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Mike Franch

Valves How Many To Buy

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I need to replace a few valves in my EC--two or three probably. Should I buy just what I need now, or should I buy a complete set and set some aside? If the later, what's the best way to store them?

 

Thanks for your advice. Hope it's not too contradictory!

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

given the considerable price for a complete set (and rather low costs for shipping within the UK) I would suggest your acquiring just what is needed now. Moreover, the quality (f.i. thick vs. thinner) might not be to your entire liking (could be a matter of trial and error), and replacing just some valves would be easier and cheaper then.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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A few thoughts for your consideration:

 

If one or two valves appear to need changing then the odds are that other valves are on their way out too. If you want an even response between bellows push and pull on a key, then both valves relating to that key need to be replaced together. If you want even responses across the chords and octaves then all valves need changing together. By the time you have removed a couple of valves, cleaned the old glue off the reedpan you have already created a reed pan cleaning need. so you may as well do the rest all together. If you then decide to buy yet more valves another day, they will be from a different skin and may have different characteristics.

 

In short, to me it is not good practise to start changing valves piecemeal. It's also false economy. The only time that I do this is if I am providing a 'breakdown service at a playing event and something goes awry, then I usually change two valves, unless I can see say a valve with a catch on a chamber wall, or some other very specific other problem.

 

Picking up Wolf's concerns about valve grade, valves have a 'number' sizing system. smallest being 1, and the largest being 6. Each number size is linked to a thickness or skive range (limited skive range.) for the valve. The trick is often the choice of the leather and any competent supplier/ restorer will know what to use, and it's thickness for a specific size.

 

If I were Mike, I would want to know what is making me target just a very few valves, what is wrong with those valves that is causing them to malfunction. I would also take a view on the age of the valve set, then decide what to do. If it is a matter of faulty valve installation, and all the valves a fairly new, say a year or so old, then maybe change just a few valves, If the fault is poor installation and the valves are probably say 3 or 4 years old, then change both valves under a single key. If in doubt, I would suggest he change the lot

 

Hope this helps

 

Dave

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Thanks to both Wolf and Dave. I've got some obvious curling and resulting malfunction on a few notes. The rest seem fine, which is why I'm focusing on just a few.

 

Mike

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If you have curling then it sounds like the instrument may have been/ is being stood on it's end for a period of time. Curling shows that the valves are old enough to be taking set. Definitely change in pairs, and I would would want to start again with a fresh set of valves throughout.

 

Dave

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Thank you, Dave. It's never been set on its end. Maybe "curling" is not the right word, but certainly not lying properly flat over the opening.

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AFAIK there are in fact valves of different qualities (not necessarily being a matter of value) on the market, and the question can be raised which one would suit a certain concertina (system, model, whatever) the best.

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Thank you, Dave. It's never been set on its end. Maybe "curling" is not the right word, but certainly not lying properly flat over the opening.

 

Do the valves all look to be of a single set, installed together? Even if that's the case, could it be that those few are problematic because they're of a different quality than the others? (Note that I'm leaving it to others to suggest how to proceed, regardless of the answers to those questions.)

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Just replace the valves that are misbehaving, Even with a new set of valves its not unheard of for the odd one or two to malfunction early on. Usually the result of the variability of leather.

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Sorry Leo, we need to agree to disagree

 

Dave

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Well we could at least agree on my name!

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Pity Theo, thought I was missing something, sort of an insider joke...

 

Besides, there is this then:

 

Maybe I'm a Leo but I ain't a lion...

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Theo , Theo who?

 

sorry mate, slip of the brain, my few remaining cells were concentrating on the issue rather than the addressee. I know I get annoyed when people spell Elliott wrong, missing a 't', or perhaps an 'l' or even both, but at least the name is right. I did not even manage that!

 

Dave

Edited by d.elliott

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