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One note louder than others..


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Glad to hear you are now more happy over your concertina; they can be temperamental characters ( as I would describe them).. sometimes you can have no bother for weeks and then ( like a stubborn mule) they can just be very annoying!

I always think that different settings can definitely affect sound, humidity, or temperature maybe. And not forgetting any acoustic echo, or lack of it can make sound seem richer as well. ( And small upholstered rooms; no resonance at all!)..

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Thanks, Simon; I'm a bit overly obsessed with sound issues myself, so will take what I can get at the moment and accept the inevitable annoying stuff along the way. Just glad to have had a glimpse of this instrument in all it's glory, as it were. I probably just jinxed it :)

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I think that all acoustic instruments have a personality; and like a new acquaintance.. you get to know one and other gradually.. the good points, and the annoying ones.

My own squeeze box occassionaly sounds off notes when I wish it would not, or needs attention, and yet I have stuck with that one for 23 plus years now; and it's done me good service, it's where my tunes are heard on, played on etc...

But I like the sound it makes and I suppose they ( instruments) become part of your personality in time also.

 

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According to the web-site, the Eiru has "Brass Plate Clamped Concertina Reeds" in "Dovetailed reed slot".

 

It sounds to me that the changes you describe can be attributed to changes in humidity.  In dry air (in the hold of an aircraft and then in the mid-west in winter) the reed pan wood will gradually dry out and shrink.  When the humidity rises (in the spring and summer in the mid-west) the wood will swell again.  It was made in Ireland where the humidity is always high, air-freighted to the US and then experienced a mid-west winter.

 

The wood drying out and shrinking probably caused the reed to be loose in its slot.

 

This problem will likely re-occur next winter unless you can find a way to keep it in a stable environment - ideally between 45% and 55% humidity.  You can either use an instrument case humifier or you can use room humidifiers - which are better for humans.

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Thank you, Don, I think that's the correct diagnosis; happy to report that everything still sounds really good, almost hard to believe that it's the same instrument. I really appreciate everyone's input and advice on this, and I will be stepping up the humidity situation to try and avoid some of this in the future. 

I can't help wondering / worrying that there might have been permanent damage done by the extremes of humidity and temperature though? Recent signs are positive, and as Simon mentioned, I'm expecting some more of this down the road but I feel more equipped to deal with it now, so thanks again to everyone.

All the best, Ruairi.

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On 5/2/2022 at 6:18 PM, Ruairi said:

Hi All,

 

Sohcahtoa, I've no idea what these reeds are and honestly I don't know what Czech reeds are, or if that's a really bad thing; if I find out I'll post about it, thanks.

In a weird turn of events, I took my concertina to an outdoor gig this weekend, where I mostly played guitar, banjo, but I did play some tunes on the concertina, thinking it might benefit from a little change in humidity, conditions being perfect for once. It sounded, to my ears, exceptional. Then I tried it back at home yesterday and today and it still sounds really good, by which I mean that it feels like all the notes are coming in fully and evenly, no volume discrepancies and no buzzing or weirdness that I can discern. I'm confused but happy; was it perhaps just a little warmth that it needed, I have no idea, but it is currently sounding like I hoped it would all along. I hope to be able to say the same thing after a week or two but for now I am so much happier with what now sounds like the instrument I envisioned. Strange! And if I do take it apart again I will post pictures of the innards, but I don't want to tempt fate right now.

PS As an aside to this conversation, I was playing the concertina through my acoustic Fishman amp, miced by a small CAD condenser microphone, and the sound itself was unbelievably pure and good, almost like I knew what I was doing...

All the best and thanks again,

Ruairi

 

Hey Ruairi, there's nothing inherently bad about Czech reeds, just more my own curiosity if he is sourcing them from harmonikas.cz as the copy language is a bit evasive. Everything I've heard about the instruments is encouraging though, so its nice that there is another option available that fills a gap in the market. Next time you open it up, snap some pics for those of us that are curious. I wouldn't worry too much about long-term damage, wood is fairly resilient and moves quite a bit (even when we don't want it to).

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Hi Sohcahtoa,

That's very good to know about the Czech reeds, I was a little worried about that due to me not knowing anything about reeds, never mind the rest. I'm particularly glad to hear your reassurance about the wood probably rebounding from the whole shipping debacle, which I'm now fairly convinced was the main issue. I honestly think the instrument is very well put together and I'm finally playing it with confidence in what I'm going to hear. I'm sure I'll open it up again at some point soon and will definitely take pictures; for now I just have to learn to play the damn thing :)

Ruairi

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Hello All,

I just thought I'd check in with an update that the concertina is still sounding really good, even the lower bass notes that were not feeling well from the get-go; in fact, they sound really great and solid, for want of a better word.. Such a relief to listen to it now and know that apparently it has recovered from it's earlier 'trauma' - I'm really grateful for all the help on here and am off on my next adventure with online lessons from the wonderful Caitlin Nic Gabhann, thank you again.

Ruairi

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