[Harp-L] Gaskets?

Vern jevern@xxxxx
Mon Aug 28 17:01:26 EDT 2017

Reducing leakage in a harmonica does improve performance.  However, gasketing isn’t a very effective way to do it. In the vast majority of cases, leakage under the reedplate is minuscule compared to leakage through the opening reeds in a diatonic or through the slide in a chromatic. Although gasketing may reduce leakage by a tiny amount, the % reduction of total leakage is imperceptible.

After I have gone to the  trouble and expense of gasketing, if I wish and expect to hear/feel an improvement,  I will.  Alas, it is my pareidolia and confirmation bias at work.  This isn’t a character flaw but human nature.  My car runs better when the windshield is clean.  I like Coors beer because it is made with rocky mountain spring water.  I use Ivory soap because it is 99.44% pure.  Etc…………  The thing operated on hasn’t changed, but my subjective perception of it has.

Placing gaskets under the plate is like weatherstripping the windows in a room with an open doorway.

Why bother?


> On Aug 28, 2017, at 1:00 PM, Richard Hunter <rhunter377 at xxxxx> wrote:
> "Aongus Mac Cana" wrote:
> <I would be interested to hear the experiences of others who might have
> tried
> <this. Maybe I need to make the acquaintance of "Dee"
> I used micropore tape gaskets for years, and I agree with Rick Epping:
> they're not a good thing.  They trap a lot of crud in the instrument, and
> you can't clean them up without replacing them.  On plastic combs, they
> leave a residue of adhesive that interferes with solid contact between comb
> and plate once removed.  In other words, the improved performance they
> deliver is not worth the trouble they cause.
> Dee's gaskets are another story entirely.  They go in clean and stay
> clean.  They've improved the performance of my Seydel Session Steels--less
> harsh and more even response--for a very reasonable price in terms of money
> and effort.
> I think it's worth the $5 it costs for a set of these gaskets to try them
> if you're at all curious about how they might affect your harps.
> Regards, Richard Hunter
> -- 
> Check out our 21st Century rock harmonica record "The Lucky One" at
> https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardhunter
> Author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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