BenBoumanHarmonicas

Project P.

Project P. = polishing reeds


I started polishing steel reeds 6 years ago because I liked the looks of these shiny reeds. Right away I noticed that it felt like the harp was playing "easier" and that's why I did dome more tests.
I polished the reeds with several tools and found some very useful ways to get the best results.

One of the side-effects was that the tuning of a reed went down a semi-tone or more , depending on how much material I removed during the polishing process. In the beginning I tuned the reed back to it's original pitch.

I tried out excessive polishing and had reeds going down 7 to 8 semi-tones and still they worked fine.
In that time I also noticed that I could get some nice results when I changed the original profile of the reeds.
I finally felt that I could have a big influence on the bending capabilities of the reeds.

So, it was testing time again and again. I now have come to a point where I polish the reeds and the reeds go down a semi-tone which gives me the best overall result. It can best be described as : the harp plays easier, lighter, bending is easier to do and the sound is ( to my ears ) a touch brighter/more overtones.

The players , who tested harps with polished reeds, all said: it just feels better when you play the harp. Of course I did double blind tests and every time they knew which harp had the polished reeds. I made sure that the harps were set-up equally!! The players level was from beginner to semi-pro.

The results also showed that the reeds last longer. Removing all milling marks seems to be the key to a longer life for a reeds. In 6 years time I broke 1 polished reed on my C harp that I used very often during teaching and gigging. This was a Db harp, retuned to C. The polished reeds stay in tune for a very long time which is another positive effect.

During the ordering process you can click on the option : Project P. That's how you can order a harp with the polished reeds.
The only key that I can't do is F. Seydel doesn't offer a F# so I can't tune down. I can polish the reeds from a F harp but it doesn't give the optimal result.

Ben