Re: [Harp-L] Manji welded reeds?

> From: tusker23@xxxxxxxxxxx
> I'm a relative newbie to harp-playing and I know it's probably a dumb question, but.......if welded reeds are such a tremendous improvement over rivetted reeds, wouldn't replacing a welded reed with a screw-fastened reed result in a poorer quality harmonica?

You can get that perfect alignment with a screw-fastened reed. The idea is you ream the hole bigger than the screw, so there is room to move it around for perfect alignment, Yes, it can be a pain sometimes. Most harmonicas, remember, aren't repaired, they are thrown away. Repair is an afterthought for most companies. They make stuff, then we figure out how to fix it. 

> If not, then why not use all screw-fastened or bolted reeds in the first place, rather than welded reeds? 

As I understand welding, it's a more automated and streamlined process. I imagine the startup cost would be huge, but you don't have to pay somebody to punch in the rivets punch and align the reeds, overall I would assume it would be a sound financial move. Suzuki is huge, the harmonica division is but a small part of this huge empire, they can afford it. 
About a minute in you can see how it's done at the Seydel factory: I presume it's done much the same way in most non-Suzuki factories.
As I understand welding, the reeds are aligned by machines who then dangle the reedplates over a tank of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. The sharks look up and zap the reeds secure. 

As for screws and bolts, it's not ideal for a factory setting. You would have to pay somebody to sit down and hand tighten the screws, or make a machine to do it. It is expensive to make machines and the job cannot be done by sharks. Takes way too much time, WAY more than riveting and remember 99 percent of harmonicas are thrown away when blown out. 

But the answer to all these questions is there is more than one way to skin a cat. That's the beauty of the age we live in, cats are skinned in a multitude of ways and we can choose amongst them.


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