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wim wakker

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  1. Although I have no intention to get involved in this dispute, I feel an explanation of our restoration quote is in order. The quote is a specification of work needed to restore the instrument to ‘new’ condition, It does not say anything about the current value. The word ‘restored’ is used freely in relation to concertinas. It can consist of new pads, valves and tuning, or a complete rebuild. This quote refers to work we feel is needed to bring it up to new condition. There is an obvious relation between the sales price of an instrument and the level of restoration you can expect. This instrument was in playing condition with replacement valves, pads and in tune. It seems to me the dispute is about the word ‘restored’, not the instrument. Personally I think a working/tuned 58 key Jeffries duet for $2000, or completely restored to new condition for under $3500 is a very good deal… Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  2. There are several ways to protect ones instruments. It seems that most of you are referring to a utility patent. These are not possible if you use the standard mechanics of a free reed instrument. Changing layout etc. is only an improvement or variation of the standard principle. All hybrid concertinas (except our Jackie, Rochelle and Elise) use the standard amplifonic reed position (reeds laying flat on the reed pan), which has been used in accordions for 80+ years. It is impossible to get a utility patent for that. However, a design patent can secure a fretwork design. Just like a design patent can protect a new chair design. You cannot patent a chair, but you can get a patent for an original design. A second possibility is a trademark, using the fretwork, name, etc. as the subject. I am sure there are members in this forum that know a lot more about it than I do. Concertinas are not made by machines, but by people using machines. The machines used in China are the same as the ones used in the West. Chinese instrument are just as ‘hand made’ as instruments made by any other maker. Anyone with a technical background can tell you that a machine (CNC or manual) is only a tool. There is no magic button that makes them produce a concertina automatically…The skill/knowledge of the workmen determines the quality of the product, no matter where the instrument is made. To my knowledge, the average IQ in western countries is not any higher than in china. I agree that most musical instruments we see coming from China are of poor quality. The point I wanted to make is that the reason for this is that dealers from Europe and USA specifically order the cheapest product possible. Quantity for them is more important that quality. There are enough producers of high quality instruments in this part of the world, they need low cost instruments in large quantities. That’s why they go to China, Pakistan, India, Korea, eastern Europe, etc.. That does not mean that Chinese free reed engineers cannot produce anything better. Their knowledge level is comparable to their colleagues in the west. The assumption that Chinese free reed instruments are bad because of a lack of knowledge is incorrect. They are asked to produce a cheap, low quality instrument. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  3. I hope Andrew is in a position to take some kind of legal action. I know how frustrating it is to have someone copy/steal your work. We’ve been there ourselves. Because of our experience, I’ve developed a very low tolerance when it comes to people ‘borrowing’ someone’s work. That is the reason why our clover/peacock project is behind schedule. I developed a completely new reed pan for these instruments which first needs to be protected before we’ll make them available. I would just like t point out a few facts to put everything in perspective: First of all, the design was not stolen by the Chinese or the music room, but as Stephen pointed out by someone in Ireland. Insiders know who we’re talking about… The standard procedure for outsourcing goes like this: someone (usually a dealer) contacts a manufacturer in China (or Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe, etc.) and presents an instrument he wants to have produced. If this person does not have any patents or contracts protecting the instrument, the manufacturer is not under any obligation as far as exclusivity is concerned. It is not possible to get a patent on technical parts which have been used for decades by other manufacturers. The manufacturer will have to invest his own money and time to produce the instruments. When the person that placed the order is not able to take delivery (quite often for financial reasons), the manufacturer is forced to try to sell the product on the free market. I guess that’s how the Music Room got the instruments. The ‘Chinese’ seem to get blamed for a lot in this forum. Since no one seems to be willing/able to put these remarks in perspective, allow me to ventilate my experience and opinion about the Chinese free reed industry based on my own knowledge (9+ years of college education in this field) and 20+ years of professional experience. The quality of the instruments made in China and sold in the west is determined by the people that order them, not the Chinese. If you order instruments from a Chinese manufacturer, and have no real technical knowledge about the instrument or fail to provide any specialized instructions or quality standards other than “the cheapest instrument possible”, than that’s exactly what you get. Many ‘higher’ quality instruments are also produced in China for western manufacturers which sell them under their own name. In my experience the Chinese are very flexible as far as production processes are concerned, and eager to ‘please’ the customer, even with these small quantities. Concertinas are not mass produced. Even our Jackie/Rochelle etc. models are hand made. Our total entry level model production is only a fraction of what Wheatstone or Lachenal produced. Chinese free reed engineers are just as knowledgeable as their European colleagues. I never understand why amateur (unschooled) free reed makers think that their knowledge of free reeds is superior to someone who has completed 4-6 years of college education in this field just because they live in a different part of the world… I am glad to see that most c.net members are opposed to copying an existing instrument from a ‘living’ maker. Although I don’t understand why this does not go for Steve Dickinson’s instruments, of which exact copies (including design mistakes) are sold and even marketed as such… I hope Steve receives some kind of reimbursement for being the owner of the design. By the way, I think Steve Dickinson is one of the great concertina makers of the 20th century who was willing to take a very large financial risk to keep the Wheatstone brand alive and is quite underrated in this forum… Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  4. Our 39 key anglos (A5 and A6) are based on /look almost identical to the H1. Options are the same as the other anglo models (flat or raised wooden ends, metal ends, traditional or duet style hand rests, etc.). The study/development models don't look nice enough to justify a photo.. We should have 'nice' photos of these models on our site within the next few months. Wim
  5. Thanks for all the input… Hopefully all the problems with the photo alignment and overlap are now solved. I don’t know if I can change the position of the menu bar, it is centered in explorer. I have to think about that one. wim
  6. Gerry: fixed the links. thanks Patrick: Since I don't have Firefox, I have no idea what it looks like. "...looks a little funny on Firefox" does not sound good... any suggestions on what needs to be changed? Wim
  7. We finally finished the new Wakker Concertinas website: www.wakker-concertinas.com Although technically still part of the Concertina Connection Inc., Wakker concertinas has grown so much over the last years (we have delivered 100+ instruments to date), that it deserved its own site. The new site is dedicated exclusively to our high end Wakker concertinas with traditional reeds. The Concertina Connection site will continue of course, and will deal with concertina restoration, parts, music publications, and instruments sold under the concertina connection brand name: entry level: Jackie/Jack, Rochelle and Elise intermediate: Clover and Peacock (available shortly) MIDI: AMC and EMC models The CC site will also be updated. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas.
  8. From USSR research? not really… I got my ‘theoretical’ knowledge from my 9 years of college education in this field (I hold 5 European graduate degrees (including one in English Concertina), and my practical knowledge and experience from about 20 years of teaching and working in this field. The most important centers for free reed development and study since the 1930s have been in Germany, France and Italy, not the USSR. The USSR has produced some of the world’s greatest bayanists, but the bayans they made were rubbish (sorry). I have played on those Bakelite bayans. The 32 foot bass reeds were beautiful, but the equilibrium was very poor. They also use about twice as much air as their European counterparts. This might be a bit off topic, but I’ve noticed the opinion that the concertina is inferior to other instruments pops up frequently. I do agree to some point with your remark that most concertina players are not professionals. I think it is fair to say that all 3 forms (anglo, english and duet) are mainly played by amateur musicians. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, as a former professional classical musician, I think playing music for fun is definitely the preferred way to go… The fact that the concertina is mainly used in folk and ethnic music does not mean that it is inferior. It just happens to be the kind of music most players prefer. The english concertina is the only one with an ‘art music’ or classical repertoire. In classical/art music, the quality of the repertoire is important, not how fast one can play or how popular the music is. All ‘classical’ instruments are still being played today because of the role they play in certain musical periods and styles, not because they are easy to play or ergonomically correct. The english concertina also has repertoire (both 19th and 20th century) that is considered valuable and of high musical (and technical) quality. I have premiered and performed many excellent original works for this instrument in Europe and the USA that are equal to repertoire written for violin or piano (e.g. Moliques sonata in Bb, Cohn’s concerto for concertina and orchestra, works by Alla Borzova, Oliver Hunt, etc.). I designed the bachelor (Ed.) program for classical english concertina in Europe back in 2000/2001, with help and supervision of several free reed departments in Europe. It was the first and only EU recognized program for this instrument. However, it turned out to be impossible to find students with enough technical and musical skills to meet the entry level requirements set by the school and the supporting institutes. The average piano, violin, etc. student starting their freshman year was miles ahead of the concertina students. Not because the instrument was inferior, but because the eng. concertina lacks sufficient educational programs to prepare for a professional education. When a student found a way to dodge these requirements, the supporting schools pulled out and the inspector closed down the program. I am afraid that was the only shot the concertina had at an internationally recognized college level program. Concertinas don’t need any ergonomic changes. These remarks usually come from players with very limited technical skills. They often blame the instrument for their limitations. I’ve played very demanding repertoire on standard Wheatstone and Lachenal instruments without any problems. You’ll hear these remarks from beginning players of almost every instrument, it is not unique to the concertina. In my experience the limitations are always from the player, not the instrument. For years I used to challenged players complaining that the Jackie or Jack was too slow for them to play a C major scale on my instrument as fast as they could. I would play the same scale on their Jackie or Jack. If they won, they could have my concert instrument. If I won, I got to keep the Jackie or jack… In the end I always gave back their instrument. I could have won dozens of Jackies and Jacks…. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas.
  9. The reason a concertina sounds like a concertina and an accordion like an accordion is not only because of the reeds. As Dana pointed out, an accordion reed in a concertina, will sound (much) like a concertina. It also works the other way around: when you install a concertina reed in an accordion, it will sound like an accordion. The ‘family’ of free reed instruments consists of several individual instrument groups, each with their own characteristics and construction principles. In ‘our’ family we distinguish between 1 Accordion, 2 bandoneon, 3 concertina, and 4 harmonium type of construction. Each group has subdivisions (accordion: bayan, schweizer oergli, etc.) Instruments in these subdivisions share the same basic technique/construction. Each group has a fundamentally different way of activating a metal reed by means of an air column. Just as you cannot turn a violin into a guitar by installing guitar strings (both members of the string family), you cannot change a free reed instrument to one from another group just by changing the reed…. Although materials have an effect on the sound quality, they do not determine the type of sound. For example, you cannot change an accordion into a concertina or harmonium just by using the materials used in those instruments. Except for the concertina and harmonium groups where the density and structure of only certain parts do have a measurable effect on tone/harmonics, for most free reed instruments materials do not play an important role. Research has shown only a 2% effect in accordion type instruments (prof. Richter, 1985). In all free reed instruments materials are basically used for sound reflection, not resonance (as string instruments do). This means a concertina uses different principles of sound production than an accordion. The reeds themselves are only a small part in the process. It doesn’t matter whether you install brass, german silver or steel reeds in a concertina, either high or poor quality, it will always sound like a concertina. You can even use any material you like; wood, metal, plastic, etc. without changing the characteristics of the sound. You might prefer certain materials, but you will always recognize the sound as being a concertina. It will never end up sounding like a bandonion or accordion. The same goes for the other instrument groups. The reason a concertina sounds like a concertina is because of the way the instrument is constructed. Key parts that make a concertina sound like a concertina are: -the reedpan: the opening under the reed (vortex), chamber size, position of the reed in the chamber, air column shape. - reed frame(shoe): shape of the vent in relation to the reedpan. - the way energy is transmitted from the reed to the reedpan. If you install an accordion reed in a concertina, the only aspect you change is the vent. As a result, it will sound like a concertina. The reason it needed more pressure (in Dana’s example) is because the accordion reed was designed for a higher pressure chamber. If you start with accordion construction principles, as all hybrid concertinas do, you can change certain aspects to mimic a concertina. If I am correct, Frank (Edgley) now uses accordion reeds with a vented frame, somewhat like concertina reeds. This does imitate the way a concertina reed cuts the air column, but the column shape, air flow pressure, energy transmission, etc. still follows the principles of accordion construction. The altered reed frame changes only a very small part of the whole process (maybe 15-20%?). The sound structure is, and always will be that of the accordion group (harmonic structure). It doesn't mean that a concertina sounds better (many people prefer the sound of an accordion) it just sounds different. It doesn’t make any difference in the harmonic structure of the sound which type of accordion reed you use (export, typo a mano, a mano). This standard classification only indicates the level of quality, (e.g. gap size, hand or machine riveted). Hand finished reeds ( a mano) are only finished and riveted by hand, not ‘cut’ by hand. They have a better reed/frame fit and a better reed curve (hand corrected if necessary), but produce basically the same harmonics as the other types. N.B. most vintage concertina reeds do not meet the quality/fit standard of a mano accordion reeds. If you would classify them according to this system, they would be export or typo a mano. The quality and hardness of the steel is also comparable to the vocal steel used nowadays in accordion reeds… By the way, the vented frames, that I assume Frank means, are developed by Harry Geuns in the 1990s. Harry abandoned the project we both worked on because it was only one aspect of many (as explained above) and did not come close enough to the concertina sound. Harry ‘gave’ the technique to a befriended reed maker in Italy for use in a new model jazz accordion… Harry never patented this design. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  10. I don’t want to ruin the party, but Bob reinvented an existing feature: the variable airflow slide. The first instruments (free bass concert accordions) with a primitive adjustable slide system were produced in the 1930s. The slides were operated with stepped switches that closed the opening ¼, ½ , ¾ or all the way. The most successful and best known instrument with a much more sophisticated air flow slide system was the Victoria SDG, named after Salvatore di Gesualdo, a professor of (classical) accordion at the Padua University (Italy) and one of the great baroque performers. His instrument was built in 1984 (I owned #2, built in ‘85). The SDG went for $24000 in 1985…. The SDG had small slides on the outside of the instrument, one for each ‘foot’ register (8,8’,4,16,2 2/3) plus a nullifier that closed all the slides. In addition to the slide system, it also had a ‘jalousia’, which basically is a baffle that can be opened and closed from the outside. Jalousias have been used since the early 1900s. Both systems have a different function. The variable airflow slide allows the player to adjust the volume of selected reeds. For example, on a SDG, when using a switch consisting of 16 and 4 foot reeds, you can reduce the airflow to the 4 foot reeds in order to change the balance. Actually, I think that’s exactly what Bob meant, adjusting the volume of certain reeds to improve the balance of the instrument. To mute one side of the instrument, you need a baffle or a more sophisticated jalousia. You cannot use an airflow reducer for this. Both the earlier versions and the SDG have an aluminum slide system in the action board (sandwiched). Bob’s system will also work in the ‘empty’ chambers, but I wonder what he would do with the blocked chambers (the chambers for the higher notes have chamber reduction blocks). The downside… Unfortunately, there is a considerable downside to a reduced airflow by altering the shape of the air column. It causes a change in pitch and harmonics, not because of the amount of air that enters the chamber is less (it is not the same as a pad that doesn’t open all the way, or a slightly smaller/larger air hole), but the shape of the air column and the rate the camber is filled interfere with the 2nd part of the reed cycle (stage 3 and 4) (see ‘all about reeds’ on our site if you want more details). A reed chamber is an air reservoir in which the pressure should not exceed ability of the reed to move back. The change in air column and air flow rate prevents the reed to come to full swing, much like pitch bending on a harmonica. In spite of the large amounts of money invested in research, no one ever patented this system. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  11. I think an explanation of the Elise keyboard might answer some of the questions. Before we decided to add an entry level model duet to our beginners line of concertinas, we made sure we did our homework. In order to make such a project feasible, you have to make sure the market is large enough to justify the investment. The average Jackie/Jack, Rochelle (2000+) and hopefully the Elise buyer comes from different cultures all over the world, and quite often has no idea of the english/irish music scene. Most of these people bought the instrument because it is small, portable, probably easy to learn and cheap. Many of them have never seen or heard of a concertina before buying their instrument. They just think it would be nice to be able to play a musical instrument. In order for the Elise to be interesting for this very large group of potential players, it needed to be usable in different musical cultures, not just in tonal music, and the keyboard should have enough range to offer insight in the logic of it. With the current layout the elise can play in these scales/modes: - Diatonic: C, G, D, F major. B, E, A, D eolian (natural minor). D harmonic minor. - Modes: dorian/hypodorian: D, E, A, G. Phrigian/hypophrigian: E, B, F#, A. Lidian/hypolidian: F, C, G, Bb. Mixolidian/hypomixolidian: G, D, A, C. - pentatonic scales as used in jazz, blues and etnic music - most of the tetrachords and hexachords used in eastern ethnic music, and early music. You can easily substitute missing notes in tonal melodies by playing the note that is either a 3rd higher or lower, depending on the harmony. If the Elise follows the example of the Jackie and Rochelle, it will end up all over the world, being used in all kind of musical settings. Players will adapt to the limitations of the instrument, just like harmonica players have done for generations (the “limited” diatonic harmonica is still more popular than the superior chromatic model). I realize that for this community irish/english folk music is often the reason for playing the concertina, but many people in the outside world the concertina is just another, hopefully interesting, musical instrument that they can use in their own music scene. However, if they really feel they need more notes, they can always add their name to our waiting list for our 46 or 65 key models…… Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  12. We have a new addition to our family of entry level concertinas: the Elise 34 key Hayden Duet. The first instruments are expected to arrive early next month. Because of the limited production time we have available at the factory, the number of instruments is limited. As of today we accept reservations for the Elise. You can also contact participating dealers to reserve an instrument. For further details please see http://www.concertinaconnection.com/elise.htm Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  13. Just found this thread…I am afraid I don’t visit c.net as often as I should…too busy building and designing concertinas… I can give some more information on the Hayden entry level Rich mentioned. At this moment I am working on a 34 key model. The “Phoebe”, based on the Jackie and Rochelle, will hopefully be available around June 2009. Initially I planned to make it 30 keys because of economic reasons, but I agree with Rich and other people that 30 keys would be too limited. However, the extra 4 notes do create a lot of problems. In spite popular believe, you can’t just put more reeds in an instrument without changing its playability and air consumption. If all goes well, the first trial runs at the factory should start in February. While I am at it, there is more news planned for 2009. Between our entry level instruments (jackie, rochelle) and our Wakker line of concertinas, I am working on 2 additional lines of instruments to fill the gap. In fact, both lines are just about finished. The next step up from the jackies and Rochelles are the clover (anglo) and peacock (english). Both with hand made Italian accordion reeds. The instruments are finished and ready for production. Actually, their introduction was planned for 2008, but because of our move and the declining US$/increasing shipping cost, we decided to postpone it and move the production to the US and partly to Europe. The next model line is the prodigy anglo and english. Both models have ‘real’ concertina reeds, but priced at 40-50% lower than the current instruments with traditional reeds. Both instruments are more or less ‘wheatstone clones’ relying heavily on the old 1920s techniques.. These instruments do NOT have our hand made 'Wakker' reeds. Hopefully, we’ll be able to add a Hayden to both model lines in the future. Although our 2 hayden models are quite popular, I am afraid the instrument will never be able to compete with the anglo or english as far as popularity goes. The number of players will always be limited. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  14. The ‘echo’ is the reed vibrating. When you stop a low note by lifting your finger, you’ll stop the airflow to the reed, but the reed will keep swinging a little longer. Large reeds, especially when they have a weight at the tip, need time to stop all movement. Rochelles and Jackie/Jacks have special foil valves (manufactured in Germany to our specifications). Unlike leather valves, they will always stay flat on the frame. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  15. There are 2 reasons a note might have a buzz with it: 1) the reeds are still ‘centering’. New reeds will rotate a little on the rivet when new. This causes a rattling noise. As soon as the instrument is played in (ca. 100 hours), this will disappear. 2) The reeds produce so much volume, that parts in the action can vibrate. This problem has increased a little with the improvement of the reed amplitude. Bushing the action will push the price up with at least $100. I have been working on an alternative solution that won’t increase the price. If all the tests are positive, we will instruct our dealers, and have a ‘action kit’ available at cost for people that already have one of these instruments. Every Rochelle, Jackie and Jack is hand made by professional experienced workers. Because of this, there are small differences between instruments. There is no quality issue. The buzzing in some instruments is caused by increased reed performance, which requires adjustments to the action. Just like you need to make adjustments to a car when you increase the engines performance. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  16. The dipper looks interesting. I don’t think that the (brass?) insert has any effect on the sound because of its position. Rod: The main purpose of fabric was to keep dirt/insects out. Fabric has a dampening effect on the sound (it doesn’t reflect much) which most people don’t appreciate. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  17. Funny … I thought I was the first with wood/metal ends…. Herrington’s metal insert looks nice, but it doesn’t serve any acoustical purpose. It is not in any reflection zone. I would really like to see Colin’s instrument, if anyone has a photo…. Jody: Yes, there is an acoustical reason. I don’t like to add things to an instrument if it doesn’t serve a purpose. I am glad to hear that you approve of the visual result, however, I know for a fact that many more conservative players will not agree with you….but, that’s part of the fun. I tried to explain the differences of this instrument on our site, but in short, the metal inserts are located right above the pads, which is called the primary reflection zone. The reed scaling I developed for this instrument together with the different chamber design produces a lot of harmonics, which the metal inserts helps reflect. The instrument sounds somewhat like a metal ended concertina, but without the harsh, thin sounding qualities. The tone still has ‘body’. An extra benefit is the weight reduction compared to a traditional metal ended concertina. Azalin: I am not a fan of sound samples. Although I am a professionally trained (classical) musician, with a life time of free reed experience, I find it almost impossible to hear the sound differences of our own instruments when listening to recordings. Even when I use a high end audio system.. That is one of the reasons we decided to make an instrument for trial purposes. The only way to really hear/appreciate an instrument is by playing it yourself. So, once in a while, when our schedule permits, we’ll make a trial instrument. Last years traveler (W-A2 model) was on route for over a year. We don’t plan anything like that for this A4 model, but there are a few people that were interested in trying it. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  18. Mick: The A1 in standard configuration is the most mellow sounding anglo we make. The A2 and A3 have more of a ‘bite’ to them, and the A4 is the brightest sounding model. Of course, an A1 with metal ends will be very bright, but different than the A4. I tried to explain the different models on our site: http://www.concertinaconnection.com/wakker%20anglo.htm Wim Concertina Connection Inc.
  19. Alan: The instrument is going to Chris Algar. You might want to contact him if you want to try the instrument. I start of course with the theoretical principles, which I then attempt to ‘confirm’ in reality. For instance, finding the best reed scaling is a matter of trial and error. The theory is pretty clear, but you still have to decide how much/little you want the reed amplitude to decrease to get the balance you want. There are a lot of variables that are not 100% controllable ( air flow, reed amplitude, etc.). The ‘old makers’ did not have much theoretical knowledge of reeds and reed performance. It just wasn’t available in those days. They also did not have any organized schooling or apprentice programs as string and piano/harpsichord makers had in the 19th century. It was mostly trial and error for them. Free reed research and schooling is something of the 20th century, financed and often organized by the booming accordion industry and educational institutions in Europe and USSR. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  20. I finally completed the 3rd anglo design of our Wakker anglos. Starting with the A2 model, I spent about 800 hours modifying the reedpans, reed scaling, airflow resistance and ends, to get the final result: a bright, but NOT harsh sounding anglo with a more linear equilibrium than our A1 and A2 models. The metal inserts are strategically placed over the primary reflection zones to help brighten the sound. The custom scaled and shaped reeds produce a strong 5th, which results is a somewhat ‘flute like’ tone. Personally I am not a fan of metal ended harsh sounding heavy concertinas, that’s why I invested the extra time in research and development to come up with this solution… The W-A4 weights 1.15 Kg / 2.54Lb. Our 3 basic designs cover the whole spectrum from mellow to bright sounding anglos. There are of course endless possibilities to customize each model. The instrument will travel for a while. It will start in Oregon this week, and might visit one of Noel Hill’s classes the week after. Later this month it will go to the UK and Ireland before returning to the USA. We don’t plan to organize a tour for this instrument, but if anyone is interested to try it out, or can be its host to a festival or work shop, let us know… we appreciate all the feed back we can get. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  21. I am surprised no one thought of consulting the standard publications on this subject…. many institutes have done extensive research on the subject of free reeds since the early 20th century in Europe, Scandinavia and Russia, and have published most of their findings. Granted, most of it is in German, Italian, French and Russian. I have taught this subject for over 20 years. The primary function of the reed chamber is to get the maximum amplitude and response from the reed. Reeds produce the harmonic spectrum, not the chamber. They produce these frequencies by ‘chopping’ the air flow that passes through the frame. Reeds do not vibrate! Research [e.g. ‘Untersuchingen spezieller Phaenomene’ 1984, Gotthard Richter] has shown that the effect of the chamber on soundwaves in free reed instruments is limited. Valve material, position of the reed/length of the chamber have some effect on some frequencies. More effective are changes to the harmonic spectrum (inner reed movement). This can be achieved by changing the length of the reed slot, length, thickness and material of the reed, extreme material differences and reflection. In concertinas baffles have been the favorite way to ‘filter’ the sound. In harmoniums and mid 19th century concertinas, the harmonic spectrum was often limited by bending the tip of the reed down. This prevented most of the inner movement of the reed (= less harmonics), and produced a more mellow tone. Other effective ways to change the sound is by primary reflection (e.g. cassotto). Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  22. The current sales price for the Rochelle, Jackie and Jack, including tutor gig bag and shipping within the USA and Canada is $340. At least, that is what we sell them for, and what we suggest to our dealers. In Europe and Scandinavia the suggested retail price is Euro 268.00. Most dealers offer our trade in program, or something like it. If you want to trade in a Jackie, Jack or Rochelle, or need it serviced, I suggest you first contact the dealer you bought it from. If they can’t help you, or if you bought the instrument from a private party, contact us. I am sure we can work something out. I don’t really care if you’re the first or fifth owner. If you own one of our instruments, the least we can do is stand behind it. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc.
  23. We’re back in business….. Although there is still a lot of painting and other odd jobs to do, and our ‘shop’ is still somewhere on the ocean, we’ve started again with the distribution of the Jackie/jack and Rochelle models, as well as restorations. I won’t be able to update our site for another month… the computer with the necessary software is also in the container. We can be reached through the email addresses on our site. If you sent us an email in February and did not get a reply, please try again.. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Valleyford, WA
  24. Henri, We’re aware of the beauty of Washington… Actually, that is one of the reasons to move back: nature. We were lucky enough to be able to find a house on 5 acres of pristine woodland just minutes away from Spokane…it will be the perfect place to build our concertinas… We have pretty strong ties with the Spokane area.. Karen was born and raised there, and we lived in the valley during the 80s after we were married. Marien: the first 2 digits of our serial numbers are for the year the instrument was made. 0777 was the last one in 2007, 0878 will be the first one in 2008. If only Lachenal would have used a numbering system like this, it would have been a lot easier to date their instruments…. Wim P.S. I hope you like 0776
  25. Whatever you prefer…you can order one from a dealer near you, or direct from us. Price and service is/should be the same. We’re just another dealer in the north-west. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection
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