New accordion, slight wheeze

We have some evidence, however, that you may have to pay for the reeds.
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WaltP
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New accordion, slight wheeze

Post by WaltP »

I just received my new Linnet accordion from the Button Box.

I'm actually quite impressed with the quality for the $700 price.

There's only one slight problem.  The top two buttons in both rows have a very slight wheeze on both press and draw.  All the other notes on the box sound cleanly.

I've emailed the Button Box a couple of times, but they seem pretty busy with the holiday season.  So I thought I'd ask the forum. 

Is this something that will likely work itself out?  Or will a repair be necessary at some point?
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ecadre
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Re: New accordion, slight wheeze

Post by ecadre »

Since you call it an accordion (not melodeon) I'm going to assume that this is a B/C or a C#/D box. Also I'll assume that you mean the two buttons closest to your chin whilst playing.

Those buttons give the lowest notes on the instrument (well, one of them does at any rate) so they might be slightly "growly." This could also be to do with the tremolo offset on the two reeds in each note.

Something that will cause reeds to act slowly, take more air, and sound not quite right is when they are not properly "gapped." That is, the tongue of the reed doesn't sit in quite the right place for the reed to work efficiently.

Then there are the valves. That is the little strips of plastic or leather that stop air going the wrong way through a reed and thus wasting air. If these are damaged, worn, badly applied or misaligned then it can cause a variety of fluttering/wheezing sounds.

Lastly I suppose there's the psychological (allied with proximity) thing. I know that I hear things in my instruments that listeners don't hear. This is because I am so close to the instrument and as I'm playing it I'm particularly sensitive to what it's doing. I occasionally wonder about tuning whilst playing, but when I check the octaves and put it up against a tuner, it's fine. I'm *not* dismissing anything, or the issue you're hearing, but perhaps it's just what that box and its reeds sound like down there?

If I get a funny noise from my boxes I'll often open them up, usually to flick a bit of dust from a reed. In all my years of playing I've only lost one reed on my Italian boxes (that's excluding my first Hohner Pokerwork which had a few broken reeds). That was a bass reed when my little Baffetti went in for a tune-up.

With you, on a brand new instrument, I wouldn't open it up at all. You're right to go back to The Button Box and ask their advice, check-up, repair/adjustment on warranty.
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WaltP
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Re: New accordion, slight wheeze

Post by WaltP »

Thanks for the words of wisdom. That all makes a lot of sense.

Also, finally got a call back from Doug at Button Box.

He said that the reed gapping on their instruments tends to be a bit of a compromise to ensure a good response over a range of sound volume, between soft and loud. When played very gently, which I'm tending to do as a beginner not wanting to disturb the rest of the household, a little extra air tends to escape before the reed speaks. This seems to be most obvious for the low notes closest to the ears.

He offered to change the reed gapping if I wanted it done. I think I'll stick with the current set up and see how it goes.
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