Author Topic: Paolo Soprani 96 bass air bar  (Read 159 times)


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Paolo Soprani 96 bass air bar
« on: November 13, 2018, 11:45:14 PM »
Soon after getting my Paolo Soprani 96 bass I realised there was a problem, or problems, with the air bar and air valve. When I operated the air bar to open or close the bellows, not a lot happened; certainly not the rapid inhalation or exhalation of air that I expected (and seem to need). I hoped the box had a decent-sized air hole that had been partially closed off with tape, as with two previous accordions I've had. (I've never understood the logic of people doing this).*
  Unfortunately, on opening up the instrument I discovered the air valve hole was a small, piano accordion type, a 14mm diameter hole of area 154mm². Wholly inadequate. By comparison, my Paolo Soprani 80 bass has an oval air hole of approx 420 mm². After a bit of DIY the PS 96 now has a similarly-sized air hole and a bigger pallet, and control of the bellows is much easier.
  On to two further problems: the actual air bar is made from a black plastic piano key which has hard, uncomfortable edges; and it is too short. On the PS 80, the air bar is a nicely-rounded wooden wedge which reaches down to level with the A bass button. It feels comfortable under the hand, though at times I feel it could do with being a bit longer. On the PS 96, the air bar only reaches down to level with the E bass button. Not a big difference, but noticeable; on occasions when playing my thumb is below the end of the air bar, and I don’t have particularly small hands (size L glove). I intend to fit a longer, more comfortable, different material air bar on the PS 96, after reviewing the extensive discussions (and photos) there have been previously on this forum.

* I don’t know how the previous owner managed to play this box with such a restricted air valve, or why some people tape off the air hole to restrict the air flow. That gives the options of closed or very little air, whereas having a big hole allows a wider range – off, a little, some, a big gulp – simply by feathering the air bar. I'm still mystified by the chap I sold the Guerrini Gala to – speaking to him on the phone a couple of days after he got the box he said “The ferst thing Ah did wis tae tak’ off the air bar – it jist gets in the wey”.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 12:27:50 AM by Bill »