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A discussion on the defining Wheatstone's golden age resulted in discussions on materials, end plate design, fret work etc. and I started thinking about how the vibrations travel through a concertina... I thought it would be more appropriate to pick it up here... I don't really understand how the ends affect the sound as it's a total mystery how the reed generated air vibrations even travels through a concertina. For example, with two sets of reeds on an English, why are there reed pan chambers only on the outside of the pan? Wouldn't this chamber only be active on press when the air inside the bellows flows through the inside reed, pulsates or cuts up the air flow causing a tone, goes through the valve then into the chamber and finally out through the open pad hole and out the fret work. But what about on pull when the air flows inward? Does the sound still go outward? Probably a dumb question but it appears it does and so a total mystery to me! I've always wanted to make some models to experiment with how the sound travels through then start doing experiments with chamber sizes, pad hole sizes, reed scaling, etc... even how the thickness of valve material affects the tone. I've asked this a few times with conflicting answers. Maybe someone could explain it quickly and especially the affects of different valve thicknesses and stiffnesses. Why are shallow reed pans louder? What about mahogany reed pans? And this is all apart from the different types of reed material which radically affects the tone. It would be awesome to be able to go back 90 years and pick the brains of one of Wheatstone's master builders. Wouldn't that be something?!!
The cheap concertinas that I have (old Bastari) are made using plywood. I don't have the idea that using a different wood would have any appreciable change in the sound on them, but does the wood on the better concertinas have any affect on the sound? I seem to remember noticing that the reed plate in one of the pictures seemed to be beech. Does type of wood have as much difference on a concertina as it does in a guitar or a violin? Terrence PS. I just found the thread from 2006 discussing tonewoods. Additional information, though, would be welcome.