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Bob Lusk

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Folk Music loosly defined
  • Location
    Saugerties, NY USA

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  1. Thanks guys - Lots of great ideas here - I'm sure it will keep me going for awhile - ya, got wriststraps.
  2. I just took out some old time fiddle instruction books, trying to play tunes on the EC. I used to play fiddle years ago before having neck problems so I do understand the techniques. I was intrigued by the idea of duplicating shuffle bowing on EC by alternating pull and preess. I remember being told that this can wear out the bellows. A few years ago I was at NESI and there was a workshop on jigs with a technique of changing bellows direction on certain notes (can't remember details) Does anyone have experience with this? Just fooling around with it for a few minutes, it seems to have some promise. Also I seem to naturally change bellows direction for empasis. (I play Anglo shanty style). Comments and helpful links welcome. Bob Lusk
  3. This article by Bob Haskings www.concertina.com/gaskins/baffles/ was a big help. Bob was trying to reduce volume on the left side of a McCann concertina, but his technique can be used to sweeten the sound of concertinas without reducing volume. The object is to change the tone, rather than reduce volume. I ordered the material from the button box. It is a high quality white goatskin, which seems to be the material of choice these days. Originally they used pine or spruce and then later silk. I think other materials have been used. Aside from gaps around the buttons, you also need gaps around the outside edges. And the baffle is held off the fretwork by 1-3 cm using double sided foam tape. So again, it reduces the strident quality of the concertina, but does not affect volume much as long as you leave largish gaps for the air to circulate. Fretwork liner material is different. It is the same material used on acoustic speaker grills, again supposedly acoustically neutral, although I have found it affects volume a little at least on accordions. Thinking more about my original question, I guess accordion reeded instruments are less strident to begin with, so I'm not sure what baffles would do to the sound. Bob
  4. Has anyone ever tried baffles in less expensive instruments like the Jack/Jacky or Stagi? I'm really enjoying the sound in my Lachenel (sp?) since I put in leather baffles. People had been complaining that my instrument was too loud, so aside from just playing softer at sessions, I added the baffles and am very happy at the result. I have a couple of less expensive instruments around - don't have a burning desire to get into any more projects right away, but was curious if anyone has tried this. Thanks, Bob Lusk
  5. With a "friendly" Irish session, you can sit in playing just drones. Say the root notes of the chords that would be used. Then you can learn the chords and progress to integrating melody. I would caution not to play full chords loudly - you want to be background. It all helps to sit in the back row of the session. Bob
  6. so to follow up, I refit new baffles made of leather from the Button Box using Robert Gaskins technique of foam tape. Again I was not trying to reduce volume, just help the tone. Results were interesting. There seemed to be no audible difference between the leather and cardboard baffles. But the concertina sounds good and I imagine the leather will last longer than the cardboard. I'm still curious to see how pine would sound. Especially if they are hard secured to the fretboard on the six corners and 3 posts, the way older ones were, but while I'm sure I can do the carpentry required, I'm a bit tired of this right now and plan to just enjoy it the way it is right now for awhile. My assumption is that having the baffle hard secured to the fretboard, rather than just resting on foam or felt will not reduce the volume as much, but still make changes in the tone. Something for the future. Bob
  7. My reeds are steel. My tina is a Lachenal, #29694 Rosewood ends, bone buttons.
  8. Dave, Doug - Thank you for your replys. No danger I'm going to leave the fretwork unsupported. I am curious as to the effects on sound the different materials have. The cardstock I'm using certainly decreases the volume more than I would like. What about the gauze? As I said it was put on by the button box. They did a good job. But was it ever common to have both gauze and baffles. I imagine the gauze also helps the fretboard hold together structurally. BTW How thick was the felt used to hold the baffle off the fretboard? Bob
  9. OK - Lots of questions. I spent a lot of time on the Concertina Museum site looking at baffles. It looked as if pine was used on the less expensive concertinas, while the upper end instruments used chamois or fabric. I'm assuming the chamois was thicker and stiffer than that used on the reedpan. Just trying to test the waters, I made a set of baffles out of 80 lb paper cardstock using the same methods Robert Gaskins used with leather. They seem to work fairly well, but I doubt they will hold up in the long run. (They should make good templates though). When I first put them on, they hit the lever arm and sounded a note. I used a thinner 2 sided tape and that seemed to solve the problem, but makes me think I don't have much room to play with in terms of thickness. I hadn't mentioned this, but I do have some gauze covering the inside of the end fret which adds some thickness. Should I take it off? I know that theoretically it's supposed to be acoustically neutral and not mute the sound ( it was installed by Button Box, but whenever I remember having some on a button accordion once that definitely muted the sound. I have a set of spruce baffles partially made, but in order to fit them I would have to either cut down the pillars or cut a hole in the baffles to go around the pillars. Interestingly, there is a spacer glued to the top of the pillars, which I imagine was put there when the original baffles were taken out. So putting spruce baffles on would probably be closer to the original, but since I am doing the work, why not just use leather? Leather would be a lot less work and easier to reverse than the spruce and hopefully sound better. I imagine that the pine was cheaper than leather when they were first making them - does anyone know? My main interest in having to reduce volume, but to help the tone. On the museum's site, I saw some circular baffles made out of leather or fabric that actually don't cover much of the endfret. Probably for tone rather than volume? Another question - there are 3 pillars, Two that connect to the thumb strap and finger rest. Some of the concertinas in the museum had a screw going into the 3rd pillar, but only 1 or 2 of them had that screw going from the outside of the endfret. I don't get how the 3rd screw connects or if it is necessary. Any thoughts? Bob
  10. Thanks Doug - I've seen other remarks of 1.25- 1.30" or 3mm I'm working with 40 year old sound board spruce from an old project. I'm worried that if I get it too thin, It might crack while I'm working it. Bob
  11. The baffles that are made out of pine - how thick are they. Do they have a tight grain like a guitar top or are they grained more like building material? Thanks - Bob Lusk
  12. I'm interested. You can email me at Boblusk@gmail.com Thanks - Bob
  13. Would you care to trade it for an anglo jones? c/g 3 row.?
  14. John - You are so right - It has been so long since I played this, I was going by something I had typed some years ago. Just sat down with a tuner and what I get now is E/F A/Bb C#/Eb A/G G#/Bb C#/Eb Ab/G C#/Bb A/F C/Eb When I think of how long I spent studying the Anglo, I'm mortified to admit I can't play note 1 on it anymore. Bob
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