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Does reed pipes could made by wood?

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    Does reed pipes could made by wood?


    Does anyone know/see if reed pipes could made by wood?

    best wishes,


    Reed resonators are often made of wood. The Contrebombarde at Katwijk aan Zee has huge mahogany resonators, which certainly contributes to its scary-big sound. In a lot of smaller organs, though, one finds reed resonators using somewhat smaller pieces of wood; the effect is much darker and more foundational than anything metal can do (except if it is abnormally thick and mostly lead). Skinner was very fond of wooden reed resonators for this reason. For short-resonator pipes like regals, the use of wood can still impart a certain flavor to the sound, though the sound will still be unpleasantly regal-like (that's not going to change).
    It's certainly possible to make the other parts of the reed pipe with wood, but in my opinion, metal is more useful for the shallots. If you must use wood, make sure it is dense and hard, for a decently reedy tone. The reeds themselves must always be made of metal, though. I guess it would be possible in theory to make the reeds out of wood like on a clarinet or saxophone, but the tone would change significantly, and you'd need to recalculate a lot of dimensions. Since few people have tried, you'll have to work out the physics for yourself. I recommend sticking with metal reeds, though wood resonators are useful at times.

    The problem with big wooden resonators, of course, is cost. Back in "the day", Skinner made so many 32' voices with huge solid pieces of wood, perhaps three inches thick. Prices have increased so much since then; it's kinda sad, though I'm glad new organs are reusing old pipes which would be too expensive to make nowadays. The new Taylor & Boody at Grace Church NYC is reusing the wooden 32 Double Open from the (two times) previous organ, for instance.
    As of 7/16/2013, no longer active on forum.
    Practice hard, practice well.


      The original reed pipe was a wooden instrument:


      The vibrating reed itself can be wood or metal.

      I don't know if a wooden reed would be practical in a pipe organ.

      Hammond M-102 #21000.
      Leslie 147 #F7453 in the queue.
      Hammond S-6 #72421


        Yes, they can be made of wood, but the vibrating reeds and shallots are generally made of metal. That's because wood would become fatigued very quickly and would lose its tone. Think of a clarinet or saxophone player having to change reeds continually--you wouldn't want that on a pipe organ. However, the rest of the pipe body could be made of wood. That is sometimes the case for Pedal reeds of 32' length. Check the following links:I hope this helps clarify your question.

        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos