Frankie that reed has quite a bend in it. It's better if it's straighter plus the action looks a bit too high IMO. Straightening out the reed will naturally bring the tip closer to the plate. Don't maybe try this if you're not happy tinkering with your harps. Best usually if a reed is as straight as possible for responsiveness. You use a tiny jeweler's screwdriver or the like from underneath the reed and gently press on the backside of the reed where it's at it's lowest. At the same time supporting the front of the reed with an opposing thumb. Press gently then retest by checking the reed profile if no change press slightly harder but don't get carried away as it's easy to put a permanent bend in a reed. Gently and frequent checking your results is the key not blindly going in like bull in a china shop and being heavy handed.
I agree it does look to be a bit curved on the free end.
Couple of things here. Firstly it’s good to have access to the photos but be nice if you could post an active link or embed
Also, this sort of analysis really requires consideration of both the reeds.
But, apart from the curve as noted, the gap at the tip of that draw reed seems comparatively high. Probably due to the curve but that’s not my point.
I’m wondering if I can make the point, because until you’ve seen this it might be difficult to understand what I’m trying to discuss; Something I see quite often, and seems to be almost a factory signature defect from Seydel, I’ve seen so many from that factory, is a reed where the belly is down in the slot and the tip is raised. This makes for a very difficult reed. On the one hand they usually play but are prone to choking and don’t take bends nicely, they lack power or buzz or just cut out when you try to do much with embouchure. I can’t say for sure that’s happening here but if we are seeing what B&H and I are thinking we see, the reed curved up at the end so the reed does a belly flop into the slot with the tip entering last, then it’s pretty much the same problem anyway. The thing I’m thinking of is like an extreme version. A reed shaped that way will not be able to be made play really well just through setting the gap. This is the sort of thing some call ‘advanced’ but it’s really just observation and application of pressure and counter pressure to change the shape of the reed, with the aim of having it enter the slot all at the same time, along the length. I can only echo what B&H said. If you are gonna get into this, go very steady. I’ll add, I’ve done this thousands of times with good results and only a few disasters. I have a backup plan in case of disaster because I can install new reeds. If I couldn’t do that I’d just be more careful. Also, one reason I don’t care for Seydel harps is that I find the reed material is more difficult to work with. The steel reeds are one thing and can be dealt with ok once I recalibrate the amount of persuasion required, but Seydel brass seems more brittle and easier to damage than Hohner or, say, Lee Oskar reeds.
Yeah Frankie the thing is, we are speculating. It looks a bit like it could be a bad reedshape but I can’t really tell from the photos. The 4 draw reed looks similar. If I had the Reedplate here in front of me and I could hold it and look through from the back of the slot and watch what happens when I push the reed into the slot I could say for certain but I can’t do that.
Hey! Watch this video:
Watch the first part because he is showing you how to see what’s going on. At about 7 minutes in he starts working on a harp where the 3 draw bends are not good. The problem may not be the same as yours but the principles apply.
Last Edited by SuperBee on Feb 15, 2018 1:18 AM
Somewhat OT, but that EastTop I bought had a little twist in the reeds a bit like in those diagrams. At first I thought oh, that's a bit sloppy. But I noticed all the reeds had it. I still don't know if it's an artefact of the manufacture or a deliberate thing. The only symptom is that it plays very well.
Out of interest I tried removing the twist on a reed, but the phosphor-bronze reeds are so springy it wasn't really possible.