Jump to content

click ,slap , slop


Recommended Posts

I have recently acquired a metal ended lachenal.It has fantastic reeds and plays beautifully apart from being slightly noisey.The noise is there when playing quickly and seems to be after many , many long hours of listening! an initial slap when the button is hit,possibly caused by some minor vertical movement? or possibly sideways into the metal?The button felt dampers appear in good condition, as do the cross key bushings and also the key hole bushings.The spring pressure is pretty light?Could this be the issue.Would it be worth respringing the middle (natural) notes with the longer lever arms so that spring pressure is greater.I would really welcome comments from anyone who can help with this!! incidently I've already tried ,

playing loudly constantly( annoying for the neighbours)

playing with small squares of sponge glued to each finger(annoying for me as everyday tasks prove difficult)

and spraying the whole action in WD40(only joking)

all the best,

simon

Edited by scoopet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon,

Two things to check. One would be if the guide pins on the buttons were bottoming out. Remedy is to add a felt key washer.

 

The second, and always a surprising source of noise, is to check that ends of the lever arms, where the pads are glued, aren't "thumping" against the fretwork.

 

Could also be your suggestion of the springing being light enough to allow the lever arm to click against the pivot.

 

Good luck!

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have recently acquired a metal ended lachenal.It has fantastic reeds and plays beautifully apart from being slightly noisey.The noise is there when playing quickly and seems to be after many , many long hours of listening! an initial slap when the button is hit,possibly caused by some minor vertical movement? or possibly sideways into the metal?The button felt dampers appear in good condition, as do the cross key bushings and also the key hole bushings.The spring pressure is pretty light?Could this be the issue.Would it be worth respringing the middle (natural) notes with the longer lever arms so that spring pressure is greater.I would really welcome comments from anyone who can help with this!! incidently I've already tried ,

playing loudly constantly( annoying for the neighbours)

playing with small squares of sponge glued to each finger(annoying for me as everyday tasks prove difficult)

and spraying the whole action in WD40(only joking)

all the best,

simon

 

 

The "Bushings" really do need to be in very very good condition on any metal ender. Any sideways movement can allow the buttons to touch the end metal. Maybe because, with a Lachenal, the buttons are solid metal this noise can be stronger ? Although these noises are usually attributed to the non- riveted action, strengthening the srings might help, it is worth a try.

 

 

I notice on the little Wheatstone that I bought from you ,recently, that there is also a little noise in the action ,which I might be able to cure by re-bushing, but I think it is as much due to the Pads being old and less dampening (springy) than when new.

 

In the end maybe you could consider having your Lachenal action replaced by the service offered by Wim Whakker. If this works as well as the green bellows he made for the Wheatstone (mentioned above) then I would certainly go for it. Ask Hermann as he has a Lachenal Boyd with the Wakker conversion.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

greg,

there are 3 felt washers on each button and they appear in good condition so its hopefully not that..I will check the top of the lever arms banging the inside of the fret work tonight when I get home.thanks for the help.

 

geoff,

I think I might rebush the key holes as the noise does seem to be coming from the key!! then maybe I'll respring after that's crossed off the list. merci bien!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could also be your suggestion of the springing being light enough to allow the lever arm to click against the pivot.

 

It has to be *very* light then doesn't it? So light that the pad doesn't seal either? And if it actually gets loose for a very short moment does it really cause any noise?

 

 

Although these noises are usually attributed to the non- riveted action, strengthening the springs might help, it is worth a try.

In the end maybe you could consider having your Lachenal action replaced by the service offered by Wim Whakker.

 

In theory harder springs of course keep things better in place but as I said above I doubt that it has any importance unless initially so light that nothing works anyway.

It is also hard to believe that riveted vs non-riveted construction as such has anything to do with the action noises generally.The only major problem with the lever/post connection I think comes up with the short curved levers on the top row of anglos causing the lever to twist which might be cured by a riveted ( or otherwise more stable) connection. The "click,slap,slop" I think is expected to be generated by other parts hitting each other, firstly related to the buttons like you both said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have recently acquired a metal ended lachenal.It has fantastic reeds and plays beautifully apart from being slightly noisey.The noise is there when playing quickly and seems to be after many , many long hours of listening! an initial slap when the button is hit,possibly caused by some minor vertical movement? or possibly sideways into the metal?The button felt dampers appear in good condition, as do the cross key bushings and also the key hole bushings.The spring pressure is pretty light?Could this be the issue.Would it be worth respringing the middle (natural) notes with the longer lever arms so that spring pressure is greater.I would really welcome comments from anyone who can help with this!! incidently I've already tried ,

playing loudly constantly( annoying for the neighbours)

playing with small squares of sponge glued to each finger(annoying for me as everyday tasks prove difficult)

and spraying the whole action in WD40(only joking)

all the best,

simon

 

Simon,

 

Got your message, and have responded, give me a call tonight as soon as you get this, you have the number.

 

If you then solve the problem the you can write all about it for others to read.

 

Its not springs, if there are several buttons with the problem then its not likely to be an action problem, in pivot related.

 

If its an Anglo, then I have a very good idea what it is, if its an English then I have a couple of options to discuss.

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have recently acquired a metal ended lachenal.

 

Hello Simon - I think I know which box you mean ... :)

 

On mine there were multiple sources of action noise which I've found on a similar box over the years:

  • When depressing the button there is the sound of your finger hitting the button, can't do much about this except modifying playing style
  • If the hole bushing is dead you get a click or a scrape from lateral movement (renew bushing - really helps)
  • There can be a noise of the button engaging with the lever end (new bushing in key)
  • When releasing the key, lateral movement of the key can make a small noise again
  • You do get rattle from the lever slot - I found this particularly noticeable on keys where the spring was closest to the slot. Stronger springs might help or moving the action point back (but it's pretty cramped in there and I was loath to mess with the original design).
  • if the slots are worn then this gets louder and is almost unavoidable
  • By far the biggest noise was the slap of the pad back on to the hole - new pads can help but I never managed to reduce it by much. On slow tunes you can reduce the noise by slowing the return button travel speed with your finger but this does change the end shape of the note.

 

I never experienced key pegs bottoming out or pads hitting the fretwork but these would be significant

 

R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

In theory harder springs of course keep things better in place but as I said above I doubt that it has any importance unless initially so light that nothing works anyway.

In Lachenal action the spring pressure has to be sufficient to close the pad and to hold the lever in place in the top of the post. In a riveted action it only has to close the pad. So you can achieve lighter spring pressure with riveted action.

 

It is also hard to believe that riveted vs non-riveted construction as such has anything to do with the action noises generally.

Hard to believe in what sense?

My experience is that "lachenal type" action can be much noisier, and more so if the spring pressure is light. The reason for this is that in fast play the finger hits the button at speed, imparting a high acceleration to the button/lever/spring/pad system, as a result inertia of the lever and pad becomes significant and the lever can momentarily loose contact with the top surface of the slot in the action post. As the spring returns it to the normal position you can get an audible click. You either live with this, increase the spring pressure to the point where the noise stops, or get a riveted action.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By far the biggest noise was the slap of the pad back on to the hole - new pads can help but I never managed to reduce it by much.

 

You definitely can reduce the pad noise a great deal by using softer (and thicker) pads. Made from various kinds of synthetic foam for example. The problem is that measures of original constructions mostly do not allow the greater thickness. I wonder why it is like that since pad clattering IS a real nuisance with many concertinas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Lachenal action the spring pressure has to be sufficient to close the pad and to hold the lever in place in the top of the post. In a riveted action it only has to close the pad. So you can achieve lighter spring pressure with riveted action.

 

There is no extra (spring) force necessary to hold the lever in place! Technically the most important determinant for spring pressure is to secure that the pads are air-tight. What the player notices is the button touch pressure which better be the same all over the keyboard and usually 50+ grams I think for almost all concertinas ( unless someone for obscure reasons has reduced it). If the button pressure (50+ grams) IS the same as the constructor has intended that is enough anyway to hold the lever in place.If you reduce the spring pressure with a riveted action you will just the same come to a point when pads start to leak. I know that some players want a "lighter action". With an entirely different construction that might be possible to achieve without disadvantages but not with the traditional concertina design.

 

Hard to believe in what sense?

My experience is that "lachenal type" action can be much noisier, and more so if the spring pressure is light. The reason for this is that in fast play the finger hits the button at speed, imparting a high acceleration to the button/lever/spring/pad system, as a result inertia of the lever and pad becomes significant and the lever can momentarily loose contact with the top surface of the slot in the action post. As the spring returns it to the normal position you can get an audible click. You either live with this, increase the spring pressure to the point where the noise stops, or get a riveted action.

 

"Hard to believe" since I haven't managed to find any evidence. What you are saying may sound theoretically reasonable, but when testing it in practise I simply have not been able to produce that "audible click" despite trying hard.Only when reducing the spring force down to a button touch of ca 20grams ( that is very low and pads leak so it is not purposeful) 'maybe' it is possible to provoke loose contact between lever and post - but no noise. "Fast play" doesn't alter the situation since I also tried testing repetitive beats on one button and not until more than 2500 beats/minute there was some sign that the contact was lost.Nobody plays that fast...

 

This however does not contradict the reputation that some action constructions are noiser than others but if we compare instruments which are 100 years old wear and tear probably causes some bias...We need at least two exact twin instruments comparing just one factor at a time to get a fair chance coming to safe conclusions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your experience and knowledge is clearly much greater than mine! :)

 

Lots of experts about Theo, and a lot of deductive reasoning which cannot be proven without very sophisticated hi speed photography etc.

 

Never the less, Ardie has a point about spring pressure being needed to restrain the pad and if it does that then bye -and -large the arm is stable. After all there are a lot of hook type action variants, see Chris Flints article on action types. I tend to feel that if this form of instability was a real problem with hook type actions, everything would have ended up riveted.

 

The biggest problem I find with the hook type action is if the arm is too tight in the key cross bushing, or the arm is one of the short ones and the key cross hole lacks sufficient clearances for the angles the articulating short arm has to sweep through, then the arm does move out of engagement with the pivot causing some very odd effects. On riveted actions the problem does not arise as the key just locks and has to be dealt with more immediately.

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of experts about Theo, and a lot of deductive reasoning which cannot be proven without very sophisticated hi speed photography etc.

 

My point firstly was that there is no evidence supporting the presumption ("these noises are usually attributed to the non- riveted action") that noise ("audible click") with the hook type is caused by the lever getting loose in the connection with the post and clatter back.If you can't see it and can't hear it ( or has anyone really?) it has no relevance.The possible additional knowledge from "very sophisticated hi speed photography etc." wouldn't change practise either even IF you might detect a very short but not audible escape and return by the lever.

 

After all there are a lot of hook type action variants, see Chris Flints article on action types. I tend to feel that if this form of instability was a real problem with hook type actions, everything would have ended up riveted.

 

Maybe so, but there is always a conflict between technical and economical demands.Some of the hook actions shown in that article are very sophisticated and some are really primitive, seemingly designed merely to reduce costs.Technically speaking solutions common in clockworks ( what about a 48 ruby concertina..?)would be ideal but if it wouldn't matter musically so what? The hooked actions probably are noisier generally when being worn.In theory (again) a more stable lever/post connection might reduce rattle in general but as has been said the greatest part of the noises come from keys and pads and those can only be cured by measures involving the keys and pads themselves.

 

The biggest problem I find with the hook type action is if the arm is too tight in the key cross bushing, or the arm is one of the short ones and the key cross hole lacks sufficient clearances...

 

?? But that is an obvious defect in the lever/key connection and not a "problem with the hook type of action" itself! There are lots of different levers and keys and we can not compare "action" sometimes referring only to the lever/post construction and sometimes to the whole mechanism: endplate-key-board-lever-post-pad-(endplate again)

The practical consequence when trying to find the source of a noise is just being methodical and to examine the whole chain of possible villains.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of experts about Theo, and a lot of deductive reasoning which cannot be proven without very sophisticated hi speed photography etc.

 

My point firstly was that there is no evidence supporting the presumption ("these noises are usually attributed to the non- riveted action") that noise ("audible click") with the hook type is caused by the lever getting loose in the connection with the post and clatter back.If you can't see it and can't hear it ( or has anyone really?) it has no relevance.The possible additional knowledge from "very sophisticated hi speed photography etc." wouldn't change practise either even IF you might detect a very short but not audible escape and return by the lever.

 

After all there are a lot of hook type action variants, see Chris Flints article on action types. I tend to feel that if this form of instability was a real problem with hook type actions, everything would have ended up riveted.

 

Maybe so, but there is always a conflict between technical and economical demands.Some of the hook actions shown in that article are very sophisticated and some are really primitive, seemingly designed merely to reduce costs.Technically speaking solutions common in clockworks ( what about a 48 ruby concertina..?)would be ideal but if it wouldn't matter musically so what? The hooked actions probably are noisier generally when being worn.In theory (again) a more stable lever/post connection might reduce rattle in general but as has been said the greatest part of the noises come from keys and pads and those can only be cured by measures involving the keys and pads themselves.

 

The biggest problem I find with the hook type action is if the arm is too tight in the key cross bushing, or the arm is one of the short ones and the key cross hole lacks sufficient clearances...

 

?? But that is an obvious defect in the lever/key connection and not a "problem with the hook type of action" itself! There are lots of different levers and keys and we can not compare "action" sometimes referring only to the lever/post construction and sometimes to the whole mechanism: endplate-key-board-lever-post-pad-(endplate again)

The practical consequence when trying to find the source of a noise is just being methodical and to examine the whole chain of possible villains.

 

Ardie,

 

Yes there are always people looking for cheapo solutions, but if there is an inherent flaw in such a solution , then the solutions don't tend to survive, certainly not get copied into multiple formats over many years. My point about the lever arm to key cross hole clearances jamming the arm and pulling it out of engagement is that the hook type action allows this to get through to play, but the riveted action makes this oversight impossible. There is an additional problem with Lachenal hook and window type actions where the flank of the arm and the inner face of the window bear on each other. Where the arm has significant cranking, in 'plan' view, the twisting couple causes very much accelerated wear patterns causing the whole arm to twist, the pad fall over the hole in a slicing action and he key to literally fall over, it's top to sink in height and the rise of the pad to reduce. This has been explained before, many times over the years. This is the only metal to metal action wear problem I have ever encountered over the hundreds of concertinas I have restored, and this does not bring a noise problem with it.

 

People say that hook type actions are less positive, I say get your valves, and action heights right, your spring tensions even and your reeds set properly and in good condition. Then ensure you are comparing eggs & eggs, instruments of the same grade of reed work and finish, then be sure you know what you are looking for. Having said that my main instrument is a Wheatstone, my Barry, is a lachenal, as is my Bass, by Piccolo is a Jones. My Miniature is a Wheatstone, its the instrument that counts, given it is in good nick and cared for.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes there are always people looking for cheapo solutions, but if there is an inherent flaw in such a solution , then the solutions don't tend to survive, certainly not get copied into multiple formats over many years.

 

'True' of course but we do find numerous examples when mass production has come up with inferior solutions that survive 'for ever' since people don't ask for expensive quality - don't we?

 

There is an additional problem with Lachenal hook and window type actions where the flank of the arm and the inner face of the window bear on each other. Where the arm has significant cranking, in 'plan' view, the twisting couple causes very much accelerated wear patterns causing the whole arm to twist...

 

Agree - but that is the result from the mechanically inferior cranking ( if not symmetrical so that it balances) of the arm and not primarily related to the lever/post connection type. With a straight (or balanced) lever and a good saddle there should be no problem.

 

People say that hook type actions are less positive, I say get your valves, and action heights right, your spring tensions even and your reeds set properly and in good condition.

 

Completely agreeable - but concerning the annoying noises mostly coming from pads and buttons not even good condition always helps and you would wish that better constructions had come up.Pads are generally too hard and buttons mostly too unstable.Rather easy to fix by some modifications of the design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By far the biggest noise was the slap of the pad back on to the hole - new pads can help but I never managed to reduce it by much.

 

You definitely can reduce the pad noise a great deal by using softer (and thicker) pads. Made from various kinds of synthetic foam for example. The problem is that measures of original constructions mostly do not allow the greater thickness. I wonder why it is like that since pad clattering IS a real nuisance with many concertinas.

 

I feel that the modern (thicker with synthetic foam) pads can dampen the upper partials more than the old thinner felt stuffed variety. I cannot measure this difference but I think I can hear it. I have two EC's that are otherwise quite similar, but not exactly the same period, one has old (maybe original) pads the other has brand new ones. I am trying to evaluate the differences between the two. Do you think the pad material could have an affect on the tone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ardie, you mentioned a button pressure of 50+ grams, have you, or any others here, a suggestion for a device or method for measuring this? From a point of getting all buttons to have an even pressure I usually just use my finger and compare, once I have one or two that I feel are the way I want them but a measuring tool would be nice to have too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel that the modern (thicker with synthetic foam) pads can dampen the upper partials more than the old thinner felt stuffed variety... Do you think the pad material could have an affect on the tone?

 

Yes I do think so. I have made the same reflection myself. I also think button measures and materials can have similar effects. Compare for example 5mm metal buttons with 6mm bone ones

 

Ardie, you mentioned a button pressure of 50+ grams, have you, or any others here, a suggestion for a device or method for measuring this?

 

I use a very simple balance. In principle it looks like this:

post-7957-0-84117600-1297952341_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...