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Are sampers necessary?

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Inside every concertina I've ever seen, between the leather washer around the lever arm and the cardboard back of the pad is a small dot of leather that I understand is called a "samper".  I'm planning on replacing pads on a couple English concertinas, so I spoke to a repairman that I plan to purchase the pads from.  I was surprised when he told me that he doesn't use sampers, and he actually thinks sampers cause problems.


I asked if he knew what the people who do install sampers think the sampers accomplish.  He said the sampers allow the pad to move a tiny bit, in case it doesn't come down perfectly flat against the padboard.  But he's of the opinion that the spring and lever arm will hold the pad in the proper position while the glue is drying, and that after the glue has dried, when you play the instrument, the pad should now be perfectly positioned, and shouldn't need to wiggle even a little when it closes the hole during playing.


I'm not sure what to think of this.  Why would Wheatstone and Lachenal have used sampers if they weren't needed?  I'm curious what others here think.  Do you use sampers when you replace pads?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  What do you think installing sampers accomplishes?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

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I think it helps to have a bit of extra compliance in case something changes over time, e.g. if the felt inside the pad compresses and makes the pad thinner, that alters the action geometry a bit. It also acts as a kind of shock absorber, reducing the risk that the card will start to delaminate where the washer/grommet is glued on.

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Are they necessary.....? Yes, if you want the pad to seal properly, in the event that the button is not absolutely perpendicular when the pad is glued on. The provide just a bit of flexibility so that you have a greater chance of success with all your pads being airtight. Can you do the job without them? Yes, if you are very careful, and a bit lucky, and your pads have enough padding and your spring tension sufficient to compress the pad(s) to form a good seal.

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