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I think it’s going to have to come apart. Would you be comfortable taking it apart to have a look inside? If not, take it to someone who is.

 

If you’re up to it, my guess is that air is finding its way around the reed rather than passing through it. How to fix it will depend on what kind of reed it is. If it’s a real concertina reed (a single reed mounted on a metal frame:

 

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The reed that sounds on the pull will be on the side that faces the buttons, not the bellows. You can often solve the problem by pressing it tighter into its wooden joint with your thumb. If it’s still too loose, you might have to insert a paper shim beside it (cut from newspaper).

 

If it’s an accordion reed (two reeds on a metal plate, one on each side, but you can only see one reed and one flap valve over the other one):

 

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Then it might be held in place by screws or wax, and you might be able to tell that it needs to be tightened.

 

 

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Thanks. Yes, I believe it needs to be opened, as well, and as I am a complete novice I am loathe to attempt it. There is a local general music shop which does sell concertinas (I think mostly Chinese ones), and they say they have someone who works on them. How important is it to go to someone who specializes? Mine is an old, restored Lachenal.

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If it is a nice old lachenal it might be best to find someone who knows what they are doing.  It is a rite of passage to take apart your concertina.  Many of us end up doing it eventually to dislodge dust or diagnose easy fixes on this or that.  But it is a bit daunting the first time round.   There are a surprisingly fair number of people out there who could do this for you, but you may need to send it off to someone.   Knowing what country and what part of the country you live in would help for recommendations.

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:42 PM, Carole H said:

The middle button on the left side doesn’t make a proper sound on the pull. I think this is D? The push is fine. The pull sounds like an intake of breath with a very faint tone. Any advice? Thanks.

 

The reeds in a concertina like your Lachenal are a tapered, dovetail fit into the reedpan, and sometimes they get loose (either through a knock, or a change in humidity) - it sounds like that may be your problem and that you simply need to push it firmly back into place.

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Stephen is saying the same thing I said, above. It needs to be taken apart, but the fix is quite simple, likely just pressing the reed tighter into its dovetail joint. All the information you or someone else might need is right here on the page with the added proviso that it’s a good idea to keep track of which of the six bolts is paired with which hole and make sure they go back into the same holes they came out of.

 

But, again, if you can tell us where you are, we might be able to tell you who, nearby, might have done this dozens of times.

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  • 1 year later...

A pad isn’t closing a hole, but there are dozens of things that could be causing that. A broken or weak spring, a piece of something caught between the pad and the hole, the pad might have come off its lever, etc. Many of the concerns listed earlier in the thread need to be addressed before anybody here can help you. How old is the instrument? What kind (manufacturer, brand)? Where are you located? It will certainly need to be taken apart. Is that something you might be comfortable doing?

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I don't know what make of concertina you own, but would advise you get someone with experience to operate on it; at least until you have experience in the matter yourself. If the you could maybe watch how they adjust the repair work, by watching, you will probably pick up new tips on technique at the same time [in  how to adjust mechanism safely].

My own instrument [Hohner brand] Steel [Accordion type reeds]. When new I had sometimes technical issues as it began to be used for first ever time by myself. Once a reed ceased sounding, and I found the flap/ valve just needed releasing [the instrument opened up was enough to do this] and it worked again. There's many things can happen with them; and you may find best to use it and see if it begins to 'settle' down, as you play it.. otherwise; have someone experienced do the job for you!

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5 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

I ... would advise you get someone with experience to operate on it

That’s why I asked “Where are you located?” Perhaps someone here can suggest somebody to bring it to.

Edited by David Barnert
Typo
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