Re: [Harp-L] Importance of Close Reed Tolerances (was Manji welded reeds?)

Mojo Red wrote:
> In addition, close tolerances (IMO) allows for a a faster, louder 
> and more responsive harp requiring less effort or breath-force from 
> the player. 

While I agree with nearly everything Mojo posted, the comment about "close tolerances" allowing for a "louder" harp I think needs to be clarified.  It depends on which tolerances you are referring to.  I remember reading a post once from Robert Bonfigio in which he commented that he increased the gaps on reeds to make the instrument louder, and in fact it makes sense (to me, anyway) that wider gaps cause the reed to swing wider, with greater amplitude, which makes it louder.  Additionally, as the honorable Dr. Antaki commented, closer gaps can cause a reed to choke under heavy attack, which can make it more difficult to play "louder".  

Of course, in the hands of an experienced player, the difference that gapping plays in volume is probably negligible (I'm thinking of Doug Tate while writing this), and in any case, it's probably picking nits and splitting hairs.  

I am steeling myself for a treatise on the negligible effect of gapping on amplitude, complete with derivational computations, from Vern :-)


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