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Posts posted by inventor

  1. There is one factor about the construction of the Bandoneon which alters the timbre. This is placing the reeds on continuous rather than individual reed plates. 

    Russian "Bayan" accordions are also constructed in this way which gives the timbre that Russians favor.  I suggest you find someone who plays a Russian Bayan and see if this is what you are looking for.

    I once had a concertina made in Moscow by a bayan accordion maker which had all the reeds of each side on a single plate. This instrument had a timbre much closer to the sound of a traditional concertina than a hybrid accordion reeded concertina. 



  2. My suggestion for a solution depends on the structure of the inside of a Stagi Hayden concertina, which I have never seen, but perhaps someone might put a picture of these on this website.  It assumes that the accordion style reed plates are mounted on accordion style reed blocks.

    1) Obtain a second-hand 46 button Stagi Hayden concertina.

    2) Starting with the lowest pitch reeds, take out the reed plates one row at a time and prepare to replace them two spaces along the row. 

    3) Lengthen the tone chambers to fit  the reed plate that is two whole tones lower in pitch. You should end up with a row with two empty spaces at the bottom and a pair of reed plates left over.

    4) Repeat this for for the next highest run of notes

    5) On the third run of notes use the two left over reed plates from the first run, to fit into the first two tone chambers, moving the other reed plates along as before. 

    6) Repeat (5) on the fourth row of each side and the fifth row of the right hand side.

    7) Buy the extra 8 missing reed plates (i.e. the Abs, Bbs, Dbs & Ebs ). These shouldn't be too expensive if you buy second hand from an accordion repairer. Fit these as before.


    ? You will also have to touch up the tuning, as the pitch of reeds may change a bit when they are moved around. This will now be a Hayden concertina in Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F & C.






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  3. Please let me scotch the myth about Duet concertinas being difficult; this only really applies to the MACCAN duet. A CRANE Duet is fairly straightforward, and the HAYDEN duet is very easy. The ELISE (Hayden system) duet is of the same quality and cost as the ROCHELLE.

    To try out this system find someone with an iphone and they will be able to show you a playable version of the Hayden keyboard on screen.



  4. You should get in touch with the - International Concertina Association - (ICA), they have a web site .  Most of their members are English Concertina players, who are mostly classical rather than folk orientated players.

    When I first started playing concertina,  in the sixties, (Anglo, coming from Melodeon),  I  asked Father Kenneth Loveless, (the then President of the ICA); who I knew through  meetings of Morris Ring,  EFDSS courses, and Sidmouth Festival; about the ICA, should I join ?  However he told me that  practically all the members were classical music reading English Concertina players, and as an ear playing Anglo player, I might not have much in common with them. 

    It wasn't until many years later when I had taken up a duet concertina,  that I finally joined the ICA.  I am not decrying the ICA who are now much more open to all different kinds of music, and have many more Anglo and Duet players than they ever used to, but I think that you (McDouglas) might enjoy the meetings or weekends of one their associated groups. 




    P.S. On playing at the Albert Hall:-  At the Tango Concert, the penultimate night of this seasons Albert Hall Proms, I was disappointed that the Bandoneon players were practically drowned out by the totally unneeded full orchestra behind them.


  5. Harry Geuns recently (probably about a year ago) offered to make a batch of Hayden Squares. He also makes Chemnitzers. He needed about ten people to sign up to buy one. About five or six showed an interest, but not enough. It will be on this web site somewhere if you wanted to follow it up.

    It took me 20 years to sell the first batch of Bastari Squares. I would be 100 by then. My mother made it to 95, but I doubt it if I make it that far ! 

  6. Made by Robin Scard.

    1 offs by H Crabb & sons (the very first), Nicoli of Moscow, Marcus of Wales, Connor, and recently a small one by Alex Holden; I hope he will make more. There were also conversions made by Neville Crabb, and Dana Johnson. I attempted a conversion, years ago when I very first had the idea, but didn't end up with a playable instrument. I Have written about this instrument several times.




  7. The black and white are not for my benefit, as  I had previously played instruments with all the same colored buttons. They were  to clearly show how the key of C sat on the instrument. Then to demonstrate that by moving to the right you added sharps (and lost the farthest leftmost white buttons), or by moving to the left you added flats (and lost the farthest rightmost white buttons).



  8. Simple answer is "no". I am not very good at electronic things. 

    However I have seen many people sitting in front of me with recorders at WCCP concertina weekends, so there must be many recordings of my live performances somewhere. One particular recording that I remember from a time when I was at my best on on my 68 button instrument, was a 4 part harmony of the first part of Handel's "Overture to the Royal Fireworks". 


  9. Have a good look at Alex Holden's metal capped button making on his website. The next to last cap size looked good to me,  but maybe I am being greedy !  He does mention the possibility of just one extra tool to finish up at 6.35 mm.


    The 6.25" size across the "flats" is a really nice size for a concertina; anything much larger than 8" can be a problem. Steve Dickenson fitted 46 buttons onto the 6.25" size instrument, which is just about the minimum needed for a really useful Hayden duet.




  10. Regarding button size:

    I can only recommend, but obviously cannot control what  makers and manufactures actually produce. As pointed out even for my personal instrument, 6mm was as big as Colin was willing to go.

    Button Box do do large (but not flat top) buttons; and Concertina Connection do do flat top (but normal size) buttons. Makers are set up with tooling to produce buttons in quantity, and duet concertinas are just a small sideline to their main production of English and/or Anglo concertinas. 

    Steve Dickenson has tooling to make the small hemispherical metal top buttons, inherited from the original Wheatstone factory. I don't personally like these: however when he offered to make me a complete batch of 10; I naturally jumped at the chance.

    This led me to more experimentation on the size and shape of the buttons.

    With the Elise that is the standard button size for all the concertinas that Concertina Connection have made in China.





  11. I have absolutely no difficulty playing BOTH fourths and fifths with one finger. On my larger (68 button) Hayden duet I can play every fourth AND every fifth interval that falls within the compass of the instrument, with only one finger. The rows of buttons are closer together (9mm), than the usual column concertina distance (11mm).  On this instrument I have large (6mm) flat top buttons, the centers of which are 12mm diagonally away from the buttons that are both a fourth or a fifth higher and lower. Most standard column concertinas have smaller buttons (usually 4mm); so all in all the span is about the same.

    I am sorry to be so pedantic; but I did an awful lot of work to arrive at the optimum sizes distances and angles, for my type of concertina.



  12. It occurs to me that I have seen inside a couple of Jeffries Duets (one quite recently) and noticed that the note that they played did not correspond to the note stamped on the tip of the reed frame.  I think it quite possible that the reeds may like yours have been in old pitch. but have been tuned "just that shy" up. Then moved to the correct position to give the normal Jeffries duet pattern in C. 

    You would of course need a pair of new reeds for the very lowest note of each side. Many of the reeds will most likely fit without altering the slots, however I fully endorse David Barnerts "don't do it yourself. Take to someone who knows what they are doing".



  13. There is a method often used by Melodeon repairers to tune the reeds down a little; by adding a tiny drop of solder (the old flux cored type at one time used for soldering components to a printed circuit board) to the tip of the reed. This has the advantage that it is reversible with virtually no damage to the reed. I expect that there are  several people shouting "no no no" to this suggestion; but perhaps you might consult one of the repairers of both melodeons and concertinas. Theo Gibb of Newcastle upon Tyne immediately springs to mind, he even has a Jeffries Duet currently in stock for restoration.




  14. It is a pure myth that the Hayden slope is awkward: it is there for a very good reason, which I have exhaustively written about in this website in the past.

    For the right hand I use the little finger also for accidentals, and chromatic decorations where it is probably no better or worse than on a Crane. Playing consecutive notes a fourth apart are never a problem on the Hayden as they fall on buttons that are diagonally to the left in the next row rather than immediately above as on the Crane.

    On the left hand I commonly use the left little finger when playing an Um-Pah accompaniment (the sort of thing an Accordion Stradella bass is set up for); to play the Um in the lowest octave available;  together with the same note an octave higher, on the ring finger. Then a higher chord for the Pah.

    The offset given by the slope facilitates this nicely.

    Please don't think that I am in any way knocking the Crane as I think that it is a very good system in many ways. If one had come into my hands fifty years ago, rather than an A flat Jeffries Duet, the Hayden duet might never have been invented ! 




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  15. For an Elise, you should contact "Button Box" or "Wim Wakker". They are both in the U S , but are very experienced in sending to the U K .

    Wim Wakker is the man who has Elises made in China. He used to sell them in the U K via the "Music Room" (no longer in business), but he will no doubt have a new agent now.

    Both BB & WW also make very fine high quality upgrades, and will even take your Elise back and give you a full price refund off  for one of their higher quality instruments. Look for the "Beaumont" (BB), and "Peacock" (WW).



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