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weak sounding a/c button

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Hello all,


New anglo concertina player here, I just received my rochelle and wren 2 concertinas a few days ago. The reason I have 2 concertinas is a long story involving an order mixup, but I actually enjoy playing both and decided to keep them both. I have been having a blast learning to play using Concertina Connection's tutor book and Coover's Easy Anglo 1-2-3 book so far.


The reason for this post is I've noticed that for both of my concertinas, the 4th button on the middle row of the right hand (a/c) sounds weaker than the other notes I have been playing so far. Sometimes, I can hardly hear it at all. This seems to be more of a problem with the wren than the rochelle, but both sound weak. Is this just a problem with my playing, or could there be something wrong with the instruments? Coover's Easy Anglo book mentions that if a note fails to sound, there could be something stuck and that it could be an easy fix. Since it is happening with both instruments, I would guess its a problem with my playing, or just how they are. Anyone else have this problem? Any advice?


Thanks for reading!

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Not your playing,  ideally, notes should all sound close to the same volume at the same playing pressure.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case, though even in lesser instruments it should be close enough to be accommodated by getting used to that button’s requirements.  Sounds like not the case here.  The Rochelle and Wren are not made by the same manufacturers   (Unless some of the Wren has been farmed out to China).  I have played a Rochelle before and didn’t find that button an issue, so it is not inherent in the instrument, which means it should be fixable.   Sometimes reeds, especially in the high pitches,  can be set too high, requiring a lot of pressure to sound.  They can come this way from the manufacturer of the reeds, and if not caught by the person assembling the instrument can cause trouble.  Stiff flap valves can also reduce the volume.  Valve weight changes as the reeds get smaller and it may be that an overly heavy valve was used on those reeds on either instrument while the ones above it got the lighter treatment.  It is odd that both instruments have the same issue.  If you get it solved, let us know.


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@Dana Johnson I found my brave and opened up my wren. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I noticed some of the thin pieces of metal (are those the reeds or valve flaps?) were stiffer than others and those happened to be the higher notes I was having trouble with. I simply gave them a little wiggle with my fingernail in hopes of loosening them up and that seemed to do the trick! The notes are playing more easily now and I can hear them more clearly, thank you for the insight.

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