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Remove reeds to make air button - any issues..?


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The only thing about my otherwise splendid Wheatstone treble EC is that there's no air button - I don't need it while playing, but closing the bellows up after tunes would be a benefit. 

 

So I was going to take out the pair of reeds on the very highest note, because I never ever use it and it's only really audible to dogs and bats.

 

Are there any problems with that? Am I going to put strain on the pads or otherwise compromise the instrument? Obviously I will keep the reeds safe and slot them back in if I ever part with her.

 

Any thoughts? 

 

TIA

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I would say leave it alone! You may not use the high notes much, most of us on anglo probably have extra high notes less used, but it's nice to have them there.

You may try and adjust it and then wish you had not bothered?  If it goes wrong!

I have heard of instruments without the air valve but would not see it as problem overall, just press a note or button to let it close up as it was designed to.

Your concertina may be shivering at thought of being operated upon; so in my opinion I would say let it be.

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You can use the Alistair Anderson method to close you bellows.   Place the palms of your hands to cover as many buttons as you can from the lowest up towards the mid range, then gently press against the buttons.  If you press enough buttons like this no single reed will get enough air to sound.

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I've been removing a reeds for over forty years, with no problems.  I choose top Dsharp (push).  Last note, outside row, right hand side - I found I could find it with certainty, even with my eyes closed.  

Additionally, if you do encounter a bat out of Hell and need it fast, there are three alternatives. Firstly, Dsharp pull (only remove one reed, as wunks says).  Secondly, Eflat on the left hand side (coincidentally, fifth  note again, but in the inside row) push and pull.

 

Heed what Alex says, and make sure you don't lose it.

 

Les Branchett

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Make  sure to  mark  the  removed  reeds , for  push  and  pull,  as  their  exact  pitch  and  fit  may  differ.

 

I  use  the  'press  many  buttons  to  close'  method  on  my  LOUD  band/session EC,  but  some  would  argue  that  one's bellows work  should  allow for  finishing  a piece  with  the  bellows  shut  though I  doubt  many of  us  do  that.

 

My  120 bass Chromatic  Button  Accordéon  does not  have  an  air  button  either !

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Taking reeds out is a common solution, but for closing you only need to take out 1 reed. I use the fist full of keys technique, and often get asked to provide replacement for reeds lost in the mists of time. Over the decades there must have been thousands of matchboxes each with two small mystery objects that were thrown away during house clearances, or found at the back of grandad's sock draw where they were kept safe.... 

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If you only need the air button to close the bellows, then only the push reed needs to be removed.

 

Edit: Oops, I see now that David has already made this point.

Edited by dabbler
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The high pitched reeds do not pass much air so it would be a slow close.

I removed 12 buttons and 24 reeds from my 48 key Wheatstone. It is now 3.5 oz. lighter which helps with my fast bellows style of playing. I stored them in 4 separate baggies marked for each side on push and draw.

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I have always removed both the left side top Bbs on a 48 key or the top Ebs on a 56. Since neither of theses are valved both are open when the key is depressed so the closure is quite rapid, easily as quick as a factory fitted air valve.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have an extended treble New Model without an air valve.  Years ago I removed both high reeds and found they stored perfectly in the blocked off part of each reed chamber. If you ever need the note just take out the push side only and leave the other in. My Aeola has a thumb air release and I find the jury rigged one on the New Model both handier and able to move much more air.

Edited by Syncopepper
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You do not need an air release to open and close a concertina silently, or quickly for that matter. If you doubt me then contact Alister Anderson who showed a class that I was in many years ago. Since then I just don't use air buttons. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am not sure if it was standard. Or “after market”. but my 56 the highest button on the rh side as the air button.  
 

it is not the same as having as a rh thumb. But getting used to it. I think I would opt for this solution over removing anything else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While exploring options to enhance my Jeff duet, I ended up with an open chamber for B above middle C on the left hand side push in the overlap zone.  It's surprising how much air is available.  Well enough for closing up quickly.  I don't need 4 ways to play that note so I ll leave it for now.

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