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Everything posted by paulbrennan

  1. So - in the case of reeds mounted on long plates - do the tongue and the reed plate *have* to be separate objects? What if you took a piece of appropriately fine steel sheet and cut out the *outline* of a reed tongue, while leaving the base of the tongue attached to the plate - would this vibrate under the right conditions? I guess it would still have to be mounted properly on a suitable reed block (which could be made of various materials), and air pressure applied. Would this eliminate the problem of riveting, aligning and gapping the reed? My assumption is that this wouldn't work but I can't explain why not. Kind regards, Paul
  2. I see that some laser cutting companies will provide spring steel, like this one provides 1095 spring steel, hardened or annealed, 0.01" for instance. I put in a rough plan of a bandoneon reed and it came back with a $20 setup fee for each reed size and then about $1 a reed. There are about 17 sizes of reed on an bandoneon (and of course 284 reeds!). I might want to try a few of these as an experiment for replacing bad reeds. I'm not an engineer though - what am I missing I think the cutting method was described as fiber laser. So would that ruin the temper of the steel? https://app.oshcut.com/catalog/steel/1095-spring-steel-hardened They also have various options for printing reed plates and that was a bit more complicated but I think zinc worked out at $100 a plate including setup.
  3. Does anybody know anything about harmoniums as produced in India today, and the reeds they use? From what I gather, the original old harmoniums had German reeds from companies like Jubilate. From a manufacturer site: Long gone are the days when there were German reed harmoniums. Its been almost a century since the German reed manufacturing factories closed down. Now, you can only find used harmoniums that may have German reeds. Most harmonium makers use their version of reeds being made from reed manufacturers. Honestly the best reeds are made in Palitana, a city in Gujarat, India. These copper/brass reeds sound warm and rich. You will mostly find them in expensive harmoniums. The less expensive ones will be made with brass reeds but can still be good quality harmoniums. Brass reeds are actually desirable for accompanying large groups singing kirtan or bhajan, as the slight shrillness of the brass helps penetrate the voices. Interesting - the brass ones are more shrill, relative to copper/brass. I guess steel would be shrillest of all? I''m interested in experimenting with these reeds. Has anyone tried them out?
  4. By coincidence this is the same smart cookie who came up with the "rotary cellphone" project that has been circulating as a geeky meme the last few days: http://justine-haupt.com/rotarycellphone/index.html
  5. Idle thoughts: I'm wondering how it would be to combine the acoustic properties of metal plate reeds with the practicality of wax and wood reed blocks. For example, what if accordion reeds were waxed (or fixed some other way) onto a metal surface instead of wood? Would that sound like a metal plate reed?
  6. That's a good point. Well I might try one of those clip on contact mics that come with guitar tuners, maybe it can clip right on the zinc reed frame. Or an a resonant box.
  7. The suck method does also sound interesting, thank you for the suggestion.
  8. Thank you all for these interesting opinions! It sounds like consistency might be an issue with twanging, which is interesting in itself, does anybody know technically why this would be the case? I'm thinking of the violin played pizzicato on the high notes, it's a brief note but stable and presumably tunable (though of course a different pitch from the bowed note at the same position). If you think of the "jaw harp" there is harmonic instability from the twanging but is there pitch instability too? My background is not with reeds so these are new questions.
  9. Thank you for confirming it won't work! I think I see the tuner you mean. Is it polyphonic though? I've got some pretty good monophonic tuning software. What I liked about the Dirks is the ability to detect pitch on both of the 8ve reeds without removing them or blocking one off. Also, able to calculate the reference pitches for standards other than 440. I was impressed with the software, just a lot to spend on this particular instrument.
  10. This is a naive question about tuning! I'm looking at an old bandoneon that needs only spot tuning. Nobody local can really do it. I've tuned a couple of the outside reeds myself using the demo version of Dirk's software with pretty good results. For the inside reeds, I definitely need to remove the reed plate so it's more complicated. Presumably, I need a bellows, or even a table. I don't really have a shop or space to make one, other than kitchen table, so I'd have to purchase this. So I'm wondering is it possible to tune reeds without a bellows by twanging them on a resonant box like a tuning fork? Of course this would not accurately reflect the pitch when installed but then apparently neither does the external bellows. So, maybe, the procedure would be the same - 1) Use Dirk's to calculate the tuning adjustment for each octave set. 2) remove the reed plate, twang and adjust by the same amount 3) replace the reed plate and retest..... I have no idea if this is practical, hence the question. Cost factor - Dirks, 228 USD. Bellows from eBay, about 100 USD plus shipping. Of the two, Dirks actually seems most useful to me b/c of the ability to calculate both 8ve reeds at the same time.
  11. You are welcome! There is a phone app version which is very cool b/c you can play the notes! Removes all doubt....
  12. Steve I think you mentioned you could do the tuning yourself. I'd love to hear more about what's involved. I would not contemplate trying to retune a whole instrument but it would be very useful to be able to make small adjustments in a reed or two. Do you think that's a learnable skill on these kind of reeds?
  13. I don't know if you've found this already: http://bandochords.de/BandoChords/ Really breaks it down, easy to use. I'll probably end up with an Einheits 144 myself - there is a guy selling a couple of them over my way.
  14. Yes, my mistake I missed that it was Rheinische tonlage. I sincerely hope it's a double reed - it certainly looks big enough - you'll be all set to tango. I am looking for one of these myself and have just about given up. As far as teaching materials there is also a new set put out by the Argentine cultural agency Tango Sin Fin. They are very good but very advanced in parts. Some of it is free online.
  15. HI there, I know a few of us have owned or looked at the Harry Geuns basic model hybrid bandoneon/accordion. I'm generally happy with it but looking at getting Harry to upgrade the reeds - good but expensive! So I was thinking about upgrading other elements myself to save money if possible. - The buttons are a bit basic, screw in white plastic buttons. Is anybody familiar enough to say if these are standard and can be upgraded to something better looking? Would it help to post dimensions, thread etc.? - The bellows are also a bit basic. Let's say I could find a set of traditional bellows of the correct dimensions, good condition. Is it a difficult thing to replace bellows and get a good seal? Of course, if anybody knows of a used Harry Geuns with proper reeds, that would be even better but I don't think they come up much. Kind regards, Paul
  16. Nice! The people at the FB group "US Concertina Assoc" know a lot about these I think. Double, triple reed?
  17. Thank you, that looks exactly the same except this one is in black. Well, that and it doesn't work
  18. Has anybody seen a bandoneon/chemnitzer type instrument with a player piano mechanism? I just saw one today in the back room of the local accordion shop - not working. He also had an old Chemnitzer with the Henry Silberhorn label and a Chemnitzer or possibly bandoneon with the name Emil Schafer of Magdeburg-N. Does anybody know anything about this maker? All of these were in bad repair. I have pictures but the upload is failing for some reason.
  19. "my bandoneon sounds a lot different compared to others " - my first thought is that if it's a 144 it's maybe got three sets of reeds and a wet tuning. The classic 142 bandoneon has two sets of reeds in exact octaves - yours maybe has three, one of which is offset slightly - this will give a characteristic untangoish sound, more like a polka or French sound. There is apparently a solution - described here, see the part about the "thin paper sheet": http://bandoneon144.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html If you already know about this then it's a question of practicing as mentioned. It's a tough keyboard to learn. There are some great instructional materials out there for bando now, and even Skype teachers.
  20. Thanks folks! Yeah, I'm basically ok with the layout as I'm now playing a Geuns instrument with CBA layout. Most of it's the same (though it's ergonomically different I guess).
  21. Hey folks, I was intrigued by this item on eBay (but didn't bid in the end). I think it's a Peguri layout or similar. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautiful-Post-war-152-MONOSONORIC-Bandoneon-by-Fratelli-Crosio-/161890310266?hash=item25b16a187a:g:7q8AAOSwkZhWS42h At this price, I was thinking of it as an interesting project that would keep me busy and MAYBE would be playable one day. Note that I do not have any concertina building background! So it needs to be tuned, which I cannot do (I think). I have heard that bandoneon tuners are difficult to find, accordion technicians cannot do this work, true? I live in Western Canada, so it's mostly accordions out here with wax reed blocks, etc. There may be some concertina tuners, probably elsewhere in Canada. What skill set would I be looking for in a tuner? I notice that the reed plates are aluminum which is not optimal - maybe I get a zinc set made to match (from Harmonika I believe) but not sure if there are design issues in changing that material. It's only the plate, not the reed itself, correct? And they would still need to be fine tuned I presume. Then there are other issues such as broken buttons (I've done that before) and bellows work. Maybe other issues? Grateful to hear any opinions on the sanity of the project, Thanks, Paul
  22. Thanks for this - very helpful. I don't really play tango actually, but nevertheless the classic sound of the tango recordings is the one that we all love and aspire to! But what about the maintenance issue - is it really practical to keep an instrument with long reed plates. From what I understand, it may be necessary to ship the plates away for maintenance, even for tuning. This seems like kind of a nightmare to me, although obviously a lot of people do it so it's possible.
  23. Hi all, Given the choice between a traditional long reed plate instrument and a waxed accordion reed instrument, the conventional wisdom is to go for the long reed plates because they sound better or at least more traditional. However there is a big price difference, plus maintenance issues. I'm beginning to wonder if the actual audible difference is all that large. Here are sound samples of two similar Harry Geuns hybrid bandoneons with the two different reed systems. Unfortunately the recordings are totally different so comparison is difficult. But in any case, I'm not really hearing that one sounds like an accordion and the other does not: http://bandoneon-maker.com/c-system-bandonion-basic-model/ http://bandoneon-maker.com/professional-model-c-b-and-russian-b-system-bandonion/ So what is the main expected benefit of long reed plates: More sympathetic resonance along the plate, like a harmonica, giving added volume and brightness? Dynamic range affected by the density of the plate and reeds? I'm wondering if this is the kind of difference that would be eliminated when using a mic and a PA. It's difficult for me to compare these instruments so appreciate the feedback. Thanks, paul
  24. Brandon, I don't think I'll be much help as I've never gotten far with the traditional bandoneon. I gather it's to do with having a free wrist and being able to use the thumb. You do have to move the wrist up and down, like on a piano (which I do play a bit). Some of the high notes are quite awkward to reach.
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