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  1. The title says it all! I recently missed out on purchasing a Stagi Hayden duet concertina on eBay, and thought I'd check here to see if anybody might be selling one. (I did see a handful of listings on here, but most were posted over 10 years ago.) Thanks in advance!
  2. This will be a rather long post, but I hope it won't scare any of you off:) I'm asking this questions hoping that one of you, concertina builders, could give me some general advices and directions on making my own instrument... I don't expect you to share "secrets of the trade" with me - I'm hoping for general "been there, done that, it does/doesn't work" answers and some general knowlege. I've read what I could find on this forum (and on Bob Tedrow site) on concertina building, but I'm still wondering on a few things.. The basic goal of this project is to build a Hayden duet with a range of a typical button accordion, as my desired repertoire consist mostly of conterporary accordion, klezmer, balkan and rock music. I now own an Elise, which being a great entry-level instrument has reached its limits and purchasing larger instrument is not an option because of two main reasons: first - range of available instruments (even Wakker H-2, Tedrow layout, and discussed elswere on this forum hypothetical Morse maximum layout do not fit my needs). And second - prices which, as reasonable as they are, are sadly far from reach for central european wages... I have a quite large set of DIY skills, including metal machining (from stop-motion animation armature making) and both large and small scale woodworking. As for the project itself - as I see it, it will be a hybrid instrument, with reeds scrapped from russian button accordion. I plan on building reedpan and action board first (with a final quality) and put it into a mocked up, prototype but playable case and then build final instrument gradually around it. It will have a normal single reed per note, riveted action aluminum buttons (same as in the modification of the Elise I own) with brass levers, will probably be square (to be as small as possible) and with leather bellows (in its final form - for the protype phase I plan on modifying an accordion bellows). Now, finally for specific questions: a) I wish to obtain as mellow, concertina like, sound as possible with accordion reeds. I have made some experiments to understand how different materials and fretwork pattern/fretless design affect sound. As for other factors to consider in modifying sound, can any of you make a sorted list of them, in order from the most influential to the least? (Except for proper concertina reeds of course:)) As far as I can see, the hybrid reed chambers of modern concertinas are mostly the size of a reed shoe and "cubical" in shape. But accordion reed blocks are trapezoid in shape and often have inserts in them to further change the volume and shape of the reed chamber. Can someone explain to me how these differences affect sound and reed response (in general - again, I don't expect you to give me equations, rather answers what makes reeds slower/faster to speak and sound more mellow/bright) c) I know that using reedpan or reedblocks affect the sound considerably. Is it because of the airflow direction (straight vs "cornered") or sound reflection inside of the a reed chamber? As far as I know, reed instruments don't base on resonant qualities of wood - does a single reedpan affect the sound on any other basis than airflow direction/number of sound bounces in reed chamber (e.g thickness and mass of woodblock etc)? c') As I can see on the only available picture, accordeaphone had a mix of reedpan and an accordion style reedblocks. Have any of you tried "layering" reedpans? It's a little hard to explain what I mean, but what I have in mind would allow overlaying reeds by as much as half of the lenght of the reed shoe and fit reeds in smaller box at a cost of thicker concertina ends (same as when using accordion-style reedblocks). Would such layered reedpan retain the concertina characteristic of sound? ( for some reeds air would have to travel twice as far between reed and valve/lever) d) Does method of mounting reeds to the reed pan affect sound? I'm asking whether wax, wedge mount or L-screw have different stiffnes thus afecting sound in any significant way? If you could spare a moment and answer some of those questions I would be thankfull. PS.: please forgive me any mistakes, english is not my native language...
  3. Hello everyone. It took several months of practice and a couple of ergonomic enhancements to the instrument, but here's a performance of Maple Leaf Rag for the 52-button Hayden duet. I'll detail the enhancements I made in a separate post since I think they add a lot of capability to the Hayden. Cheers, -George
  4. I have a Stagi 46 button Hayden Duet with the apparently Hayden-designed slanted keyboard, offset from the handrail so the thumb side buttons are closer than the pinky side buttons. I didn't know duet keyboards came any other way until I saw the Concertina Connection Wicky/Hayden hybrids...with the hand rail in line with the keyboard. No slant. Now the slant on my Stagi keyboard bugs the hell out of me, and I know why my pinky is practically useless on the upper rows. Anybody changed the handrail position on a Stagi? Any experiences, caveats, etc?
  5. Unless I win the lottery soon, I'll be playing my Stagi Hayden duet for the foreseeable future. But I'm going to change the handle angle to square it up with the keyboard, as it is on the Morse Beaumont and Concertina Connection Peacock. Anybody know the actual distance between the handle and bottom row of keys on these boxes?
  6. Did a forum search and didn't find much, presumably because their isn't much, but...is there a modern Hayden duet method book, tutor, or primer?
  7. If you have a Hayden duet for sale I'd be interested in giving it a look. Peacock level or better.
  8. Hi All, I do love the idea of the Hayden system, but I just haven't the time to learn a new system. I bought this a couple of years ago, it has just been sitting in it's box making me feel guilty !! I am looking for what I paid for it, which was £230 plus a few pounds towards postage costs. I am based in Suffolk in the UK, Regards Karl
  9. Greetings -- I'm a concertina newbie, just bought a Stagi 46 note (I know, I know, the concertina all love to hate, nevertheless, I like the sound, system and esp the price ? ). I was playing around with the strap tightness/looseness, and it suddenly occurred to me that no matter how I adjusted it, it still seemed awkward to reach some notes from some others. Then I thought what if really loosen it up and put all my fingers through, and when I did I realized I'd gained 25% more fingers (20% more if one is bad at math, so let's split the difference and call it 22.5%). Of course, the part of the back of hand that makes contact with the strap for bellowing is closer to the wrist, and resting each end of the concertina on the corresponding leg may be needed for stability given the looser straps and not using the thumbs for stability. Having all 10 fingers then permits easier interval stretches and more fingering options for both melodies and chords. I do allow for the possibility that as a newbie, I simply don't realize this is ridiculous, scandalous and will never work as I progress, but just wondering, does anyone out there use their thumbs to play concertina?
  10. First advertised by Mikefule in February I bought this concertina to see how I could get on with a Hayden Duet. Unfortunately the result is the same as when I tried a Crane some 45 years ago so it is now back on the market. Still in perfect condition and very little played it was originally owned by an elderly gent who liked trying out different instruments; I bought it from his estate. As it is still pristine I am asking the same £280 that I paid for it. A soft case is included and the customary fee will be paid to the site. I would prefer to sell in UK, Ireland or Europe; I would expect that shipping and taxes would make it too expensive elsewhere.
  11. Is it realistic to get a repair person to drop the left hand notes of a stagi hayden concertina by an octave? This would give some beefy basses, but would the bellows provide enough air to keep the instrument going? Has anyone tried this? A slightly different question - has anyone tried adapting a hayden so that there is no overlap between the two hands, also lowering the left hand tones to achieve this?
  12. There's a music compilation series here in Seattle called Ball of Wax. Each outing has a different theme, and this time around it's "Pieces over 10 minutes in length." I composed a tune that's included, titled "The Squirrel," written for my Concertina Connection Peacock duet. Here's the blog post from the organizers with the streaming MP3 for anyone who might be interested: http://ballofwax.org/2018/02/ball-of-wax-51-songs-steven-arntson-the-squirrel/ Best, Steven Arntson
  13. I've been trying to improve my reading skills recently by playing some simple(ish) classical-type music on my Peacock Hayden. So far I've been working through the S, A, & T lines of some Bach chorales (the bass lines go too low for my little box), and I've struggled through a few of the simpler tunes from Bartok's Mikrokosmos. I'm wondering about other classical music that more-or-less fits the range (three octives starting at the C below middle C). If this has been written about here before, I'm happy to be pointed in a direction to keep looking. Thank you for any ideas! Best, steven arntson
  14. Hi C-net, I've just posted a new album of music, available for free online. The album features some instrumentals, songs, and yodels performed by my voice (and occasionally my wife's voice) and my Concertina Connection Peacock. The tracks are on Soundcloud (streaming), and WFMU's Free Music Archive (streaming and download). Hope a few people find it interesting! Best, steven arntson Seattle USA
  15. With considerable regret, need to sell these two instruments. Duet is full-sized; anglo is 3-7/8" across flats. Little played, and stored carefully for some time - playable now but need exercise. Prefer to sell in person if at all possible, or via reliable intermediary. Location: Boston, MA USA. Please message privately for any required information. Advice on current pricing will be much appreciated. If sold to or through anyone ehere, will donate appropriately to site management. Thanks in advance for your interest. May the music continue forever!
  16. Hi all, I'm selling my Stagi Hayden 46 button duet concertina (2012) which I acquired during a brief flirtation with the Hayden system before settling definitively on the English. It is in tune, the bellows are perfectly sound and it is in good cosmetic condition, with just the odd scratch in the varnish. I had an accordion technician adjust a couple of reeds that are a bit slow to speak. One still is a bit slow and when I took it back to the technician he said it just needs to be played in a bit. I'm no expert on this issue and because of it I'm asking for €400 which includes insured shipping costs within Europe from France. I'll split the costs to elsewhere. I am very fond of the quite mellow tone of the accordion reeds. The action, being a Stagi, is quite clunky, but no more so than other Stagis I've played and at this price... It comes with the Stagi soft case and I have plenty more photos I can send anyone who's interested. It'd be a good way for anyone interested in the Hayden system to experiment without breaking the bank, risking divorce, etc. Thanks for reading. Dean PS. My photo upload appears to have failed so I'll happily send all the photos by email, just PM me.
  17. I'm selling my Peacock Hayden Duet concertina by Concertina Connection with 42 buttons + air that I only recently acquired second-hand from another forum member who also didn't stick with the duet system so played it only lightly. It's in great, unblemished shape with a matt black finish and excellent 6-fold Wakker bellows that haven't yet been played in. Domed and bushed metal buttons. Serial no. 090, made when there were 3 versions of the Peacock - Standard, Special and Custom. Now I believe there are only 2 models available. This is an accordion-reeded hybrid duet but I find that it has the closest to a "concertina" type sound of other hybrids I have played. Lovely tone and good volume. It is lightweight and has a very responsive and smooth action. It comes with the original, good quality hard case. So why am I selling? Well, I've been well and truly bitten by the concertina bug (or concertina acquisition syndrome) and have been trying out different systems, but living where I do means buying unseen. I've simply come to the conclusion that I'm more suited to the English system! I'm not looking to make money on the concertinas I sell but I hope to avoid losing any so I'm asking what I paid: £1,500 or the equivalent in euros. As well as costing less than a new model, there will also be none of the very expensive import duties for European buyers purchasing from the USA. I'm also willing to listen to reasonable offers. I can send more photos and probably a basic recording to anyone interested. I'm happy to discuss it over the 'phone or Skype if required, just send me a PM if interested. Thanks for reading, Dean
  18. Hello! I have been playing an Elise Hayden duet for about a year, and I am having trouble finding music to play on it. I have many books of dance music, which have melody and chord markings, but I was hoping to find some music that is a little more ... constructed, maybe? I'm bored of simply plonking away with my left hand. I am incapable of arranging myself, as my knowledge of theory is pretty non-existent. I really liked the tutor that came with the instrument, and would like to find more music arranged similarly. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  19. At the bottom of this short blog post about my mother in law (who passed away earlier this week), is a video of me playing an original composition on my Concertina Connection Peacock. I guess you could watch it directly on Youtube too, but I thought maybe the context provided by the essay could be interesting? Best, steven http://stevenarntson.com/sandy-mathews-desk/
  20. Hi! I´m still looking for a Duet Concertina. 46b Maccann system or 48b Crane sytem in restored condition. Please contact me if you have something to offer. Shipping would be to Miami, FL. Thanks a lot! Gaspar
  21. I've changed my mind. It's no longer for sale. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  22. Hey ALL! I just got my first Concertina! A Hayden Elise, duet. I chose it due to reviews saying its easy, & from listening to clips on You Tube, ( I liked the 'duet' sound,) and the fact that I could not afford more. I play a mountain dulcimer, a Viola da Gamba, midevile tenor 5 string fidle, cello, Irish Low-D and penny whistles ( wood version flute.) I am not gifted, but can get by on all. I play at Mountain ( trad) type Jams in the Appalachian Mountains of SW VA and NW NC.usa.. I find the instrument very hard to hold, & wonder how one can play IF ONE MUST HOLD THE ' air bellows button all the time?) using the right index finger. The instrument..is definately not, 'Good looking " like all the ( $$$ ) beautiful old models. Sigh, ones budget must be satisfied. So...can get past the looks. ( I guess.) It sounds OK.. ( I know nothing!) I just liked the idea of a folky ...sea shanty sound.. that I can sing too, .but at first squeeze...wonder how to hold the thing! I plan to add a neck cord, so I can stand to play. Still, while my hands are NOT small, I find the starps very loose. ANY ADVISE on that or adjusting to make thumb starps? Anyway Im THRILLED to find YOU!,, and hope to post a tune one of these days. ANY ADVISE for books or help that will pertain to a HAYDEN is MOST APPRECIATED! Best regards to all! BRG
  23. In a recent thread, some members mentioned that conversions of Maccann to Haydet duet system had been done by Dana Williams and the late Neville Crabb. I found this intriguing, given the cost and wait-times of concertina-reeded Haydens, and would like to hear more about this! Inventor noted that wooden-end models are easier to convert than metal: does that imply that the conversions involve actually relocating buttons? To maintain the revertability of the conversion, is it possible to just leave the buttons in place and work the Hayden layout into the existing configuration as best as possible? Another member had noted that 6-across doesn't give one the full isomorphism of the Hayden, but then again even the extensive 52b Beaumont only has one row of seven on the right, and I've rarely found that limiting since I don't play in the deeper flat/sharp keys as much as Bb/F/C/G/D/A Is this an extensive and complex process that involves modifying the reedpans, or is it a pretty straightforward matter of playing mix-and-match with reeds of approximately similar size that can drop into each other's chambers? Any notion of what current luthiers might be able and willing to do such a conversion?
  24. Hi All, For Sale is a Concertina Connection Peacock Duet Special in excellent condition. Ive switched to a Crane Duet and it just suits my playing and composition better. But I love and have loved this instrument for years. Below are the Specs from Wim Wakker's site. FYI Wim will accept this instrument in the trade-up program- it goes with the instrument, not the owner. Comes with a hard case. $3100 . Will split shipping. The Peacock is a 42 key hybrid Wicky (Hayden without the keyboard slant) duet concertina designed and developed by the Concertina Connection® Inc.. The instruments measures 7 inch across the flats. The Standard and Special models are available with ebonized (black) or natural finished ends.The custom is available in a variety of harwoods. Peacock special: standard natural finish with "Wakker" bellows Specifications for all Peacock Wicky/Hayden duet models: Italian hand made accordion reeds traditional riveted brass action traditional hand made brass end bolts and inserts domed metal capped buttons bushed key holes and action leather 6 fold bellows hardwood ends, frames, action boards and reed pans
  25. I first bought a duet concertina in 2010; purchased the recently-introduced Concertina Connection Elise and had it shipped over to me in Afghanistan (here's my old thread that led me to choose it). I played it casually for a few years, finding it satisfactory for my purposes despite its limited scale, since I largely play trad music in the "people's keys" anyway. It wasn't until 2013 when I started playing duets with a guitarist for house-parties that I started to notice the limitations of the Elise. Hayden duets are great for transposing, but on a semi-chromatic instrument I can only transpose to a few select keys. Further, the more I played the more I noted how the limits of the action were slowing me down; it was time to upgrade. I sold a motorcycle and a few extra musical instruments to gather the $3800 sticker price, and placed my order with Buttonbox in late October. I received the 52-key Wicki-Hayden duet on the last day of the year. I've played the box for nearly a week now, and thought I'd share some initial impressions since I haven't seen anyone else on the forum mention having bought one. I was initially apprehensive about the investment, given that it costs nearly ten times what my starter cost, and practically speaking I can't expect it to be ten times better, so there's some expected diminishing returns as price climbs. I fretted I'd feel I overbought, or maybe that I'd feel I'm just not good enough at concertina to justify buying a pricey one. I suppose my current state is "cautiously pleased". The box is largish compared to an Anglo, but no larger than the 34-key Elise, so no problem there. Also as noted by owners of other Morse models, it feels very light in the hands (3.1 pounds); not flimsy, just it is quicker in the hands than the size suggests. I don't feel ready to compare tone yet, since I've only heard it through a "player's ears" so don't know how it sounds compared to an Elise on a recording or to an audience. Further, my Elise has been "played-in" for a few years, which I imagine has helped developed the tone, so hard to get apples-to-apples. I might need to do a double-blind test with friends to ask which they think sounds "better", though some forum members have mentioned their bandmates prefer the sound of their Stagi over their Wheatstone, so subjectivity. The upgrades that led to the purchase, however, are immediately apparent. The action is way crisper on the Beaumont, keys bounce back much faster, and the reed response is much faster and smoother. And it is convenient to be able to be able to play in Bb and A as easily as I played in C before. That said, even an expanded keyboard has its limits, as I found when I tried to work out a tune off a recording (May Blooming Fields, done by Cordelia's Dad), only to find it's in F# and so requires bouncing a finger all the way across the keyboard to get the one note (Bb/A#) I don't have on the far right. But F# is not among my favored keys, so I'll survive. The width of the keyboard does take some adjusting to: with the straps snug I can't reach everything, so I have the straps a little loose and "cup" my hands to take up slack when I'm not reaching for far notes. The straight (rather than canted) keyboard is taking a little getting used to, but it does indeed make it easier to reach the sharp side of the keyboard. The bellows are of course way nicer than the Elise, though mine are going to take some breaking in. My Elise feels loosey-goosey when played back to back with the Beaumont, both in the good and bad way, but presumably the Beaumont will take on more of the good-loose and little of the bad-loose as the bellows break in. I'm finding the air button on the handrail to be a fun change, but the airhole is very small: while holding it down it still takes a few seconds of pressure to fully open or close the bellows, it's not a big gulp of air like on an Anglo. I presume this is deliberate, and it is to some degree helpful since I can take a quick breath to set up my bellows for a long push or pull but use so little air that it's easy to keep it from affecting the notes underway. This is what's popped to my attention over the few days of playing; I'll probably have more realizations as I mess with it. I do feel that this decision is helping me to double-down on learning duet, to the point that I'm selling off some excess gear since I'd rather invest the time in learning concertina than in improving my limited clawhammer banjo skills, etc. I like the sound of concertina, it gives me a lot of the traits I would've bought an organ to get, and I think it's a great instrument for song accompaniment. I'm coming to the conclusion that I want to get better (or if not better, at least more confident) at singing, so I can make good use of the concertina as accompaniment. This was a big step forward in terms of both price and quality, now I just need to make it worthwhile.
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