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Reed tuning


stewartt

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I retuned our three magnificent Billy Jones reeds at Holy Trinity Hereford today. I do this as little as possible between the professional tuner's annual visits - perhaps three times a year. Generally I find that 14 deg C is a good winter temperature at which to tune (factoring in the rather fierce heating) and 17deg is a good early summer temperature. Then the professional goes through the whole instrument in August at around 20 deg.

 

What was interesting today was that the trumpet v the flues was not much out in the bass yet much out in the treble and the oboe was exactly the opposite. Is this typical and can anyone explain why it might be?

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One expects the basses to stand in better tune, while the slightest thing can cause a reed treble to go off pitch, simply because the reed and the resonator are smaller and therefore a small variation will affect them more. Why the Oboe should be different is strange. Maybe it's the narrower scale, the fact that it's probably capped, or something to do with the different reed/resonator relationship.

 

The Billy Jones reeds at Belfast Cathedral were superb in their stability. It was very rare indeed for anything to go badly out, and if it did it was probably something major like a dead fly or a weight dropping off.

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