Jump to content

Quiet note advice

Recommended Posts

I received a McNeela Phoenix about two weeks ago and I have enjoyed playing it.

This is my first Anglo concertina, but I have some experience with accordions both uni and bi-sonoric.


On my Phoenix, the middle G (above middle C) seems to be playing a little softer than the other notes, including the A that is on the draw of the same button.

Overall it is not that much softer, but softer enough to be annoying. Because the instrument is new, is this something that might work itself out?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would give it a little time in use before getting too concerned over the issue myself. When I got my instrument [ 24 years ago] notes buzzed and buttons were stiff to begin with, but with use over time, the effects reduced.  But, my concertina is different variety to your own.  Some of my own notes can be sometimes harsher on some buttons, and softer on others, I suppose they are after all different metal tongues prone to differences in structure. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot comes down to what I call (rightly or wrongly) voicing. When an instrument is finished, it should be played for a few days. These imperfections will become evident, and that's the time to correct them, before they are sent out. Often it is about the set of the reed... too high or too low. Mass produced instruments don't take the time to do this.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All the above is good advice.  In addition there are several other reasons why a reed may sound weak: The valve behind the reed may be partially stuck down, too stiff or making contact with the side of the reed chamber.  The valve next to the reed may not be closing or may have fallen off.  The reed plate may not be firmly attached, there may be an air leak from the reed chamber, the reed tongue might be slightly off centre,  or in the case of a low grade instrument it might just be a badly fitted reed tongue with excessive side clearance.

it’s also possible there can be more than one of the above combined.



I’m prompted to give this list because I’ve just dealt with exact the same symptom on a customers concertina where the reed assembly was loose and there was an air leak from the reed chamber.


it’s not easy to diagnose these disparate defects if you don’t have any experience of working with reeds but with the list you know what to look for.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I had a similar issue with my 1950's wheatstone a little while ago. i took the reed out. and with an exacto blade plucked at it just ever so softly. there was a small pice of leather fiber stuck between the reed and its housing. (Leather from the valve) perhaps there is a small pice of wood shaving or something stopping proper vibration?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...