obviously the 56key versions having the same size of Hex do have narrower chambers than the 48k's but having shallow chambers is a big factor. Those that I have seen, dating from the 1890's have flat reedpans with chamber walls of about 5 or 6mm in height. A few years ago I had two ostensibly similar Wheatstones, an 1898 flat reedpan 48 and a 1920 model 22 which had the canted ( tapered) chambers. Both superb instruments of their type but the attack and strength of the lower octave and a half of the flat reedpan model was evident. I will say that the later Model 22 was a much nicer instrument, fully developed , easier to play and having a far better tonal balance throughout .
I believe it is partly the attack, commencement of the note, that stays with the listener and directs the senses to some extent in the way the note is perceived, and the attack, at least over the lower octave of the flat reedpan model has this kind of effect. At the time, Chris Ghent was visiting with us and I played the two instruments for him to judge this. The early metal ended 48 ( 22,000 series) is the instrument I use in a very noisy dance band... but I almost never play it at home as my dog hates it with a passion.... says something about the bite of the notes and about the upper partials I would say.
My memory of the Boyds is from 35 years ago and I cannot recall how deep the action of the buttons was. I have maximised pad lift on my 1898 flat reedpan Wheatstone, such that the buttons almost arrive level with the ends at max extent and the guide pins are almost out of their ports when the buttons are at rest. The ends of some of the levers almost tap on the metal fretwork when the buttons are fully depressed such is the extent of their travel even though it is not really quite enough to alleviate all Pad dampening of certain notes... there just is not enough space in this early design. Having said that the power of the little beast is about the strongest I have observed whilst retaining a pleasant tone on an EC.
Many Lachenals, have Pad boards of Mahogany and this gives a quite distinct tone that I rather like...
But as I said before; each instrument has to be tried for its own merits...... different people making reeds, different woods, some pieces of the same wood will have better musical qualities... hence the Luthier holding a piece of Tone wood between finger and thumb and tapping it to listen for it's resonant qualities. I doubt the casework cabinet makers employed by the concertina factories selected their timber like this. I have had Aeolas that I did not care for and other that were sublime, this does give rise ( perhaps unfairly) to preferences for certain periods of production. One MacCann Aeola that had the most beautifull tone I have ever heard from a concertina, which I put down to the 'Brittania Metal' ends, was also, made during my prefered golden year. Could it have been the reed quality, or something else?
Edited by Geoff Wooff, 18 January 2017 - 04:21 AM.