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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000176.txt from 2010/12

From: "Steve Hartman" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Splotchy Reeds
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 22:26:20 -0500

It sounds like mold. Are you using water to wet the reeds? If so, try
using saliva exclusively on the two unused reeds and see whether the same
effect occurs.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth Metz" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, December 24, 2010 10:04 PM
Subject: [kl] Splotchy Reeds

> I've never experienced this before and I'm curious to know if anyone else
> has. A couple of months ago I opened a new box of reeds and began using
> first four, and later another four, all of which gradually became
> discolored
> over period of a few weeks.
> It began with small dark spots or lines that eventually grew to cover from
> 10% to as much as 80% of the flat side and perhaps 50% of the other side,
> although it varied considerably from reed to reed. The discoloration
> appears, in color and pattern, as if someone had held a pencil sideways
> and
> randomly jiggled it over the reed surface to cover it with graphite,
> similar
> to what one does when attempting to see impressions in a writing pad of
> previously written note by covering over the portion of the paper that has
> not been impressed by the writing implement (imagine Cary Grant doing this
> in North By Northwest). However, neither wiping nor scraping the surface
> removes the discoloration. And soaking the reeds seemed to accelerate the
> process.
> All the reeds played fairly well (with the usual variations) although I
> stopped using them as the discoloration progressed. (I had hoped to use
> them in a December concert but thought better of it.) There are still two
> unused reeds that appear to be perfectly normal. (I'm saving them for a
> future experiment.) No other reeds showed this effect during the same time
> period, even though they were all treated the same and stored in the same
> place when not being used.
> Any ideas about what is happening here?
> Ken Metz
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