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#19 Dana Johnson

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 03:39 PM

Just noticed the vise picture was earlier before I added the delrin roller. The bolt ( hardened ) was wearing down. The roller holds up surprisingly well, though I may replace it after the next batch of 600 reeds.

#20 Lars Hansen

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 12:55 PM

I recently bought a selection of reeds from Harmonikas Cz to try them out. I got a set of their cheapest reeds for a project box, and set of their highest quality reeds for another box - as well as a number of concertina reeds. The accordion reeds were for diatonic boxes/melodeons. I found the cheapest reeds to be 'okay' - but not something I would try again. That being said, I think they were excellent for the ridiculously low price of around 50 euros for a full set for a two-row eight-bass box. The best quality reeds are superb, and I would not hesitate to use them again for high-end boxes.

 

The concertina reeds were bought to see what they were like - with the intention of having them around for future use, either as donors for a project concertina, or as a set to use in a build project. The price would be around 150 euros for all reeds for a 31 key anglo (62 reeds on individual plates).

 

Now, three points with this post:

 

1: The reeds I got HAVE angled sides of the shoe, to fit dovetail slots.

 

2: The windows of the reedframes are not angled/vented, and they have one strange issue to them: At the corners, they are not completely sharp, but have a rounded profile, probably a product of the process of cutting it out - imagine drilling four tiny holes, and then connecting the centres with straight lines. This means that there is an escape-route for air, which perhaps is intentional to allow faster starts, or more likely a way of keeping production costs down.

 

3: I had no issues with their communications, and using clear tables and explanations I got the right notes all around. For the concertina-reeds, I simply made an excel-sheet with two rows, clearly marked "NOTE" and "HOW MANY", for example "A4 - 3". I found that their replies took a few days, but price and payment details was clear from their side, and delivery was spot on time, with a reliable courier.

 

The concertina reeds were marked "DIX - CONCERTINA" on the wrapping, and that's what they are. While they may not be as good as a proper clamped reed with tighter clearances, I think they will be a good alternative to hybrid reeds. Also: The riveted reeds 'could' be twisted out of the way and a vent-angle filed to the sides, if you're not afraid of the idea of setting them back in place and tightening the rivet.



#21 Dana Johnson

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 08:08 PM

I seem to recall the slight wire over cut in the long direction. This lets you have a square ended reed without having to file the corners sharp, or to break the corners of the reed to match the wire radius. If they use the smallest wire for the cut, the little half circle out of each corner is only going to amount to a .003" hole total.any reed that needs that to start has other problems. If they use the wire EDM to form the dovetail angle, they might be amenable to angling the vent, though it might be more difficult to get an accurate width since any variation in positioning would change the entry point. If you were making your own reeds to fit, it wouldn't be a big problem, but if they put their tab ended ones on, they might not fit evenly. Or at all. I haven't tried twisting an accordion reed, might be risky on the small ones. My recollection is that they are on pretty tightly.

#22 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 07:48 AM

2: The windows of the reedframes are not angled/vented, and they have one strange issue to them: At the corners, they are not completely sharp, but have a rounded profile, probably a product of the process of cutting it out - imagine drilling four tiny holes, and then connecting the centres with straight lines. This means that there is an escape-route for air, which perhaps is intentional to allow faster starts, or more likely a way of keeping production costs down.

 

The concertina reeds were marked "DIX - CONCERTINA" on the wrapping, and that's what they are. While they may not be as good as a proper clamped reed with tighter clearances, I think they will be a good alternative to hybrid reeds. Also: The riveted reeds 'could' be twisted out of the way and a vent-angle filed to the sides, if you're not afraid of the idea of setting them back in place and tightening the rivet.

 

This is NOT "an issue" - those rounded vents are the very core of the DIX design and suposedly are traditional to a single region in Saxony. I have tried DIX reeds in all available plate metal variants and there is very distinctive, audible difference between all types AND even between aluminum DIX sound vs aluminum tipo-a-mano accordion reeds (also from harmonikas.cz).

 

"Concertina" oval reeds are DIX reeds because this is the only sort of reeds that harmonikas makes in brass. To my ear, DIX reeds (especially made in brass, but also in zinc) have more "trumpet like" sound with completely different ballance of overtones compared to typical accordion TAM reeds. One feature that is worth mentioning - DIX reeds are scaled differently than TAM reeds - they are a couple of mm shorter than their TAM equivalents (except for the lowest cuple of notes, which are long scale/unweighted reeds and have 68mm long shoe), so be careful if you want to use them as a replacement.



#23 Don Taylor

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:08 AM

I am wondering if these concertina reeds need less real estate than the equivalent accordion reeds?

Would it be possible to configure a 46 button Hayden in small box, maybe a 6 5/8" box?

The CC Peacock with accordion reeds is 42 buttons in a 7" box and the reed pans are fully occupied .

Don.

#24 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 12:21 PM

I have first designed my 66b Hayden for standard accordion reeds, so it is huge by concertina standards (22cm flat to flat), but after changing them to "standard" DIX it could be 20cm flat to flat (but I have already made the case and bellows at that point, so I have only reworked reedpans. I still have some unused "corner area" but rectangular reeds impose some arrangement issues). As I wrote above - DIX reeds are on average about 4mm shorter than standard TAM reeds.



#25 Dana Johnson

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:01 PM

If you use these reeds in a traditional style reed pan w/ dovetail slots you should be able to make a 6-5/8" Hayden using either a radial or semi radial / tangent chamber style. Since a 48 button English is generally smaller than that, the issue would be the length of the bass end chambers, but there are less of them and still plenty of room from edge to center. It partly depends on the pitch range. If you go for the ultra high notes with tiny reed shoes, you have more room than if you pitch your instrument lower. Large reeds like a G3 take up a lot of chamber space. It is more work to make a traditional reed pan, but they are much more space efficient. ( and sound better imho.)

Edited by Dana Johnson, 04 June 2015 - 01:04 PM.


#26 Chris Ghent

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 04:46 AM

I was sent half a dozen of these reeds for evaluation by a person wondering if they should use them.

 

They were vaguely concertina shaped. There was a dovetail in the plan view but the frame would need to be finished with a bevel in order to clip into a traditional style pan. In the reed slot the frame was vertical, no relief at all. The reed tongue was riveted into the frame. The tongue was spade shaped in the way of accordion reeds. To explain this to anyone who has not seen it, where the reed is riveted it is much wider, it narrows to the slot width suddenly at the start of the slot. My understanding of this shape is that it is an attempt to resist the reed bending upwards between the root end of the slot and the rivet. If this happened the reed would be longer and slower for the upper part of the swing cycle. The lower part of the swing cycle would be at the normal speed. This does not happen with a concertina reed because if built accurately the edge of the clamp and the beginning of the slot are simultaneous. If the spade method does not work then it would sap energy from the swing. I don't doubt that it works but I doubt it works perfectly.

 

The clearances were erratic. Some were very tight at the tip and nowhere else. Several were badly off centre. They looked much to be similar to a set you might find in a 50s Wheatstone.

 

I made an attempt to scrape some relief into one of the slots from the underside. The brass was not at all easy to work, it felt like cartridge brass, the sort favoured for forming rather than machining. While I was scraping I noticed the scraper was seriously gouging the under side of the reed, not something that would happen with a harder reed. The small amount of pressure on the reed had also shifted the set a long way. When I reset the reed it moved very easily. 

 

All of this notwithstanding, I thought they were not bad, good if you wanted to make a trad style reedpan, but not something to be called a trad reed. And I would expect a concertina made with them to work OK. Not great, but OK. They are an accordion reed in a brass dovetail shaped frame. I have started calling concertinas made with them "semi-hybrids"..!



#27 Don Taylor

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 07:50 AM

Chris et al.

Both Wim Wakker and Frank Edgley use two screws with broad flat undersides to their heads to hold down an accordion reed to a flat reed pan with a chamois gasket between the reed and the pan. This technique seems provide a good seal and makes for easy maintenance.

Apart from the tone, the problem with accordion reeds is that the rectangular frame rapidly consumes real-estate on the reed pan. I am wondering if it would be possible to use the two screws approach with these reeds (is there enough frame at the tips) and if so, would a mostly radial layout yield better real-estate utility?

Do the makers publish detailed drawings/dimensions for the various reed sizes. My own interest would be in making/commissioning a 46 button Hayden in a smallish box, C3 on the LHS, C4 on the RHS.

Don.

#28 Chris Ghent

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 09:18 AM

Chris et al.
Both Wim Wakker and Frank Edgley use two screws with broad flat undersides to their heads to hold down an accordion reed to a flat reed pan with a chamois gasket between the reed and the pan. This technique seems provide a good seal and makes for easy maintenance.
Apart from the tone, the problem with accordion reeds is that the rectangular frame rapidly consumes real-estate on the reed pan. I am wondering if it would be possible to use the two screws approach with these reeds (is there enough frame at the tips) and if so, would a mostly radial layout yield better real-estate utility?
Do the makers publish detailed drawings/dimensions for the various reed sizes. My own interest would be in making/commissioning a 46 button Hayden in a smallish box, C3 on the LHS, C4 on the RHS.
Don.

Don,

I see no issues with using a couple of screws (though I see no need for the chamois). Many better quality concertinas have frames which are "waisted" so there is no chance of any pressure being applied to the side of the frame which might move it in and into the path of the reed. Consequently they are only held down by the slot bevel at the tip and the root, the same as two screws would do.

There is plenty of room for a screw at the tip. I wouldn't be drilling a hole in the frame at the tip, all you need is a nick about half the diameter of the shaft of the screw. At the root there is less room on some sizes but if there was insufficient room for a nick for the screw you could use two screws about 3mm apart with no nicks and still be no wider than the frame. The head alone will hold the frame down.

46 keys is a lot for a "smallish" instrument. Radial reedpans are less versatile because they do not lend themselves to room for inboard reeds in the way Jeffries/Crabb instruments use for large key numbers. Then again, inboard reeds sound abysmal. They might work OK in an Anglo when they are just an alternative direction for a note and the instrument has a good example elsewhere but when they are the only example on the instrument as in an EC or duet they will be inadequate.

The thing to do is to arrange the reeds you want where you want them and see how small a cabinet they will fit in. It can be done on paper but a CAD program is easier. I'd be picking you will end up with a radial format larger than 6.25".

I can't imagine you would get detailed dimensions from a maker but anyone with a set could draw around a set for you with a sharp pencil and this would be sufficient for a planning session.

Hope this helps...

#29 Don Taylor

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 11:04 AM

Chris

Thanks for this.

By small, I mean 6 5/8" instead of 7". There is an eBay seller in Ireland that makes 6 5/8" bellows for quite a decent price.

Don.

#30 Chris Ghent

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 05:17 PM

As an encouragement, a while ago I saw a Boyd Wheatstone EC sporting 56 keys in a regular 48 key 6.25" chassis. ECs have the advantage that the buttons are in the middle rather than slightly down one end, but still, not for the fainthearted.

#31 Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 06:09 AM

I was sent half a dozen of these reeds for evaluation by a person wondering if they should use them.

 

They were vaguely concertina shaped. There was a dovetail in the plan view but the frame would need to be finished with a bevel in order to clip into a traditional style pan. 

 

It looks like I got it a bit wrong then, I did not notice the dovetail. I guess the picture I was given was a bit blurry. When you say they have a dovetail but would need a bevel added, how do you mean, are the outside sides of the frame not at an angle all the way round?



#32 Chris Ghent

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:03 AM

If you look down vertically upon a reed assembly sitting flat on a table, then you can see the tip end of the frame is narrower than the root end of the frame. This is true of almost all traditional concertina reeds, and the CZH reed assemblies share this characteristic.

If you then crouch down to table top level and look along one side of the reed frame, on a traditional frame it will be angled about 7° inwards towards the top (I call this the bevel). CZH assemblies do not have this bevel, they are vertical. It is the work of seconds to file it in.

Chris

#33 Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:16 AM

ok, I get it now. It is as I initially thought, thanks.


Edited by Jake of Hertford, 07 June 2015 - 07:19 AM.


#34 MattA24

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 12:41 PM

It's a week since I e-mailed Harmonikas.cz, without response. I suppose I ought e-mail again. I'm not very good at pestering  :unsure:



#35 Dana Johnson

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 12:49 PM

I was sent half a dozen of these reeds for evaluation by a person wondering if they should use them.
 
They were vaguely concertina shaped. There was a dovetail in the plan view but the frame would need to be finished with a bevel in order to clip into a traditional style pan. In the reed slot the frame was vertical, no relief at all. The reed tongue was riveted into the frame. The tongue was spade shaped in the way of accordion reeds. To explain this to anyone who has not seen it, where the reed is riveted it is much wider, it narrows to the slot width suddenly at the start of the slot. My understanding of this shape is that it is an attempt to resist the reed bending upwards between the root end of the slot and the rivet. If this happened the reed would be longer and slower for the upper part of the swing cycle. The lower part of the swing cycle would be at the normal speed. This does not happen with a concertina reed because if built accurately the edge of the clamp and the beginning of the slot are simultaneous. If the spade method does not work then it would sap energy from the swing. I don't doubt that it works but I doubt it works perfectly.
 
The clearances were erratic. Some were very tight at the tip and nowhere else. Several were badly off centre. They looked much to be similar to a set you might find in a 50s Wheatstone.
 
I made an attempt to scrape some relief into one of the slots from the underside. The brass was not at all easy to work, it felt like cartridge brass, the sort favoured for forming rather than machining. While I was scraping I noticed the scraper was seriously gouging the under side of the reed, not something that would happen with a harder reed. The small amount of pressure on the reed had also shifted the set a long way. When I reset the reed it moved very easily. 
 
All of this notwithstanding, I thought they were not bad, good if you wanted to make a trad style reedpan, but not something to be called a trad reed. And I would expect a concertina made with them to work OK. Not great, but OK. They are an accordion reed in a brass dovetail shaped frame. I have started calling concertinas made with them "semi-hybrids"..!

The only Edgley I saw using concertina shaped reed shoes used the tapered dovetail of traditional construction. His accordion reeded hybrids with two reeds per plate see mounted as you describe, but they are a different animal.

#36 Don Taylor

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 01:03 PM

Does anybody have an idea roughly how much a set of about 100 of the concertina-like reeds would cost? Just a ballpark figure.




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