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Best way to adjust?

1464 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Peter B
My regular Gonzalez 2¾ reeds are not available right now and they have a delivery date of a couple of months, so I'm stuck with either trimming a bit off 2½s with a reed cutter, or shaving down 3s with reed rush. I've tried both methods and I'm not getting good results with either. I get the closest approximation to a 2¾ feel by trimming about ½+mm off a 2½, but it's not a good end result - it just feels strange, but that may be me not the reed. I've totally failed with the reed rush. All I get after shaving down a 3 is a reed that sounds horrible and doesn't last 5 minutes, so I guess I'm doing something wrong there.

So I wondered what the best advice is to manufacture a decent playing reed between a 2½ and a 3, cut down the softer one or shave down the harder one, and if its the latter, how is it best done?
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I'd try this - use the harder reeds, and sand them down on the back using fine (320 grit or higher) sandpaper on a piece of plate glass. Or, if you have a fine flat file (from a hardware store) you can sand the back on it - just make sure it is reasonably new so that it is still flat. I've done this to some Gonzalez 3 1/4 reeds to get them to be more like 3's, and it works OK.

You could also use fine sandpaper as above, and carefully sand the vamp. Use strokes that do not touch the heart of the reed - start on the side of the vamp and progress to the center of the tip in a single stroke, so that you sand a triangle shaped section on one side of the reed. Do each side, one stroke at a time. Test often. If the tip seems responsive, but the reed is too hard, sand the entire vamp.
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