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Mike Pierceall

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Everything posted by Mike Pierceall

  1. You mean other than elation? ...you would need to modify either the geometry of the bellows to fit the new instrument... or vice versa? I've been lucky in that I've never had to replace the bellows in the Aeolas or the one Edeophone I've owned. I wonder if they are inherently more durable.
  2. I've just finished making a spare set of bellows for the next instrument that (hopefully) finds its way to my doorstep. Here is the video I made of the process along with some background music I've recorded over the years. It's here:
  3. Perhaps it would be more illustrative to compare the video you reference against another I made of the same instrument with the original bellows here:
  4. Ok, let's agree then that larger reeds consume a greater air flow but the pressure conditions are the same for small and large reeds while playing. The on-set by larger reeds however may be slower. Concerning folds again...mostly the difference between 6 or 7 has very little practical significance but of course mainly depending on the music ...if playing single notes 4 folds ( common among Victorian englishes) may be quite sufficient even with an anglo but you hardly find less than 5...if playing multi note harmonies with an anglo you may rather need 10 than 7. It is a matter of cost, production set-up, and tradition. The results from depth of folds are complex. If construction is exactly the same otherwise deeper folds are expected to result in less stability ( greater flexibility if that is wanted...) and less volume but it depends on how extractable the construction is. I guess that when you said: " I gained about 3 inches of travel without adding any additional folds". you meant that you could extract the bellows 3" more. Or? If so...are you sure that the total volume was any larger at all? and when you play with the bellows continuosly rather closed, the volume resource likely is smaller with the extra deep folds, meaning that you will have to do more frequent bellows reversals. Or? Have you measured it? I'm still confused regarding this : "deeper folds...helps compensate for the extra force required to operate larger volume instruments". My experience is rather that a wide bellows with shallow folds usually becomes more stable and that helps operate larger volume instruments...seemingly the opposite...but maybe I misunderstood what you said... That's an interesting insight. I found that, in practice, deeper folds exert more leverage, allow longer passages, can be made in a way that allows stability, e.g., not adding additional folds, and reduce the number of bellows reversals during play. It's a bit like the violinist using the bow to the fullest extent. This is my experience as an English player.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Fewer bellows reversals on an English. Usually found on instruments with extended lower range reeds.
  9. Back-to-back video of both models playing a popular tune. The Aeola is c 1909 with original 5-fold bellows and is in original old pitch. The Model 5 from 1918 has a new set of bellows I made and installed recently. It is in modern pitch. I restored both instruments over the past 12 months. The video is here:
  10. My first jig was of a solid blank as well but too short for 7-fold bellows. My second jig was an abs pipe, which I found difficult to use. This one was easy to make and will work with various sized bellows by adding risers or shims.
  11. After building and installing a new set of deep-fold bellows for my 1916 Lachenal New Model TT. Here:
  12. A video of my completed bellows project here:
  13. Thanks, Steve. There are a lot of 4-note chords as well as a low F drone through much of that piece, but I found the 5-fold bellows just fine. I replaced the pads and valves during the refurbishment so the instrument is very efficient in general.
  14. "I Think When I Read that Sweet Story of Old" A number of versions of this hymn tune have appeared over the years. My rendition is based on William Batchelder Bradbury's version from the 1850s. Played on a Wheatstone Aeola here:
  15. A belated offering for the Christmas Season on my recently refurbished Wheatstone 5A English treble here:
  16. Thank you for listening and Happy Holidays.
  17. End of the year offering on Soundcloud here:
  18. I am aware of CITES restrictions affecting instruments containing rosewood. Is ebony also affected?
  19. Another traditional tune for the holidays here: Or on Soundcloud: As always, thanks for listening and best to all for the New Year.
  20. Thank you, Steve. That's my arrangement, re-arranged about 10 times. 1910 must have been a good year for Aeolas. It's still in old pitch, but I like it that way. Mike
  21. I thought I'd sneak this one in before the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Here: or for Soundcloud:
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