Re: [Harp-L] customizing Lee Oskars

Michael King said;

One HUGE problem with the LOs is the reeds are brittle.

Wow! not my experience at all. I once foolishly used discarded reedplates from a couple of lower pitched Lee Oskar harmonicas to create a low A harmonica. I had never retuned that low before. I repitched 20 reeds, many of them using solder in large amounts. Remember I was using used plates. I broke one reed out of the 20. I really manipulated the reeds to an extreme. Getting something that low to play reasonably took a lot of adjustment. The reed that broke was on its way out before I touched it. I think it may have been a 4 blow. Anyhow that was over a decade ago. The harmonica still plays quite well and I haven't had any reed failures. My initial manipulations of the reeds were inept and the harmonica survived it.

On another occasion I had traveled out of town to a Lee Oskar workshop. If I recall correctly we were asked to bring along a D harmonica. Being cheap I brough an older much played harmonica. We retuned the harmonicas to the tuning Ben Bouman showcased on a youtube video recently. 3 of the reeds drop significantly in pitch. I did this without solder plus my initial attempt went awry when I accidentally tuned the reed next to the reed I was trying to lower. I kept scraping then sounding it and the pitch wasn't changing at all. By the time I realised my mistake I'd dropped the wrong reed almost a whole tone. I retuned it back to where it was supposed to be. That harmonica is well over a decade old. It too was severly abused by my efforts. It started out used and I regapped the retuned reeds after having dropped some of them well over a whole tone in pitch. It still plays fine today. So I guess your mileage may vary applies here. fjm

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