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#1 Richard Morse

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 09:12 AM

We're still hung up on finding a shop to mass produce our reeds though I'm very hopeful of the current one we're working with.


Can you please tell me more about the much-anticipated Morse Hayden?
- How many keys?
- How much do you expect to charge?
- If your reed maker works out, when will you begin production?
- Give your existing pre-orders, if one were place a pre-order today, when could one expect to take delivery?


We are expecting our Hayden to have 56 keys though it's possible that there may be a couple more depending on how we can squeeze them in. Our goal is to produce a very high quality, fast and supple box that will play in Bb (identically fingered in addition to the "standard" keys of C,D,E,F,G,A) and be fully chromatic to top out at the E (above "high" D) while keeping the size as small and box as light as practical.

We expect that our Hayden will retail for between $2500 and $3000.

I've been burned on time estimates for so long now I'll just have to say that they'll be ready when they're ready. Based on our prototype-to-production timing of our last two models, I would say that we should be able to produce our Haydens around 6 to 8 months after we get our reed machinist on line. Keep in mind that even though I have high hopes for the current guy, we've spent considerable time with each of about 15 machinists (that didn't work out) since last December....

Once we know that all our ducks are in line, and only then, will we be begin taking orders. OTOH, we do have a wish list for our Haydens which is currently several dozen people long. This differs from an order or pre-order list in that we do not take a deposit and those people are not under any obligation to buy anything. The Hayden wish list is just a notification device so that they will be the first to be notified when we will be accepting orders.

Once we do start producing, we estimate that we should be able to produce about 50 Haydens in the first year. So if only half the Wish List folks get a jump on orders before you do, your Morse Hayden delivery may be something like a year and a half away.

Following the example of the Concertina Connection's offer to buy back its Jackie student English models at full price on the purchase of one of its more up-scale Englishes, can you commit to buy back the Button Box's Stagi Haydens from those upgrading to a Morris Hayden when they become available?


We do not have an "upgrade" buy-back program. Any instruments we purchase (outright or in value toward another purchase either originating from us or another outlet/maker) is done at market value - not original purchase price. We DO have a full-price "returns" policy for a set period after a sale (which is a different situation than what you are asking).

All else being equal, and with the full understanding that the folks at the Button Box and Marcus Music are good friends, what specfic advantages will your Hayden have over that version being produced by Marcus Music, that would lead the wise and informed consumer to buy yours rather than Marcus'?


Actually, there isn't much "equal" between the Morse and Marcus Haydens, so there will be an appreciable reason for folks to gravitate toward one or the other. They are quite different boxes. Rather than advantages, I would say that they each have differing features?

The Marcus seems to have greater range (65 keys - starts about 1/2 octave lower), more overlap (1 1/3 octaves), and more enharmonic duplicates (allowing reasonable Eb functionality) than our Hayden. I don't know what type of reeds they have or how much they are/will be selling for.

Our Morse will be somewhat smaller and lighter, will have raised wood ends, and have real concertina reeds. It will be a substantial step up in quality from our current models.

#2 Chris Timson

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 08:38 AM

Our Morse will be somewhat smaller and lighter, will have raised wood ends, and have real concertina reeds. It will be a substantial step up in quality from our current models.

Accepting that you do not intend going back and re-engineering the Ceili and Albion ranges with the Haydon technology (they are after all already excellent instruments at their price point), do you intend to produce higher qualty Englishes and anglos at some future date? Appreciate that said date might be quite some time off.

Chris

#3 Richard Morse

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 11:24 AM

Most certainly. After the Hayden, we'll be using our knowledge gained and new reeds for an upscale English tenor (48-key, 6 1/4" hex), then an upscale anglo (both metal and wood ended models), then maybe a softer-voiced English (not steel reeded but more durable than brass) for singers, and an extended range Hayden....

#4 Guest_charlie seltzer_*

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 11:25 AM

OTOH, we do have a wish list for our Haydens which is currently several dozen people long.

Hi, I'd like to be added to your wish list. Assuming it's an e-mail list, my e-mail address is: charlieseltzer@pacific.net.

Thanks,
Charlie

#5 Richard Morse

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 11:30 AM

It's best for you to e-mail our shop directly squeeze@buttonbox.com with your request to be put on our Hayden Wish List. Safer than me remembering to do it in a couple of days when I get down there.

#6 James Plamondon

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 04:05 AM

Richard --

I appreciate your response, and hope that you will be able to answer a related question.

"Hayden" duets are now available (or imminently forthcoming) from a number of vendors: Dickinson, Dipper, Stagi, Marcus, and of course yourselves. It is entirely likely that, in the absence of any validation of their conformance, these manufacturers' keyboard layouts will vary -- one from the other -- in button size, spacing, slant, position (relative to the center of the palm rest, say), and perhaps in the placement of special buttons.

This would not concern me, except that Brian Hayden is quoted as saying "Its these little bits that are important" and also that having larger-than-usual (6mm) buttons with a very specific spacing "has worked out extremely well, even when you are playing only three parts. With four or even five parts, then you have to have it, and because of the fourths and fifths, that tips the balance between being able to play four parts and five parts."
http://www.maccann-d...-chat/index.htm

Mr. Hayden's patent rights to The Hayden System have expired, so he is no longer in a position to dictate strict conformance as a condition of licensing. This introduces an ambiguity into the market: what exactly is a Hayden Duet, and what is not?

It is possible that I am the only one with such concerns -- being from the IT industry, in which rigid standards are essential, perhaps makes me overly sensitive.

If not -- if others share these concerns -- perhaps they could be addressed by having Brian Hayden give your forthcoming Morse Hayden Duets (and those of other manufacturers, such as Marcus Music) some kind of "seal of approval," confirming that their design conforms to the latest version of The Hayden System.

What do you think?

Thanks! :-)

--- James

#7 Richard Morse

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 08:06 AM

"Hayden" duets are now available (or imminently forthcoming) from a number of vendors....  It is entirely likely that... these manufacturers' keyboard layouts will vary....

It's certainly possible though I would imagine that any maker would consult Brian Hayden when designing their instruments. He has put an incredible amount of work into perfecting his design, and enough instruments have been made to ascertain what works and what doesn't.

His earliest designs (and that which his patent depicts) has the rows of buttons slightly curved (as anglos are). It didn't take long to realize that this is NOT preferable, and that straight rows were essential for identical fingering and to be able to play two buttons with one finger reliably. There is also the slant of the rows to consider as well as the interbutton spacing. After many prototypes this was pinned down in the early 80's and has remained optimal since.

You're correct in thinking that different makers could produce varied keyboards. In fact the Stagi Hayden has considerable wider key spacing and a much flatter row slant. Brian is perplexed as to why Stagi did this (maybe Italians have huge hands - though Brian is a no pigmy himself!) as his recommended layout is available for the asking.

Mr. Hayden's patent rights to The Hayden System have expired, so he is no longer in a position to dictate strict conformance as a condition of licensing.  This introduces an ambiguity into the market: what exactly is a Hayden Duet, and what is not?

Brian's idea (or design) of the note LAYOUT is what is patented. That layout is not restricted to any particular instrument, size or shape of buttons/keys, slant/spacing/curvature of the layout, pitch or range of notes, etc. In fact the duetness doesn't even enter into the equation. Duetness is a property of overlapping tones on two keyboards. Interestingly enough, I've seen his system applied to an organ in which by extending the "sea" of notes left and right creates duplicate notes such that one could play "duets" in the same range - or even low with the right hand and higher with the left.

It is possible that I am the only one with such concerns -- being from the IT industry, in which rigid standards are essential, perhaps makes me overly sensitive. 

Concertinas need not be so rigid as they don't have to interface with anything other that human beings - and we vary all over the place. Yet - there are better and worse keyboard variations from the average human (an ideal compromise?). Time will tell. Note how the English layout has remained intact in for over a century and a half.

The only Haydens I've played are Wheatstones and Stagis. I find the Stagi uncomfortable to play though if I stick with it for awhile I find I adapt well enough. But I'm also quite relieved to get back to my Wheatstone. Folks that have Stagis go through a bit of adaptation too when playing my box - and quickly realize the superior setup. Stagis being currently the only game in town, if anyone were aspiring to a Hayden, I would recommend they get a Stagi and get going now and not worry about adapting to a slightly different layout when trading up later. It's very doable.

if others share these concerns -- perhaps they could be addressed by having Brian Hayden give your forthcoming Morse Hayden Duets (and those of other manufacturers, such as Marcus Music) some kind of "seal of approval," confirming that their design conforms to the latest version of The Hayden System.

That sounds like an excellent idea! I'm quite sure ours will do well as we've been in contact with Brian continuously over the years as I've been developing our Hayden.

Edited by Richard Morse, 04 September 2003 - 08:12 AM.


#8 Chris Timson

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:13 AM

-- being from the IT industry, in which rigid standards are essential,

Presumably, that's why there's so many of them...

Sorry, off-topic, but being from the IT industry myself, you touched a raw nerve there.

Chris

#9 Jax

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 06:13 PM

On the Hayden Duet mailing list (subscribe by sending an empty email to hayden_duet-subscribe@softwoehr.com) Richard Morse has just given us an update on the layouts he's still considering for his Hayden offering. He has a "minimal" and an "optimal" layout in competition. See the .GIF image of the layouts at Jax RCFB Hayden Duet Concertina Page.

#10 Ken_Coles

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:51 PM

I was just talking to Rich about 90 minutes ago (as I write, he is playing at a dance). "How nice to see you off-line," he said, grinning.

He promised when the dust settles in a few days, to reproduce all the info here as well. Thanks to Jack W. for serving the Hayden community (one less thing for us to do!)

#11 Richard Morse

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 08:56 AM

Anyone here of any progress on the 55-key Button Box Hayden Duet?


Slow going as always... but progressing nevertheless!

We've finally gotten a couple of fabrication specialists (both are aerospace facilities that are currently underutilitzed) that can produce the reeds to our specs and they are currently refining their techniques to be more uniform and less pricey (currently they are right about the top end of what we consider "affordable". We hope to be able to select the "winning" jobshop in a few weeks.

Our 55-key design has grown a bit into a 59-key design and is fully chromatic from the low Bb to the high e''' (with 5 enharmonic links), and we *can* get it all into a 6 1/2" hex (well, it may be 6 3/4" if we elect to go with a certain chamber design which will be simpler and more cost-efficent to produce - we haven't decided on this point yet).

However, I'm working at a very decisive junction point now.... On the left side, it would be glorious to go down to include the low F,G and A (even if there would be no F#,G#), a mere 3 more reeds! Unfortunately, those would be the largest reeds in the box and and I'm finding that it may probably push the size of the box to 7" (or 7 1/4" with the alternate chamber design).

While that in itself isn't a killer issue, that does mean that there'll be LOTS of extra space for more reeds (buttons) on the right side, which in the 59-key version currently bottoms out at the Bb row (doesn't include the "row" below that in which would be the f,g,a,b,c#'). A 7" (7 1/4") box would make it possible for me to include these notes plus maybe a couple more like the eb and ab.

Again, this isn't a problem, but a direction decision. For the want of 3 notes on the bass side, the instrument grows 1/2" in size (and weight!), complexity by 3 links and a dozen buttons/actions, and cost by??? You get the idea....

So, what to do? I'm focusing on the bass side as that seems to be the key, and I'm designing BOTH versions completely and tweaking them around to see how best I can make each of them be. My personal preference is to go with the 59-key Bb box as it'll be more agile and less expensive. Brian Hayden is really pushing hard for me to do the F box, which by my packing turns out to be a 70-key box.

Of course we can do both - in time.... But my time is that I can do only one of them now, after that comes the English tenor and an upscale anglo. Who knows when I'll be able to get back onto another Hayden.

So maybe this is a good time to ask you folks: What would you prefer, the 59-key Bb box or the 70-key F box? The development time is about the same. The differences (besides range) are size, weight, and cost. Cost? We're still not sure, but the 55-key window seems to be $2700 - $3000. The 70-key would be probably $500 - $800 more. Keep in mind that these are still just estimates!

Now that I've asked for your preferences, how about what you think would be other people's preferences. Not a lot of folks like or need bigger boxes, more extended range and want to pay all that extra money for more box than they want/can afford. After all, we need to be marketable here. This isn't a hobby anymore!

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#12 peverett

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 11:27 AM

Richard, I'm a musically unsophisticated Hayden player who'd be thrilled to buy either of your two proposals. My play is mostly folk jamming, without a lot of highly chromatic stuff. So, the common keys cover me pretty well. In fact, I'd gladly pay to upgrade to a technically superior 46-key instrument.

Paul E.

#13 David Barnert

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 03:46 PM

In fact, I'd gladly pay to upgrade to a technically superior 46-key instrument.

Hey, Paul.

Talk to me after I get my Morse... (no promises, of course, but it's a good possibility).

While we're here...

Rich's comments above came out of a discussion on the Hayden discussion list. I answered his question there, and I'll repeat it here, combining my comments from two consecutive messages.

...From your description, my preference would be for the F box only because I find my current (46 key) setup inadequate for accompanying my singing range because it doesn't go low enough. The F box would more closely approximate the range of a guitar which works very well as a voice accompaniment. If I'm singing in C, for instance, with a melody that goes down to the 5th (G an octave and a half below middle C), I want to be able to play a low G in the left hand at the bottom of a dominant chord (as one would on a guitar). Otherwise the "bass line" of the accompaniment will come out an octave above my voice, which I find messy.

However, I wouldn't want something too big or cumbersome to play with facility. Can't speak for others, though.



#14 Jax

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:01 AM

And as has become customary :rolleyes: in that same mailing list discussion I expressed my preference for a light light light 55-key instrument as described in my "Proposed 55-key Hayden Duet Layout ". (Brian Hayden and I discussed the issue of enharmonic "wraparound" keys in our interview.)

#15 JimLucas

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 02:20 PM

...55-key instrument as described in my "Proposed 55-key Hayden Duet Layout ".

Jax, I'm curious why you don't throw in one more button on the left hand, to complete the top octave with a C.

#16 Jax

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 12:56 PM

Jax, I'm curious why you don't throw in one more button on the left hand, to complete the top octave with a C.

Don't find it necessary in reams of performance. The only note I miss at the top is Bb.

#17 gwhlevy

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 01:22 AM

I'd like to have a 70 button. I play in alot of minor keys (jewish music) and find myself having to reach across the keyboard sometimes for notes. This is annoying at best. The picture you have of the 70 key would certainly make Cm a whole lot easier! (Among other #/b keys!)

Thanks,
Grant Levy

#18 Xojo

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:18 AM

-- being from the IT industry, in which rigid standards are essential,

Presumably, that's why there's so many of them . . .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


. . . and, having so many standards, like having so many (potential) makers of Hayden layouts, you get to choose the one you like best. :rolleyes:




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