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How long in tune?


Ishtar
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My concertina was tuned a few months ago (September/October) and sounded fine for a while, but has already deteriorated in sound, and 3 of the left-side notes are asthmatic. So much so that the guitarist next to me commented on it the other night in our rehearsal.

 

It's a Stagi Gremlin. The repairer man said that he found the blades to be of "disappointing" quality.

 

How often would you expect to have to tune an English concertina?

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My concertina was tuned a few months ago (September/October) and sounded fine for a while, but has already deteriorated in sound, and 3 of the left-side notes are asthmatic. So much so that the guitarist next to me commented on it the other night in our rehearsal.

 

It's a Stagi Gremlin. The repairer man said that he found the blades to be of "disappointing" quality.

 

How often would you expect to have to tune an English concertina?

With good quality steel reeds, once they have had their initial tuning, there is a settling-in period of a few weeks to a few months. During this period some of the reeds may go slightly out of tune, and will need a slight re-tune. After this though, the instrument should stay in tune for a long time, often many years. Harsh, hard playing may cause the reeds to go out of tune more quickly. Also, if the leather valves are replaced, sometimes the reeds may need slight touch-up tuning.

 

But it all depends on the quality of the steel used. I think the comment of your repair man tells it all really. Gremlin concertinas are not the best concertinas in the world.

 

Asthmatic (breathy?) notes are perhaps indicative of inefficient air flow around the reed tongue; perhaps the 'set' (the gap between the reed tongue and the top of the reed plate) is wrong. If certain reeds will persistently not hold their tune or proper set, that may be an indicator that the reed tongue is weak and/or about to fail.

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My concertina was tuned a few months ago (September/October) and sounded fine for a while, but has already deteriorated in sound, and 3 of the left-side notes are asthmatic. So much so that the guitarist next to me commented on it the other night in our rehearsal.

 

It's a Stagi Gremlin. The repairer man said that he found the blades to be of "disappointing" quality.

 

How often would you expect to have to tune an English concertina?

With good quality steel reeds, once they have had their initial tuning, there is a settling-in period of a few weeks to a few months. During this period some of the reeds may go slightly out of tune, and will need a slight re-tune. After this though, the instrument should stay in tune for a long time, often many years. Harsh, hard playing may cause the reeds to go out of tune more quickly. Also, if the leather valves are replaced, sometimes the reeds may need slight touch-up tuning.

 

But it all depends on the quality of the steel used. I think the comment of your repair man tells it all really. Gremlin concertinas are not the best concertinas in the world.

 

Asthmatic (breathy?) notes are perhaps indicative of inefficient air flow around the reed tongue; perhaps the 'set' (the gap between the reed tongue and the top of the reed plate) is wrong. If certain reeds will persistently not hold their tune or proper set, that may be an indicator that the reed tongue is weak and/or about to fail.

I think it unlikely that even poor quality reeds have actually gone out of tune that quickly ( that is changed their pitch, unless as mentioned they are about to break) From your description ( athsmatic , something I am personally familiar with ) it sounds like something else has gone wrong. like flap valves having fallen off or loose reed plates allowing air to get around them rather than flowing through the reed. This can cause a lot of trouble ( none serious or permanent ) including pitch change. If the instrument sounded right immediately after the tuning you had done, likely it was done properly and you've got valve related problems. Or just possibly a tiny bit of crap in the reeds

Dana

Edited by Dana Johnson
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