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don't reed this if you want to avoid hand-made controversy

craigd

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Well a while ago, Guenadiy at Accordion Gallery told me hand made reeds may or may not have bluing on the edge of their bases, and in fact may even have machine rivets! I took this with a small grain of salt as I was speaking with someone selling accordions. But I basically believed him. My impression from our conversation, and from testimonials of his customers was that he has solid integrity and knowledge. Today I opened my circa 1960 Excelsior 940 to check the leathers and peering closely at those reed base edges I saw only silver! Well, either my reeds aren't hand made, or the dogma is unreliable! (All reedblocks and body parts are stamped 124 3, and no sign of tampering, so I'm certain this is all original.) Anyways, the old box plays and sounds wonderful (like Jack Emblow's, who if you haven't heard you should check out - I think he is the best jazzer on PA of his era), so I really don't care either way. Just wanted to stir things up.
 

oldbayan

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Anyways, the old box plays and sounds wonderful (like Jack Emblow's, who if you haven't heard you should check out - I think he is the best jazzer on PA of his era), so I really don't care either way. Just wanted to stir things up.
If someone holds a reed plate and reed with their fingers while a machine puts a rivet, is it hand made? :oops:
I would tend to believe that machines give a consistent result, while a hand and hammer can lead to variations in the finished product.

It's like "hand-hammered" cymbals, where a guy holds the cymbal in his hands while using a power hammer :ROFLMAO:

One reason why Yamaha pianos gained so much respect in the concert halls is that their manufacturing is highly robotized; pin blocks are drilled by a robot, producing 100% consistency in the size and angle of every single hole, and the spacing between them. Steinway could never achieve that with humans using a press drill...

Most parts of the Godin guitars are fabricated by robots, ensuring the highest level of precision and consistency. Robert Godin invented a few machines to match guitar bodies and necks to the fraction of millimeters. The results are impressive.

Bottomline is: do you like the sound of your instrument? When I hear a competent accordionist I don't care if she/he is playing "a mano" or "macchina" reeds 😎 I am not going to ask.

It's nice to drive a Ferrari but it does not make you a better driver. 😄
 

Ric46

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I don't think that robots made vs handmade debate it's so easy as you wrote... Cremona (Italy) produces one of the best handmade strings (violin, violoncello, viola...) in the world. Only handmade. TOTALLY... There are more than 100 luthiers, a luthier school...
 

jozz

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and how about a Ferrari driven through 100.000km of gravel & mud - would you still prefer it over a pristine garage kept 'normal' car

tools for the job

we need to organize a get together of accordions:
all of the same brand and type
with different reeds finishes

take the time and find your personal match & sound
 

Corinto

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As it says "don't read", of course I came to see, and read.
Don't know about handmade accordion reeds, nor about Yamaha pianos, but about the Canadian GODIN instruments I agree with oldbayan. Excellent and fair priced!
 

oldbayan

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I don't think that robots made vs handmade debate it's so easy as you wrote... Cremona (Italy) produces one of the best handmade strings (violin, violoncello, viola...) in the world. Only handmade. TOTALLY...
Marketing :D A guy turns the handle of the winding machine: it's hand made. Meanwhile, at the D'Addario factory, a motor does the winding.
 

Pipemajor

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As it says "don't read", of course I came to see, and read.
Don't know about handmade accordion reeds, nor about Yamaha pianos, but about the Canadian GODIN instruments I agree with oldbayan. Excellent and fair priced!
It actually says "don't reed" so I thought it was about V accordions :)
 

Gonk

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I almost never see bluing on the edges of the reed base. But the grain of the steel is sometimes visible, and that's what they're really saying... that the reed was cut from a ribbon instead of stamped from a wider sheet.

I'm no metallurgist, but I know that steel recipes vary widely, and the 'grain' is one variable of many.

I'd also be inclined to trust anything Mr. Lazarov says (with minimal salt added).
 

debra

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Nowadays hand-made reeds have clear hammer marks on the rivets, but in a distant past there were hand-made reeds with a rivet that looks like it was hammered by a machine. These rivets did have a head that's wider than what we see on modern machine-made reeds.
 

Tom

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It's not the reed it's the motion. Please tell me if playing without soul on a Roland is better than bad playing on handmade reeds. Just kidding. 🪗🪗 Hey did you notice the accordion emoji has a new look on some browsers? I think it was handmade.
 

Alan Sharkis

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It's not the reed it's the motion. Please tell me if playing without soul on a Roland is better than bad playing on handmade reeds. Just kidding. 🪗🪗 Hey did you notice the accordion emoji has a new look on some browsers? I think it was handmade.
As far as playing on a Roland without soul is concerned, I plead guilty. But I can play on the finest acoustic made without soul. Or, I can play on a Roland with soul, or ...

It's the motion? I wonder what the Motion Trio is doing these days.
 
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danp76

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If we can't discern whether the reed is handmade or not as a result of no blue color, how can we tell if the reed is hand finished or handmade? I have a Titano double chamber Virtuoso. I was told hand finished, because there isn't any blue on edges..
 

Gonk

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danp76, this is the sort of ongoing controversy (like, decades) that craigd was alluding to in the post title. Mr. Lazarov is saying what many have said before, that the bluing and even rivets are a couple of signs among many but not the sole determinants.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there are many old threads like this one:
 

danp76

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danp76, this is the sort of ongoing controversy (like, decades) that craigd was alluding to in the post title. Mr. Lazarov is saying what many have said before, that the bluing and even rivets are a couple of signs among many but not the sole determinants.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there are many old threads like this one:
Essentially, it sounds like it's near impossible to know if in fact a reed is handmade or not. So many variables to consider.
 

Dingo40

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Guys,
Danp76 said,
"Essentially, it sounds like it's near impossible to know if in fact a reed is handmade or not. So many variables to consider."
If it's impossible to tell by looking, and it appears impossible to tell by listening ( or why look?), what the hell does it matter what it is as long as it suits you?
Why pay a premium if you can't even detect a difference?🤔
It's a bit like paying a premium for a make of car: they all rust out in the end!😀
 

Tom

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Guys,
Danp76 said,
"Essentially, it sounds like it's near impossible to know if in fact a reed is handmade or not. So many variables to consider."
If it's impossible to tell by looking, and it appears impossible to tell by listening ( or why look?), what the hell does it matter what it is as long as it suits you?
Why pay a premium if you can't even detect a difference?🤔
It's a bit like paying a premium for a make of car: they all rust out in the end!😀
Of course there is the undeniably true psychological factor: the accordion may be more fun, more loved, more played because of some attribute that may or may not be detectable in sound or playability - handmade reeds, brand, age, country of origin, price, etc.
 

Gonk

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To be fair, reed quality is paramount to good sound, so it's tempting to think there's a quick and simple way to categorize and assess it.
 

Dingo40

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"To be fair, reed quality is paramount to good sound..."
well, that's only marginally true as there's thousands of accordions being loved and played which have no reeds whatsoever!😄
 
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