A request to Crane drivers. I’m trying to find out about instrument dimensions as they affect button reach: initially, the key dimension for me is the distance between the hand rail (on each side) and the nearest buttons, i.e. those playing the lowest notes.
I played a 48 button Lachenal Crane back in the 1980’s and always found it very comfortable to hold. In fact I recall playing standing up. Recently, I’ve got myself another 48 button Crane, a Crabb with a lovely tone. Unfortunately, however I set the straps, I can only play the thing comfortably with the straps on the knuckles. If I push my hands fully into the straps, it’s awkward playing the lowest notes- manageable if I sit down and rest it on a knee.
I mentioned this in a recent thread about a Crane with EC fittings. Jim Lucas said he had the opposite problem (difficulty in reaching the furthest buttons) and wondered about our relative finger lengths. I certainly find I can reach way past the furthest buttons on mine.
Since then, I’ve had some information from Bill Crossland. He tells me the distance from handrail to nearest buttons (end of row) on his 48 button Lachenal Crane is 34 mm on the right hand, with the left hand equivalent being about 1 mm less. That’s 10 mm more than the same dimension on my Crabb: a whole row. I’m guessing my old box was more like Bill’s.
Is there a difference between makers in this respect? Do boxes just vary? Or have I got myself an instrument with an unusually small gap between rail and buttons? What’s the gap on your instrument? Any help appreciated.