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Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds

melodeonboy 17 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM
Bernard 17 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM
melodeonboy 17 Aug 09 - 02:37 PM
Bernard 17 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM
The Sandman 17 Aug 09 - 05:05 PM
melodeonboy 17 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM
Tootler 17 Aug 09 - 06:21 PM
Bernard 17 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM
Dead Horse 17 Aug 09 - 09:33 PM
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Subject: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: melodeonboy
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM

I know it sounds an odd question, but is there any possibility that brass reeds would use more air than steel reeds in an accordion?

I've got two cajun accordions: one with steel reeds (C) and one with brass reeds (Bb). Having checked the Bb accordion myself for leaks, and having had an expert also check for leaks, and having found none, the Bb accordion uses significantly more air (and is thus far more difficult to play) than the C accordion.

Any ideas, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM

Brass (or to be more precise, bell metal) reeds do need more air than steel reeds to get the same volume... and they need regulating more often as they are softer. They are also more prone to breakage.

However, another factor is the fact that the Bb instrument plays in a lower pitch than the C model, which in itself takes more air.


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: melodeonboy
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 02:37 PM

Thanks, Bernard. A very clear and comprehensive answer!

Am I therefore to assume that, unless I want to spend a long time on the high seas (where the brass reeds would, presumably, be less susceptible to corrosion), having the brass reeds is a distinct disadvantage? (In which case, I'm buggered, unless I want to change the lot!)


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM

'Fraid so! ;o)


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 05:05 PM

Brass Reeds, in my experience also need retuning more often.


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: melodeonboy
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM

C'mon, somebody please give me some good news?!!! :-(
(sob, sob!)


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:21 PM

Some say that brass reeds have a sweeter tone than steel reeds.

I have friend who has a brass reeded English Concertina and it certainly seems to be true in his case.


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM

It really depends a lot upon the instrument and the quality of the reeds. A really good steel reeded box can sound just as 'sweet' as a brass reeded box, and far less 'wheezy'.

But a brass reeded box that's been properly regulated and voiced will sound really good, albeit quieter than steel. Quiet isn't necessarily a Bad Thing!


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Subject: RE: Cajun box: brass -v- steel reeds
From: Dead Horse
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 09:33 PM

Ask the manufacturer mate.
The maestro Junior Martin wot has the crab/crawfish logo. (depending on how far you stretch the bellows - in your case its more like a centipede)
The boss Marc Savoy & his Acadian brand. (you should have had a word with his daughter at Broadstairs)
Both guys are happy to bore your socks off talking about proper accordions (i.e. the cajun variety)
But knowing the hard life you put your machines through,
I would suggest wrought iron reeds and a bellows fashioned from elephant hide :-)

Those slant eyed heathens make a similar model called an Alliette, I believe, which make a very sweet sound as they crackle on a real log fire :-) (-:

P.S. How sweet did ya find the sound of my much loved Larry miller Bon Ton? Chris prefers its sound to his own Martin.


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