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    Happily playing a Hayden-system Beaumont from the Button Box.
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    Georgia, USA

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  1. And if you are looking at a new Peacock for $3000 with 42 buttons and 7" flats, you might consider a Button Box Beaumont for $4000 with 52 buttons and 7" flats. If you regularly play beyond C, F, D & G as I do, you might find the extra weight and cost worthwhile. I love mine.
  2. As a pianist, I expected the EC to be the most similar, but was taken by the Hayden/Wiki system which keeps the same fingering in many keys. I bought a simple Hayden, and soon a fine large one; I love the system. I bought a delightful EC as well and have never taken to it as I have to the Hayden. In addition, I find it easier to play melody and harmony together on the duet, though many of my skilled colleagues manage it very nicely. Enjoy the voyage!
  3. Thank you, Jim, this is very helpful. I'll reference this when the next "what should I get? " thread comes around.
  4. I, too, began on an Elise, and the slanted keyboard wasn't a problem, but when I picked up a Beaumont I knew within 60 seconds that I preferred a straight alignment. I ordered a Beaumont on the spot and have never regretted it. I make extensive use of my little fingers, and the straight keyboard makes it easier for me to do so on the right side, but that's just me. I hope you can find a straight keyboard Hayden to try out so you can see if your hands have a preference. Happy Hayden-ing!
  5. The Rochelle is not made from plastic.
  6. While moving on may well be the best for the long term, perhaps just improving the Stagi non-Hayden might work. The goal of making parallel hand rails may not be reasonable, and perhaps not even desirable given bogheathen's observation that the buttons are not oriented identically. Why not just try to reduce the excessive slant? If this were mine, I'd try making it new rails. The Stagi rails are probably about 4" long, and 1" tall, and about 1/2 inch thick. I'd grab the maple I've used for past handrail experiments on my Beaumont and make a pair the same height and length, but change the thickness - 1/2 inch on one side, but 1 1/4 inch in the other, forming a tradizoid which would mount with the original screws and holes so that the thicker dimension reaches toward the buttons on the side where the slant has separated the rail from the buttons, that is, on the little finger side of the right side and index finger side of the left side. Then I'd sand away wood at an angle from the wrist side of the 1 1/4 section so that the bottom of the rail remains 1 1/4 at that end, and the top of the rail would be a half inch throughout its length as before. Rough measurements suggest this would reduce the functional slant about 5 degrees, enough to bring the Stagi to 10.5 degrees or less. With luck, this reduction would prove functional to you. I know it would work for me since I can swap between my preferred parallel grip Beaumont and accurately slanted Hayden instruments without much adjustment. Yes, there are other issues like the non-standard Stagi button placement and the change of position in the lap (I have a suggestion about that if anyone cares!) but this might get some use out of the Stagi and in any case would be completely reversable. Happy squeezing! Daniel
  7. As the happy owner of a model 21, I have always wondered what the actual differences are to have been worth the significant difference in the original price. Using a 1920s Wheatstone advertisement (the era of my instrument) the Model 22 cost £17 and the Model 21 sold for £11 - quite a difference! "Best nickel plated raised ends" are advertised for the Model 22. A century on, has the plating proved to be superior? Do raised ends sound better or feel better? I sure think they look fine. "Spherical end silver keys and ends to match" sounds fancy, but the Model 21 could be similarly described. Are they different? Then come my "steel vibrators" versus the Model 22 "best steel vibrators". What differentiated them when new? Were they differently manufactured, or perhaps were they all built the same but the Model 22 reeds were carefully selected and prepared? The model 22 had "morocco" bellows which might have also brought better workmanship and better action, but these are likely replaced by this time anyway. And finally, the Model 22 was said to feature a "new improved action, short touch and rapid articulation". We're 21s and 22s internally dissimilar? Of course, the largest differences between the two instruments that seanc is considering is what has happened since each has left the factory - how have they been played, cared for and restored. But I wonder what can be said about the original differences in these two concertinas, and what might be expected of them today. Thanks, all! Daniel
  8. I would recommend caution in considering the rental of a Stagi Hayden. David Barnert was not specific regarding "the mess that is the Stagi Hayden" but I would like to comment on the button placement: it is not standard. Hayden specifications call for buttons to slant relative to the palm bar, and some Hayden-system concertinas like my Beaumont have keys parallel to the bar instead. I've played both and can manage either nicely. Whatever Stagi did with slant and button spacing - I didn't measure it to compare - made it difficult for me to play. Specifically, the higher pitched right hand buttons toward the little finger side of my hand were hard to reach, and I have pretty big mitts! Clearly some folks make Stagis work for them, but be aware that the Stagi keyboard marches to its own 5/4 samba.
  9. I can't speak to the Holmwood, but my model 21 is quick and assertive, but not abrasive.
  10. Since the experienced Anglo players here have made it clear that playing both with and without the little finger is acceptable, my question to the OP is "why wouldn't you try it out?" I asked the same question of myself when I started playing Hayden and decided to try, since if successful I could boost my button-jamming manpower by 33 1/3%. Sure, my little fingers seemed weak and even more uncoordinated than it's three larger brothers (though a lifetime playing guitar and bass helped) but soon the little guy fell into line. Now, Hayden offers a regular assignment to a fourth finger since fa-sol-la-ti are usually in a line beside each other and I don't know how it would be best used in the Anglo world, but why not give it an adequate trial? Using my little fingers has become my default pattern unless some other fingering makes more ergonomic sense, and other musicians go without and play just fine. See what works! Daniel
  11. The Troubadour is new to the market, and while the Button Box has one, there's no recording yet. BB has a Peacock with a sound sample, and Liberty Bellows also has a Peacock in stock and a sound sample as well. I'd forgotten that JeffLeff has the smaller Wakker - $6075 not $8750, but still a long wait, I expect. I'd order the bigger one if I were younger and rich! My personal opinionated opinion is to pass on the mirrored keyboard. It is probably a help in the first weeks of learning, but your fingers will be learning a new foreign language either way, and soon either keyboard will become second nature. I don't see any biomechanical advantage or disadvantage to the system once muscle memory has formed. Haydens are already rare beasts, and a mirrored one is a rarity among rarities! Wakker is the only source I know of for mirrored instruments, and they'd be tough to resell, too. Of course, Wakker would take one back on trade in. Also, BB would give you full trade-in for a (bought new from them) Wakker if you want a Beaumont - that's the route I took. Check with them when they re-open to be sure they still do this, and even if they do, they might not choose to do so for a mirrored one. And listen to their three Beaumont sound samples - they are excellent. Again, happy hunting. Daniel
  12. Don Taylor is correct about the difficulties of finding concertina-reed Hayden because of their recent invention. However, you might find that you prefer accordion reeds, as I do. It's a matter of personal choice, so give a listen to both - best in person, of course - but here are a few suggestions. You can hear genuine concertina reeds by searching YouTube for JeffLeff, who plays a Concertina Connection Hayden which is lovely and requires a long wait and $8000+. David Barnert of this forum plays a rare Wheatstone Hayden duet concertina and can be found with a YouTube search of "Hayden duet concertina David Barnert" since the name of his channel - Dr. Sleep - brings up hits for a film of that name. Boy, can David play! A YouTube search for "George plays music" and "soloduetconcerta" will get you recordings of a Button Box Beaumont hybrid (that is, accordion reeded) instrument like the one I play, and there are good audio samples of all the Haydens presestly on offer right there on the Button Box site. I have a classical-period Wheatstone English concertina, too, and I love its voice as well, but find accordion reeds smoother in melody-and-harmony settings. That's just me. See what you think. And of course there are concertina-reed duet instruments in non-Hayden configurations, and they are sometimes less expensive that anglos and ECs of similar quality, but Haydens have advantages that I find attractive, and it seems you find them so as well. Happy hunting! Daniel
  13. Rather than using a hammer, put the punch to the card and rotate it to cut through.
  14. Quite true. The OP was considering the possibility of a mirrored Button Box Beaumont, a hybrid without a left air button or sloped reed pan, and reversing the action, reed pan and fretwork patterns would provide a solid starting point. But building everything in reverse would be a pain in the neck, so I'm not surprised they would prefer not to do so.
  15. Conceptually, it's simple - just flip your template or software image and go to work.
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