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question about retuning harmonicas

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:07 am
by triona
Last evening I made my first attempt to retune a harmonica. I took a new chinese budget harp from the mall. It was in Richter C. (There are no others with this type.) I retuned it into C# / Db - just a semitone up on each reed, nothing extravagant. Just to get a feeling for this work. And I had no bluesharp in C# either.

I tuned it as close as possible to zero sharp or flat, by pinging the reeds on the naked reedplate into the tuner (a 5 cent tuner Korg CA). Then I mounted the harp again and played it by normal blow and draw. All the reeds were about 20 cent flatter than before when dismounted and pinged, some even a little bit more than 20 cent.

Question 1: Is this Mr. Helmholtz that tricked me?
Or what else is the issue?

Question 2: Are these 20 - 25 cents more flat a constant, or can this also be different when tuning any other instrument?

Question 3: Is it to recommend to add these 20 or 25 cent in advance (in the case of a constant)? Or is it necessary to test this on one reed before continuing the work to avoid to do all the work twice?

Question 4: When I want to tune a reed lower, is it necessary to leave it 20 or 25 cents above the intented pitch?

And additional question 5:
What is the recommended maximum for the change of pitch before the risk of damaging the reed? Is the maximum the same for tuning higher or lower? Is there a difference between brass or phosphor-bronze or steel reeds?

dear greetings