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Extra holes in high reed chambers?


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Aug 8, 2015
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In that video he mentions adding extra holes to the high reed chambers to help them speak easier and that this is done in modern instruments.

I know that is a pretty old Club instrument (1930's) and perhaps that helps with the old reeds. But the Club system is pretty much dead, so I don't think there are new instruments. The range for such a C/F Club goes up to A6: http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/pedagogy/club/images/row_fingering.png. That's at least an octave from the piccolo range of large PA/CBA's.

Has anybody heard of such holes being added to the reedblocks (whether new or later)?


Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
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Jul 16, 2014
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Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
High notes need a bit of "spilled" air to start more easily (and sometimes also to keep playing). For that in a chromatic accordion somewhere around high C (C6) accordion makers stop putting valves on the reeds, so a bit of air spills through the non-playing opposing reed. On a diatonic you reach a point where the note on one side is still low enough to want a valve but that on the other side is too high to have a valve. However, the lower of the two having a valve causes trouble for the higher note to start. An extra (tiny) hole helps in that case.
On my accordina (a chromatic instrument sounding a bit like a harmonica, but only used by blowing into ot) only has reeds on one side of each reed plate (as it only works in one "direction") and as a result there are no valves, and the highest notes (it goes up to C7) may have trouble starting. So when tuning it I have punched a tiny hole through the wax on a note that didn't want to start properly and it helped a lot.


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Jul 28, 2020
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Maine, USA
The "old reeds" in these are terrific. The explanation Paul gives is spot on, but I just want to add that it holds true for the best reeds still made today. I've done it with Bincis -- really opened up the sound and response (and brought it to pitch). I like the hole through the wax instead of the block idea, but you can always plug reedblocks back up with dowel and glue if you really want to...

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