Vintage Clavietta issue

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Pam A 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #6946

    Maria T. Grieco
    Participant

    I became intrigued by the clavietta after reading about it and hearing one on the site. Just this week I bought one on eBay that the seller described as, “La Clavietta in very nice shape with instructions and case- tested for functioning- works great-“. Well, maybe it did when it left the seller but when I received it 6 keys did not play. Also, it did not come with a mouthpiece so I have to blow on the metal. As I blew into it black bits came out from between keys. There was tiny black debris in the case also. It seems to be mostly dead black ants. After much blowing through with the spit valve open and blowing and brushing between the keys and keys not working that worked before and vise versa I am down to 4 keys that won’t play at the low end: G, A-flat, B-flat, B. Yes the A in the middle plays!

    What’s going on? Can anyone advise me? I’m a novice and reluctant to open it. Also, is it possible to scrounge up a suitable mouthpiece or improvise on? The clavietta does sounds lovely.

    The seller (rated 100%) is very upset and co-operative. He will accept a return, though that is a pain.

    Anyone on this site live in the NYC area that can help?

    #6951

    Maria T. Grieco
    Participant

    Hi! I have not heard from anyone yet. I really need advice/help from clavietta experts so I can decide what to do – Alan Brinton, Melodica-Me, Daren Banarsë? Please help!

    #6956

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Maria, let me review your question and I will get back with you tomorrow, And by the way, if you need a mouth piece for your Clavietta I can mail you one, I have extra.
    Thank you
    Melodica-Me

    #6958

    Maria T. Grieco
    Participant

    Thank YOU, Melodica-Me! Wow, how do you have extra mouthpieces for a vintage instrument such as a clavietta?

    Looking forward to your help.

    #6961

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Maria, in transit the hard washers may have cracked, they are old and brittal but there are repairs than can be done. I would open the Melodica and check a few things. First remove the (4) screws on the chrome air chamber. First check to see if the hard washers have cracked and have failed. If so the can be replaced with rubber washers. You can find these at your hardware store. 1/16″ thick 7/16 OD with a 1/8″ center hole. Second remove one of the end capes by removing the (2) screws. Once the cap is removed you can take the metal housing off. You do not need to take them both off if you don’t want too. Next see if there the reeds are stuck by picking at the end with a tooth pick and see of it is sticking. If it is, it will not sound. Also if the keys of the notes are lower than the ones that function ok this will tell you that the hard washer is probably broken as well. As for the mout piece, go on Facebook and send me a message at the Monsters of Melodica page with your address and I will send you the mouth piec. The ones I have are old. And used but they work. After you check the Clavietta let me know what you find, maybe take a few pictures, it will help diagnost the problem.
    Thanks
    Melodica-Me

    #6964
    Daren Banarsë
    Daren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Great advice from MM! Also, perhaps consider returning the Clavietta, and looking for one that has no problems with it, or dead ants etc. Could save you a lot of work!

    I always check with a seller that all the notes work, and ask them whether they can blow through the melodica without pressing any keys (for airtightness).

    #9141

    Pam A
    Participant

    I need some advice. I have a Clavietta but 2 keys no longer produce sound and it seems rather leaky. I opened it up and checked it out. There is practically no gasket material left around the air chamber. One key seemed to have a felt pad that was deteriorating. I rearranged the felt pieces a bit and tightened screws. Rubber gaskets seemed intact and not deteriorated. I tweaked the reeds but they all seemed intact and not stuck. When I closed the Clavietta up again, one key had begun to work but the one next to it now didn’t while the other original key was still unresponsive. I’m wondering if it is possible that I just need a new gasket seal and if so, what material you would recommend? I also am wondering whether anyone has replaced the felt pads and if so with what material? Hopefully someone has some expertise in this area. I would appreciate it very much.

    #9142

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hi Pam, the gasket needs to make a good seal or the volumes will be very low. You can use leather lace available on eBay or a craft store like Michael’s. Once you install the lace you need to coat it with a thin film of silicone if not it can create light mold. As for the grey felt, I make and sell the replacement felt pieces as well as silicone washer replacements, if they are cracked you should replace them or at least the ones cracked. If you are interested send me a message on the Monsters of melodica Facebook page and I can give more info.
    Thanks
    Melodica-me

    #9143

    Pam A
    Participant

    Thanks so much Melodica-Me! I will definitely send you a message on Facebook page! You’re the best!
    Pam

    #9144

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Melodica-Me’s silicone washers are very good, better I’m sure than the originals or other replacements.

    I thought I was the best.

    #9145

    Pam A
    Participant

    I think I should just replace all the washers. Will have to eat my Wheaties to tackle that though! And Alan, you’re double the best! LOL!

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