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#1 SqueezeCat

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:48 PM

My new W W-1 has arrived! (See the pic in the link.)

Wim & Karen have put together a lovely instrument... thought I'd share!

#2 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:51 AM

Luck ******** (add your own word)....
How long did you have to wait and were the Import duties exorbitant ?

Please tell all; how it plays, do you think the Wiki layout is better than the Hayden angled keyboard, etc etc. ?

But , congrats and happy music,
Geoff.

#3 Reed Bellows

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:47 PM

I am also curious as to how it plays versus the Hayden slant, but then again, I'd love to know how either plays, as the duet is my next stop after getting the English well under my belt. (Which will take long enough so that I can save up and afford a good duet!)

#4 SqueezeCat

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:02 AM

Luck ******** (add your own word)....
How long did you have to wait and were the Import duties exorbitant ?

Through Chris Algar/Barleycorn Concertinas I had the opportunity to try out a number of Wakker instruments, and was so impressed as to order a W-A5. Interestingly enough, I went on the waiting list with an order for a W-A5 in September 2008. Later, I ended up trying out the Elise, and then converted my order to the W-W1.

It ended up that the W-W1 went through a re-design of reed scaling, so the order took a bit longer than initially anticipated.

(I'm a dual national... and spend time in both USA and UK... and am in USA for this part of the year....)

Please tell all; how it plays, do you think the Wiki layout is better than the Hayden angled keyboard, etc etc. ?

After my experience with the Elise, I felt that the parallel Wicki keyboard would better fit my hand. The Hayden slant makes great sense musically, but for my hands the Wicki has turned out to be a better fit. So... I wouldn't say it is a case of better or worse for Hayden vs Wicki. For me it has to do w/ what fits my hands better, and what hold works best. In any case, I feel we owe Brian Hayden a great debt of gratitude for his work!

As for playability... the voicing is very smooth, with a very even tone across the range of the instrument. The revised reed scaling really shows itself here. As a brand new instrument I'll be working in the bellows. (Having spent some time working in new bellows on my Jeffries anglo, I know the process is organic.) I own a W-A4 and a Wakker rebuild of a Crabb in G/D--and am expecting the W-W1 to play like the W-A4 once it is played in. At the moment, the tone is round and sweet with a quick response.

What really needs to mature is my playing!! While I did become familiar with the Hayden/Wicki system with my Elise, I wouldn't say I'm versatile with the system at this point. Am very much looking forward to becoming competent with this new instrument.

#5 SqueezeCat

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:08 AM

I am also curious as to how it plays versus the Hayden slant, but then again, I'd love to know how either plays, as the duet is my next stop after getting the English well under my belt. (Which will take long enough so that I can save up and afford a good duet!)

I'd suggest going ahead and trying out the Elise. You'll quickly get a sense on how the keyboard works for you. I ended up deciding to go with the Wicki version to accommodate my reach. I have small hands (wife says mine are much more girly than hers!!), so reach across the keyboard is a real concern for me.

The thing I like about an isomorphic duet keyboard is the flexibility afforded. I haven't worked up any arrangements, yet, but am very much looking forward to doing so.

#6 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:47 AM

Thanks for the detailed reply Squeezecat. It is good to hear your comments on the work of the Wakkers because I have yet to be lucky enough to meet one of their instruments... perhaps I've lived too long in a Concertina vacuum.

Geoff.

#7 Reed Bellows

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:26 AM

I'd suggest going ahead and trying out the Elise. You'll quickly get a sense on how the keyboard works for you. I ended up deciding to go with the Wicki version to accommodate my reach. I have small hands (wife says mine are much more girly than hers!!), so reach across the keyboard is a real concern for me.

The thing I like about an isomorphic duet keyboard is the flexibility afforded. I haven't worked up any arrangements, yet, but am very much looking forward to doing so.


I had recently come to the conclusion that I do need to pick up an Elise. Perhaps this summer, if the missus will allow it.

#8 SqueezeCat

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:59 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply Squeezecat. It is good to hear your comments on the work of the Wakkers because I have yet to be lucky enough to meet one of their instruments... perhaps I've lived too long in a Concertina vacuum.

I can't say enough good things about the Wakkers work. They make very nice instruments.

Having had the opportunity to try out a number of different antique and modern instruments at Barleycorn Concertinas, I found the Wakker instruments to be consistently good and well playing.

#9 SqueezeCat

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

I had recently come to the conclusion that I do need to pick up an Elise. Perhaps this summer, if the missus will allow it.

I'd suggest you consider going for one of the pre-owned instruments.

These are priced accordingly... and you can tell the missus you need to buy it, in order to save money. ;)

#10 David Barnert

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:39 AM

The Hayden slant makes great sense musically, ...

Could you tell us just what you mean by this statement? I've been playing a (slanted) Wheatstone Hayden for many years and I'm perfectly happy with it, but I'd have trouble relating the slant to musicality.

Edited to add link.

Edited by David Barnert, 05 March 2012 - 11:48 AM.


#11 inventor

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:51 PM

There are Two main reasons for the "Hayden Slant". I shall put them into at least two posts as my computer sometimes locks up in mid post and I may run out of time in one session.
Briefly: The First is to avoid awkwardness when playing two notes buttons consecutively on alternate rows. and the Second is to enable the buttons to be placed in the highest possible position, which enables the hand rest to be as near the centre of the instrument as is practible.
Firstly:
When I started to play the concertina many years ago I played an Anglo, and I used to go along to various Concertina sessions, usually taken by English-concertina players. In the any questions section the English-concertina players would always ask about the best fingering to use when two notes played consecutively were "above" each other. There was always the debate on either to jump fingers (often musically bad) or twist two adjacent fingers above each other (awkward). The tutor would usually ask the Anglo-concertina players if they had any problems along these lines, and they would say "we don't have that problem".
(Many years later I met Harry Dunn a virtuoso Classical English-concertina player, and he had the perfect solution on the English-concertina, but I will not diverge to discuss it here.)
I therefore concluded that placing buttons in collums at right angles to the hand rest or line of the palms was not a good idea. Recently there has been discussion on Concertina.net regarding consecutive 4ths on the Crane-duet, coming to exactly the same inconclusions.
When a Jeffries Duet came into my hands with nicely staggered rows I bought it, however there were other problems which I have discussed elsewhere on concertina.net, but this led to me having a Duet concertina made with my own devising of the arrangement of the notes on the buttons. It had the same curves and spacing as on the Jeffries Duet, and significantly it had Aluminium-alloy buttons.
I found that when moving the fingers towards the thumbs they went nicely down but when swinging over away from the thumbs they tended to spread. After a good playing session the tips of my fingers had grey deposits on them from the Aluminium buttons; and surprisingly the deposit on the little fingers was not on the tips but down close to the first joint. When I wrote my Patent I illustrated it with the buttons curving towards the thumbs but not down towards the other way.
To be continued.
Inventor.

Edited by inventor, 06 March 2012 - 06:40 AM.


#12 Reed Bellows

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

And we all hold our breath with anticipation...

#13 Spectacled Warbler

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:32 PM

Looks beautiful. What wood are the endplates made out of? I'm just about to give Wim the specifications for my Hayden, which should hopefully be started soon. I waited a little longer than you, I've been on the list since August 2008 and forsee at least another 2-3 months before it's finished.

Glad you're pleased with it, I'm looking forward to getting mine.

Cheers,

Joy

#14 Ransom

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

The Hayden slant makes great sense musically, ...

Could you tell us just what you mean by this statement? I've been playing a (slanted) Wheatstone Hayden for many years and I'm perfectly happy with it, but I'd have trouble relating the slant to musicality.


I'll add one: the Hayden slant also puts each button at a distance from the line of the handrest proportional to its pitch.

#15 SqueezeCat

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:19 AM

Hello Joy,

Looks beautiful. What wood are the endplates made out of?

The wood is padouk... and has a lovely colour.

I'm just about to give Wim the specifications for my Hayden, which should hopefully be started soon. I waited a little longer than you, I've been on the list since August 2008 and forsee at least another 2-3 months before it's finished.

Which instrument are you having made? There are now four Wicki-Hayden choices!


Glad you're pleased with it, I'm looking forward to getting mine.

Indeed! :)

I remember being in your spot towards the end of last year. And... I expect you'll be very pleased when yours arrives.

#16 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:45 AM

Inventor sir !
Brilliant point about your initial idea of the angled keyboard being to try to position the hand rails as close to the centre of the ends as possible. For someone who has never tried one ( me) the slant does at first appear to be the wrong way when compared to the layout of one's hands, finger lengths etc., but I see your point.

Thanks indeed for that explaination,
best regards,
Geoff.

#17 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:07 AM

When I started to play the concertina many years ago I played an Anglo, and I used to go along to various Concertina sessions, usually taken by English-concertina players. In the any questions section the English-concertina players would always ask about the best fingering to use when two notes played consecutively were "above" each other. There was always the debate on either to jump fingers (often musically bad) or twist two adjacent fingers above each other (awkward). The tutor would usually ask the Anglo-concertina players if they had any problems along these lines, and they would say "we don't have that problem".
(Many years later I met Harry Dunn a virtuoso Classical English-concertina player, and he had the perfect solution on the English-concertina, but I will not diverge to discuss it here.)


Ooh, go on, diverge! Maybe take it into a new thread, but I'd certainly like to know Harry Dunn's solution to this perennial EC problem :)

#18 inventor

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

Firstly continued:
I played the instrument for several years including two years for a Morris & Clog dancing team, and had noticed several mistakes that I had made in the design. One that I noticed almost immediately was that I didn't have enough overlap between the two sides. The lowest note on the right hand side was a middle C (c') which was satisfactory, but the left hand side had under half an octave overlap. I had to correct this soon, and although I lost some usefull low notes the instrument then worked well between the two sides.
The next fault that I noticed was the business of the curving down towards the little fingers which surprisingly was not nescessary. On a my Duet concertina (and also on the Crane and Maccann) you are a working on several levels of buttons not along the rows as on an Anglo (and to a great extent on the Jeffries Duet).
I also found that whilst fingering two diagonally adjacent buttons (fourths or fifths) consecutively was no problem; however having the octaves immediately above each other on the next but one row was not ideal; when you wished to play the two together; as I wished to do frequently on the left hand side, or consecutively as occurs sometimes on the right hand side.
I had not planned to go into production with my new idea for a Duet concertina as I didn't think there would be any demand for it (Classical concertina players were perfectly happy with the Maccann, and the Salvation Army were hooked onto the Crane, or Triumph as they called it); however Dave Arthur who was at the time Editor of "English Dance & Song" asked me to write an article about it for this Magazine.
This sparked an interest among Folk Music players who thought that a Duet concertina was a good idea, and had looked at the Maccann but had given up and reverted to their English, Anglo or Melodeon. Coincidentally at just this time I met Steve Dickenson, who was looking for extra work at Wheatstone's as he had just taken on an apprentice; and offered to make me Ten small instruments to the Hayden System. This presented me with a wonderfull oportunity to revise my design, using all that I had learned over the previous six or seven years.
To be continued,
Inventor.

Edited by inventor, 06 March 2012 - 08:51 AM.





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