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Leak in soundboard?


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Hi folks,

 

I recently acquired a used Rochelle, and I have noticed a few issues with the left hand side.

 

One is that most of my left-hand keys produce a faint buzzing on both push and pull. I am not sure what is causing that, but the waxed in reeds make it a bit hard to investigate for me.

 

The other, which I think is unrelated, is that air is audibly leaking through somewhere on that side and stealing my bellows travel. It is most noticeable when I extend the bellows and let it sit, as well as when I play higher notes on the right hand. I don't suspect it is a bad pad, as I don't hear any notes sounding when it happens, though I suppose it could be low enough airflow to not engage a reed.

 

In taking the end apart, I noticed a few things that I've highlighted in the two pictures I've attached. On the key side, I can see 3 small holes at 3 corners of the hexagon that have clearly deliberately been put there. On the opposite side, they are nearly covered by the black gasket material, but I suspect air could be getting through at least one of them. I'm not sure what purpose they serve(d), so before I try to fill them in, I would like some opinions on their purpose.

 

The other picture shows some of the accordion wax has fallen off one corner of a reed block. I don't know to what effect that could have, but I thought it would be good to cover my bases.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Soundboard 1.jpgReedblock 1.jpg

Edited by lordzedd
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1) Buzzing

 

This is what Wim told me when I complained about buzzing in my Elise:

 

The buzzing noise is caused by the button and lever : You can put a small amount of synthetic grease on the lever where it meets the button.  An other option is to glue a thin strip of plastic or even paper on top of the levers. Just make sure there still is enough play in the button/lever joint.

 

2) The holes in the action board.  I think* (not 100% sure) that there should be some tiny wood screws through the action board to fasten it to the bellows frame, maybe these are the screw holes and the screws have gone AWOL.  If so, then this might explain the air leakage.  Are there signs of screw holes in the bellows frame underneath the holes in the action board?

 

3) Missing reed wax.  Assuming that you do not have any reed wax at hand then you might be able to melt a little reed wax near to the gap and flow that into the gap.  Use a small soldering iron or a small heated knife blade.  Accordionistas will not like this idea, or the next one, but this is a used Rochelle ...  Try filling the gap at least temporarily with some blue tack.

 

*  I might have this wrong, maybe the screws should go thorugh action board into the end so that the action board is fastened to the end.  Either way, I am pretty sure that there are some screws involved.

 

 

Edited by Don Taylor
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Ah, I hadn't considered the button-lever interface as a source of buzzing, but that makes sense.

 

I checked the end, and there are 3 corresponding holes that would match those I've already found. At least one of them passes enough light to suggest it could pass air as well.

 

I will, after putting this end back on, have to check the right hand side to see if there are intact screws over there. I might try some electrical tape as a temporary fix to see if they are worth plugging if reflowing the wax near the reed doesn't alleviate the problem.

End 1.jpg

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Thanks Don, it was in fact leakage through those holes. I was able to temporarily fix it with some thin tape. I was also able to grab some excess wax from elsewhere and put it where I needed with an old soldering iron. I guess all that's left is to find some grease and email Wim about what size screws I would need to put there. All of this should help make playing a little more enjoyable while I figure out if it is worth investing in an upgrade.

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Jim, I had considered that and tried taking the other end off, but I could not get it to budge after taking out the end screws. I decided not to push my luck when I didn't have a pressing need to get to that side.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

The buzzing noise is caused by the button and lever : You can put a small amount of synthetic grease on the lever where it meets the button.  An other option is to glue a thin strip of plastic or even paper on top of the levers. Just make sure there still is enough play in the button/lever joint.

 

I let this sit in my brain for a few days and decided I didn't want to add grease to my instrument either. I took inspiration from the well known Bastari fix for loose buttons: silicone tubing. I got some 2.5mm ID, 4mm OD clear silicone tubing and slipped it over the left hand side buttons, then pierced through it a few times with a needle to allow the button to slide back over the rod.

 

I've been playing it with this change for a few days and have not had a single buzz. The buttons are much more stable in their orientation, which in my case means they are not all perfectly perpendicular to the end surface, but it makes no difference to me.

 

I also bought 3mm ID tubing in case the 2.5mm was too small. The metal bar part of the button is about 4mm wide, but that seems to be just within the stretch range of the 2.5mm tubing. I'll update here if I ever notice any degradation of my fix.

Silicone Bushings.jpg

Rochelle Buzzing Before.mp3 Rochelle Buzzing After.mp3

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