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samper

Remove Baffles?

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Interested in getting folks opinion on this matter. I've got this lovely old Wheatstone English (circa 1850), with brass reeds and internal wooden baffles. And am considering removing the woodn baffles...they're easy to remove and if necessary re-install (I've already done so in order to clean out some of the muck and crud that over 150 years has managed to find its way into the space between the fretted ends and the baffles). Thing is...would you consider it to be a complete piece of vandalism to remove the baffles completely, as with them removed the reeds have a lot more bite and cut to them? With the baffles in situ the concertina is a bit too quiet for my liking.

 

Samper

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I have a Wheatstone baritone with brass reeds. When I bought it the pine baffles had been removed (they were included in the sale). The concertina had a couple of screechy reeds - bad enough for me to think of replacing them, however, before looking for reeds I put the baffles back -hooray -no screechy reeds. Didn't make a significant difference to volume - conclusion - baffles were not just to cut volume they also cut odd harmonics

Chris

Edited by chris

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If you do remove the baffles it is essential to add spacers of equal thickness to the posts that support the ends where the long screws are fitted. Without spacers to support the end it is easy to tighten the screws to the extent that the fretworked ends get badly cracked.

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If you're like me the baffles would not survive being stored separate from the box for any length of time; they'd end up lost, or damaged.

 

On the other hand only a few weeks ago I was getting told severely by other Cnet regulars that these instruments are made to be played and if you have to make changes to achieve that you shouldn't hesitate.

 

Given how early it is and my distrust of storing one item in several places, if it were me I'd be inclined to keep it in one piece and if necessary trade it on for something else. Brass reeds are not loud anyway, they say, baffles or not, so perhaps accept it for what it is rather than muck about with it and still be dissatisfied.

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I also have a ca 1850 Wheatstone with thin wood (spruce?) baffles. The sound is too muffled for my taste and the air flow seems to be affected. When I took the baffles off one side I decided the sound is a bit harsher than I would like, especially the higher notes. (My main instrument is a Lachenal Edeophone which has a loud, but very sweet sound in comparison.

So does anyone have experience with modifying the baffles by making some small sound holes in them to enable a bit more airflow? I would like to try this but would appreciate some thoughts about the idea (placement, size, etc.) I thought I would start with one small hole on each side, nearer to the larger reeds in order to keep the high notes a bit more muted. .

 

Thanks, Paul

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Instead of modifying them, why don't you remove them and install ones of your own making? This way you haven't destroyed the old ones-----just in case you want to revert to the original set up.

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I also have a ca 1850 Wheatstone with thin wood (spruce?) baffles. The sound is too muffled for my taste and the air flow seems to be affected. When I took the baffles off one side I decided the sound is a bit harsher than I would like, especially the higher notes. (My main instrument is a Lachenal Edeophone which has a loud, but very sweet sound in comparison.

So does anyone have experience with modifying the baffles by making some small sound holes in them to enable a bit more airflow? I would like to try this but would appreciate some thoughts about the idea (placement, size, etc.) I thought I would start with one small hole on each side, nearer to the larger reeds in order to keep the high notes a bit more muted. .

 

Thanks, Paul

Its not about airflow, its about soundwave absorption and reflection...

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It seems a real shame to drill through part of a 150+ year-old instrument. I'd definitely follow Frank's advice and make new baffles. If you want a thicker material than light cloth, I've had good results with the following material :http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alcantara-fabric-faux-suede-leather-19-5-x-19-5-cm-/321162076654?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:FR:3160

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It seems a real shame to drill through part of a 150+ year-old instrument.

 

That's exactly what I did (albeit my instrument is just about 90 years old) in order to attach the thumbstraps real firmly to the instrument (by having it connected to the sound board itself). I was feeling a bit nervous but not, well, blaspheming... :D

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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It seems a real shame to drill through part of a 150+ year-old instrument.

Especially if you're only guessing/assuming what the result would be.

 

I'd definitely follow Frank's advice and make new baffles.

That has the added advantage that you could make several sets of new baffles, of various materials and thicknesses, and maybe some with holes in them (design fretwork patterns for baffles?) as well as without.

 

Compared to the value of a concertina, even a flock of new baffles shouldn't be expensive.

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I also have a ca 1850 Wheatstone with thin wood (spruce?) baffles. The sound is too muffled for my taste and the air flow seems to be affected.

 

How big is the effect on the airflow? Is it possible that putting more space between the baffles and the wood of the ends would help? (You would probably need to modify the posts spacing things away from the action board, as well, as per Theo's post.)

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I appreciate the advice about trying different baffle material rather than modifying the 160 year old spruce? baffles. I am thnking of trying vellum or goatskin. -

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