Lachenal Edeophone Tenor-Treble (serial #47735)
56 Metal keys / steel reeds / Wood Ends
Lowest Note: "C" below "Middle C"
This instrument is rather unique in a number of ways. The most immediately striking characteristic is its compact size and light weight. This is a result of its aluminum reed frames and smaller than standard size for a 56 key Tenor-Treble. The instrument weighs only 2.41 lbs (4 ounces less than my treble Aeola) and measures 6 7/8" across the flats (placing it midway between my treble Aeola at 6 3/8" and a friend's Tenor-Treble Aeola at 7 3/8").
Recognizing it's potential when I purchased it two years ago somewhat flawed, I sent it to Wim Wakker of "The Concertina Connection" for total restoration. Wim is a fan of the Edeophone and judged this instrument to be worth the effort. Surprisingly, he informed me that besides the aluminum reed frames, this instrument was constructed with Wheatstone riveted action. I have since learned that a very limited number of Lachenals were made with this action.
The following restoration work was performed:
*Ends repaired and treated with epoxy against cracking, and French polished.
*New all leather 6 fold bellows
*New Thumb Straps
*New reed pan gaskets
*New bellows frame gaskets
*New thumb straps
*Complete reed and action restoration consisting of: new springs, key hole bushings, key-lever bushings, key end circles, pads, and valves; regulation of the action, key travel and pressure; and resetting, voicing and tuning of the reeds to A=440.
*New lined, hard shell case
Because I have a preference for the larger and more rounded keys common on Wheatstones, I also had Wim replace all 56 keys with new Wheatstone style silver capped keys. At 5.1mm diameter, these keys are just slightly larger than the original 4.8 mm diameter Lachenal keys, but I find the increased comfort and playability well worth it. The new keys look and feel great.
Finally, I indulged in two sets of custom reed frames and reeds in order to experiment with substitute note placements. So there are extra reed pairs that will fit the instrument, allowing for a substitution of a lower "A" for either the lowest "D#" or "Eb", and an "F" that can replace the lowest "Ab" or "G#". The first substitution makes this "A" the lowest note on the instrument. The second possible substitution mirrors what many players, including myself, have on their treble instruments - and so sets up the tenor treble to mimic this custom treble pattern, enabling the same arrangements to be played on either one. Notice that both of these substitutions are made for notes that are repeated on the instrument, so no actual note capability is lost, only choices of positions.
This instrument is clearly a very fine concertina. The lightness, small size, new leather, the polish and the bright new keys all combine to make it look and feel like a jewel. The tone is lovely; it is somewhat subdued (apparently common with aluminum frames) but very pure and harmonically balanced. Loud volume is possible, but it wants to play softer than that. I would say a session player would be disappointed, but a singer or solo player would find it very appealing. It is particularly beautiful chording - because it appears to have less than usual overtones, individual notes seem to stand out within chords. The action is very smooth and fast. It is just basically very high quality all around.
I am not putting this instrument on the market because I have to, or because I particularly want to. Quite frankly, I feel that this instrument is too nice to not be in the hands of someone who truly loves it, and sadly, after all my effort and expense I have found myself gravitating back to my treble instrument and not picking this instrument up for weeks at a time. I am learning that I am just not a tenor-treble kind of guy.
I have $4,100.00 invested in this instrument. I would of course like to get that back if I can, and would sell to the first offer of that amount - but barring that, I am willing to entertain anyone with a reasonable offer and a good story. E-mail or call with any questions. I can e-mail photos to serious inquiries.
Clinton, Washington, USA
Unique Edeophone Tenor-treble For Sale
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