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Author Topic: Red box  (Read 1185 times)

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Squeaky Pete

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Red box
« on: December 28, 2018, 10:23:46 PM »

As well as the unidentified black box on another thread, I have a big red box. It's in G/C/F and looks like a Hohner Corona apart from the screw on cover on the fingerboard but has no markings whatsoever.
Does this ring any bells with anyone?
I'm guessing it's East German.
The reed blocks look well constructed and the reeds look ok but it doesn't speak easily. The bellows are sound and airtight but it has a strange imprecise feel to it.
I've had it for 25 years or so and it has been around a while before then so I guess it's 70s or 80s.
It's a project and will let me play with the smallpipes.
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Poker work DG. Erica GC.
Something big, red and probably German in GCF.
Piles of other rubbish.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Red box
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 01:28:10 AM »

Yes - looks East German or possibly east European to me too.
It looks as if the waxing is not original - too untidy and with a dark appearance suggesting burnt wax perhaps due to being applied using a soldering iron which was too hot. The valves are a mixure too.

But from what the photos show, it doesn't look to be too bad otherwise. My recomendation would be to strip all the reeds and valves, clean off all the old wax from the reed plates and the reed blocks, then re-valve and rewax.

Once you've got that sorted, I would then recommend adjusting the reed tip gaps to optimise the reed response to each individual reed's 'sweet spot', and then tune the reeds. Hopefully it then will be much improved.
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: Red box
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 12:00:26 AM »

Thanks Steve.
Yes the reeds must have been out at least once. The blocks have been marked in red pen as you can see in this photo.
It's a job for later in the spring when I have got my benches and tools set up.
Mind, final setup of the concert g smallpipes chanter has first dibs on my time
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Poker work DG. Erica GC.
Something big, red and probably German in GCF.
Piles of other rubbish.
Now with added Darth.

invadm

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Re: Red box
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 10:49:20 AM »

It's a Weltmeister, lowest grade reeds fitted on this models,slow,unwilling things..I have one of this under something in the shed..not missing at all...swap the reeds with better quality ones if you are planing to keep it.   
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Theo

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Re: Red box
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 10:53:35 AM »

The blocks have been marked in red pen as you can see in this photo.

Arrrgh! Why do people do that, it looks so amateurish.   Masking tape on the reed block lets you make notes and then can be removed when the job is done.

To me that looks like original wax that the wielder of the red pen has just re-melted to deal with the wax beginning to fail.  Ok as a short term fix, but no more.

I agree that the reeds are not great, but replacing the valves with modern lightweight plastic ones can improve the performance of the reeds.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:58:43 AM by Theo »
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: Red box
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2019, 11:34:49 AM »

Just out of interest, are low grade reeds rubbish steel and aluminium or just badly made and adjusted?
In other words are they fixable?
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Poker work DG. Erica GC.
Something big, red and probably German in GCF.
Piles of other rubbish.
Now with added Darth.

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Red box
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 11:48:16 AM »

Just out of interest, are low grade reeds rubbish steel and aluminium or just badly made and adjusted?
In other words are they fixable?
I wouldn't say the steel is 'rubbish' on the lower grade reeds, although I think the modern, higher quality reeds tend to have slightly harder steel.
The most significant difference is the gap around the edges and free end of the reed tongue and the sides of the slot in the reed plate. The better quality reeds have a much smaller gap around the sides of the reed tongues and are hand-filed to a much closer tolerance. This allows the reeds to respond more readily under lower bellows pressure.
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Steve
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invadm

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Re: Red box
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 12:04:31 PM »

on some models I think reeds are just lowest and cheapest grade,this model is one of them..I did try to improve same grade reeds on a single row by new valves and wax and took it to Martyn for fine tuning,it sounded better than originally did but still very slow and unwilling to play/response..
I guess new valves and wax and fine tuning /adjustments will help but it will still be a slow unsatisfying box if you compere it to lets say a Hohner or newer Westminster..I had a Weltmeister Monica and it was as good as my Erica,keyboard action was better than Erica I'd say.
I am not a reed expert but I'd say fixable up to a point but I would't play like a corona no matter what you do.time and money spent on this isn't going to justified the finished product- didn't in my case anyways..
     
               
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Winston Smith

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Re: Red box
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 12:24:24 PM »

"it looks so amateurish"

Maybe it actually is? Surely better than pretending to be anything other?
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Re: Red box
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 01:06:32 PM »

"it looks so amateurish"

Maybe it actually is? Surely better than pretending to be anything other?

Maybe, but in my opinion that's no reason to be messy and disfigure the reed blocks. I'm with Theo on this. There's no need to do it; it's just bad practice.
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Steve
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Winston Smith

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Re: Red box
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 02:04:12 PM »

"There's no need to do it; it's just bad practice."

But I expect that it falls short of being a "mortal sin", and I suppose the notes could have been printed on a piece of masking tape, as Theo suggests. But, obviously, the culprit thought otherwise.

Perhaps he/she deemed it to be a good idea to leave the markings on there for the benefit of any future amateur tuners, who (like me) haven't really much idea of what they're doing?

If a future owner found it offensive, I'm confident that a bit of sandpaper would make sharp work of the ink marks.
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Theo

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Re: Red box
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 04:18:37 PM »

"it looks so amateurish"

Maybe it actually is? Surely better than pretending to be anything other?

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word amateurish, I should have just said it looks messy!  After all there are professionals who leave marks, and worse ones than this.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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