Re: Is it fixable?

Chris said:
>Every once in a while, I have a harp go flat on one note. It is not just a 
>"slightly out of tune" thing. It drops almost a half step very suddenly. I 
>have tried to fix these harps when this happens, but have had limited 
>success. I was wondering if anyone had any insights on this phenomenon. My 
>suspician is that it has something to do with reed fatigue since it seems to 
>happen only on harps I have been playing for quite some time.

Your suspicion is correct, Chris, what you are experiencing is reed failure due 
to fatigue.  When the pitch drops suddenly and dramatically like that, the only 
option --other than replacing the harp -- is to replace the reed.  Unless this 
is a custom harp, it is probably only practical to have reeds replaced if you 
do it yourself.  Most repair people will charge a reasonable fee for 
replacement, but once you've paid shipping both ways you've about paid for a 
new off-the-shelf harp.  On the other hand, doing it yourself is not that 
difficult, if you otherwise like the harp, have some old parts lying around, 
and are fairly patient and good with your hands.  You can do it with a minimum 
of tools (a punch and a hammer) as long as you are careful.  You will need an 
old harp from which to canibalize old reeds.  

If you want to look into doing this yourself, I'd suggest you look at the reed 
replacement text included in Pat Missin's Altered States 
(  Get some of those old, blown out plates 
and go to town!  Otherwise, you're looking at buying a new one.

- -tim

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