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Odd Jobs On A Stagi


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Hello,

I just got a stagi (W-15-S, G/D, second hand) and I'm already considering a few improvements.

In particular, the instrument does a 'click' on the bellows reversal. An accordion repairer told me

it's due to the plastic valves and suggested to change them for leather ones. Has anybody done

that or does have an opinion about it ?

(I did a quick search on the forum and did not find any discussion on this point)

 

The other improvements I'm considering in near future are 1/ displacing the handles

away from the buttons for better access to inner row, 2/ enlarging of the breathing

hole (and putting a larger pad on it), and 3/ re-tuning a few reeds to have it tuned the

same way as my other instrument.

Finally the instrument has baffles glued on the metal ends and they are very dirty, and

I'm considering removing them. Any objections to this ?

 

David

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  • 4 months later...

Hello David, ya got the bear here my friend. I have a friend who has a Stagi and he wants me to do some work on it and when I seen your post about the Stagi I got excited. But then I found out no one gave you any answers to help you out. Bummer huh!

 

Did you redo your Stagi? If so what did you do and how did it all turn out?

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Hello,

I just got a stagi (W-15-S, G/D, second hand) and I'm already considering a few improvements.

In particular, the instrument does a 'click' on the bellows reversal. An accordion repairer told me

it's due to the plastic valves and suggested to change them for leather ones. Has anybody done

that or does have an opinion about it ?

I have owned a Stagi Hayden Duet for four years. Recently, one of the plastic valves broke off -- just before I went to the Northeast COncertina Workshop at The Button Box, so I had them repair it.

Judy, the technician, suggested replacing the broken valve with a leather one. Indeed, it is quieter.

 

Leather and plastic valves have different failure modes. Plastic ones fatigue, fracture and break off (and can end up stuck in a reed). Leather valves won't break, but after many years they curl up and either don't work at all, or have a delay. Personally I suspect the leather valves will outlast your use of the instrument, so would be a good investment.

(I did a quick search on the forum and did not find any discussion on this point)

I could swear that I've read discussions of leather vs plastic valves on this Forum -- but then,, I swear at my PC a lot, and it doesn't help :lol:

The other improvements I'm considering in near future are 1/ displacing the handles

away from the buttons for better access to inner row, 2/ enlarging of the breathing

hole (and putting a larger pad on it), and 3/ re-tuning a few reeds to have it tuned the

same way as my other instrument.

Some concertinas do seem to have the handles poorly placed, so go for it. But be sure you really do want them moved.

Finally the instrument has baffles glued on the metal ends and they are very dirty, and

I'm considering removing them. Any objections to this ?

David

You could clean them, but if by baffles you mean sound deadeners, it's up to you how bright and loud you want the instrument to sound. Probably not factory original. Feel free to remove.

--Mike K.

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I'm happy to see that my post eventually got some answers !

 

To answer the bear's question I have already done some work

but have not been very successfull :

 

1/ I have put leather valves on a couple of reeds as a test.

One of them sounds good but the other one now sound weaker.

Maybe i positionned it incorrectly.

 

2/ I weighted two reeds with solder in order to lower the notes

( specifically : the D at the bottom of G row changed to A, and the

high Eb lowered to D in order to have it on the pull as well ; I find

it very useful here). Here again not very successfully : the purity of the

tones was affected and the low A/B doesn't sound anymore because

after the job I did not put the wax correctly to reseal it.

 

3/ I raised one note of a semi-tone by filing (the low Eb to E, in order to have it

reversed for chords). Here also the reed now sounds badly, and countrary

to the weighted notes this change not easily reversible...

 

(Note : I refer to the notes as if the instrument was C/G although

it is actually G/D so Eb is actually Bb, etc...)

 

4/ Instead of displacing hand blocks I simply raised them with foam pads

(the kind you use for insolation of water pipes). This is the only change

I'm satisfied with.

 

I'm now considering bringing it to a more skilled person than myself...

 

David

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Finally the instrument has baffles glued on the metal ends and they are very dirty, and

I'm considering removing them. Any objections to this ?

David

You could clean them, but if by baffles you mean sound deadeners, it's up to you how bright and loud you want the instrument to sound. Probably not factory original. Feel free to remove.

--Mike K.

 

It's not the buffles! Speak of how people look at the world from their own little Univerces.

It's just gauze to keep the dust away and to make it look "pretty".

You can replace them with any fabric to your liking. Buffles is entirely different contruption.

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Finally the instrument has baffles glued on the metal ends and they are very dirty, and

I'm considering removing them. Any objections to this ?

David

You could clean them, but if by baffles you mean sound deadeners, it's up to you how bright and loud you want the instrument to sound. Probably not factory original. Feel free to remove.

It's not the buffles! Speak of how people look at the world from their own little Univerces.

It's just gauze to keep the dust away and to make it look "pretty".

You can replace them with any fabric to your liking. Buffles is entirely different contruption.

OK. My Stagi Hayden Duet has perforated metal radio speaker grille "cloth" in that position. I'd thought of removing it, but it's clean, protects the innards from inhaling lint and whatnot, and the tone is plenty bright enough already.

 

If yours is dirty, you could replace it with whatever you like(a la m3838) or leave it off and take your chances. It may be fun to be able to peek at your action now and then. --Mike K.

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I'm now considering bringing it to a more skilled person than myself...

 

David

 

Recommend you send the box either to the Button Box (http://www.buttonbox.com/) or to Bob Tedrow (http://hmi.homewood.net/). Both have lots of experience in tuning and enhancing Stagi concertinas. Alternatively, given your location in France, sending it to Brunner Musica in Italy (http://www.brunnermusica.com/intro.html), the manufacturers of Stagis might be a good choice, if they do repairs. Good luck.

Edited by CaryK
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Thanks for suggestions.

Sorry if I used the wrong word for the kind of fabric I have

(I am not a native english speaker). "Gause" seems to be the right word.

However could someone explain me what is the real thing called

"buffle" or "baffle" (I think I saw this latter word somehere on this forum) ?

I will take your suggestion and replace it (or have someone do it for me).

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could someone explain me what is the real thing called

"buffle" or "baffle" (I think I saw this latter word somehere on this forum) ?

I will take your suggestion and replace it (or have someone do it for me).

 

A baffle is a thing, that is supposed to alter the sound, making it mellower or quieter.

The best material is dense thick vynil or leather, but I had good results with 1cm closed cell styrofoam, but that's for Hohner Accordion.

There are people who installed baffles on their concertinas, they know better.

In any case, I would resist a temptation to send it somewhere and just pay for the work.

If your standards are high, chances are you will be dissatisfied with the job, done by any of the professionals, unless you pay them enough, allow enough time, and harass them after each operation.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Folks,

I've just done a Stagi repair that hasn't been mentioned yet.

 

Suddenly, one button refused to return to its closed position after being pressed, resulting in the associated notes sounding on in a strangulated kind of way. So I opened the box.

 

The trouble seemed to be that the rubber ring round the base of the button (supposed to hold theh button upright on its lever, but allow some play between button and lever) was binding on the adjacent lever. A bit of judicious bending of the levers freed it, but the strangulated drone effect continued.

While "test driving" the concertina, I noticd that the offending button offered less resistnce than the others - AHA! A weak spring!

 

For a multi-instrumentalist, no problem! I have used autoharp strings of excellent steel wire, in all gauges, and one of them was suitable. With round-nosed pliers, I bent a replica of a Stagi spring and inserted it.

 

Now, the original springs are threaded on the axle bearing the levers of the whole row. And to remove the axle, you'd have to practically dismantle the entire action. So to keep the new spring in place, I just left the lower part, which bears down on the action board, a bit longer than necessary, and bent the end downwards. This short "spur" digs into the soft plywood of the action board and keeps the spring in place. (I replaced a couple of broken springs this way years ago, and have had no trouble with them since.)

 

The pad now closes positively again.

 

One thing about repairs like this on a Stagi is that the action is so Heath-Robinson-looking that my repairs actually look elegant :lol:

But it works!

Hope this helps someone!

 

Cheers,

John

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