Re: [Harp-L] Stainless steel reeds - do they sound different? Some data

I applaud the person who made and published the spectrograms and to Winslow for bringing them to our attention. This sort of thing will contribute to our understanding of reed function.

Especially, I applaud Seydel for making harps with SS reeds.

That said, here are some cautions on drawing conclusions from the two spectrograms.

I found that the spectral differences of supposedly-identical but different reedplates on the same comb material were surprisingly great. I believe that differences in the gaps and the clearances between the reeds and slots can show up in the spectrograms. That means that you can't attribute all of the differences in the spectrograms to differences in materials.

It would be interesting to see several spectrograms of sets harps with brass and SS reeds. That would let us assess how much of the difference was attributable to the difference in reed materials and designs and how much to other variables.

The other thing that would be interesting to know is how much the stiffness profile (the resistance to bending at each point along the length of the reed), and the mass at the tip varied from brass to SS. If this was not carefully controlled, the spectral differences may arise from differences of reed design and not from differences in material.

The spectral differences may have arisen from differences of materials, differences in reed design., or in differences of installation such as gap and clearance. It would require more data to sort that out.

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----- Original Message ----- From: "Winslow Yerxa" <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 9:21 AM
Subject: [Harp-L] Stainless steel reeds - do they sound different? Some data

Bertram Becher of Seydel sent me an interesting link:

He recorded two otherwise identical harps, one with stainless reeds and
one with brass reeds, then ran a frequency analysis on each. There are
differences that are both audible on the recordings and visible in the
frequency graph.


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