Clicking Bass Mechanism.

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Geoff de Limousin
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Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:32 am

One of my older accordions suffers from a clicking bass mechanism . The noise occurs when the buttons are tapped and ,I think,when the horizontal arm of the wire comes into contact with the valve opening lever . The loudness of these clicks is greater in the central area of the keyboard, which might suggest general wear after nearly 70 years but I am looking for a cure.

A while back someone sent me photos for a bass machine they were rebuilding and I recall that they had used some sort of plastic or rubber sleeves to eliminate extranaeous noises where metal to metal contact occurs. Any thoughts on doing this, or what one might use ?

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Re: Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by Morne » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:59 pm

A forum member, Sebastian Bravo, posted about his success in using heat shrinkable tubing for this a few months ago:
viewtopic.php?t=5567

I plan on doing something similar later this year, but until then I have nothing useful to add.

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Re: Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by debra » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:10 pm

Hard to say what "clicking bass mechanism" means exactly. But if you mean a ticking noise when you lightly tap the buttons, too light to actually operate the valves/pallets, then indeed it is a metal on metal noise as described. The first remedy should be to adjust the levers ("catorcetti" in Castelfidardo dialect) so there is almost (but not quite) zero distance between that horizontal arm and the lever. The smallest button push should already cause all three notes of a chord to play (but no notes should play when no button is pushed at all, of course). A perfectly adjusted mechanism does not make excessive noise even when no rubber sleeves are used to avoid metal to metal contact.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
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Geoff de Limousin
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Re: Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:08 pm

Thanks for these suggestions Morne and Paul,

As it is too hot today for much else I did lift the base cover of my only modern accordion to see how it was organised and there are the dampening tubes of plastic or rubber. I could see that one or two of these tubes had moved and were less effective, so I will need to make adjustments as some chords do not start quite togther as the button begins to be pressed.

With my old accordion I will try some arm adjustments first!

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Re: Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by Granitz » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:09 pm

Hi Geoff. Another source of clicks are the bass pistons/buttons contacting the holes in the bass button board, especially when played stacatto. Higher end accordions tend to have bushed bass button holes in addtition to rubber tubing to eliminate or reduce as much mechanical noise as possible.

It is possible to bush the holes with felt or suitable material even if it wasn't done at the factory. I've done this on several accordion rebuilds from the 1930's, along with installing rubber tubing, and the bass machine becomes virtually silent after a complete timing and regulation.

Below is an old Italo-American that I rebuilt and the bass machine was both smooth and silent when completed. I bored the button holes out just slightly and glued in very thin black felt strips...roughly 3/16" wide and 1" long. The process takes a couple hours of patience, but is totally worth the effort from a player's viewpoint.

Just my two cents and best of luck on your project :tup:
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Bushed bass piston holes
Atlanta, GA USA

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Re: Clicking Bass Mechanism.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:14 am

Thanks for that thought Granitz,

I have replaced the felt bushings on english made concertinas ,from time to time. I have baulked at this job ,so far, on any of my accordions. because they all have the 'mushroom' headed buttons which would each need to be unscrewed before lifting out the button board.

I'll certainly look into doing this !

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