Re: [Harp-L] Removing Windsavers Question

----- Original Message ----- From: <r_mcgraw@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 1:49 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] Removing Windsavers Question

Removing windsavers from a chromatic would make it easier to bend? Is this correct? What would I lose on the chromatic by removing windsavers? And how would I go about doing this? [Obviously I couldn't be more ignorant about this subject :-)

In the C3 and C4 lower octaves, the unplayed or "opening" reeds open under the applied pressure and leave very large gaps through which air leaks. In these holes, the reeds will seem balky and unresponsive. As the reeds get shorter, stiffer, and higher-pitched this effect is less pronounced. In the highest three holes, the reed slots are usually unvalved.

This is more important in chromatics because a certain amount of leakage through the clearances in the slide is unavoidable. Thus an "airtight" chromatic has no leakage through the unplayed, valved reeds and a small amount through the slide to adjacent holes.

Because the reed pairs are on opposite sides of the chamber in a diatonic and side-by-side in a chromatic, the size and shape of the chambers are different and may respond differently to the sound pressure variations. The amount of bending is limited by the interval between the reed pitches. In a Richter-tuned diatonic this interval is a minor third in hole 2 and a major third in hole three. The maximum interval in a chromatic is a major second.. This will make bending in the chromatic quite different.

Even on a valved chromatic both draw and blow slightly. I find it easier to bend the blow notes. This is fine for musical effects but usuallu not sufficient to obtain another note. On my Hering chromatic, I can bend C4 down the Bb3, but cannot do so on my Hohner chromatic.

It wouldn't be too much work to remove the two windsavers in a hole (button unpushed), see how you like the bending leakage as a result, and replace them if you aren't pleased. Just pull them off to remove them. Then scrape away the old glue and glue them back on.

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WVa Bob
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