well, on a PA or a CBA, you can do either/both of these:
a) play melody on the right side simultaneously with bass and/or vamping and/or rhythm and/or harmony and/or counterpoint on the left.
Bee) play the box as a pure melody instrument. in the case of PA or CBA, you do this simply by leaving off the left side and just playing melody on the right.
to play a duet concertina as a pure melody instrument, if you don't have a high reach on the left, you are going to have a heavy burden on your right-hand side. this issue is augmented by the fact that on PA or CBA you can use your thumb (on CBA some don't, but the modern five-finger CBA style, and PA's thumb involvement, relieve the strain of playing right-side only at speed for long periods). see?
so there's the rub. for one's investment, one ("one" here being Yours Truly) wants a unisonoric concertina tat will do both a) and Bee). EC will do the melody-only one, and does it brilliantly. it will do SOME simultaneous bass-ish stuff, but is not optimal for continuous rhythmic vamping. Duet will do melody-left/bass-right....but which, if any, duet will do BOTH?
to get a hayden that will do both, you really need a lot of keys. the 46 is not high enough on the left side to relieve the strain on the right hand of playing, say, irish reels for a few hours straight. but a big one with a bunch of buttons means you're gonna slow the response down just from the sheer mass and span of the thing. it's also gonna be as expensive as hell, particularly in contrast to a single-voice 9-pound CBA, which can be had for oh, say, about $1,000 That's right: $1,000 to do everything and more, that a 57 or 60 button duet will do. it is a sobering thought.
which makes the maccann look like a great deal, as has been sagely pointed out by a number of folks on these various "which duet?" threads. but i just don't know if i want to take on an irregular layout at this point. my "irregular layout" slot is currently reserved for bandoneon. actually, the fact is that as an undertaking, learning an irregular 58-button duet approaches the task of learning bandoneon, minus the super-high bando octave that nobody uses anyway. see?
what i am fantasizing about doing is, selling a bunch of stuff and acquiring a 46-button accordion-reeded Peacock Hayden for what you are calling "piano-style" playing, and also acquiring an accordion-reeded tenor EC for melody playing. that would satisfy the yearning for groovy small unisonorics to play world dance music on while leaving my Reserved "irregular layout" slot open for bando.
i only prefer the concertina-reed sound for irish, and it's for emotional reasons not "objective" reasons. for all other music, i like both concertina and accordion reeds equally. so....
Edited by ceemonster, 23 August 2012 - 07:23 PM.