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Tuning Springs


JERRY
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Dear John,

 

I read in an organ building manual by Bonavia Hunt that in some buildings steel wire tuning springs are liable to jam, and that phosphor bronze is used instead by some builders. Which do you use? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two, and is there any difference in the tone produced?

 

Jerry

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Guest Geoff McMahon

Steel tuning wires or springs tend to go rusty in any building which is damp, which is why they then stick in the lead block. Nowadays, I think all organ builders use phosphor bronze wires which don't corrode. There is no influence on the tone at all. However, if one comes across such steel reed springs in an organ which is being restored and if they can be retained, they should be.

 

John Pike Mander

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Steel tuning wires or springs tend to go rusty in any building which is damp, which is why they then stick in the lead block. Nowadays, I think all organ builders use phosphor bronze wires which don't corrode. There is no influence on the tone at all. However, if one comes across such steel reed springs in an organ which is being restored and if they can be retained, they should be.

 

John Pike Mander

 

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I wonder if John could tell us roughly how long steel tuning-springs have been used. Phosphor-Bronze is the obvious choice, because it is naturally springy, and was often used as cheap but effective contact material on electronic organs....probably still is.

 

MM

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