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Replacing Suzuki Welded Reeds: How-to Video

Back to the Maintenance, Repair and Customization Room

May 12, 2009 8:18 AM GMT

Suzuki are unique in using a welding process to attach their harmonica reeds (all other brands use the traditional riveting method). Welding allows for very precise alignment of the reed in the slot, because the reed is held in place at the optimum position before being fixed by the weld. With riveting, the pre-made holes in the reed and reedplate are what set the reed in position.

So that's good, but one big issue for many players about Suzuki harmonicas is "How do I replace a reed when it goes?". One option is to simply buy replacement reedplates, but that could be a bit expensive. Besides, many players these days want to get more hands-on with their harmonicas and replace individual reeds.

Suzuki do make a punch tool for replacing chromatic and tremolo reeds, but it is heavy, very expensive, and only available to a few company employees. It's not a practical option for most players, and certainly not the majority who play diatonic harps.

Well, help is at hand! I've come up with my own very simple and reliable process. It only takes about 5 minutes, and uses basic tools that most players will own already. I've made a short video to demonstrate how to do it:

You will see from this how easy and quick it is to replace Suzuki welded reeds - in fact, about as simple and fast as replacing a riveted reed. (As with all new techniques, try on an old harp first before fixing your favourites).


Brendan Power

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Comments (6)

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May 12, 2009 10:23 PM GMT
Joe Replied:

That was a great video BP!

May 13, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
FatJim Replied:

Great video.

Where do you get those reed screws?

May 13, 2009 8:52 PM GMT
BP Replied:

You can get the reed screws from Oz Leguizamo of Suzuki USA:

May 13, 2009 9:40 PM GMT
Randy S Replied:

That trick with the masking tape really made me feel stupid. Sometimes the most simple approach is the best.

May 14, 2009 7:59 AM GMT
Kingley Replied:

Great video Brendan!

May 14, 2009 9:04 AM GMT
BP Replied:

Talking of stupid, I made a mistake on the small drill bit: it should be 1.2mm, not 1.1mm. Of course that only refers to Suzuki reed screws; the hole sizes will be different for other reed screws, such as those sold by Harponline.

I've now made two new videos on replacing Suzuki chromatic harmonica reeds, with extra personal tricks and tweaks (see other post). BP

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