Broken Reed

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  • #7450

    Hi everyone,
    I bought my Yamaha P37D about a month ago and the highest G has died after about a month of playing loudly for 4-6 hours a day. The reed collapsed and fell into the instrument and I am wondering what causes that. I’ve tuned it a good bit before and its always worked fine. Maybe this brand is just unreliable? I bought my first melodica (same model) and in two months the same thing happened; the second highest F died. Also, on both broken reeds, there is a dark discoloration on the base of the reed, where it broke. What causes this discoloration and how can I prevent it(I’m thinking it may have to do with moisture)? Also, are there other models that I can get that won’t have the reeds collapse?


    Joe, if I may ask “how loud” were you playing, if to loud, you will eventually detune or break a reed. I have broken reeds after years of playing, very rare to break that soon after you bought it. I also do not play them very loud when new, I kinda break them in slowly. That was the issue with my Hohner Superforce I played a little to loud and it detunes way to fast. I bought a new set of reeds for it and broke it in slowly. It’s almost (2) years and no issue. do you have this issue with other melodicas or just this specific make and model?


    AvatarAlan Brinton

    Is that you I’ve been hearing over here in Boise, Joe? I’m amazed that a reed would simply break off while being played, unless it has been tuned too many times and/or scraped too deeply — or bent up and down. Yamahas are very reliable. A Suzuki metal tray model (for example the M-37C) is louder, though, and can be played harder without having reed problems. Where the difference usually shows up is with a reed sticking and failing to play on the Yamaha when it is played too vigorously. Several other people besides me have reported having this issue on a Yamaha. The fix is to slightly widen the gap. But the problem will re-appear if you’re playing too forcefully, and the reed will fail and eventually break off if the gap is repeatedly adjusted.

    Discoloration is normally caused by moisture. Significant discoloration of a Yamaha reed after a month or two is shocking. If the other nearby reeds are not discolored, then it might be from undue stress on that particular reed producing metal fatigue. Lowboy has mentioned having problems with particular reeds that he had been working especially hard in performing. For example, if you have a routine you’re doing that keeps blasting the high G, its reed will go flat. If you have to keep tuning and/or gapping that reed, it will eventually fail. And it might discolor.

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