Bad Vibrations

January 15, 2017

Well before I bought my FR-8x, I was reading the 8x Yahoo group and one of the things that came up was that some people experienced an annoying vibration noise from the left side of their accordion when using settings that produced deep bass at maximum volume.  Well, I was testing out the maximum volume of my 8X, and there it was!

Thanks to the Yahoo group, I knew it was nothing major, however it was something that I would have to one day attend to.  A couple months passed, and during my conversations with Jim D of Falcetti Music fame, I mentioned that I had seen his pictures where he addressed this issue for someone.  Well, at the same time that I bought my new white and sparkly bass buttons, I talked to him about it and he also tossed in some gasket seal for me.

I more or less followed his lead but made a few changes to how I addressed my vibrations.  Basically, the process I went through was:

Prepare the accordion by laying it down on a soft and secure surface:

Remove the bass strap and unscrew the bottom cover (7 screws):

Remove the bass machine.  Be VERY careful with the 2 connectors, they are fragile and the wiring fairly short!:

Tuck away the 2 wire connectors that connect to the bass machine:

Remove the tape holding the woofer wires and the woofer (4 screws):

Remove the strap tightening mechanism:

Remove the bass machine frame (10 screws):

Same piece from another angle:

Look inside this piece.  Where the screws go through is evident:

Lay a light coat of silicone around the underside of the woofer and reinstall it:

Make sure that the wires are properly aligned before tightening the screws.  At this point, take the time to gently tighten all the silver screws you see that attach the grey plastic composite to the inner layer.

Put the tape back in place to hold the woofer wires in place:

This is the secret to the screws never coming loose again… BLUE Loctite.  I used it on all the screws I removed before replacing them:

Here is the gasket material that came from Jim D.

What I did a little differently… I placed the gasket material on the bass machine frame inside on top of the screw holes, then punctured a small hole for the screw to pass through:

Here it shows one gasket with the hole punched through:

Then I added a strip of gasket material on both aides of the bass machine right where you see my fingers and thumb:

Reassembly included dabbing a little BLUE Loctite on each bolt:

Then screwing them in:

All done!

At this point, I did a quick test and the accordion no longer gave me that annoying vibration anymore.  I then turned it off and left the accordion unused for 24 hours so that the silicone and Loctite cure and forever prevent the vibration from ever returning.

I mentioned it twice on this page, but it bears repeating again.  I used blue Loctite.  Please, do NOT use RED Loctite!  Blue Loctite seals in and locks things up in place, but it can be removed with extra effort in the event you one day might need to remove those screws for whatever reason.  If you used RED Loctite, you will damage the accordion in the act of trying to remove the screw… it holds and bonds that tightly to the composite plastic used on the FR-8X… so, last time… DO NOT USE RED LOCTITE.

Jim D. noted that a lot of his screws appeared loose.  Now, I noted that mine were not as tight as they could have been, but they were not necessarily loose.  Gently tighten them anyway, but be careful to not strip any!  On purpose, I used a small screwdriver so that there was zero chance of me stripping a screw hole and I could at the same time add a little more torque to tightening the bolts.  I even ended up giving myself a little blister on the index finger of the right hand… lol

Anyway, this project took me about an hour to do, but that was because I was working very slow and meticulously.  If I had wanted to, I could have easily done it in 25-30 minutes, but it was my first time and I did not want any surprises to catch me.  It also gave me the chance to make a couple of changes to the method that Jim D uses (no Loctite, no silicone on the woofer and he placed the gaskets on the woofer box of the accordion, not the frame, lessening it’s effectiveness, IMHO), to make a couple of minor improvements.

Know what?  Even letting me do this kind of work on this accordion kind of brings me closer to it, making it more mine, like changing the bass button design and adding the different crystals on the treble registers… it makes this accordion more unique to me, and that is something that I did not think that would be possible on an all digital accordion, yet it does exactly that!