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New Rochelle, No A


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I just got my new Rochelle today and the A pull button on the right hand doesn't seem to work. All I get is air, no note. Any ideas on what this could be? I'm not very excited about sending it back to the Netherlands since I just got it. I'm fairly handy and I understand how the instrument works (more or less)

... is this something I might be able to fix?

 

Also, the bellows seem much more rigid than I expected. Is this normal with a new concertina? I'm a beginner and I have no clue how hard they should be to push/ pull.

 

Thanks.

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I just got my new Rochelle today and the A pull button on the right hand doesn't seem to work. All I get is air, no note. Any ideas on what this could be? I'm not very excited about sending it back to the Netherlands since I just got it. I'm fairly handy and I understand how the instrument works (more or less)

... is this something I might be able to fix?

 

Also, the bellows seem much more rigid than I expected. Is this normal with a new concertina? I'm a beginner and I have no clue how hard they should be to push/ pull.

 

Thanks.

 

The non-sounding button (especially if it's a very high note) could be caused by dust in the reed. If you can identify the reed, carefully running a small, thin piece of paper between the reed and the reed frame may solve the problem. If that makes you nervous, you could try blowing on the reed first (preferably with a mechanical device rather than your mouth to avoid getting moisture on the reed) to see if that takes care of it.

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I'd strongly recommend that anybody who encounters a problem with a Rochelle (or Jack/Jackie) gets directly in touch with Wim Wakker through the email address on the Concertina Connection website.

 

I've had a couple of niggles with my Rochelle - i.e the straps issue and a broken spring - and I cannot speak highly enough about Wim's excellent post sales support. In both cases he sent me the bits I needed and also provided a work-around solution to keep me playing while waiting for the parts.

 

As alluded to in previous posts, it's also important that Wim gets the feedback. For all his efforts in quality control there's no way any manufacturer is going to be able to test a new Concertina design to the same level as a bunch of players getting their hands on their new toy :D . Letting him know of any problems you encounter will help him ensure that future Rochelle owners don't have the same experience.

 

- W

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I have already contacted Wim Wakker. Yeah, he's been really great so far. I'm just getting some opinions from people while I wait for his response.

 

Any ideas on the bellows? After watching some video of people playing, I still am wondering if they are so stiff becasue it's brand new. Is this normal? Will they ease up over time? Or do I have to start going to the gym?

 

Thanks.

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I have already contacted Wim Wakker. Yeah, he's been really great so far. I'm just getting some opinions from people while I wait for his response.

 

Any ideas on the bellows? After watching some video of people playing, I still am wondering if they are so stiff becasue it's brand new. Is this normal? Will they ease up over time? Or do I have to start going to the gym?

 

Thanks.

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The bellows were stiff to start with but mine have loosened up really well

 

- W

 

You can stretch the bellows manually. Just pull them apart till they start creaking a little. And hold for a few seconds. Then they will be playable. It's the only solution with cheap instruments, other than been tormented by them for few weeks/months.

But I had tried the new Jack and didn't notice any bellow stiffness, btw.

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I'd strongly recommend that anybody who encounters a problem with a Rochelle (or Jack/Jackie) gets directly in touch with Wim Wakker through the email address on the Concertina Connection website.

 

I've had a couple of niggles with my Rochelle - i.e the straps issue and a broken spring - and I cannot speak highly enough about Wim's excellent post sales support. In both cases he sent me the bits I needed and also provided a work-around solution to keep me playing while waiting for the parts.

 

As alluded to in previous posts, it's also important that Wim gets the feedback. For all his efforts in quality control there's no way any manufacturer is going to be able to test a new Concertina design to the same level as a bunch of players getting their hands on their new toy :D . Letting him know of any problems you encounter will help him ensure that future Rochelle owners don't have the same experience.

 

- W

 

I want to second this opinion of Wim's customer support. It is exceptional! Troubleshooting a minor problem when separated from an instrument by 4,500 miles (8700 km) could easily be a low priority in his business. But it seems that Wim's pride in his product doesn't let this happen. (Of course, no problem seems minor to a new owner. But it is best to just think of it as part of the initiation into the Concertina ownership club.)

 

Dan Madden

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I have used a crisp dollar bill to slide under a reed if it is silent. Hair or dust is almost always the problem as was already expressed.

 

A concertina owner must not be afraid to open the instrument up from time to time. You ]can fix it most of the time. A bad reed is the worst, and takes it to the next level at least for me.

 

I don't find the bellow a problem on the Rochelle. If you are pushing too hard, there is something wrong with the bellows control. The "tightness" actually helps my speed, not an incumberance, and I like it, but it might be me..

 

The bellows by the way, are softer now over a few weeks time. It is getting broken in and plays well.

Playable through the full range of the instrument.

 

ps Do you play really hard? If so this migt be straining the reeds

Edited by stevejay
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I've been carefully comparing my new Rochelle with my C/G Stagi for the last month or so. There are pros and cons with the Rochelle. I also had a broken spring problem and Wim Wakker sent me the parts and instructions to fix that quickly. His service has been great.

 

I find the wooden-ended Stagi is certainly finished off more nicely than the Rochelle (except for the ugly Stagi aluminum-foil dust cover behind the fretwork). The Rochelle's plastic over plywood is not as attractive as stained wood would have been. The screws and washers on the Rochelle also appear cheap and fragile compared to those on the Stagi. The Stagi's bellows also play more easily than the Rochelle's. Hopefully this will get better on the Rochelle with time. The Rochelle is a little bigger box than the Stagi and because of this and the stiffer bellows, it is a real effort to play it. After a half hour on the Rochelle, my shoulders and back are aching. Moving the air through the larger box does take more effort, it seems.

 

The button placement of the Rochelle on the other hand is better than the wider placement of the buttons on the Stagi. Also, the action of the Rochelle generally feels better to play. The sound from the Rochelle reeds is certainly better (to my ears) than that of the Stagi. The Rochelle's tone is clearer, louder, and cleaner. The Stagi's tone, though sweet, is muffled (like playing the concertina with your hands under a blanket). The Stagi is louder on the high notes though and my Rochelle is weak and hesitant when sounding these reeds. I will try to clear out any dust or obstructions as suggested earlier in this thread. Finally, the Rochelle is more airtight than the Stagi and extends much more slowly when hanging it vertically, compared to the Stagi.

 

So there it is. I think the workmanship that went into the appearance of the Stagi is a lot better than that of the Rochelle and the Stagi feels more solidly built. But that $400 extra you pay for in a 30b Stagi should be buying you something. The Rochelle is harder to work, but the button action is better. The sound of the Rochelle is subjectively much better to me. Hopefully, my issues with the bellows are just temporary. Service from Wim has been prompt, courteous, and accurate. I've also gotten that level of service from the Button Box, where I purchased the Stagi. Either instrument is a good starter instrument. But the Rochelle's cost give it a real advantage here as well as the Wakker's generous trade-up policy.

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Hey everyone,

I was able to take it apart and free the reed and now I have my A back. Thanks for all the advice.

Congratulations! You have now joined the ranks of those who can service their own "horn".

 

A question, as a Stagi owner I'd be curious to know:

Are the Rochelle reed plates held in with beeswax (like the Stagi), or screwed down to the wood, so you can take one off and get to the reed on the other side?

--Mike K.

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Hey everyone,

I was able to take it apart and free the reed and now I have my A back. Thanks for all the advice.

Congratulations! You have now joined the ranks of those who can service their own "horn".

 

A question, as a Stagi owner I'd be curious to know:

Are the Rochelle reed plates held in with beeswax (like the Stagi), or screwed down to the wood, so you can take one off and get to the reed on the other side?

--Mike K.

 

 

It looks like wax or some kind of epoxy, but you're not really able to access the pull reeds.

 

Adam

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A question, as a Stagi owner I'd be curious to know:

Are the Rochelle reed plates held in with beeswax (like the Stagi), or screwed down to the wood, so you can take one off and get to the reed on the other side?

--Mike K.

 

It looks like wax or some kind of epoxy, but you're not really able to access the pull reeds.

Adam

Epoxy? Gawd, the first truly disposable concertina -- when a note goes bad, toss it and buy a new one!

 

Seriously, I'll assume it's some kind of wax, per tradition. With the right tools, which I have watched in action at The Button Box's shop, one can remove a waxed-in reed plate and replace it pretty quickly. But the special tools are a bit much for most of us owner-players.

 

I can understand not using screws to hold down reed plates where the reeds are mounted in cells perpendicular to the action deck. You couldn't reach the screws with a screwdriver. I'm impressed at the techs who can handle waxed-in reeds in such locations.

 

Now, some accordions make the cell banks demountable with their own screws, thus making everything accessible, even tho individual reeds may still be waxed in.

 

"Design for repair" is my favorite goal, but it conflicts with small size, low weight, and of course low cost.

--Mike K.

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I think accordion reeds were mounted with wax, because of poor craftsmanship of the reedbanks.Anything else would have left large gaps for the air to escape.

It's long obsolete now, but accordions are still made with this ridiculous technique.

I'm very surprized that Rochelle's/Jack's reedplates are mounted with wax. Even more surprized that Morse is using wax. Perhabs to avoid air leaks, if reed pans will warp slighlty. But softer wood or suade will accomodate as nicely, I think. But what do I know?

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