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Lachenal New Model English - Missing Reeds Or Air Button?


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#1 Alex West

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:44 PM

I've just been sent a Lachenal New Model English 48 key treble for a bit of a tune-up.  Nothing too serious, just a bit slow.

 

There's one curious thing though.  Although the layout appears to be a standard 48 key treble English, both the push and draw reeds for the upper Bb6 (the "northernmost "button on the accidental row closest to the thumb on the left side) are missing, thus creating an "air" button.  The slots are all there, ready for reeds but there are obviously no valves or valve pins (notes that high probably wouldn't have them anyway)

 

Was this standard, or might this be something that a previous owner has done (on the that that upper accidental was hardly ever used)?

 

I'm asking the current owner whether he wants to keep it like this or have me put in replacement reeds but I'm keen to know what the original might have been.

 

Alex West



#2 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 05:07 AM

Probably not unusual  Alex.

 

The temptation to provide  an air button  on an  EC  can be strong.  I currently do not have  one on my band/session  English  and have considered  making  a proper one  but I have  come across  several  with removed  reeds  oribablt for this very purpose.

 

I've just  become used to pressing lots  of  keys  when needing a silent  closing of the bellows. One is, of  course, supposed to plan one's playing  to end a piece  with a closed bellows!


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 08 November 2017 - 05:11 AM.


#3 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 06:01 AM

Like Geoff I had established the workaround of pressing down lots of buttons to more or less silently close the bellows, but with increasing number of folds and overall volume of the (replacement) bellows the temptation would most likely rise (at least I positively have use for the - single - air lever provided by my Model 24 with seven-folds bellows).

 

Though the removal of a pair of reeds may be common I can't convince myself of such a solution having been provided by the maker himself back then - and I guess I personally would be bothered by the occurring gap, as there are no enharmonically surplus reeds available in the highest register - however unlikely the usage of the particular reed may seem; but this may be a sort of foolish thing).

 

Best wishes - Wolf



#4 John Wild

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:50 AM

I have met a few players who have removed a pair of reeds for this purpose. They did retain the reeds in case they were needed by themselves or a future owner.



#5 DickT

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 11:59 AM

Just to clear this up; it's my concertina and for years I have removed these reeds on my instruments to create a breather button. I have never needed this note so it does not limit my playing. I keep the reeds so that they can be re-installed by a new owner.

 

Alex, please keep it as it is. 



#6 conband

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 12:13 PM

A perfectly good ploy I've used it myself, though I prefer the top high  D sharp, on the right hand side:

 

1.  Outside row, very last, so I can find it even with my eyes closed

 

2.  It has an enharmonic mate, E  flat, on the left hand side, if needed.

 

3.  I never have been able to sing that high so don't really miss it.

 

4.  No lasting damage.

 

Les Branchett



#7 d.elliott

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 03:32 PM

I regularly get 'tinas with missing reeds like this, some times on the compress side of the reed pan only. Every time I see it I tend to wince, the instrument is not complete anymore, there must be a little goblin with a stack of matchboxes all with either one or two reeds in them. I have a Rock Chidley baritone on the bench with just this issue, what happened to the reeds all those years ago? back to my Goblin Theory.

 

Dave


Edited by d.elliott, 08 November 2017 - 03:32 PM.


#8 DickT

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 06:08 PM

If Dave is regularly seeing 'tinas modified like this it would seem that players want this feature. It may be orthodoxy that you should finish a piece with the bellows closed but I have certainly never been able to achieve this and find the removal of a never-used reed the solution to closing the bellows without an unseemly squawk. I have no qualms in doing this to make the 'tina play as I want but I do keep the reeds in the case against future need. I do wonder how many players ever use this Bb; can we have a straw poll? I don't think I have ever played above the C below this, it's squeaky bat territory. 



#9 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

I never thought I did ,or would, go  up so high but  one of my favourite  EC's  is a Baritone /treble  that  does not have the top  row of buttons  of  a 48 Treble , and now and again I miss  those  notes.

 

The  air button   on the English  appears  to be a  20th century  addition... it probably was not  thought necessary  before, and appears to ,perhaps , have started some time after the  'Bowing Valves' idea..

 

I  have a 120 bass accordion  that was made without an air button ! :blink:


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 10 November 2017 - 02:15 AM.





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