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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posts posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. 1 hour ago, Don Taylor said:

    Care to elaborate a bit on this?  Are these leather bellows or fabric?


    Accordion style, pre-folded papers, leather gussets and fabric top runs, like Elise has.

    This is just a preliminary concept stage at this point. I'm assessing what is financially viable, as making concertinas will never be my main job and it is more of an ambition project, so it has to make me at least my main job wage while being as affordable as I can make it, which is quite a challenge. Of course I am aware, that accordion style bellows will have to be reflected in the lower price and I'm open to making option for concertina style bellows upgrade. One of the goals on this is developing a process that leaves a room for some flexibility/customisation while being as easy and straightforward as I can make it. So, for example, I'm certain that it won't have riveted action, as it is unprintable, even partially, but there can be a choice of durable plastic endplates and more fragile but prettier faux wood endplates. Musically speaking, since I'm aiming at DIX reeds, there can be a choice of timbre - accordion like (aluminum frame reeds), concertina like (brass frame reeds) and bandoneon like (zinc frame reeds), plus a choice of more open or cassotto endplates, etc.

    Hopefully, I'll have a prototype around summer, as I need a travel box and I don't want to make another "single serving" concertina at the last notice as I did last year :D 

  2. 2 minutes ago, Don Taylor said:

    I would be very interested  in one of these as a small (robust?) travel concertina.  I spend most of my summer on a sailboat but am reluctant to take my Beaumont.  As far as price is concerned, maybe somewhere between an Elise and a Troubador is what I might be want to pay.

    I'm aiming at something between Stagi and Troubadour price tag myself, so your reply is well in line with it. Thanks :)

    6 minutes ago, David Barnert said:


    Sorry. Yes, 46. I misspoke.

    Happens to the best of us :)

  3. 33 minutes ago, David Barnert said:

    For those not familiar with Edward Jay’s work, he makes concertinas with leather bellows and straps, accordion reeds, and pretty much everything else 3-D printed. Website here, demo video:



    I might very well be interested in his Hayden-55, but I would definitely want the B and the D# (and all the other notes included in the standard 48 which I now play). E flats and more B flats would be nice, other additions less important, even if it comes to less than 55 keys.


    Some questions:

    • Will it be available with your thumb-mount alternative to the hand strap?
    • Will it be available with the standard “Hayden” slant?

    I have been out of the market for many years and have no idea what to expect it to cost.


    Wait, standard 48? Isn't the standard 46 as H-1? 

    As to my antler alternative to hand strap I think that is something that would be a straightforward option to implement as soon as I'll find a good way to make my design an "universal fit". 

  4. As a person who switched from the buttons sticking out to the buttons going all in, the difference is HUGELY in favour of "deep buttons" for me.


    First of all, my fingers no longer hurt after a long session, because the full depression force is spread out and there is no button edge to act on the same area of the finger repeatedly. Paradoxically, this have lead to even lighter touch.


    What is more - 6mm, flat buttons with a very soft edge (I have flattened button caps that were originally made round) that go all in enable playing triplets with a three finger technique, where the previous finger slides to the side and up, not only upwards. It doesn't go any faster than this. Even when not playing triplets, switching the finger on the button is way easier and can even be made seamless, because when fully depressed, there is basically no coupling between the finger and the button sidewise. I play Hayden, so there is basically no fixed fingering pattern and with long jumps and strange finger configurations any improvement on the ergonomy had a direct impact on the level of play.

    • Thanks 1
  5. So, as I mentioned in a different thread, I'm helping Ed develop a new Hayden model. At this point we are discussing the range and size of the box, with Edward preferring the range over size. The current iteration is 55 button, hexagonal, 8 1/4" flat to flat box with Italian accordion reeds. The large size is due to Edward not being open to mounting accordion blocks and wanting to stick to flat, reedpan arrangement. He already made a Crane duet of this size and the owner is reportedly happy with both the feel and the sound of the instrument (is it someone on this site perhaps and is willing to share his experience first hand?).


    Now for the layout. The basis is the current Beaumont. There is room for 25 notes on the LH side and 30 on the RH side, but basses are unlikely without some sacrifices. This is a quick reference chart to start the discussion. The left B4 and the right D#5 are half covered because those are IMHO the buttons which could be sacrificed for a bass note or increased range. Orange notes are my picks, coded for preference with the colour intensity. There might be a room for my style of button links, but that is to be established only after the reed layout is finalised.


    Additional and a bit unrelated question. I'm recently doing some concept work on eventual small batch of 3d printed Haydens of my own to fill in yet another gap in the market, that is affordable "46 standard" box. Currently I'm leaning towards a 6-6 1/4" square box with accordion style bellows, built around DIX reeds. 


    So, what are the hive mind opinions on those two options. 

    As a bonus, a question about acceptable price point for Ed's instrument, given a method of production but having his proven quality of sound in mind.  And when you're at it, the acceptable price point for my eventual box.

    Screenshot 2022-02-24 at 15.37.42.png

    • Like 1
  6. I first learned about the existence of concertinas on shanties concert when I was 11 and was immediately hooked. But I never saw one up close until I was 25 and it took me 19 years to get my hands on my first, DDR made Anglo-German...

    The problem is the entry price (and in case of Poland, up until internet shopping era, availability of instruments or even any written sources on concertinas). Even nowadays, entry level Rochelle/Jackie/Elise is 3 times more expensive than an entry level acoustic guitar. Then, in case of duets, there is a very, very steep price curve to get your hands on an instrument large enough for a serious repertoire. Few days ago I had a long chat with a fellow polish Anglo player, who recently switched to melodeon, because he could find a decent one for a fraction of a price of a decent Anglo.


    I'm perfectly aware why concertinas are as expensive as they are, but if you don't have a box in your family or very supportive parents it is very hard to get that kind of money before your first proper job.

  7. 1 hour ago, Wally Carroll said:

    I've made two metal ended instruments and over three hundred wood ended instruments and haven't noticed much difference between the two.  What I do notice a difference in is the amount and size of openings in the fretwork.  Getting this balance correct is very important.  I'm not convinced that the finish makes any difference on a concertina as the vibrating fretwork is a much smaller component of the sound than the vibrating internal woods.  In addition, I don't believe the endplate wood or side veneers makes any noticeable difference as well.  However, I recommend not using solid wood for the endplates due to expansion and contraction issues which can result in cracks in the fretwork and/or the endplates separating from the frames.  


    Interestingly, the best sounding instruments (2 to date) that I've made have used a poured resin in place of wood.  My own observation in this regard was confirmed by a sound test as judged by a very prominent player who was asked to choose which of three of my small size instruments sounded best.  This person did not know there was a resin instrument in the bunch and after going back and forth playing the three, chose the resin instrument as the best sounding.  


    The point in all of this is to say that the internal materials are more important than the external ones.  




    It had resin for the endplates or resin for the reedpan?

  8. 6 hours ago, Jake Middleton-Metcalfe said:


    It sounds like we came to the same conclusion. 


    I have been listening to the recording I made and at points in the tune there do appear to be subtle differences but it is very very subtle. What do you make of this recording?


    First time through I thought that the metal one was slightly brighter, but then I switched between the middle fragments of each recording and the effect was significantly less prominent without the initial few notes of the wood version, where I think the mic position or other situational factor might had have a decisive influence on the resulting tone. I think, that this was a blinded trial, the result would be close to 50-50 split.

  9. 4 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

    I once owned Concertina Connection Peacock and was contemplating putting some sort of finishing lacquer on it as it had an oiled finish that, I felt, would stain overtime.  When I asked Wim Wakker about doing this, this is what he told me:


    Your instrument is finished, you don't need/should not apply any finish to
    the instrument. Being a musical instrument, it is important that the wood
    can vibrate freely.  Finishing your instrument with any type of modern
    lacquer will prevent the wood from vibrating. The only finishes that do not
    interfere are certain oil finishes (as used on your instrument, french
    polish and a type of varnish used on string instruments. Just clean it once
    in a while and apply a little wax.


    I did not apply any further finishes.


    There are very lengthy discussion at guitar forums on which finishes do interfere with the sound and which don't. The most common finishes are oil&wax, shellac, nitrocellulose and polyurethane, all used widely and successfully. Out of those I think the shellac is the easiest one, despite it's fame of being the hardest ported from furniture making, where it is indeed hard to cover areas so huge evenly with just a small pad. 

  10. 2 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

    While not concertinas, for ease of access (all on one page) it may be instructive to listen to the sound files of the various Marcel Dreux accordinas (windblown free reed instruments), each with sides made of different materials and/or configurations. With the exception of the final two instruments at the bottom of the page, each model has the same reeds and mechanics inside.




    Those IMHO differ mostly due to the total area covered by the fretwork/casotto effect.

  11. 28 minutes ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

    I am interested to hear 3D printing is used in concertina making; but I hope that the skills of hand and eye, and of making by natural instinct, and the joy of creating from scratch will not be forgotten too!


    Don't worry, as useful as 3d printing is, you can't print the classic aesthetics of concertinas and it comes with it's own can of worms. But it is the technology for "Ford model T" of concertina world for sure.

  12. 2 hours ago, Jake Middleton-Metcalfe said:

    I had the chance recently to compare two instruments of the same maker, same design and same materials except the ends were wooden on one and metal on the other. Honestly you would be hard pressed to tell the difference in sound. This sort of flies in the face of what I took to be true but that is what I noticed, it is very very rare to have two instruments identical in every aspect apart from the material of the ends in the same place but I can guarantee these instruments were both identical apart from that. At a guess I would have said that the amount of gap in the fretwork is more important than the material of the fretwork but that is a guess and has not been scientifically studied in any way.


    I have made a recording I will upload it at some point and you can make up your own mind.


    When I was experimenting with baffles on my big Hayden, it didn't matter at all if the baffle was from hard plastic or way softer wooden filament, despite those two materials having vastly different sound properties. The only variable that mattered was the geometry of the baffle. 

  13. 27 minutes ago, Dashy said:

    I have! I want to modify the model a little to be able to mount it to the pegboard before I really start playing around with it, so I stuck with the regular handrests for working with the mockup so far. After I test it a little I might try and recreate the functional geometry in CADQuery to parametrize it for more experiments.


    Out of curiosity, what did you use to make it? That swept geometry is super flowy!


    Blender, I'm a graphic designer by trade, so that was the most straightforward approach for me. It is awfully backwards for CAD applications due to poor support of direct measurements, but then subdivision modeling is pretty powerful.

  14. 40 minutes ago, Dashy said:

    Alright, progress!


    So, working off of the range I'm targeting (E2-B4/G3-E6) I removed all the sharps and flats and left only the white keys in that range, then went through a collection of songs I would like to be able to play and added the keys I needed (or preferred) to mime them on my mockup. I came up with a 63-key minimal layout:



    Kind'a weird how that F#4 on the left never came up... but either way, this is the minimum for comfortably playing my set of test songs. There are a couple keys I could drop and still play the songs, but I would need some weird stretching or fingering shifts that didn't really come naturally.


    Now, this layout isn't quite chromatic, so I filled in the missing notes like so:



    D#6 on the right and Bb4 on the left can be a little bit of a stretch to reach, but my reasoning is that since they didn't come up in my test songs, thus probably won't come up as frequently as the other keys, they're less important to optimize for --it's important to me to have them, but I don't need to compromise anything else to have them in a better spot.


    This layout has one fewer left-hand reed and four more right-hand reeds than the 65K @Pistachio Dreamer showed earlier in this thread, which given what I've learned about concertina size constraints sounds like a good L/R balance... to me, at least.


    Here's the current mockup:



    I printed out another pegboard and some peg-mounted handrests, then stuck the two pegboards together with two pegs to get a very thin concertina. Black and white correspond to the colors of a piano keyboard, and blue is the extra notes I used to fill in the minimal layout.


    So now I have a keyboard layout that I arrived at systematically and physically tested with a variety of songs. Feeling pretty good about this right now!


    Side note, the more I play with the Hayden keyboard the more I appreciate it. It's far more intuitive than it has any right to be.


    Have you looked at the antlers yet?

  15. I don't think that the choice of wood would have a big enough impact to decide on the difference between those instruments when you also change dimensions and thus chamber geometry and fretwork geometry.


    Couple of months ago I have printed a light, travel duet. It was a "fast and dirty" design, engineered in two weeks to last me two weeks of vacation only. A thing to know about 3d printed concertinas is that they are as light as it gets, because they are mostly made of air - prints are hollow inside, only 15% of total volume is material, and the material itself is very rigid, so good at reflecting the sound. Without the endplates mounted, there was virtually no difference between the reed when on a tuning bench and when mounted in the box. The whole sound shaping was done through the geometry of the fretwork and varied between very dry and sharp/bright with completely open fretwork to deeper but muted tone with full cassotto endplates. I also experimented extensively with baffle geometry on my big Hayden as the initial sound with my very open fretwork was ear piercingly sharp. No matter what I did in both those boxes I couldn't change it enough to overcome the fundamental difference of the reed frames material - the big one has brass plates, the travel one has aluminum plates, and this difference is audible on the tuning bench and stays nearly the same up until fretwork design stage. What is even more important is that even 1mm of chamber depth can have way more influence on the final tone than the material of the box does.

    • Like 1
  16. I play duet, but I had the same problem - RH melody alone was easy, LH oom-pahs alone were easy, playing octaves was easy, but playing both hands together with non-symmetrical hands movements was impossible. My trick was to stop treating hands separately - instead learn to play very slowly with both hands together, so that your muscle memory encompasses hand-to-hand-to-bellows interactions and timings and then gradually increase speed only when you are not making mistakes at a current speed.

  17. 36 minutes ago, Dashy said:


    I was actually thinking more about moving a couple buttons to the flat side (or vice versa), I don't really want to change the spacing or button size (buttons are 6mm diameter, for the record).


    I think I put the button field and the handrest a full row too close together, and laterally I think the button field is a whole column too far in the thumb direction, at least on the left. The handrest is also way too shallow.

    Trying to mime a few tunes, it's not too bad -it's just a bit of a stretch between the left and right extremes. I think I'll design an adjustable mockup to play around with now, but it's looking good so far!


    I can see how the antler grip helps here -keeping my wrist stationary it can be quite uncomfortable to reach some buttons, but keeping my thumb stationary I can reach the far right with my index finger and the far left with my pinky!


    The changes I wanna try now for the next mockup: Move Ab2 and Eb3 to G#2 and D#3 on the left, and move A#5 to Bb5 on the right. That will make it narrower, so a little more compact.


    I've seen "Inventor" around here, but I must admit I didn't know those numbers were from him! I got them from the spec sheet given to me by @Pistachio Dreamer.


    Ach, I misunderstood.

    My current array goes from Bbs/Ebs to D#/G#, but with antlers I could extend it to span from Abs/Ebs to A#s/Fs without sacrificing the ability to finger all available triads with same fingers efficiently and add two additional rows on each side, giving me the maximum reachable layout going from C2 up to E7.

  18. 4 minutes ago, Dashy said:

    Finished the button generation and handrest, the script is set up so you just feed the list of notes and dimensions and stuff to it in a JSON and it builds it! The alignment is a little wonky because I don't have those dimensions available (and the plate the buttons are on is a just a big rectangle because the version of CADQuery I'm stuck with right now doesn't have 2D convex hull working), but nevertheless I'm really glad I printed these out.


    With 9mm vertical spacing and 16mm horizontal spacing these button layouts are a bit wide, I think it should be fine but I do want to see if I can make the button field a little more compact before settling on anything. Probably just gonna print out the button field alone for future mockups just to save filament and time, 'cause now I know I'm fine with the size of the box.


    Maybe I should design an adjustable mockup jig so you don't have to print out a whole new thing for each layout, just add and remove buttons on the fly... adjustable handrest would be good too... I wonder if anyone besides me would use it.

    Anyway, pictures of my new mockups!



    Closer spacing will in turn require smaller buttons, which in turn make the 'tina less comfortable to play and lever routing even harder to solve than it normally is due to less space between button stems. With the above print I already see a huge problem with lever routing, especially LH sharps side. For me, the smallest comfortable buttons are 5mm diameter, with 6mm ones being significantly better, and at 6.5 mm I start to hit adjacent buttons (on the standard 9/16mm spaced array). This translates to a minimum of 6mm distance between buttons, and less than 8mm gain by squeezing your array to the minimum. Put a hand strap on this mockup, and then try to play some tunes with a lot of high sharps and sharp chords in it to see where you can even reach comfortably and then see if this gain is even enough to fit everything within a playable area.

  19. 6 hours ago, resistor said:

    I'm not going to claim to really understand how your "antlers" system works, but I was curious why you're choosing to immobilize the thumb in a downwards-pointing position? It seems like holding the thumb in a bent position like that for an extended period would be painful. Would it be possible to achieve the same effect with the thumb pointed straight, but still in a thimble?


    There is a very good reason for this orientation, but first I want to stress one thing - this whole setup is aimed at relaxing the hand as much as possible, so no, there is no pain involved, at all.


    The main concept behind this handle design is based on the same principle as rock climbing chock techniques - because of how the thimble, anvil and handlebar parts of this system interact, the thumb is locked in all planes but one (plus the leeway described below) and in all axis of rotation but two. Because of this, the hand is effectively attached to the concertina in a very "glove like" fashion, with all positioning absolute and all lateral thumb movements directly transferring to the bellows movement. You mount/dismount your hand by a move that does not naturally happen when playing but when locked in the hand simply rests, hanging from the thimble in the same position you hook the thumb on e.g. backpack straps when you want to rest your arms, or on a jacket button etc...


    For the handle to act as described above, it must be rigid. Any elasticity reduces the absolute nature of finger positioning. Now the main reason why the thumb has to be oriented this way is that in order to reach various areas on the keyboard in finger configurations required by Hayden chord shapes, the thumb must rotate a bit. The thimble is oriented exactly along this axis of rotation. A rigid handle like this, if made with the thumb straight wants to literally break your thumb as you try to reach extremes of the array and even if it didn't you'll loose the hook-and-lock aspect of the handle. During prototyping this I gradually expanded the concept from a simple, english style thumb "strap" (only made from rigid filament) and then iterated it about 20 times to the final shape you see here. There is a short video on the previous page of this thread when I present how the lock aspect of this handle works and how the movement is transferred onto the bellows, and in the final seconds od the video you can see the unlock move.


    Now, the common confusion I got about this thumb position is that it is a 90 degree bend. It isn't - it varies between close and far rows fingering and the thimble is not "snug fit" vertically, you can move the distal part of the thumb enough for all movements required. In the "ready" position of the thimble there are two forces acting, one upward acting near the joint and one downward acting at the tip of the nail. Then when playing those forces vary, both in direction and strength, so there is very little fatigue. After a 45 minute session my hand is more relaxed than after playing the same time with a hand strap setup on my CC Elise. This is mostly because my handle design does the gripping for you.



  20. 10 minutes ago, dabbler said:

    Very nice linkage solution.  I wonder what the lifespan of the Bowden cables is.  I suppose they could be made replaceable if it is an issue.  I'm also impressed with the finish on the handles.  Is that stained wood-fill PLA?



    Those are PTFE, which from I can gather has an unlimited shelf life. With this curvature I suppose there won't be any serious wear on those. But if any part of the link breaks, it is simply push fit into the board with a little notch cut on the button side so it does not slide back in. To completely replace the whole assembly you just need an exacto knife and a piece of tube for the Bowden and a pair of pliers and a proper gauge spring wire for the actuator. I have actually replaced those a few times when I was working on them, since I made them too short the first time around and the resulting curvature was too tight. It took about 2 minutes to replace them.


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