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Tuning chromatic

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 pm
by Lizzy
Do you tune your chromatic with the reedplates screwed on or do you just hold the reedplate with your fingers on the comb? The option to plink the reed to settle after a slight tuning is not avaiable if the reedplate is screwed.
Another question...If no one else have Seydel deluxe steel maybe Brendan can answer what the size on the rivets are? Regarding to Seydel they use a slightley different rivets on their chromatics and they recomended me to send it to their service if a reed is broken. But i have changed reeds many times before and suspect that a 1.4 screw could fit?

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:01 pm
by Lizzy
I guess no one tune their chromatics :lol:

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:58 pm
by CrawfordEs
I take the plates off and use a section cut from an old comb to test the tuning as I go. Once close I put them back on the real comb and fine tune them there.

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:05 pm
by triona
Lizzy wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:01 pm
I guess no one tune their chromatics :lol:

Me do. 8-)
If you can read German, look here: ... 23&t=13611

dear greetings

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:38 am
by Lizzy
Crawford....this was also my approach but was curious if there was anyone else who had a different method. Have tuned diatonic several years but are new to chromatic. A chromatic also have 2 reeds in each chamber and valves which differs from standard diatonic.

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:40 am
by Brendan
It depends what you mean by "tuning".

If you mean retuning reeds by a semitone or more to make altered scales, it is better to disassemble and do the retune on the bare reedplates.

But for fine tuning, its best to retune whilst assembled - including the mouthpiece and slider. That's became the tuning, especially in the high octave, is affected by the chamber volume/length when combined with your oral cavity. You need to tune in the actual playing position, which includes the extra 7-10 mm added by the slider/mouthpiece.

If you use a small battery engraver it helps to make it easy. I use one like this:

To tune the slide-out notes is easy. Use a shim to support the draw reeds and a reed lifter poked through the mouthpiece holes to raise the blow reeds up for tuning. Lift the valves with a second thin part so you can work on the reed tip or root with the engraver.

For the slide-in notes, either tighten the mouthpiece screws so the slide us held in, or jam in a suitable bit of plastic rod into the top or bottom slider hole to hold the slider in. Then proceed as with the slider out.

You'll be surprised how tuning alters once the mouthpiece is on, so it's worth doing the fine tuning with the harmonica as it will be played. It also allows you to check octaves properly.

I don't know about Seydel rivet sizes, sorry.

Re: Tuning chromatic

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:00 am
by Lizzy
Thanks for all tips :D I have used that battery engraver for a long time now, small, very handy and easy to operate. I use powerchromatic so i only use valves on one side which make it easier. Only need to find a longer and better reed lifter or simply use the battery engraver without any support. The diamond tip does a good job anyway. Regarding rivet sizes...Brendan...i saw your youtube video on playing 12 major scales on powerchromatic and assumed that you owned one but that does not mean that you have one or have broken any reed either.