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Aeola Valves, types and placement

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Hello Folks

I acquired a 56 key 1918 Aeola recently. It is a really nice instrument and I have been putting lots of miles on it. 

Comparing it to friends instruments of similar years with identical scroll work, mine seems to have a darker tone above "violin e string". Also I use a bit more pressure for the high notes in order to get equal volume with the low notes. 

Mine has the heavy white valves all the way up except for the last two notes which don't have valves.

What I expected is:

The thinner brown leather valves with the last octave or so left without valves. The instruments I am comparing mine too seem to have all thin brown valves. 


Could the thicker white valves explain the darker tone? The logic would be that they disproportionately effect the high note. 


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Is your Aeola  a  Treble 56 ?     Where one might expect       the notes above  A  to  be  without valves.


Has it been 'restored'  recently  ?  Some  restorers  replace  valves , pads and  springs  as a matter of course, which does not  always  improve things.


Are there any other issues ?   Like  internal  air  leaks  around the reedpan  .


Remove  one or two  valves  that  you feel may be causing  tonal  'darkening'  and  see if  things improve .

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Agree with Geoff's comments above, and would add that some valves in use in recent times have been over heavy in the smaller sizes which can cause dulling of the sound.

Valve colour has at best an indirect bearing on the issue.  Valve leather can come from various sources and colour is not an important property.  I've used black in the past, and presently using grey.

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Thanks Geoff and Theo, 

The instrument is extended up. No reedpan leaks that I found. 48 button ECs seem to not be valved on the highest 4 or so. Therefore I am betting that everything higher than those should be valveless on mine.  No reedpan leaks that I found. I will take Geoff's advise and try a couple notes with thinner valves.  

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