The action of a concertina is one of the most important parts of the
instrument. An instrument with
a even balanced action is easier to play.
Basically there are two types of actions used in vintage concertinas;
as used by Wheatstone, and the 'hook' action which you'll find in Lachenal
Riveted actions are the better choice. Instruments like Wheatstones play
better because the action can be
regulated better. Lachenals in general play
harder and are noisier.
The type of action used determines the spring pressure needed to close the
pad. The more friction and
movement in the action, the higher the spring
pressure has to be to compensate. Higher spring pressure
means more pressure on
the keys. In other words, the higher the spring pressure the heavier the
An other aspect is the movement within the action. Every movement of the lever
other than straight
'up and down' can cause noise and friction. Even riveted
actions can cause friction because of age or just bad
This is a standard Lachenal 'hook' action. This particular instrument is an
amboyna edeophone with glass keys.
The lever is kept in place by the spring
pressure. The action is just as 'fast' as a riveted one, but it is very noisy.
It also needs more spring pressure to keep the pivot point from moving. This
extra pressure makes the
instrument play heavier than a riveted one.
This is the same instrument with a replacement double guided riveted action. The
brass post, through which
the lever moves, eliminates all side movement of the
button. As a result the action is very quiet and even.
The spring pressure can
be reduced because the friction is reduced to a minimum.
Replacement action, as part of a complete restoration, in a Wheatstone 56 key
action can be installed in every concertina. It does not increase the weight of
the instrument, because the
materials used are lighter than the brass it
replacement action, in a Lachenal edeophone Baritone
Normally replacing the
action is part of an action/reed restoration, which is $26.50 per key.
This includes (per key):
installation of the brass post and lever, spring, pad, including
samper and leather bead, key bushing,
end plate bushing and key end disks. Reedwork: new valves, voicing and tuning of the reed.