Disk Buzz

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    sidney-butler on #217845

    What should I do to get rid of a buzz that will stop if I pinch the fork just a hair tighter on the top disk? It needs a smidgeon more grip. Do I try and move the bridge pin a little back so there is more of a grip? Or is there a way to make the disk oriented so that it grips a little tighter. It is a 3rd octave G. No buzz in flat, buzz happens in natural.

    It’s just this one G natural problem that actually showed up following a regulation; the regulator came when I wasn’t able to proof the harp! That was April 2017 and just to explain how often regulations happen the prior was way back in 2011. There’s no chance this university would get another regulation so soon. The best I can hope for is 2019 and it’s still a struggle because the regulator has to drive 9 hours to get here.

    If I can use a screw driver and get this accomplished myself that would be fantastic. I have skills…I installed Delacour levers on my Troubadour C myself. I just want to be cautious on this pedal harp and first know what part I’m suppose to tweak before I try anything.


    charles-nix on #217879

    If you’re going to regulate, you need to understand what you’re doing. Steve Moss has resources on line. Carl Swanson has an excellent book in print. Both are more extensive guides than anyone could duplicate in this format.

    Even tweaking one disk is still regulation: a technician does one string at a time — 47 times. The same skills apply to one string as to 47. You need to understand exactly what you are doing before you start. Every adjustment affects other adjustments on that string, and, to some extent on other notes on the action chain.

    I will also say that installing levers is a very different kind of job than regulating a disk. I have very limited experience on pedal harps, but, for instance, I find that I must use a very closely fitted hollow ground screwdriver to avoid slipping and scratching something. You need a very accurate tuning machine to regulate. The screws are also stressed to the point that breaking one is easy. So, you have to be ready with the machine shop skills and parts to fix that if it happens. Or know a machinist.

    sidney-butler on #217880

    I hear what you are saying. I’m not afraid to try because facing the buzz for another few years will drive me insane because as a musician you work on tone and train your ears to listen in-between the notes. This makes me cringe.

    I’ve replaced disks on this harp before and worked with the little screws. It appears to be one of the Venus harps with the brass problem. And so the forks on the disks have been braking off over the years and I have had to replace the disks myself. Yes, I know it should have been taken in for the factory to replace all the faulty brass, but

    1) I didn’t identify the problem until the fourth disk had broken and happened to stumble across another harpist who told me Venus did have a brass problem at some point.
    2) My recommendation to take this harp back to Venus for disk replacements has fallen on deaf ears because it’s a university with a bureaucracy to manage.

    When I have replaced disks in the past, my intonation and tuner tells me the disk is not perfect, but it has been good enough to get me through. I will trade a small intonation error to dealing with this buzz.

    I would never do this with my own harp because I want the perfection of intonation from an expert regulator. But I’m willing to drive my harp to Chicago for a regulation every two years. The school hasn’t been willing to pay me to drive their harp in and set up accommodations for my stay, so they get their “ad hoc” regulation by me for free and if it’s not perfect, well that’s what it is.

    When a pedal rivet broke off, I had to take the harp to the physics department machine shop for a repair. I think it’s safe to say I do have a back up when something goes bad because it’s an engineering school. But, the disks and screws are available at the click of a button to order from Venus.

    I will try to find those regulation sources you recommended, because yes overall knowledge of the physical system is the secret to success.

    I have worked wonders on their instrument so far.

    So I’ve gotta try.

    sidney-butler on #217888

    I’m very glad I tried because it appears to have worked! I just was looking for a little nudge that the bridge pin was worth an attempt or not. I first tried the bridge pin, but then still changed the bite on the disk with the disk screw. Maybe none of these adjustments changed anything by a measurable amount, but overall it moved enough. And the intonation is fine. That G flat – natural – sharp series is better than many of the other strings that I haven’t touched.

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