Did you skip Parts One and Two? Don't do that!
After an exceptionally long covid-driven "curing period," nine* of the original blanks made to compare seam aligned wires with traditional top-bottom wire placement have made it to my practice box, and the results are fascinating.
*RIP bright blue seam aligned, a hapless victim of knocking my phone off the filing cabinet. A truly senseless crime.
In the interest of full disclosure, I opened all of these reeds early in the Pandemic Blankapalooza, played all of them for 30-45 minutes, then stuffed them in a box and moved them a mile into the air with my relocation from Iowa to Colorado. The good news is that all underwent the same change. The bad news is that results are also at least partially the result of clipped blank babies moving to altitude.
After almost three months of timeout, all underwent my second scrape process, which looks a little something like this:
After this, the blanks sat for another couple of days, each receiving a scale or two play time to help navigate last weeks snow (!!) and get us back to something that looks like the end of summer in terms of both heat and humidity.
Last night, each received a basic balancing scrape based on visual assessment and crow. Then came this morning...
Traditional Top-Bottom Wire Twists
Experimental Seam-Aligned Wire Twists
Pull yourself together, side wires. Look at that asymmetry!
Then I played them, standard three octave C Major with triads:
While a bit stiffer than I am accustomed to with sea level fresh clips and a reasonable, non-covid amount of time between first and second scrapes, the traditional twist reeds felt predictable and fairly consistent across registers, and you can hear the similarity between options.
The seam aligned wire experiments, though, varied wildly. As I anticipated from the warped apertures, they felt awfully stuffy and limited, though the wider throat, as pictured in the original post, kept the pitch very low - definitely far too low for poor Number Two of the pack. But was the collapse all in my head? The seam alignment *should* keep things open enough for higher air volume, right? Was the volume at the sacrifice of structure?
To the measurements once more:
Indeed, not all in my head.
The sensitivity on the lower end of the spectrum will come with final tip finishing, so I am not concerned with that. What's up with that collapsing on the upper end for all the side wires, though? Certainly not what I would hope for, but not outside the realm of adjustability. These wire placements simply prioritized opposite ends of my stability-flexibility spectrum:
!!So, the plan...
For the Traditional Top-Bottom Wire Twists:
For the Experimental Side Wire Twists:
Part Four the Final coming soon!
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