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Everything posted by W3DW

  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.
  16. I agree. If I can play it on the right, I can play it on the left with barely a bump. Also, I warm up playing parallel octaves, thirds and tenths so that helps. Daniel
  17. I had already learned the traditional Hayden fingering before I discovered that the mirrored keyboard existed, and my first thought was "Rats! That woulda been easier!" After giving it some thought, I no longer feel that way. Like George, I "see" the note pattern as though it were printed before me, and I plop down whichever finger rests above the spot on that pattern where my desired note/s are located. I relate to the note position, not the finger. I think that this makes it easier for me when I shift fingering to improve phrasing or ornamentation. I recognize that my way of "seeing" music is part of my cognitive hardware and not a universal feature, so I'm glad I started where I did. As I was learning the traditional Hayden system I found my piano association of "left little finger locates the lowest notes" useful as a beginner, though I certainly see the beginner's attraction to "learn one hand and you know the other." I also agree with George that humans learn complicated things easily. I think that either traditional or mirrored Hayden will quickly become comfortable under a newbie's fingers, and any advantage of one Hayden keyboard over the other would disappear after a month or two. Daniel
  18. Alas, recovery requires the desire to change, or at least the conviction that such change could be possible or desirable. I'm afraid such a program would lack for qualified candidates.
  19. Asking leatherworkers what skiving tool is best is like asking this forum which concertina is best! I use a varient of the second tool you posted, using single edge razor blades, but a scalpel also works for me as well. I've had no luck with big machines with drive mechanisms except when working with saddle leather, but I just KNOW there's somebody out there who can skive gussets masterfully with one. Skifes are like concertinas - keep practicing! Daniel
  20. If you are looking for a sweeter rounder sound, the splendid BB shop elves can install a different grill cloth designed to reduce internal sound reflection, thereby reducing the higher harmonics just slightly. Consider an additional bellows fold as well if you plan solid chords and ensemble volume - I'm glad I added one. Daniel
  21. I'm a happy Durall reed Beaumont player who has employed cardboard baffles to smooth the tone further, so my desired concertina voice clearly eliminates TAM for me. I'm very much a chord and countermelody player and feel the reduced high harmonics help the notes blend, but that's me - you might like a brighter tone. Go to the YouTube channel of David Barnert at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZIVVA2D4DjWDhw8dc5o-vA and listen to the lovely bright tone of his concertina-reeded Wheatstone. If this matches the sound you want, then you'd probably prefer the TAM Beaumont. Another advertised feature of TAM reeds is quicker response, which would always be advantage. Can anybody comment on how much difference this actually makes to the playability of a Morse box? I'm delighted with my Beaumont - my best to you with yours! Daniel
  22. On my Hayden Beaumont, my left thumb can easily play the Ab that is needed to complete the key of Eb. It's just the happy coincidence of button location and a long, fat thumb, but it's much easier for me than reaching my index finger across the keyboard which necessitates shifting my whole hand as well. In fact, extending my thumb helps tilt my left hand toward the far side of the keyboard where the rest of Eb lives. I wish the two right hand Ab buttons were as easy to use! Daniel
  23. Again, Steve, what has been changed and improved?
  24. Little John wrote: "I don't rest my whole hand on the rest; only the back edge (little finger side) of the palm. The thumb side of the palm is about 1/2" above the rest and the thumb curls in to grip and tension the strap. So without altering the handrest you can curl your fingers comfortably over the buttons and play with the tip." This is how I am playing as well - my hand touches the hand rest only slightly below the little finger knuckle. My hand is primarily stabilized by the base of my hand on the fretwork and the back of my hand on the strap. And Anglo-Irishman wrote: "At one point, I did try raising the handrests on my Anglo and Duet (in a temporary and reversible manner) and making the straps a bit tighter, but being tied down a bit farther from the buttons wasn't as good (for me, at least) as being closer and free to move about." I, too, tried to raise the hand rest following the contour of my palm, but found that nicely curled fingers were not helpful for me if I didn't have the freedom to move my hand up and down my duet's rows. But you may find it helpful and removable pipe foam is quick and cheap! Daniel
  25. My early experience was the same as yours - a snug strap was secure, but limited my fingers and nice rounded fingers reached the buttons better but made the instrument feel insecure. Over time, the loose-strap insecurity lessened and I lengthened the strap several times. I think that I now support the instrument by extending my wrist gently against the strap, taking up the slack of the extra space I've created. My fingers assume the naturally curled position of my hand at rest. If you had set my straps as I now wear them and handed me my concertina when I was just starting out and said "There - that's perfect", I'd have thought you were nuts! Let your hand position evolve. Your flat-hand position will, in all likelihood evolve toward a more flexed-finger position, but only you can judge what will eventually suit you. Enjoy the journey! Daniel
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