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Fixing a Flat (reed)

  • Thread starter Thread starter Don Tuite
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Don Tuite

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I have a note on the treble side of a PA that's a little flat on the draw. How big a repair job does that represent? This is an old, 25-key Hohner 12-bass.

Thanks!
 
The reed your speaking of has a leather or plastic valve that needs replacement, repair, or has fallen off. Not a hard fix -- try going here - - http://www.accordionrevival.com - and the topic - changing reed leathers. JIM D.
 
Whow, how did you know that Jim? Are you really a psychic or are flat reeds generally a symptom of bad leathers? :)
 
You've just answered your own question !! - Yes! 98 % of the time. {}
 
JIM D. said:
The reed your speaking of has a leather or plastic valve that needs replacement, repair, or has fallen off. Not a hard fix -- try going here - - http://www.accordionrevival.com - and the topic - changing reed leathers. JIM D.

Thats information worth knowing about flat reeds - thanks Jim, but of course you knew that I would say that. :lol:

BTW I thought all reeds were flat? Its when theyre bent you have to worry isnt it? :b
 
Anything or any one bent out of shape will cause you worry. :lol:
 
JIM D. said:
Anything or any one bent out of shape will cause you worry. :lol:

:shock: Perhaps we shouldnt go there :? :lol:
 
Could contuous hard use of the bellows cause a reed to go out of tune ?
 
A quality hand made reed will tend to stay in tune for 10 to 20 years without need for tuning even with hard usage - the hard use of the bellows will actually keep them clean and keep the valves flexible. The lower quality machine made reeds found on lower priced accordion models can be rendered out of tune with hard usage in as short as 6 months because of their soft composition. JIM D.
 
Karen Tweed told me that she had to have her accordion tuned every 6 months or so because she played it 'hard' for several hours a day. She used to have good quality Italian accordions, though.
 
Good Quality accordions can be ordered with well made machine made reeds and or hand made as an option. A need for frequent re-tuning may be more cost effective with an upgrade to hand made reeds such as Binci or Salpa. JIM D.
 
Sorry. I didn't ask the question properly. I meant, if I take the box to the shop, am I likely to see it again before Christmas, and is the mechanic likely to insist on fussing with every last bit of the insides, or will he or she just twist something with a screwdriver and charge me a nominal fee?
 
In most cases if an accordion just needs a basic reed cleaning and minor valve replacement - the price would range between $60.00 and $75.00 US here in my shop and at http://www.falcettimusic.com and the time frame for repairs would be from 2 days to 1 week. There are shops that charge much more and you should shop for prices. JIM D.
 
Just now had that done on my big piano about that price and time frame too, wow it really made a difference, more fun to play when in tune.
 
Does pitch bending cause the reeds (usually low ones) to go out of tune more quickly?
It's a great effect but does feel as though it is hard on the accordion.
 
A quality hand made reed ( and this includes some of the new very well produced machine made reeds) have reed tongues of fine steel and tempered properly and will not be harmed by different air pressures and will last for years, they simply retain their temper. If you have a local barbershop that uses a fine made straight razor for shaving or razor cut hair styling, they just might be using a straight razor of quality made steel that could be of fine made steel (in most cases British made Wilkinson steel) The razor they are using may be over 80 years old and will still keep a edge with simple leather strapping. Quality free reeds are more costly initially but in quality Harmonicas, Accordions, or Bagpipes that use free reeds of fine steel are less maintenance costly in the long run. JIM D.
 
Reeds can go flat for a number of reasons.
Valves curling can cause a reed to drop a bit, but a reed that has gone really flat can be a couple of things. On older instruments that have been sitting awhile ..rust. Rust will either add weight to the tip (adding oxygen atoms, rust is iron oxide) causing the reed to go flat, or rust in the middle of the reed will have the same effect as filing the reed there (it removed some of the steel and it became the rust). If no rust is evident it can be metal fatigue or annealing, and the worst case is when the reed has dropped 20+ cents, it is often a crack in the reed.
Reeds can start failing within a year even if the reeds were good quality, if the instrument is played REALLY LOUD. This often happens when the accordion player is trying to compete with amplified instruments.
 
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