Re: [Harp-L] re: Breaking-in

If you manipulate a reed (reset the arc or even change the offset), often it
will flatten the pitch. The pitch of the reed will return towards where it
was after as little as a few hours to as long as a couple weeks, sometimes
longer. Some reed "recipes" react this way more dramatically than others.
Would you consider this as some sort of evidence of the molecular "healing"
that Sissi describes? I think it makes sense and fits the practical
experiences I have, for what it's worth. I thought it was a very interesting
article and am glad to see this discussion.
Joe Spiers

----- Original Message ----- From: "Vern" <jevern@xxxxxxx>
To: <msky@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Harp L Harp L" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] re: Breaking-in

The material of the SS reeds is likely to be more fatigue resistant than copper alloys. However, unless I see evidence to the contrary, I conclude that any new SS reed is as strong as it is ever going to be and a brief period of gentle playing won't increase its fatigue resistance. A period of gentle playing might get you into the habit of playing gently, thus causing your reeds to last longer.


On May 15, 2010, at 10:15 AM, msky@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

I just sent away for a 5-pack of Seydel 1847 silvers. I generally use Sp20s, but I've enjoyed the one 1847 silver that I presently own more than any other harp I've tried, and I felt like I deserved a present from myself.

Anyway, having read Vern's comments below, and not being a metallurgist, is breaking-in a good idea for the stainless steel reeds? If so, what would be the recommended break-in method?

Surely you do not claim that there is something exceptional about harmonica reeds >that exempt them from the properties of brass or bronze.

There is an effect called "coaxing" that occurs in iron and mild steel but not in non->ferrous alloys. A long period of cycling at low stress followed by long periods of >increased stress at successively higher levels can increase fatigue life. However >those conditions are not met by harmonica break-in because the reeds are not mild >steel, the break-in period is short, and there are no successive long periods of >gradually increasing stress.

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