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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Mcgrooger on September 14, 2018, 09:20:00 AM

Title: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Mcgrooger on September 14, 2018, 09:20:00 AM
I only caught up with Clive playing The Valiant last night on Lester's old L'Elfique. Are those holes on the treble keyboard? What are they for? I assume they are mods and that new L'Elfiques never looked like that. You can see an unmodified one on my posting on September's ThOTM.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Prestidigitator on September 14, 2018, 09:50:33 AM
I only caught up with Clive playing The Valiant last night on Lester's old L'Elfique. Are those holes on the treble keyboard? What are they for? I assume they are mods and that new L'Elfiques never looked like that. You can see an unmodified one on my posting on September's ThOTM.
They are Lester's mods. I thought I recognised that distinctive L'Elfique from somewhere, and asked Clive about it in the Youtube comments. 

The idea is to unmuffle the treble-end reeds, and I've been thinking about doing the same to mine. The treble end is OK but overwhelmed by the basses, and although I've taped up many of the bass-end soundholes, I still want to bring up the trebles. I'm not sure I really want to muck it all up, though!

The new L'Elfiques have oblique slanting oval slots, I believe.

Correction:-
The 2-rows might, but I can't see any photos with them. However, the Inferno/L'Elfique 19/2 does:-http://www.saltarelle.com/en/elfique-192-0 (http://www.saltarelle.com/en/elfique-192-0)
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Mcgrooger on September 14, 2018, 10:33:40 AM
Hi P. Are you sure your bass end is too dominant? It might sound so to you playing it but not to an 'audience'. It's something I've noticed more with acoustic guitars that they project differently on a recording to the way I hear them when playing. I like my L'Elfique the way it is. Unholy - maybe in every sense of the word!   >:E
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Lester on September 14, 2018, 10:42:31 AM
They are indeed my modification to unmuffle the D row who's pallets are 50% below the keyboard level.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Prestidigitator on September 14, 2018, 10:46:17 AM
Hi P. Are you sure your bass end is too dominant? It might sound so to you playing it but not to an 'audience'. It's something I've noticed more with acoustic guitars that they project differently on a recording to the way I hear them when playing. I like my L'Elfique the way it is. Unholy - maybe in every sense of the word!   >:E
As often happens with these things, there is a range of opinion on bass dominance; both from listeners and from myself, from recordings as well as in full flight. One moment I'm reasonably happy with the balance, then I'm not.

I've spent quite some time listening to your playing, and to others with L'Elfiques. Yours, like Clive's/Lester's, has a certain "Je ne sais quoi" which I feel is missing in mine. I've had it from new for several years, and it's improved a lot, and I like the sound and tuning well-enough. It's just the balance that niggles somewhat, especially when it gets a bit of extra effort and air through it.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on September 14, 2018, 11:18:30 AM
Along parallel lines:
I've always thought Emmanuelle Pariselle's course-made  melodeon keyboards a touch odd on the eye. To my mind it always had a long expanse of wood between the accidentals and the grill.
My friend went on his course last year and lo and behold, the stretch of wood now has a lovely bit of fretwork in it which must improve the sound and to my mind much easier on the eye.
Parallel ( Pariselle! ) thinking ?
Q
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Gena Crisman on September 14, 2018, 01:14:29 PM
To be honest I've been seeing quite a lot of newly designed instruments which have those kinds of grill/fretwork in the space between the keys and the regular grill. Seems to be quite popular, at least on the instruments with an enclosed metal armed keyboard where it's possible. Most Castagnaris that could have it, do, as well as the newer Oakwoods do, as do quite a few of the Salterelles listed on the linked website, and many more I'm sure. It may just be an outcome of being able to automate the process and it being an otherwise flat piece of wood - might as well do something with the space rather than nothing, after all.

For viewer reference:
This is Clive's recording of the Valiant with the lester modified instrument in question: https://youtu.be/yePp8w6UJU4 (posted here (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22633.msg271255.html#msg271255))
And this is Mcgrooger's unholy/pristine instrument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1wJM1gsA6U (posted here (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22774.msg272935.html#msg272935))
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: JD on September 14, 2018, 03:17:38 PM
I had an Elfique a few years ago before Lester tried his experiment with keyboard slots. For me it wasn't any difference in volume that was the problem but the difference in timbre between the two treble rows. The difference between the two lowest D notes in MM voicing was the worst. I played another Elfique on a trade stall and it sounded exactly the same. My theory was that it had something to do with the difference in the distance that the pallets lifted on the two rows.

A great shame because other than that it was a much better box than my DBIII, but the Elfique moved on and the DBIII stayed.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 04:47:06 PM
I had an Elfique a few years ago before Lester tried his experiment with keyboard slots. For me it wasn't any difference in volume that was the problem but the difference in timbre between the two treble rows. The difference between the two lowest D notes in MM voicing was the worst. I played another Elfique on a trade stall and it sounded exactly the same. My theory was that it had something to do with the difference in the distance that the pallets lifted on the two rows.

A great shame because other than that it was a much better box than my DBIII, but the Elfique moved on and the DBIII stayed.

Yes - I tend to agree with that. The difference can be lessened by installing a pierced keyboard grille or, more drastically, by removing the main grille altogether. But the underlying cause of the discrepancy between the two rows is the distance/angle of the pallet lift.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Clive Williams on September 14, 2018, 08:11:52 PM
Wow - can't say I've noticed a thing :-) Mind you I thought all Elfiques were set up that way; wasn't until recently that I found out Lester had mod'ed it.
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: RogerT on September 15, 2018, 07:30:07 AM
I wonder if something like this mod would work on a Corona IIIR, which  has the issue of muffled notes on the lowest row?
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Mcgrooger on September 15, 2018, 09:05:34 AM
Did it have the desired effect Lester? Mind you, whatever the answer I'm not having hols cut in mine!
Title: Re: Lester's L'Elfique mods
Post by: Lester on September 15, 2018, 09:14:28 AM
Did it have the desired effect Lester? Mind you, whatever the answer I'm not having hols cut in mine!

I thought it improved the sound of the D row.