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Everything posted by ttonon

  1. So was I, keep us informed. Tom www.bluesbox.biz
  2. Hi Sven, Most the PA reeds I've seen have the heel of the tongue, which is spring steel, extend past the midpoint of the plate. One tongue on each side of the plate. In order to split the reed, it would be simplest to cut the whole thing lengthwise with a carbide tool. But the cut must be pretty thin (it's kerf), and I'm not aware of carbide cutting wheels that thin. Alternatively, you'd have to take out the tongues, cut the aluminum plate, grind down one side of the tongue heel, then re-assemble. A lot of work. I think your second option is much easier. There could be a question of how much the tone is affected by moving the pitch so much. My guess is that this issue is much less with raising the pitch than with lowering it. Raising the pitch requires removing mass near the tongue tip, and lowering it requires removing mass from the heel end, which I believe affects dynamics much more. I'm sure others here have more experience with that. I haven't checked, but there might be clever ways to choose what PA reed to use for a particular cavity. For instance, there may be PA pitches that would allow tuning both tongues, which would require less of a pitch change for the tongue whose pitch must be lowered. Best regards, Tom www.bluesbox.biz
  3. While on this topic, is there a consensus among makers which action is superior, if any, the hook or riveted? Thanks. Tom
  4. Paul, thanks for your helpful measurements. Alex, thanks for your detailed explanation. I calculate that the average spread in all of Paul's measurement to be 0.0059 inch, or +/- 0.003 inch. Can you estimate the average gap between tongue and slot that you get with your finished product? If I recall correctly, Dana once commented that his gaps are maximum about a half thousandths of an inch. Paul's measurements indicate that the slot inaccuracies don't follow the same trends among the different results, and that would perhaps make filing the tongue more tedious. I'm curious how you visualize the gap in order to see how your filing is going. I once used an optical comparator, which, on an overhead screen, displayed a very magnified version (10x) of whatever you placed on the table, which had a glass surface that was backlit. I'd think that such an apparatus could be very helpful for this kind of work. Regards, Tom
  5. As you know, you can verify an acceptable fit with your eyes, by looking at the gap between the tongue and slot through a bright light. But it's another issue to measure and provide quantitative data that others can evaluate. So, too bad you don't have a way to do that.
  6. Can you measure the slot width at 5 - 6 places with an inside Vernier caliper and tell me what the measurements are? I'm interested in this for my own projects. Thanks. Regards, Tom
  7. Lucayala, yes, I can now see that the blocks and reed plate are two different components. I don't mean to belabor this, but have you tried 3-D printing of tongue slots? Your statement doesn't acknowledge the tolerance that is present in all fabrication. For instance, what is the tolerance of variation WITHIN a given slot? It would be something like 4.97 +/- x1 for the AVERAGE width - an issue that you can overcome by your trial-and-error approach. But there will also be a tolerance on how much different parts of the the actual slot differ from the average, or something like 4.97 +/- x2. And also, the printing machine might change the "average" value over time. Maybe you understand all that, and I mention it only because you didn't. Regards, Tom
  8. Okay, but there are still outstanding unanswered questions. (Are you familiar with these standards?) From the pictures, I don't see the separate "Plate" assembly, consisting of many tongues mounted above slots carved in their own plate portion of the assemble, as with the traditional bandoneon. But I'll take your word for it. But again, how is the necessary accuracy accomplished? Regards, Tom
  9. Hi Pistachio, why do you say a "cold weld" forms between tongue and plate? Such does not occur between dissimilar metals, and most reeds have steel tongues and aluminum plates. I doubt even with brass tongues on brass plates cold welds occur because the mating surfaces probably cannot be cleaned well enough of the metal salts that form on them, but I could be mistaken. I also don't see how any such weld would affect performance, since riveting and screwing work so well.
  10. Lucayala, I looked at the information in the link and find it most interesting that the slots in which the tongue vibrates are formed directly in the accordion-style reed blocks. How is this done? Does the 3-D printer form only a rough slot, and afterwards there's a necessary filing step to make the final shape? It's my understanding that the tongue should fit within 0.001 inch on either side within the slot, and I'd be surprised if the 3-D printing process allows such accuracy. Does it? In addition, with all the slots being an integral part of the reed block, if you make filing errors in finishing the slot, there's no simple way to fix just that one slot. I realize that many bandoneons contain metal plates that have many slots, presenting the same kind of issue, and nevertheless, makers do go in that direction. I guess the bottom line is how well these 3-D printed instruments sound and play. Have you ever played one of them? Regards, Tom
  11. Lucalaya, you ask only about tongues, but the slot the tongue vibrates in and the metal plate in which the slot is made are also important. So are the leather valves. You might be interested in this website: https://www.harmonikas.cz/cz/sortiment#obsah This company makes bandoneon, accordion, and concertina reeds, and there are subtle differences among these kinds of reeds. On this website, you can obtain much information on the tongue geometry (length, thickness, width) for the various reeds in different pitch ranges. You might also benefit from knowing the formula that calculates the natural frequency of a vibrating cantilever, which is what the tongue is. This formula strictly applies to tongues vibrating in a vacuum with a cross section that is constant throughout their length. f = 0.1615*sqrt[E*h^2/(rho*L^4)] where the material properties of the tongue are E, or Young's Modulus, and rho, density. h is tongue thickness and L is tongue length. The actual vibration frequency of the tongue will be a little less than what you calculate above, because of air resistance and inertial loading. But you can use this to get an idea of say, the thickness and length that you need. Best regards, Tom www.bluesbox.biz
  12. Richard, It's a common misconception that work hardening a metal increases its Young's Modulus. It looks simply like, "Well, steel has a higher Young's Modulus than does brass and steel is harder than brass, so I guess if you make the hardness of brass up closer to that of steel, you will also make its Young's Modulus up closer to that of steel." The misconception arises because we are talking about two different mechanisms within the metal. One is elasticity and the other is plasticity. Young's Modulus is a feature of elasticity, and elasticity is possible only for small enough stresses. Such sufficiently small stresses involve only the intermolecular forces within the material. You can visualize them as tiny springs. That implies that only the chemical nature of the material participates in the observed elastic property. Once you stress the material so much as to cause plastic deformation, you involve other forces than just the intermolecular forces. Every metal has internal features that tend to resist deformation, such as grain boundaries, inclusions, and dislocations. With plastic movement, these features get "locked in" more than they were just before deformation, and subsequent deformation escalates the resistance to relative movement that these features provide. That explains the hardening, why it's harder to cause more deformation. But the intermolecular state is not changed appreciably by the deformation. That's probably because the total volume of the material occupied by the grain boundaries and other defects is very small compared to the total volume of the material. Thus, if the material is only slightly stressed again after the deformation, those tiny springs behave just as they did before deformation.
  13. I'll give my two cents from an acoustic point of view. The only material parameter governing the vibration of cantilevers is the ratio of Young's modulus to density. In other words, all materials having that same ratio will vibrate in identical ways. However, when we consider the acoustics of the air vibrations caused by those vibrations by the tongue of a free reed, there are other complications. Yet without anything else to go by, and to a first approximation, I'd look at this ratio in trying to guess what the acoustic properties will be for different materials. That ratio for 1095 spring steel, the usual material used for tongues, hard tempered flat brass, and phosphor bronze is 2.78E8, 1.43E8, and 1.42E8, in English units of ft^2/sec^2. And the corresponding ratios are 1.00, 0.51 and 0.51. We often hear that brass tongue instruments sound softer or more mellow than steel tongue instruments, and so we might conclude that lower values of the ratio Young's Modulus to density lead to softer sounding reeds. By this criterion, phosphor bronze tongues should have a sound similar to brass tongues. In the literature they state that phosphor bronze has resistance to fatigue, and my guess is that it's superior to brass in that regard. The conclusion is thus that phosphor bronze might very well be a good choice for tongue material. Concerning fatigue, we often hear that brass tongues tend to break, and ten years ago, I did an analysis that explained why that's so. I posted it on this site at https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/14533-why-do-brass-tongues-break/#comment-138648 It's a long post and only those hard core techs will be interested, but be my guest. Tom www.bluesbox.biz
  14. Lukasz, from my calculations, I see no possible resonance interference with the tongue vibration. This applies to both Helmholtz and quarter-wave tube resonance. I thus cannot make a suggestion here, only I'm still not clear on what the basic problem is. Are you saying that all the F3 reeds you put into the "bad" cavity show the same problem? Also, that when you put those same reeds into a different cavity but with the same dimensions of the "bad" cavity, there is no problem? Best regards, Tom
  15. Hi Lukasz, I just now heard your wav file and I agree, the 1st and 3rd sounds seem restricted, and the 2nd and 4th more open or free. In my experience, such a restricted sound occurs when the mounting of the reed - most often the geometry of the cavity - begins to acoustically interfere with tongue vibration. For instance, if the port is too small, or even if the leather valve isn't opening completely enough. Alternatively, there could be some defect in the construction of the reed, such as a burr, or other way to interfere with tongue vibration. Your guess that the problem lies in a restricted second partial seems to be borne out by the spectrum. In the bad note, that partial is about 13 dB below the fundamental, and in the good note, it's only about 5 dB below the fundamental. I'm not sure there's evidence in the spectrum for your claim that the energy of that second partial is fed into the higher partials, which from my experience would be an odd occurrence, knowing what I know about the conversion of pressure pulses to audible sound. We can notice that the bad note has also a greatly reduced 8th partial, compared to that of the good note, but I doubt that has anything to do with what we hear, since the pitch of that partial is about 22,000 Hz, far above our normal hearing range. However, your discovery of this reduced second partial may give us a clue. If you'd go through the trouble of presenting here all the exact 3-D dimensions of the cavity and the size of the port, I'd be glad to take a look at it, possibly finding an identification of the second partial frequency with some way the cavity could resonate. If it's a simple rectangular cavity, it should be easy to do. Best regards, Tom
  16. Hi Lukasz, Audacity enables the calculation of a frequency spectrum showing a rectilinear graph, with sound intensity on the vertical axis and frequency on the horizontal axis. I believe that such a representation is much more useful than the kind of spectrum you posted here. If you can't figure out how to get that graph on Audacity, let me know and I can perhaps lead you through it. More basically, I don't know what your "problem" is. Apparently there's a problem with the sound of two different F3 reeds when alternatively mounted in the same cavity. Is this correct? If so, could you please explain in detail the problem in the sound? Do you think you see the "problem" in the spectrum you posted? If so, please explain. In the "Bellows pressure and musical pitch" thread, if I recall, you thought that the poor sound was because of a pronounced harmonic and I suggested you do a spectrum analysis. Do you still think the problem is with a pronounced harmonic? If so, the kind of spectral graph I describe will be most useful. Regards, Tom Tonon www.bluesbox.biz
  17. Fifer, I'm intrigued by your planned journey, and if appropriate, could you please explain some things about the mission? It's main strokes, purpose, and the organizations behind it? Are there chiefly scientific goals? Methinks it's a great opportunity for experiences that you will never forget. Best regards, Tom
  18. Hi Fifer, You'd want to be aware that the reeds might buzz when you try to play the instrument when it hasn't warmed up all the way to room temperature after a cold transport outdoors. That's because the vibrating tongues might rub against the end walls of their slots. The different coefficients of linear thermal expansion (CTE) in the reed plate material and the tongue material will cause the tongues to close the small air gap between them when at the lower temperatures. The extent of this rubbing will be affected by the kind of material used in the reed construction. The CTE for brass is about 10E-6 per degree F; for Aluminum, about 12.5E-6, and for steel about 6.5E-6. It's the difference between these values that matters. Thus for steel tongues in brass plates, the difference is 6E-6 and for aluminum plates with steel tongues it's 3.5E-6. Let's say the outside temperature is - 40 F, and let's consider one of the longer reeds, with tongues about 2 inches long. The reeds were designed (gaps were set) for room temperature, say 70 F. The delta T to consider is thus 40 + 70 = 110 F, so multiplying the delta CTE's, the delta T's, and the nominal lengths, we calculate the difference between how much the tongue lengths expand/contract and how much the slot openings expand/contract, as about 0.00076 inch for the brass/steel combination and about 0.0012 for the aluminum/steel combination. I believe I recall Dana saying that his gaps are roughly a half thousands, or 0.0005 inch, on average. We can thus conclude that for some concertina reeds, and for the lowest temperatures, there will be closure of gaps. This is especially true considering expected variations in workmanship, and for the tight condition at the corners of the slot/tongue gaps. In fact, I've noticed that with my Baldoni accordion with handmade reeds, I'd get buzzing when I brought it inside from winter temperatures only as low as about freezing. I would often press on the keyboard and gently draw air in and out of the box, until its interior warmed. I concluded that the variation in workmanship plays a large role here. Best regards, Tom www.bluesbox.biz
  19. Lukasz, I recall some of those discussions, and my conclusions are that - as a video showed - there needs to be minute tongue vibration while in its standoff position. The only physical mechanism I can think of for that vibration is the same one observed in many other systems. It's called, "vortex induced vibration." With it, vortices are shed periodically, forming "von Karman vortex streets" downstream. This shedding causes air pressure oscillations that excite the vibrator, and they couple with the vibrator, forming at a frequency close to the natural vibration frequency of the tongue. Eventually, the amplitude of tongue vibration becomes large enough to allow the tongue to enter the slot. Once that happens, the normal self-excitation mechanism takes over and the tongue vibration amplitude rapidly builds up to its normal level. I say "rapidly" only in a relative sense, since compared to other sound sources, the start transient for free reeds is rather long. Best regards, Tom
  20. Hi Dana, Perhaps we need to coin a different word for when those high frequency reeds fail to start because of a resonance conflict with the air of the cavity. Let me propose something like "dead," but I'm not too creative at the moment and maybe someone else has a better term. Of course there could be difficulty in distinguishing whether that reed is really dead or if it fails to start for other reasons, such as for instance, too small a quiescent standoff distance. I agree that the 15th harmonic is virtually always negligible and it's highly unlikely that a hindrance to its expression would prevent tongue vibration. I think at the time I illustrated the magnitudes only to give the reader a better idea of the scope and relative comparisons of the ideas I was trying to communicate. But how about for the second partial? As you well know, a chamber has many characteristics, and many involve specific dimensions, as you observe with the brightness effect of cavity height. The Helmholtz conflict I describe is only one, and being a universal property, it involves only the volume and port of the cavity. Another is the quarter wave tube vibration that is treated in the columns on the right in the Table. I don't know how much clearer I can be. I'm pointing out a simple way in which two resonant systems - the tongue and the air in a resonator - can interfere. I have not proved it rigorously, but I think that the known observation that a dead reed with a particular cavity can be brought to life through a minor tweak to a (any?) cavity dimension or a drilled hole, strongly points to resonance conflict, particularly since calculation proves that the Helmholtz frequencies coincide with the fundamental pitch of the tone in those cases. There certainly are electrical circuit analogies, and all that adds a broad base of evidence for my suggestion. Let me try this. With a standard Helmholtz geometry, during resonance, air pulses in and out of the aperture and pressure in the cavity oscillates. If you put a hole in the wall of the cavity, small compared to the aperture opening, you'd sense air pushing in and out because it's driven by those pressure oscillations. This airflow is what the Helmholtz resonator wants to do. Put a reed in the wall of the cavity and stop it from vibrating, say by gluing it's tip to the plate. During Helmholtz resonance, you would probably sense air fluctuating in and out through the minute leakage gaps between tongue and slot wall. Now release the tongue, and you can reason that the Helmholtz resonator will want to impart vibration in the tongue. But the tongue has it's own way of exciting it's own motion (not explained here), and why assume that what the resonator wants to do is the same kind of airflow the tongue needs to vibrate? You can reason by considering the phase relationship between cavity pressure oscillation and the oscillating flows through both the aperture and the reed. Each system demands its own phase relation between displacement and pressure oscillation. Why should they be the same? That's why I'm suggesting that there's a conflict. Before I looked into this, I naively thought - as many others did - that perhaps Helmholtz resonance can be exploited in helping and amplifying tongue vibration, by designing tuned cavities for each reed. But when I did the experiments, I found the opposite. Coincidence with Helmholtz or quarter wave tube resonance killed the reed! That's when it seemed obvious to me that Helmholtz resonance may indeed be a key reason for "dead" reeds. Best regards, Tom
  21. Auldfellowmelad, thanks for your suggestions and encouragement. I can find no record in the scientific literature that deals with the physics of tongue vibration in the free reed. There are articles on more general topics, and several very good articles on the acoustic sound field produced by the reed. But the latter regard the reed vibration itself only as an input sinusoidal vibrating valve. They don't "solve" for the tongue vibration on its own. Thus if any reed manufacturer in Italy made such attempts, it's largely buried to the public. From my own experience though, I doubt it. The accordion/reed industry in Italy and probably elsewhere is dominated by fixed ideas that were developed over a hundred years ago, and the field is populated by closed minds. Many people in this industry didn't think it possible that my acoustic technology for pitch bending in the free reed was even possible, and some claimed that they already knew all about it. Humorous, to say the least. Your recommendation to visit a maker is a very good one. I should mention that Dana and I have had extensive discussions via email, which probably took us to the extent of our communicable knowledge on the subject. In addition, Dana has provided me with a couple expertly-made reeds to my specifications and with which I plan to use in my own experimentation. More future plans that I hope to accomplish. Best regards, Tom
  22. Hi Lukasz, it's not clear. You say you measured the spectrum when the reed speaks on your table. Did you also measure the spectrum when it's speaking in the instrument? Regards, Tom
  23. Ales, yes, two completely different phenomenon, involving different physics, with vastly different remedies. Thanks for pointing it out. Regards, Tom
  24. Lukasz, you take me from "beating" to "buzzing," and I don't understand either. But your claim that a higher partial is overly emphasized intrigues me because such an event is rare, in my experience. Sometimes with free reeds the second partial (one above the fundamental) can have a little greater amplitude than the fundamental, but I don't know if it's really noticeable by ear. I suggest you first verify that what you say is true, and that's easy to do. Make a digital recording of the tone with an audio recorder and feed the data in a spectrum analyzer, such as Audacity, free software available on the web. You can then see very clearly whether there's a partial with an abnormally high amplitude. If that's the case, we'd know the frequency of that partial and that could be a clue in determining what cavity dimension is involved, if any. I may be wrong but I think you totally misunderstand the purpose of the table I presented. I'm not trying to design reed cavities using Helmholtz theory. I'm suggesting that the choking we observe, especially with the higher frequencies, is when the air resonance in the cavity matches close enough the fundamental of the musical tone. Air resonance happens in most all musical instruments, although the free reed is exceptional in that it occurs only sporadically, without a well understood benefit to the musical tone. I also suggest that a match with one of the lower partials can also cause problems. Once you understand the self-excited vibration of the tongue you will see the sense to this suggestion. For a builder like you, there's no need to even think about this or do any calculations. If you experience reed choking, all you do is try one of your trusted remedies and it will work, whether or not you understand why. Being human, you come up with your own theory on why, without any need to compare it with established acoustical principles. For me, there's value in identifying the underlying physics, but you don't really care about that and there's no reason you need to care. I offer this information only for those curious enough in this way. Best regards, Tom
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