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Wakker'clover' or Tedrow standard?


zipper12
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In contrast, all the Morse Ceilis I've played Have been pretty uniform in tone and quite good despite being a hybrid.

 

 

 

 

Having played all the modern hybrids (except for the new Clover), one definitive conclusion I'll offer: the Morse boxes are by far the most consistent. I've played maybe a dozen, own one, and I've seen almost no variation in their (high) quality.

 

BTW, Dana, I played in your neighborhood last week - the Kensington Labor Day parade. With Washington Revels..

 

 

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All the great explanations mean that there is big enough problem.

Most buyers buy concertina because they liked the sound, the feel, the shape and history attached to it.

But!!! most of them don't have the money for real one or understanding of what a concertina is. Majority will never suffice as musicians as well.

That's why, probably, most concertinas sold are cheap Chinese made 20 button Anglos. And that''s why $2000 market is driven by people who choose

Make-believe. Just like I like 19 century design or cars from 20s. Having enough money I'd buy modern replica of some Bentley from 1921, not an ugly soap box on wheels.

Fortunately for car makers, automobile's shape is a direct result of it's function.

Unfortunately for concertina makers, they have to combine poorly combinable. They made great success in it, but it's a dead end no matter what.

A true accordion reeded concertina would have been looking like an accordion, sounding like an accordion, but fingered like a concertina. It's a difference between similarly powered helicopters and airplanes.

If it is problematic to build small, round, dynamically advanced, sounding like concertina Concertina with accordion reeds, it's design should have been changed to larger, less round, dynamically advanced, sounding like accordion Concertina. And vice versa.

So the answer to underlying problem: it's not going to change because we buy them for cosmetic reasons.

From this we can make useful deduction: to each it's own. But practically,

rate your needs and limitations from 1 to 10 (example below)

1. musicality 9

2. the type of music you want to play gypsy, jewish, waltes, tangos, limited classical, limited folk

3. the type of instruments best performers for this genre are using -- accordion, guitar, balalaika, bandoneon, violin

4. the sound you like

a. accordion-------------10

b. guitar------------------10

c. balalaika-------------8

d. bandoneon---------7

e. violin------------------7

5. the shape and size you like

a. accordion-------------5

b. guitar------------------6

c. balalaika--------------4

d. bandoneon-----------7

e. violin-------------------8

6. reliability------------10

7. time you have to practice (less time - lesser instrument you need)

8. the money you have

......etc. Give each reason a grade from 1 to 10 -- and you have a good enough guide of what you want. Then think about it and if you feel exited, go for it. If not, than either your chart needs to be redone, or it simply is not for you.

That's how I bought my ugly Sienna - best car I ever owned and best buy I ever made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That was an interesting read with accessible explanations of the different types of concertinas. I suppose the issue is still whether to justify spending 2000+ $/Euro on an accordion reeded instrument when 1000+ more will get up into the well built concertina reeded instruments. The waiting list and the relatively slow output of the latter is the key. Lachenal produced concertina reeded instruments on a 'factory' basis with high output for a good number of years. Maybe the demand was higher then but has it not climbed greatly in the last decade? Perhaps that's the solution - but it would need a leap of faith by one of the artisan type manufacturers. Being self employed myself, I understand - it's handy and less stressful to have enough work on hand to create a sufficient income for my family needs. Expansion involves many risks and worries.

 

 

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Thanks to Wim and Dana for giving the professional's point of view, this is very interesting.

 

All hybrid concertinas play loud and fast, but they show serious limitations when it comes to expression (rigid spectrum), dynamics, harmonies (too many clashing harmonics) and air consumption. Accordion reeds are designed to do the opposite of what concertina reeds do: their performance is consistent and is not affected by airflow fluctuations (expression, dynamics) or filtering.

 

Unfortunately this does not allow to expect that the instrument which will "take history of the anglo concertina into a revolutionary new phase", quoting Ceemonster, will be availible soon. Except if an accordeon reed maker really participates in the design process.

 

As for me, I'll soon be able to make a personal statement about hybrid instruments, as one of these (Edgley G/D) will soon join my collection, which already comprises a vintage Linota and a low-end Stagi. And after all I've read here and elsewhere, I still expect it will rank closer to the first than to the latter.

 

If you play concertina because of its unique sound, a hybrid will not do. If you're more interested in the keyboard layout, types of music played on the instrument and like the accordion type sound, a hybrid would be a great choice.

 

I recognize myself in this statement so this conforts my expectations.

Edited by david fabre
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In contrast, all the Morse Ceilis I've played Have been pretty uniform in tone and quite good despite being a hybrid.

 

 

 

 

Having played all the modern hybrids (except for the new Clover), one definitive conclusion I'll offer: the Morse boxes are by far the most consistent. I've played maybe a dozen, own one, and I've seen almost no variation in their (high) quality.

 

BTW, Dana, I played in your neighborhood last week - the Kensington Labor Day parade. With Washington Revels..

 

You can say that, in your experience, the Morse boxes have very consistent quality but to say that they are the most consistent you would have had to play a dozen of each hybrid.

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In contrast, all the Morse Ceilis I've played Have been pretty uniform in tone and quite good despite being a hybrid.

Having played all the modern hybrids (except for the new Clover), one definitive conclusion I'll offer: the Morse boxes are by far the most consistent. I've played maybe a dozen, own one, and I've seen almost no variation in their (high) quality.

You can say that, in your experience, the Morse boxes have very consistent quality but to say that they are the most consistent you would have had to play a dozen of each hybrid.

Not necessarily, though certainly more than one of each of the others. Greater consistency among a dozen Ceilis than among a trio of something else would certainly imply greater consistency in general among the Ceilis.

 

Then again, what other makers of hybrids (or even of "real" concertinas) are trying to be as consistent? Don't most (all?) of the others attempt to satisfy personal preferences in things like type of wood, number of bellows folds, button pressure (spring stiffness), and to some extent even tonality? I'm not sure that this is really what Ken is talking about, but a particular subtle variation might well be judged "better" by one person, yet "not as good" by another.

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Thank you Dana. You offered a very measured response in a welcome spirit of collegiality. What you say as a maker is worth noting (no pun intended). While hybrids can play very well they generally don't fulfill the requirements of serious players who play Irish music on the concertina. There is a reason, past vanity and ostentation, why so many players are willing to spend, two, three, and four times the price of a hybrid concertina on a new or old instrument with real concertina reeds. The real concertina reeds sound better and are more responsive. You can of course make good music on a hybrid instrument. But the same music will sound better played on a real concertina.

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You can say that, in your experience, the Morse boxes have very consistent quality but to say that they are the most consistent you would have had to play a dozen of each hybrid.

 

 

 

 

I have played multiple versions of all the major hybrids. Based on that, I believe the Morses are the most consistent in sound, finish and mechanical quality. Each of the others has advantages; I played a Tedrow that I thought was the best hybrid I ever tried in terms of sound. But the Morse boxes are amazingly consistent.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

You can say that, in your experience, the Morse boxes have very consistent quality but to say that they are the most consistent you would have had to play a dozen of each hybrid.

 

 

 

 

I have played multiple versions of all the major hybrids. Based on that, I believe the Morses are the most consistent in sound, finish and mechanical quality. Each of the others has advantages; I played a Tedrow that I thought was the best hybrid I ever tried in terms of sound. But the Morse boxes are amazingly consistent.

Perhaps is is worth noting that Morse Ceilis are essentially identical in construction and reeds. The construction method was designed to produce uniformity with the result that they sound / play the same. My own instruments have essentially identical construction which has improved over the years, but they still are difficult to tell apart. As soon as you start changing things, be it woods, end designs etc. you introduce variables that may or may not be material to the sound / playability. With each version, testing and small changes could likely optimize things, but consistency in design and construction tends to produce consistent results.

Dana

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Thank you Dana. You offered a very measured response in a welcome spirit of collegiality. What you say as a maker is worth noting (no pun intended). While hybrids can play very well they generally don't fulfill the requirements of serious players who play Irish music on the concertina. There is a reason, past vanity and ostentation, why so many players are willing to spend, two, three, and four times the price of a hybrid concertina on a new or old instrument with real concertina reeds. The real concertina reeds sound better and are more responsive. You can of course make good music on a hybrid instrument. But the same music will sound better played on a real concertina.

My only response is to have you visit www.concertinas.ca . If Asher Perkins' requirements for Irish music are not being met with his seven or eight year old Edgley I don't know what else to say. He certainly is of the opinion that they are being met.

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