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"slow" reed

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oldchemist

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I have one reed which is fractionally slow to sound. You can hear it when playing with two or three reeds. Any idea how to fix it?
 

debra

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It requires adjustment of the opening. The (loose) end of a reed sits "just" above the reed plate. The ideal distance is sometimes described as "just as much as the thickness of the reed itself". If the opening is too large the reed is slow to sound but when it starts it does not hesitate. If the opening is too small the reed is fast to sound but may choke when you play an accent. If the opening is way too small (like when the tip of the reed is actually level with the reed plate or even slightly into the opening) the reed will very clearly hesitate to start.
The reed on the inside in the reed block is the reed that plays when you pull and the reed on the outside of the reed block plays when you push.
Sometimes a reed that is just slightly (fractionally) slow is caused by the valve for the opposite direction (which is the valve next to the reed) not being closed properly. When (at rest) the valve is open the first bit of air going through the reed (both holes) is needed to suck the valve closed and only then the right reed starts sounding. You may then actually also hear the valve being sucked closed.
So a bit of detective work ahead, but an easy fix except when it is with the smallest reeds (highest notes) that can be very tricky.
I had to do this last sunday, on a brand new Piermaria where the middle A (=440Hz) was slow to start. Sadly we can add Piermaria to the long list of accordion brands that do not deliver brand new instruments without flaws. (There were also a few notes out of tune.)
 

oldchemist

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Thanks very much Paul. It's the C# below middle A so should be a decent sized reed to work on.
 
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