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Author Topic: The 21st Century Box  (Read 33984 times)

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IanD

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 05:43:37 PM »

The reeds (if on normal reed plates) could be held down direct to the aluminium with screws into tapped holes

Therein lies a problem. Aluminium doesn't take a thread well and wears very quickly. Built in obsolescence guaranteed. For a long life box think again!

Thread inserts?

Though I'd have thought a thread tapped into a 10mm thick aluminium block is going to have plenty of strength to hold a reed down, given that you're not going to screw it in and out hundreds of times...
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Chris Ryall

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 11:43:12 PM »

Someone (not sure it was Frans) told me the vanderAa's have screwed in reed plates.

  Please note,  we need to be careful in mixing materials if the 'stuff' of the box is to vibrate.  The reflection/transmission ratio for sound at an interface varies with square of the difference in acoustic impedance (more solid things don't impede sound, think "railway tracks").  Wood to wood to wood is similar impedance value, low difference, most sound transmitted.

Aluminium to styrofoam to carbon fibre  ??? I suspect a lot of sound might never get out

« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 11:46:57 PM by Chris Ryall »
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juker

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 07:46:02 AM »

er....I'll have to take your work on that one Chris ;D
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Rees

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2011, 09:14:35 AM »



When I was discussing my "21st century melodeon" ideas with Jerry Tozer, one of the ideas I had was to flat-mount all the reeds for a 2.5 row 2-reed box by CNC milling the reed chambers out of a solid block of ply -- in fact doing it out of aluminium would have been better but didn't suit the person planning to do the construction.

This would not only mean you could have individual ideally shaped (whatever that was) reed chambers with the minimum amount of free space, but would be light (since a lot of the material is milled away) and very rigid, and very fast to do once set up. The reeds (if on normal reed plates) could be held down direct to the aluminium with screws into tapped holes, with no problem with flatness or warpage and a very rigid coupling between the reed frame and the "reed block" -- no resonances like the ones we were talking about that need reed block straps.

Also the "reed block" could be made easily swappable like Stormy Hyde was talking about, for switching keys :-)


A certain Welsh concertina maker mills his reed blocks from waterproof MDF (as used by kitchen fitters). It is very stable.

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Chris Brimley

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2011, 09:59:29 AM »

Quote
in fact doing it out of aluminium would have been better

That takes me back to my days in the aircraft industry in the very early 70's! The company I worked for had developed computer-controlled integral aluminium milling of aircraft panels, for the same reasons of maximum lightness and strength.  (They also used shot-peening afterwards for stress-relief purposes, which prevented fatigue fracture, though I don't suppose that technique would be needed here.)
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Anahata

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2011, 10:29:55 AM »

we need to be careful in mixing materials if the 'stuff' of the box is to vibrate.
...
Aluminium to styrofoam to carbon fibre  ??? I suspect a lot of sound might never get out

Most of the sound comes out as a result of airflow chopped by the vibrating reed. How much sound is contributed by transmission through the box vibration? Very little, and I'm not even sure if it's desirable, e.g. in loudspeaker construction you generally don't want the box panels vibrating.

I'd guess quite a lot of sound comes though the bellows too, and again I don't know if that enhances or worsens the overall sound.

What you do need is rigidity and some mass in the reed block so the reed vibrations don't interfere with each other, as discussed elsewhere in the thread about strapping the blocks together. Apart from that, it's just an airtight box that you want as light and strong as possible - hence the success of foam construction ?
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Chris Ryall

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2011, 03:53:29 PM »

er....I'll have to take your work on that one Chris ;D

Basic training stuff in all medical ultrasound departments!  Basically interfaces reflect (there are ways to prevent this).

Just to pick up anahata's point - is it only the chopped airstream? There are paddles etc in the way and some box designs have quite complex paths. Also for the simple ones - qute different tones so something mechanical is in play?

If it is all in the air flow - that's something else we could work on.  Present boxes radiate most of their sound sideways.   Pignol demo'd this to us last month - turning on his feet.
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IanD

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2011, 09:16:10 PM »

er....I'll have to take your work on that one Chris ;D

Basic training stuff in all medical ultrasound departments!  Basically interfaces reflect (there are ways to prevent this).

Just to pick up anahata's point - is it only the chopped airstream? There are paddles etc in the way and some box designs have quite complex paths. Also for the simple ones - qute different tones so something mechanical is in play?

If it is all in the air flow - that's something else we could work on.  Present boxes radiate most of their sound sideways.   Pignol demo'd this to us last month - turning on his feet.

The acoustics of a free reed instrument pretty much dictate that the vast majority of the sound comes out through the air, not through the structure, and that's exactly how it should be. Ultrasound is exactly the opposite, for similarly good reasons. Drawing analogies between the two is as valid as comparing the desirable acoustic properties of a violin and a xylophone :-)

The vibrating mass of a reed is tiny, otherwise the sound would carry on quite loudly when you close a valve because the reed vibrates for quite some time.
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Anahata

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2011, 09:45:41 PM »

If it is all in the air flow - that's something else we could work on.  Present boxes radiate most of their sound sideways.

Like the Dino Baffetti Black Pearl and others that have a row of holes facing forwards as well as the side-facing grille?
Or the boxes that have extra grille holes near the keys to compensate for the inner row palletes being less exposed (inner row notes do sound duller than outer row notes without that construction)
Steirische Harmonikas have forward facing holes on the bass end too. The little metal trumpet flares are purely for show, but I wouldn't be surprised if the holes in the middle of them gave a harder edge to the bass sound as heard from the front.

The vibrating mass of a reed is tiny, otherwise the sound would carry on quite loudly when you close a valve because the reed vibrates for quite some time.

Good catch.
Actually there is some sound after the valve closes, especially on big bass reeds, but I'm pretty sure that's heard though through the bellows.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 11:47:41 PM by Anahata »
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Pete Dunk

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2011, 11:44:11 PM »

Thread inserts?
Certainly. One of the readily available brass inserts would do the job.

Quote
Though I'd have thought a thread tapped into a 10mm thick aluminium block is going to have plenty of strength to hold a reed down, given that you're not going to screw it in and out hundreds of times...
Yes, that's a fair point. Threads and aluminium still make my teeth itch though, call me old fashioned if you will ...
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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2011, 08:17:03 AM »

.... One of the readily available brass inserts would do the job.

Hmm dissimilar metals in contact ... a bit of salty water and it might produce enough current to run a MIDI interface  ;D
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oggiesnr

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2011, 09:33:32 AM »

Silicone rubber (either pre-extruded or applied like a sealant) instead of wax?

Steve
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Theo

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2011, 09:54:32 AM »

Silicone rubber (either pre-extruded or applied like a sealant) instead of wax?

Steve

Could you list the advantages please?  I can tell you several reasons not to use silicone having had to undo several sets of reeds that had been fixed with the stuff by well-meaning botchers amateurs.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2011, 10:27:50 AM »

Won't need fixative on the Rya21™ product. It's about as dated as dentures. I'm going to mount the reed plates touching and screw fix them. Materials have moved on and even dentists now fix their plates with self tappers! (Squeamish members do please pause before opening attached scan reconstruction) >:E   If it works in bone, surely aluminium or wood will be OK?For a melodeon we'd require with some sort of grommet to seal.  I believe some makers have this sorted - but that might  be a cured silicone bead on the plate edge.  

So what are the disadvantages of silicone please?   :|glug
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 10:30:43 AM by Chris Ryall »
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Anahata

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2011, 10:43:53 AM »

The only advantage I can think of with silicone is that it won't melt if you leave the box exposed to direct sunshine in the back of a car for several hours.

Reed plate-block fixing requirements (as I see it):
1. airtight seal
2. easy to undo and redo
3. Rigid coupling between plate and block
4. Doesn't come undone with extremes of temperature

I'm not sure if point 3 is necessary but I seem to remember it being mentioned as contributing to better response, in context of waxed vs. nailed reed plates.

Of course you don't have to have separate reed plates, but then the reeds are screwed instead of riveted (or held down by a saddle with two screws like a properly made concertina) and locating a replacement reed correctly in its slot is not a trivial job.
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Cooper

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2011, 11:03:16 AM »

i can't quite follow what's been said, as my technical insight isnt the best, and i dont know lots of the materials discussed, nor do i know enough about the inside of an accordion to be of much help, but...
It seems as if you guys are just innovating because of the innovating. Woudnt it be better to first determine what you want to improve and then find a solution for it?
Or was most of the discussion above about making the instrument lighter?

Things i wouldnt mind seeing improve:
1) I like the sound of a 3 or 4 voice instrument. and i like the possiblities of multiple rows. But the weight of a 2-row 8b is desired. (i dont like them much lighter than that either)
2) i wouldnt mind being able to play in many weather conditions without hurting the instrument
3) i wouldnt mind the tuning to stay longer accurate than the 1 or 2 years it does now.
4) an easy, cheap way for amplifying inbuilt already, without losing anything of the acoustic sound? and without losing the ability to jump around.
5) a way to bend tones (other then 1voice-breaking-your-reed-way)

:-)
W
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Chris Ryall

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2011, 11:10:03 AM »

a way to bend tones (other then 1voice-breaking-your-reed-way) W

My first thought was eddy current damping. Think that's impractical .. but magnets? .. they'd only affect the steel reed.
There might be even more interesting effects it we were to pre magnetise that .. or possibly .. uninteresting (not my field).  
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oggiesnr

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2011, 12:01:45 PM »

Silicone rubber (either pre-extruded or applied like a sealant) instead of wax?

Steve

Could you list the advantages please?  I can tell you several reasons not to use silicone having had to undo several sets of reeds that had been fixed with the stuff by well-meaning botchers amateurs.

If we're machining the parts then I wondered about a groove round the reed blocks, matching grooves in the bed and then using either silicone or nitrile gaskets to make the seal.

Do we need individual plates or would long ones (like the zinc ones on my bandoneon) suffice?

Steve
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Theo

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2011, 12:05:13 PM »

So what are the disadvantages of silicone please?   :|glug

To my mind that is the wrong question, even though I asked it. :|bl  We should be asking what are the disadvantages of wax?  The main one is that it can be messy to use, so can silicone. A second is that it looses its effectiveness after 20 or 30 years. There is already a better method which is to fix the reeds with screws. This method has been used for decades mainly in the very best quality instruments, Shand Morino for example.  It is a tried and tested method, but I suspect is more time consuming to build and therefore more expensive in factory scale production.

But back to the question, the main practical disadvantage of silicone is that it is much harder to remove and replace a reed that is secured with silicone.  It is almost impossible to clean it off to a smooth surface in preparation for replacing a reed that has been removed.  Wax on the other hand can be removed in seconds with with a flat scraping tool.

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Re: The 21st Century Box
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2011, 01:11:58 PM »

I too have often weighed the pros and cons of wax and/or screws. For the time being I have abandonded the use of screws only, mainly for the following reasons: I only use a mano reeds where the gap between reed and frame is minimal. When tightening the screws it takes very little to deform the aluminum frame and block the reed. One also needs som kind of gasket, either cork or leather, which again may absorb sound. Furthermore, these materials can undergo changes which may lead to loosely fitted reeds. I'll never use silicone, even though it may provide a tight grip it cannot be applied as easily and quickly as wax. Especially with little space between reeds it's very unpractical and will almost certainly cause air leaks. Apart from that, it looks horrible... In my boxes I use wax,  and every reed (=frame) is connected to the reed block with a small screw. 
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