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Seth

Slow playing Lachenal

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It seems the Lachenal I’m restoring plays slow, almost like the air flow is being restricted.

 The reeds are very responsive on the tuning table but seem slow when I’m the instrument.  The only thing I haven’t changed yet are the old valves which seem thicker than others I’ve seen. My guess is these valves are part of the issue.  I can switch to a hybrid reeded instrument and play as fast as I want, but this Lachenal actually forces you to slow down.  I’m going to change the valves and see what happens.  I cannot see any other reason for this.

 

Learning as I go...

Cheers, Seth

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Given what you describe, I would suspect the valves too. A word of warning, when you change the valves you can get changes in tuning as well as response, that's why it is considered to be best practice to change valves before final tuning. Other reasons might be the set on the reed gap or restricted pads, you need around 3.2mm of key travel on a traditional instrument to ensure that the pads open enough to get the air through. Finally does your instrument have baffles fitted behind the fretting? If you have and you have not left enough air space between the fretting/casing and the baffle again you could be choking the instrument.

 

Dave

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Lachenals often have reeds which are neither loud nor fast and without a high quality reed to compare you might have trouble assessing performance on the tuning rig. 

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1 hour ago, Chris Ghent said:

Lachenals often have reeds which are neither loud nor fast and without a high quality reed to compare you might have trouble assessing performance on the tuning rig. 

 

“Choking” is the word I was looking for, Thanks Dave Elliott.  I have 5 Lachenal’s in the shop and this is the only one that seems to be like this.  The reeds act the same as any other on the tuning bellows.  There is no baffle, and I haven’t checked the key travel as Dave suggested but when I replaced the pads and grommets I don’t remember seeing the pad elevation height being an issue but I’ll double check.  Maybe I should swap some out from another set of the new valves doesn’t speed things up a bit.  I haven’t had time to change the valves yet as I’m finishing a 7 key Northumbrian Smallpipe first.  I’ll let you chaps know how it goes.

 

Cheers, Seth

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If you choose a typical reed and take its valve off and reassemble the concertina you will find out whether it is the valves or not. If that note jumps out then a lighter valve will help. 

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5 hours ago, Chris Ghent said:

If you choose a typical reed and take its valve off and reassemble the concertina you will find out whether it is the valves or not. If that note jumps out then a lighter valve will help. 

That’s a great idea.  Thank you for the suggestion.

 

Cheers, Seth 

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