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Halifax

What's The Benefit Of A 7-Fold Bellows?

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Hi, All:

 

Just curious. What is the benefit of a 7-fold bellows? My current concertina has 6 and I'm wondering what I'm missing out on.

 

Thanks,

 

cdm

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If you play a lot of two-handed stuff with lots of big chords, you might find you run out of air less quickly, but if you are already managing well with a 6 fold you might find it has a slight advantage in quickness.

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Hi, All:

 

Just curious. What is the benefit of a 7-fold bellows? My current concertina has 6 and I'm wondering what I'm missing out on.

 

Thanks,

 

cdm

Fewer bellows reversals on an English. Usually found on instruments with extended lower range reeds.

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7 I think is very unusual with englishes and the difference between 6 and 7 just marginal. If you really need more volume with an english it may be a matter 10 rather than 7.... 7 is not unusual with anglos and the difference between 5 and 7 may be significant but in real the "difference" between 6 and 7 it may just as well be a matter of makes and models. Comparing exactly the same model with 6 or 7 may have some, but mostly very little, importance as well I think. The efficiency is depending on so much else.

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Mike

 

I notice that you are making bellows for your ECs with deep folds like those normally found on Anglos.

 

Care to discuss your findings?

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Thanks, All:

 

If you play a lot of two-handed stuff with lots of big chords, you might find you run out of air less quickly, but if you are already managing well with a 6 fold you might find it has a slight advantage in quickness.

I am running out of air with my 6-fold Anglo on some tunes, but perhaps it's manageable by working with alternate fingerings and practicing quick sips with the air button. Might become more of a problem as I introduce more chords, but from what I'm hearing, if the technique isn't there, a 7-fold bellows ain't gonna help much.

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7 I think is very unusual with englishes and the difference between 6 and 7 just marginal. If you really need more volume with an english it may be a matter 10 rather than 7.... 7 is not unusual with anglos and the difference between 5 and 7 may be significant but in real the "difference" between 6 and 7 it may just as well be a matter of makes and models. Comparing exactly the same model with 6 or 7 may have some, but mostly very little, importance as well I think. The efficiency is depending on so much else.

 

The extra folds help compensate for the drain that large reeds can have on bigger instruments but not necessarily to add more than a few seconds of sustain. In the case of the bellows I made for my Lachenal TT, I also made the folds an extra 3/8 inch deeper. Deeper bellows' folds exert more leverage at the hinge points, thus they tend to be looser in feel, which helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments.

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"Might become more of a problem as I introduce more chords, but from what I'm hearing, if the technique isn't there, a 7-fold bellows ain't gonna help much."

 

 

My Morse G/D has 6 fold bellows. The deeper pitched reeds use more air than those of my C/G, and I play a lot of left-hand accompaniments, and play loud for my Sword Dancers. When I was starting out I did often run out of air, but over time managing the bellows and air became second nature, and the 6 fold works just fine. You mentioned 2 tricks that work very well- taking "sips" of air on the fly is something that i do without even thinking now.

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Thanks, All:

 

Snip..Snip ...

 

I am running out of air with my 6-fold Anglo on some tunes, but perhaps it's manageable by working with alternate fingerings and practicing quick sips with the air button. Might become more of a problem as I introduce more chords, but from what I'm hearing, if the technique isn't there, a 7-fold bellows ain't gonna help much.

 

Before you blame yourself for lack of skill & technique are you sure that you are not losing air due to holes in the bellows or faulty seals, gaskets, valves or pads??

 

Jake

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. Deeper bellows' folds exert more leverage at the hinge points, thus they tend to be looser in feel, which helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments.

 

Can you explain that more...I agree that the deeper folds makes the bellows "looser" , or at least more flexible, but

in what way do you mean it " helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments." ?

 

A "large" ( diameter) instrument needs extra force, yes. If the "volume" is larger only due to a longer bellows

( one with more folds) the stability is less ( if constructed the same way except from number of folds). You don't

need extra force for pumping but you will waste more effort on stabilizing it. I would assume then that a wide

AND long bellows (one with "larger volume"...) would be easier to handle with more shallow folds...??

A bellows with small diameter, but very long, would become fairly hopeless to manage if having deep folds...or?

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"Might become more of a problem as I introduce more chords, but from what I'm hearing, if the technique isn't there, a 7-fold bellows ain't gonna help much."

 

 

My Morse G/D has 6 fold bellows. The deeper pitched reeds use more air than those of my C/G, and I play a lot of left-hand accompaniments, and play loud for my Sword Dancers. When I was starting out I did often run out of air, but over time managing the bellows and air became second nature, and the 6 fold works just fine. You mentioned 2 tricks that work very well- taking "sips" of air on the fly is something that i do without even thinking now.

 

 

 

 

Thanks, All:

 

Snip..Snip ...

 

I am running out of air with my 6-fold Anglo on some tunes, but perhaps it's manageable by working with alternate fingerings and practicing quick sips with the air button. Might become more of a problem as I introduce more chords, but from what I'm hearing, if the technique isn't there, a 7-fold bellows ain't gonna help much.

 

Before you blame yourself for lack of skill & technique are you sure that you are not losing air due to holes in the bellows or faulty seals, gaskets, valves or pads??

 

Jake

 

Bill N and Jake, I've got a new-ish Morse Anglo and the bellows are beautifully sound. I've only been playing for 6 months or so, so my comment about lack of skill and technique is not false modesty. All this info about 6 vs 7 bellow folds is super helpful. Thanks!

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. My takeaway is that for playing Irish trad on my Morse, a 6-fold bellows is fine and my life wouldn't change too much if I got the Button Box to add a new bellows with another fold.

 

My best to y'all.

 

cdm

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Indeed Halifax,

 

you can see from videos that many people who play Irish Trad on the Anglo tend to keep the Bellows fairly closed, rarely using much extension of the folds. This allows faster direction changes , of air pressure, due to the less flexible nature of the Bellows when they are close to closed. A much more legato change of air direction will happen when the Bellows is extended. This is easy to test for yourself.

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. Deeper bellows' folds exert more leverage at the hinge points, thus they tend to be looser in feel, which helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments.

 

Can you explain that more...I agree that the deeper folds makes the bellows "looser" , or at least more flexible, but

in what way do you mean it " helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments." ?

 

A "large" ( diameter) instrument needs extra force, yes. If the "volume" is larger only due to a longer bellows

( one with more folds) the stability is less ( if constructed the same way except from number of folds). You don't

need extra force for pumping but you will waste more effort on stabilizing it. I would assume then that a wide

AND long bellows (one with "larger volume"...) would be easier to handle with more shallow folds...??

A bellows with small diameter, but very long, would become fairly hopeless to manage if having deep folds...or?

 

Larger volume instruments produce less pressure for a given amount of force, yet the larger scale reeds in general require more pressure. They tend to be slower to speak. Stability can definitely be compromised by deeper folds, though the set of deep-fold bellows I made for the Lachenal TT are not a problem. I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds.

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Larger volume instruments produce less pressure for a given amount of force, yet the larger scale reeds in general require more pressure. They tend to be slower to speak. Stability can definitely be compromised by deeper folds, though the set of deep-fold bellows I made for the Lachenal TT are not a problem. I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds.

 

Sorry but I don't see what you mean:

"Larger volume instruments produce less pressure for a given amount of force,"

If the volume is larger since the bellows is longer (more folds) the pressure/force relation is the same. If the volume

is larger since the end area is larger you do get less pressure for a given amount of force. Right?

" the larger scale reeds in general require more pressure".

What has larger scale reeds with it to do? If you play a high note and a low note ( larger reed) simultaneously the

"pressure" is the same, is it not? The air flow however is larger through the larger reed.

" I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds".

Can you explain that more? What travel? And this still remains a riddle:

" they tend to be looser in feel, which helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments".

How does the flexibility (being "looser"..) compensate for the extra force?

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Indeed Halifax,

 

you can see from videos that many people who play Irish Trad on the Anglo tend to keep the Bellows fairly closed, rarely using much extension of the folds. This allows faster direction changes , of air pressure, due to the less flexible nature of the Bellows when they are close to closed. A much more legato change of air direction will happen when the Bellows is extended. This is easy to test for yourself.

 

Thanks, Geoff: As a beginner, I probably tend to extend the bellows too much, and have not yet noticed that ITM players keep it closed. I'm too busy trying to keep up with the session! There is so much to think about. Today in my practice, I'll work on keeping the bellows tight and taking more frequent sips of air. Thanks!

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Larger volume instruments produce less pressure for a given amount of force, yet the larger scale reeds in general require more pressure. They tend to be slower to speak. Stability can definitely be compromised by deeper folds, though the set of deep-fold bellows I made for the Lachenal TT are not a problem. I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds.

 

Sorry but I don't see what you mean:

"Larger volume instruments produce less pressure for a given amount of force,"

If the volume is larger since the bellows is longer (more folds) the pressure/force relation is the same. If the volume

is larger since the end area is larger you do get less pressure for a given amount of force. Right?

" the larger scale reeds in general require more pressure".

What has larger scale reeds with it to do? If you play a high note and a low note ( larger reed) simultaneously the

"pressure" is the same, is it not? The air flow however is larger through the larger reed.

" I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds".

Can you explain that more? What travel? And this still remains a riddle:

" they tend to be looser in feel, which helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments".

How does the flexibility (being "looser"..) compensate for the extra force?

 

Wim Wakker writes about this much more eloquently than I in his section on "Reeds" and air pressure. Getting back to the original post, the advantage of additional folds is additional time - time to play a phrase or a chord.

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