which windsaver you removed. If you removed the one  
on the blow reed this would not affect the blow note. If this is the case, try 
your draw note - It may / should sound a little weaker.

>If anyone can help me please let me know.

Hope this clarifies a little bit why the windsavers are there.

       Jack Ely - Columbus, Ohio  --Internet--> IMS_ELY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
P.S.  Hi HARP-L folks, I'm back from round II of the flu (I think they're going 
to name this virus after me). Anyway, that's why this response is a little out 
of date. What? You didn't miss me? Huh? You didn't even know I was gone? -sigh-
Well, back to work - I have 133 HARP-L messages to read - sheer ecstasy!

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