Reed Leathers
#1
Hello!

I sent my accordion to repair. I asked for a complete tune up.

The tuner told me that he doesn't change the reeds leather if they're good but I think But I think leather is very old and should be changed.

My questions is: "old" leather is reliable? Should I ask to change or can I continue with the old one?
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#2
What is "old"? Leathers that are 30 years old can still be very good and can also be completely dried out, depending on where the accordion was used and stored. After 50 years... maybe it's better to replace them.
But... replacing leathers is very difficult without taking the reed plates off. And in that case the repair becomes way more expensive. If the accordion is 50 years old it's best to also replace the wax... major job, and major expense. If the accordion is just 30 years old the wax should still be good ...
So it all depends!
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#3
After 40 years of accordion repair I've learned to practice the old adage "If i'ts Not Broken, Don't Try To Fix It !!!"
An accordion even up to 70 years old made with quality leathers and continually played will have leathers that have worn
in and remained supple. A new set of reed leathers will take time to seal as well as the originals. Think of a Ball player using a new glove. Once worn in the player might just use it for his total career.
As in the case of plastic reed valves, well the same does not apply as plastic has a lifetime and tend to with age, will harden, loose flexibility eventually break.
Owner & Operator "THE FISARMONICA SHOP" Chicopee, MA USA
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