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Cloth Over Sound Holes.


Rex
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Alex just posted a picture in the 'Buying First Concertina' thread. That picture is exactly like the concertina I am now using except the sound holes are open. Mine has some cloth glued to the underside of the metal so you cannot see inside. I like the tone as is, but do you think it would be better or louder or less mellow if I removed this cloth? I notice the expensive instruments don't have such a cloth. I guess I could always buy some material and replace it if I took it off and didn't like the sound. Has anyone tried this experiment? I have not heard the term 'sound holes' on this board but didn't know what else to call them. Please help me with the proper term so I don't sound like such a goober. B)

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I notice the expensive instruments don't have such a cloth.

 

Some of the older ones had solid cloth, or even wooden baffles, but they were generally held slightly off the wood of the end by small spacers of cork, or some such. A number of the Aeolas, etc., had/have gauze, rather than solid cloth, though many did not. Some which did may have had the gauze removed. E.g., one of mine doesn't have any now, but in the Wheatstone ledgers it's marked with the notation "gauze".

 

I have not heard the term 'sound holes' on this board but didn't know what else to call them.

 

The term "fretwork" is generally used for the openwork on the English-made concertinas.

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The cloth is mainly to prevent dirt particals getting into the reeds and jamming them up.I would leave it there.

I cleaned my concertina the other day, using stupidly tissue.I should have known better within seconds little white bits of paper had jammed three reeds and the whole instrument had to be taken apart and cleaned out.

If of course the cloth begins to deteriorate then remove it,for the same reason as above.

Regards

Alan

Edited by Alan Day
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Guest charlie seltzer

Hi Squeezers

 

I have a related concern. I pay a Stagi Hayden Duet. The sound holes are "backed" (if that's the right word) with a metallic silver foil that has small holes. When I play a 2-part piece (i.e., a piece that has 2 independent melodic lines of relatively equal "importance" - like a Bach 2-part invention) the equal volume emitted by the left and right halves of the instrument is fine. But when I play a piece that has melody on the right side of the box and accompaniment on the left, then the melody is frequently overshadowed by the greater volume coming from the left side of the instrument. (More buttons pushed = more sound emitted.)

 

I have seen a few postings where people described covering the sound holes on the left side of their instrument with tape to quiet it. I can't imagine doing this to any instrument. Think of all that gummy wood. :( And while this would diminsh the volume on the left for melody+accompaniment tunes, that solution doesn't work when I'm playing a 2-part composition and want equal volume.

 

What I envision is something that dampens the left hand side of the instrument only when I want it dampened. Something removable or insertable. Has anyone ever experimented along this line or know anyone who has? Anyone have a suggestion?

 

Best wishes,

Charlie

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What I envision is something that dampens the left hand side of the instrument only when I want it dampened. Something removable or insertable. Has anyone ever experimented along this line or know anyone who has? Anyone have a suggestion?

Danny Chapman has made external baffles for his Aeola, with velcro mounts so that they dn be attached or removed at will. Since he plays English, he always uses them on both sides or neither, but I don't see why you couldn't do that on your Hayden and use only the left one... or both if you wanted a generally muted sound on a 2-part piece.

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The cloth is mainly to prevent dirt particals getting into the reeds and jamming them up.I would leave it there.

I cleaned my concertina the other day, using stupidly tissue.I should have known better within seconds little white bits of paper had jammed three reeds and the whole instrument had to be taken apart and cleaned out.

If of course the cloth begins to deteorate then remove it,for the same reason as above.

Regards

Alan

No kidding. My English treble has gauze, and if anything happened to it, I'd have it replaced. As much as I play outdoors at parties and camping festivals, I don't _know_ the number of mosquitos and gnats I'd be always cleaning out of the reeds.

 

-Eric Root

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That settles it. Another forum member emailed me and told me the it also keeps out cat hair. My wife has three little dogs and 2 cats. I have no desire to clean reeds, afraid I'd damage them.

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:lol: Hey Rex,

 

You could always put full body armor on the dogs and cats.

 

Okay don't you all start. I was just kidding. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats.

 

But hey, they look cute in their body armor.

 

No no I'm kidding.

 

But I bet pet hair might be a problem. I never thought about it. Especially since my animals make themselves scarce when I play.

 

I never realized it was out of consideration for the inner workings of the concertina.

 

How nice of them.

 

Helen

 

And here I always thought it was a comment on my playing.

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I pay a Stagi Hayden Duet... When I play a 2-part piece... the equal volume emitted by the left and right halves of the instrument is fine. But when I play a piece that has melody on the right side of the box and accompaniment on the left, then the melody is frequently overshadowed by the greater volume coming from the left side of the instrument. (More buttons pushed = more sound emitted.)

In an earlier post in this thread, I mentioned Bob Gaskins' article about baffles. I'm sorry that in my haste, I was unable to post a link (and also misspelled Maccann). Here it is:

 

Baffles for Maccann Duet Concertinas

 

http://www.maccann-duet.com/baffles/index.htm

 

Anyone seriously considering installing baffles in any kind of concertina should read it. It also has a lot of general advice about concertina repair.

 

However, I also play the Hayden, and I find I have no need for baffles (but perhaps you should ask the folks sitting to my left ;) ). I keep a light touch on the left. No, not squeezing less forcefully on the left, or even pushing the buttons less forcefully, but coming off them earlier. Thus, if I play an "oom-pah" sort of pattern with my left hand, the "oom" is only one note, and can be long, but the "pah" is two or three and is very short. Pianists and guitarists do this, too, for the same reason.

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I don't use baffles either. Here are my alternatives:

 

1. "Arrange" more lightly on the left as mentioned by others.

2. Get used to it. Organ, harmonium, harpsicord and other players do. It requires harder listening to hear the melody, but one does get there.

3. If seated, you can aim your ends. That is, lift the right end up (a little) and point it toward the audience (or your own ears). You can also sort of muffle the left end by pointing it slighly downward or toward your body.

4. Sit at an angle with your right side tilted toward your audience, microphone or what ever.

5. And most effective of all, if it is a song, sing louder than you play!

Edited by Kurt Braun
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Guest charlie seltzer

Hi Jim, David, and Kurt,

 

Thanks for the good ideas!

 

Charlie

 

"Danny Chapman has made external baffles for his Aeola, with velcro mounts so that they dn be attached or removed at will." - Jim Lucas

 

"I keep a light touch on the left. No, not squeezing less forcefully on the left, or even pushing the buttons less forcefully, but coming off them earlier. Thus, if I play an "oom-pah" sort of pattern with my left hand, the "oom" is only one note, and can be long, but the "pah" is two or three and is very short." - David Barnett

 

1. "Arrange" more lightly on the left as mentioned by others.

2. Get used to it. Organ, harmonium, harpsicord and other players do. It requires harder listening to hear the melody, but one does get there.

3. If seated, you can aim your ends. That is, lift the right end up (a little) and point it toward the audience (or your own ears). You can also sort of muffle the left end by pointing it slighly downward or toward your body.

4. Sit at an angle with your right side tilted toward your audience, microphone or what ever.

5. And most effective of all, if it is a song, sing louder than you play!

Kurt Braun

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