Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Like another member I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my valved suzuki promaster, but I’ve not read any answers to this problem - some of the reeds seem to frequently stick, causing an annlying a delay in the attack of the note you want to play. Often the note is quiet, despite a fair bit of air being sent into the hole, then suddenly the valve opens and and trimming the valves.What is the solution, other than stick to Lee Oskars at half the price?

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Might be worth an e-mail to Brendan Power at http://www.brendan-power.com/ - he does lot of work on these, (and many others), so may well be able to help - I’m told he is very generous with advice

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Assuming that your Promaster is not ancient, and that the valves are reasonably clean, you may be able to solve the problem by warming your harp before playing. If you play a stone-cold valved harp the condensation from your breath on the cold surfaces will cause valves to pop or stick. It’s a well-known phenomenon with any valved harp. My low D XB40 is a real pig unless I warm it first. It’s easy enough to warm harps at home before practising, but if you’re taking them to sessions or gigs a really good solution is to put the harp in some kind of little bag or pouch with one of those gel hand-warmers, the ones you reactivate by boiling in water and which you start off by flexing a little metal disc. One of those will keep your harps at ideal temperature for a couple of hours or more (and they come in pairs, and they are very cheap). I do this with my XB40s and my two chromatics and I never have any trouble with sticking valves. I’ve been using the same ones I bought for three quid three years ago. The traditional method was to put the harp down the front of your trousers to warm up, the only risk being that lots of people will think you’re pleased to see them.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

I’ve found that the synthetic motor oils take care of most valve problems on my street bikes, reducing engine wear and making maintenance much easier. But Steve seems to know what he’s talking about, though I’ve never tried to shove a whole motorcycle down my pants….

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

I have no experience with valved harps. But I have some Hohner Special 20’s. When they act up I dip them in boiling water with a pair of tongs and swish them around. It cleans all sorts of schmutz out of them. I then set them on a towel to cool off slowly. They play like new until getting schmutzed up again. Anyone ever done that with valved harps?

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Vrooom, vrooom… πŸ˜€ Sorry…

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Don’t do that with valved harps. Don’t even do that with SP20s. Plastic-bodied unvalved harps, such as SP20s and Oskars, can be cleaned by washing them fore and aft under a stream of tepid water, then giving them a damn good shaking out. Toilet sinks in hygienic pubs are a boon. Your mouth must contain absolutely no residues from food or sweet drinks if you’re serious about playing. It’s murder when the generous landlord brings out big bowls of chips half way through the evening. Eat the chips then, for the next half-holur, only play harps that are made of plastic and metal and which have no valves. When bits of chip get lodged in the reeds you can then wash them out in the bogs. In the sink. Duh. I don’t know why but pubic hairs also have a habit of getting stuck in reeds. They look like pubic hairs anyway. Rinsing usually does the trick but by far the best thing is to understand what materials can clog your reeds and avoid such materials like the plague. And always have substitute harps with you. You’re playing Irish so that only means D and G harps, yer tight bugger!

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

"I don’t know why but pubic hairs also have a habit of getting stuck in reeds."

Quoth the man who stuffs them down his pants…..
πŸ˜€

I had no idea harmonicas were such salacious instruments. πŸ™‚

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Well Steve, I didn’t mean to alarm anybody. I’ve been cleaning my Special 20’s like that for 10 or more years at least once a year and they still play like champs. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. A friend from Nashville that played Special 20’s told me to do that. His harps lasted for eons too. The crusty schmutz doesn’t seem to clean out with tepid water. He said warm the harp first with tap water, then dip and swish vigerously in the boiling, then cool them slowly. I just cleaned two of them a couple weeks ago when they got temperamental. They played sweet again as soon as they cooled off. Pulled em out a minute ago and they play great. 10 years and still playing great. It’s working for me. I’m gonna keep doing the same. Not saying you should though.
BTW I play blues cross harp. I don’t use harps for ITM
I use pipes for ITM.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

I suppose boiling would also reduce the risk of HTDs….

πŸ˜›

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Not to mention that hard chunk of crusty schmutz that flys loose on a deep bluesy inhale bend and gets lodged in the back of your throat. That’s no joke man. :-o

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

I find with valved harmonicas that if I blow really hard that the attack is stifled, especially on the lower notes. Best not to force it by playing too hard. It’s like the little valves overload and stop working properly.

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"I don’t know why but pubic hairs also have a habit of getting stuck in reeds."

Do you find that they can sometimes get stuck all over your face, Steve?

πŸ˜€

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

I’m so glad that Will actually used the "H" word! I was thinking,
"Suzuki", "XB40", "valves", are we talking about motorcycles?

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Pubic hairs in a mouth-organ LOL. Always check the colour.

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Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

To Boatpiper - the tepid water wash is carried out on my harps after every couple of hours’ playing, not once a year! There’s no crusty, er, schmutz build-up if you do that. I just don’t like the idea of violent expansion/contraction of the different metals that boiling could cause (the reed rivets are not made of brass) but that’s just theory, and whatever stirs yer loins, as they say…

To Brown Creeper - from what you describe your issue is almost certainly not with valves but with reed gapping that is too low for your style of hard playing. This would be particularly noticeable on the lower blow notes. You may need to increase some gaps - lever the reed up so that it sits at a slightly bigger angle to the reedplate. There’s a fine dividing line between being too cautious, thereby doing nothing at all, and being too brutal and bending the metal, so go gingerly and practise on a knackered harp first if possible. Look it up before you do it, though having said that it’s easy enough to do.

I suppose it could be beard hairs. Next time I dislodge one from a reed I’ll do a microscopic examination and report back. Does anyone know the difference? Another culprit is fluff from a pocket, especially if you keep tissues in the same pocket and stuff the harp in there without its box. But you’ve gotta live, eh?
.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Steve, is that how you stop random punters from borrowing your harmonics? Just mentioning offhand what a hassle it is to get pubic hairs out of the reeds.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

*harmonicas, even

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Hmm, trouble with that approach is that it could actually encourage punters of certain predilections. Moving swiftly on…πŸ˜€

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Steve, I also rinse mine with tap water after playing if it’s available. When I’m out hiking or something there may be no way to rinse them. For that reason they get sluggish every year or so regardless of washing them when I can. It’s probably the tiny crevices where the reeds contact the plate that slowly build up.

This is metal and plastic we’re talking about. It can handle the the expansion contraction when done slowly and carefully by warming and softening the crustys with tap water. The dip and swish in the boiling water lasts 10 to 15 seconds.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

This discussion has cured me of any residual notion of taking up the harp. Thank you, gentlemen - I was spread a little too thin, anyway.

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Boatpiper’s last post makes it sound like he can’t get near tap-water for a year at a time! πŸ˜€ There’s a lot of received wisdom about harmonica-cleaning around, a bit like when to sow your seeds and prick out in gardening lore, so all power to his elbow. I just like to think my harps are clean at the start of a long evening, that’s all.

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After reading some of the comments on this thread, I have temporarily lost interest in my harmonicas. At least until certain images have faded from my memory……..

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Steve, do we want to know what happens between the start of a long evening and the end of it?










Probably not….. πŸ™‚

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

My harps go on some great adventures. Most definately my 2nd most portable instrument. First being voice. I always take a harp or a whistle with me on hikes. Canoe or kayak trips. Saltwiter is really bad for cleaning them. River water has heeby jeebys in it. If I’m backpacking, I’ll have water in the evening that will work. But that gets used for cooking. My harps are a super knockaround fun time wherever I may be. They get dirty man. Can’t be squeemish and play mouth harp on a backpacking trip. The Pipes? Well that’s a whole different story. It’s not like you can stuff those in your trousers then take off on a hike. Unless you’re Miss Lonelyhearts. You can stuff the pipes in the saddlebags of your streetbike, then stuff the whole lot down your trousers. Hey Lonelyhearts, we’ll wait for ya at the lake, take your time, that’s some load you got!

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

It’s a sure sign that the harmonica is becoming a mainstream instrument (sort of), when someone can start a thread without actually saying ‘harmonica’ or ‘mouth organ’, and get so many informed (?) contributions.

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Heheh, "saltwiter." That’ll teach you to use words with the letter sequence t w a t in ‘em! πŸ˜€

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

"Steve, do we want to know what happens between the start of a long evening and the end of it?





Probably not….."

Naturally, I’m seriously encouraged by "probably…" πŸ˜€

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Wait…. you’re saying you stuff your pipes into your trousers, Boatpiper? That’s way more hard core than anything you can do with a harmonica.

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I dunno…those 16-hole Larry Adlers in C are pretty big boys, and have you ~seen~ those huge bass harps…

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Steve, justwit are you implying her?

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Have you ever seen a full set of uilleann pipes?

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Just sayin’…..

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Silver, Just wait til ya see whats up my sleeve!!πŸ˜›

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Your sleeve is involved as well? Is this getting into bizarre contortionism??






I feel sorry for the original poster. He asked a technical question about troubles with his moothie and his thread has descended into this debauchery. πŸ™‚

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Same thing happened first time I chimed in.
Now just look at me!
I’m corrupted forever!
Ashamed o meself I tell ya, complete debauchery.πŸ˜›
Gimme a dollar and I’ll show ya what’s up my sleeve.

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Just visited this thread again, and have even more images to purge from my mind before the next time I play my harmonicas! πŸ˜‰

Re: Problems with Suzuki Promaster valved

Just ordered a valued pro master and a Suzuki humming tremolo. Hopefully no problems with sticky reeds. I know you should leave the harmonica out to dry after use and don’t drink alcohol when playing the harmonica.
Best of luck