[Harp-L] Replacing reeds

Vern jevern@xxxxx
Tue Sep 15 04:51:24 EDT 2020

It is unwise to try to change the pitch of a reed by a large amount.   While you may be able to achieve the desired pitch, you may create regions of higher stress that will affect reed life or to make it prone to a twisting mode of vibration. You can also change the stiffness that will affect response.

When cannibalizing an old chromatic for a replacement reed, I prefer to use a “pushed-button” reed a halftone higher.  One reason is that it has probably experienced much less use.  Tuning it down a halftone requires removal of very little material.

Pitch is roughly proportional to the 3/2 power of thickness near the rivet and -1/2 power of the thickness near the tip.  Therefore you must remove much more material to raise the pitch than to lower it by the same amount.

Adding solder near the tip is for gross reductions in pitch.  Using my method of attaching reeds by means of solder*, I have successfully installed the shortest reed in the longest slot.  Installing shorter reeds in longer slots could, I suppose, be of interest for special tunings.         *  https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y <https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y>


> On Sep 14, 2020, at 8:25 PM, Rick Dempster <rickdempster33 at xxxxx> wrote:
> Joe;
>        you say if the reed is higher, not to use it. I prefer to lower the
> pitch of a reed than
> sharpen it. To sharpen, I have to remove metal; to flatten, I add, which I
> much prefer.
>       Can you explain your reasons for this approach?
> Cheers,
> RD
> On Tue, 15 Sep 2020 at 03:48, JOSEPH LEONE <3n037 at xxxxx> wrote:
>> Reeds will usually fit OR be very close. 'IF' the reed is too WIDE you can
>> file the sides down using a sanding wand. If too long you can trim the tip.
>> Then you will have to re-tune it.
>> If the reed is too narrow or short, you shouldn't use it. If the reed is
>> lower than the pitch you need, you can use it. If the reed is higher, you
>> shouldn't.
>> I have used Hering reeds in Hohners, and vice versa. Even diatonic reeds
>> in chromatics. When you get really good, you can even make a reed from a
>> razor blade. lolol.
>> smokey joe & the Cafes.
>>> On 09/14/2020 11:30 AM brian irving <coolblues64 at xxxxx> wrote:
>>> Are the individual reeds interchangeable between brands?  For example,
>> will a 5 draw reed from a Hohner Special 20 fit a 5 draw reed from a Suzuki
>> Manji (e.g. both C harps)?
>>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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