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About alex_holden

  • Birthday 02/06/1980

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  • Interests
    Wood carving, metalwork, Morris Minors, folk music.
  • Location
    Lancashire, England

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  1. I'd suggest a vintage duet, which for availability reasons probably means a Maccann or Crane. The 42 button Crane here might be a good option if it's still available:
  2. To be clear, I only said it was possible. Personally I wouldn't do it.
  3. I mean you can remove the valves if you convert to single action. They are there to prevent the push reeds opening and wasting air when you are pulling and vice versa. If you only have reeds for the push direction it doesn't matter if they leak when you pull to refill the bellows. You would of course need to block the wind slots where you removed the pull reeds.
  4. I doubt removing half the reeds would help much in that respect. The only benefit I can think of is that you can do away with the valves, which might make them slightly louder and faster. I think some of the reasons a single action bass that is designed that way from scratch may be faster are: The reed chambers can be narrower, which gives you more space on the reed pans for longer reeds in longer chambers. Some of them have double-decker pans, which also helps to fit in longer chambers. If the reed chambers take up less area you can potentially make an instrument with a smaller cross sectional area (double decker pans help with this too), which increases the pressure you can generate in the bellows for a given amount of physical effort.
  5. You mean remove half of the reeds, block the wind slots of the missing reeds, remove the valves from the remaining reeds, and add some air intake flap valves? Yes, but I'm not sure why you would do so. It would reduce the weight but not the overall size of the instrument.
  6. I happen to have a Lachenal one here: Looking more closely at it, what I initially thought was a rolled edge is actually a piece of silver(?) wire, about 1.8mm diameter, silver soldered along the inside edge.
  7. It should be possible to use walnut for most things, though 5mm is quite thin. You could probably make it work if it's already flat and smooth and you don't need to remove any more thickness.
  8. You won't damage anything but you might sometimes hear a brief 'stuttering' sound from the valves, particularly on bass notes.
  9. The better quality rests have a rolled edge that helps you grip it. Occasionally they are lined with thin leather. I believe Wheatstone originally intended that you would put both third and fourth fingers on the rest, and only push buttons with the first two. Most players today grip the rest with their pinky and play with three fingers, while some advanced players ignore or remove the rests and use all four fingers. Henrik Müller's modifications take that a few steps further and replace both thumb straps and finger rests with a diagonal hand rest and hand strap.
  10. To some extent yes, though I also want them to be played and enjoyed by as many people as possible, and that wouldn't happen if I held onto them. There's also the thing that after I've spent months working on one instrument I'm itching to get it out of the door and start the next one.
  11. Thanks very much! There are some demo videos on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@alexholden I recently finished an English concertina but haven't put a video of it up yet.
  12. It looks like a Concertina Connection Jackie or Jack English concertina: https://www.concertinaconnection.com/jackie-jack.htm
  13. I don't think they were ever intended as cheap disposable instruments, even if they weren't of the highest quality. If the reeds are in good condition, tuning down a semitone should be safe enough.
  14. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... In the final episode of the recent Disney+ TV series, Star Wars: Andor, there is a marching band scene on the planet Ferrix, featuring what looks like an Anglo concertina with some spiky bits.
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