Re: [Harp-L] was XB-40 bending, now making plastic combs tighter with silicone
Er....what is the 'Concerto', of which you write dave?
On 30 July 2012 14:42, David Payne <dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Zombor is dead on with this. Kitt Gamble turned me on to non-toxic
> aquarium silicone. The problem with those hollow plastic combs is there is
> a very small area of comb that sits against reedplate. It's just a little
> line. Reedplates are stamped out, so they are never perfectly flat. They
> have slight undulations. Now on a flat wood comb, if you have an
> undualtion, it's no big deal cause it redolates (just made that word up) by
> the time you get to anywhere air can leak to.... but on a plastic comb, air
> can leak inside the comb itself.
> So silicone stops this.. You don't necessarily need a syringe or anything
> fancy. Your finger will do. What you are doing is basically smearing a VERY
> THIN coat of silicone on the comb surface - that very thin line of plastic
> - at the edge of the hole where it meets reedplate. I put a very small
> amount on the comb, then wipe it off very lightly with a finger - it takes
> just the right amount off, a rag takes off too much, a scraper or knife
> isn't consistent enough - then take a scraper and scrape off excess on the
> There's a lot more to the bluesified Concerto than yanking off the
> appropriate valves. The harmonica shouldn't really work like it does,
> there's a major balance of stuff that has to be redone for the blues side
> to respond and bend by itself, yet the two sides respond in unison when the
> full two-harp octave chord is played without one side lagging slow or weak
> in the full chord.. I guess I'm revealing a little trade secret here, but
> non-toxic aquarium silicone plays a big role in making that possible It's
> applied in some places, but not others. controlling those leaks plays a
> role in balancing out the two sides... that, the valve arrangement, the gap
> setup and where the silicone is applied makes it work like its supposed to.
> Less is most definitely more when applying silicone. I use so little
> because when you use too much it gets on the blow reeds and the Concerto is
> pretty tight inside the holes, since there's four reeds (in groups of two)
> in each hole. Right before I put the reedplates back on, it doesn't really
> look like there's silicone on the comb at all, that thin comb wall just
> looks kind of shiny. Besides chromatics, the Bluesified Concerto is the
> only thing I use silicone on.
> David Payne
> Elk River Harmonicas Forum now available via Iphone app,
> From: Zombor Kovacs <zrkovacs@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2012 3:50 AM
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] XB-40 bending
> Yes, I have a tip. When I bought my XB-s I had to realize that the factory
> airtightness was poor. I sealed all my harps with silicone. I do not
> recommend anybody to do this (you can mess up reeds), because it was a very
> delicate job what I did with a syringe of silicone and a dispensing needle.
> But the result was close to dramatic together with some regapping and
> embossing. The response could not remotely be compared to factory response.
> What I can still recommend is regapping, some embossing and SEALING with
> silicone grease or a similar non curing agent. Even silicone grease or
> similar could get into reed gaps if you are not careful and temporarily
> block reed action (even for a longer time since it gets out of the gap
> slowly). But if somebody feels he is clever enough to do an all round
> sealing with the above mentioned method, he can expect some good results. I
> sealed the combs between the reedplates. If you don't want to actually get
> together, you should apply some release agent to the reedplate (it can be
> either grease or real release agent). However I warn you again that you
> need special equipment. Professional adhesive dispensing needles, a syringe
> and choose the right viscosity silicone (not too low). Seal the mouthpiece
> as well.
> The problem with the XB is that wall thicknesses are very low (not enough
> sealing surface) and not enough clamping force as bolts at the front are
> far from bolts at the back and there is nothing in between to press the
> reedplate to the comb where air escapes from one chamber to another. Of
> course if you could add extra bolts, that would be the best, but you have
> to drill holes and I am not sure if it is a good idea, so I stayed with the
> tricky silicone sealing. I am not saying this is the only way, it is just
> how I did it.
> From: "burket@xxxxxxx" <burket@xxxxxxx>
> To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx; robert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2012 6:07 AM
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] XB-40 bending
> Hi Robert:
> Nice to see folks still in support of the the XB 40. I picked up a few
> new keys myself recently.
> I'm not sure if this will help, but:
> I recently had a problem with a brand new, out of the box Low D XB40 which
> had a very weak and unresponsive 1 and 3 hole draw. Phhhffftttt,
> Phhhffftttt. (sounded like that- right :) The 2 and 4 draws and all the
> low blow notes were nice and tight. Not a good way to start a
> relationship with a new harmonica.
> In taking it apart and checking the reeds, I noticed that the 1 and 3 draw
> gaps of the primary notes were set pretty high and not profiled all that
> flat ( \___ ). I worked on this a bit, but still did not have much
> improvement. I then looked at the sympathetic/ bending reed gaps for those
> same notes and noticed that they were gapped "way" high. Almost as high as
> the primary reeds themselves.
> All the other bending reed gaps for the other notes (except the 1 and 3
> draw), were set very flat, and very tightly gapped. I re gapped the
> bending reeds for the 1 and 3 draw almost to where they were closed, made a
> slight tuning adjustment to the low E, and the harp plays great now. That
> fixed the problem for me. I have to thank Rick Epping for pointing me in
> the right direction in terms of how the reed chamber, primary, and
> sympathetic bending
> note reeds interact on this amazing piece of harmonica construction.
> It makes sense that if the bending reed gap is too high, you end up
> leaking critical air that should be going to the primary reed.
> I'm going to take a look at my other keys and see if there are any similar
> problems. If others have any other tips for maintaining and working on the
> XB I'd be very interested in hearing your experiences.
> Good luck
> Burke T.
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 16:31:30 -0700
> From: Robert Hale <robert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [Harp-L] XB-40 bending
> To: harp-L list <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> I have an XB-40 in A.
> What reed adjustments can I consider for making Blow 3 and 4 a little more
> Everything else is sweet.
> Robert Hale
> See you at SPAH2012
> Spiral Advocate
> Learn Harmonica by Webcam
> Low Rates, High Success
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