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Stagi duet vs. Elise


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I tried the Button Box Hayden prototype at NEFFA today. While I don't play the system I liked what I saw. Lots of buttons and they sounded like a Morse, full rich accordion reed sound like the other Button box instruments, nothing dull or weak about it. Still in development though with no word on when this cool duet will be available to buy.

 

When we pressed Judy for an estimate at NCW, I believe she said "several months, to a year". So not yet.

Edited by Ransom
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  • 2 months later...

I tried the Button Box Hayden prototype at NEFFA today. While I don't play the system I liked what I saw. Lots of buttons and they sounded like a Morse, full rich accordion reed sound like the other Button box instruments, nothing dull or weak about it. Still in development though with no word on when this cool duet will be available to buy.

 

Forgive my being behind the curve, and I did run a basic search trying to find earlier threads, but do I understand that Button Box is carrying on the late Mr. Morse's plan to develop a Hayden? I know Morse passed away in 2009, and I've seen extensive threads on this forum from 2003-2004 (long before I took up concertina) discussing the developments.

 

Is there some thread or page I'm missing with updates on this project? So has it changed from being a true concertina-reeded 'box to being a hybrid? Is Wim Wakker not also working on a Hayden equivalent to his Clover hybrid-reed anglo as well?

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Is there some thread or page I'm missing with updates on this project? So has it changed from being a true concertina-reeded 'box to being a hybrid? Is Wim Wakker not also working on a Hayden equivalent to his Clover hybrid-reed anglo as well?

 

If there's a page with updates, I'm not aware of it. The prototype is a hybrid with ends the size of the "Geordie". I believe Wim Wakker has plans for a mid-level Hayden, but I expect Morse & Co. will beat him to the punch.

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Forgive my being behind the curve, and I did run a basic search trying to find earlier threads, but do I understand that Button Box is carrying on the late Mr. Morse's plan to develop a Hayden? I know Morse passed away in 2009, and I've seen extensive threads on this forum from 2003-2004 (long before I took up concertina) discussing the developments.

The Button Box is developing a Hayden. A prototype was available at the Northeast Concertina Workshop last April. However much of the development has moved on from Rich Morse's original vision. For instance, the prototype (like the other Morse concertinas) has accordion reeds, making it a hybrid (Rich was committed to making his own concertina reeds for the Hayden) and the linkage mechanism connecting buttons playing the same note that finally made it into the prototype was developed after Rich's death by Judy Hawkins.

 

Is there some thread or page I'm missing with updates on this project?

Probably not. With Rich's death, the Button Box lost its most active presence here on the concertina.net forums. Doug Creighton occasionally posts an announcement, but nobody there at the moment is as committed to reading and posting to the forums as Rich was.

 

So has it changed from being a true concertina-reeded 'box to being a hybrid?

Yes, see above.

 

Is Wim Wakker not also working on a Hayden equivalent to his Clover hybrid-reed anglo as well?

I don't have an answer there.

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Awesome, thanks for the update! It's too bad to hear that Mr Morse's aspirations to develop affordable concertina reeds have been put on the back-burner, but it is quite good to hear that the project is still moving forward, albeit modified, and the dual-button linkage is particularly exciting for us Hayden players, in terms of being able to extend the keypad to allow easier transposition but yet not add excess reed bulk.

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[is Wim Wakker not also working on a Hayden equivalent to his Clover hybrid-reed anglo as well?] there are several clips of someone on youtube playing a wakker hayden that is a higher grade than an elise. not being aware of a wakker hayden hybrid as a regular offering, i wondered if it was a special-order concertina-reed one, but thought it sounded like a hybrid. (no aspersion meant. i like accordion-reed sound as much as concertina-reed sound).....perhaps it was a custom order....

 

stagi sound: i'm with the people who say they like the tone of them, at least as heard from the audience. the youtubes of stagis to me usually sound really pretty, tone-wise. i do see recurring comments in threads characterizing the stagi sound as more "mellow," even a couple of remarks contrasting it with the elise/jackie/rochelle sound, which in recurring comparisions is called louder and more of a concertina sound. squawkier, i'd say. okay, to be honest, i like the squawk a bit better, too. but i do think soundwise, the stagis have a very nice tone all their own.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-pz_Lb2a4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmhFBOfnqQ8

 

..supposedly they are mellower and the german concertinas are louder. i personally don't know, just repeating what i keep reading. but it's worth recalling that this kind of dichotomy applies in high-end concertinas as well. in anglo-land there are the quieter, sweeter jeffries and the monster-honky jeffries, and there are analagous dichotomies between the different wheatstone ecs, the different lachenal ecs, and between wheatstone & lachenal voices....

 

i notice that a couple of stagi distributors list a hand-reed upgrade option for the anglos and the ecs. wonder if it's available for the haydens as well....? i know there is a school of thought that hand will not be as loud, but if reed response rather than tone/volume was the concern, perhaps it would be worth investigating....? hand upgrades are usually not that much more...

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The Button Box is developing a Hayden. A prototype was available at the Northeast Concertina Workshop last April. However much of the development has moved on from Rich Morse's original vision.

 

I take it that this instrument can be expected to be in the price-class as the 45-button Geordie English, around $2600 or better? Being that it can be expected to be of no lesser quality or complexity, and probably greater what with the (very clever) dual buttons.

 

 

In the interim, I am really quite happy with my Elise overall. I'm not a buttonbox expert (played some 1-row diatonic off and on), but overall no real complaints with handling and durability. Overall pretty pleased with tone, though I have a couple note that are slightly buzzy in one direction, and one or two that are a fraction of second slower on the pickup that would be ideal.

 

I know that a lot of folks here denigrate the Elise for having "too few notes/chromatics", but honestly it's pretty rare that I play outside of C/G/D/A and their derivatives (though the Elise can't quite do A which would otherwise be nice), so I don't feel at all limited by the instrument. I've actually put some serious thought into having better reeds put into it, which would add a good $500 to the $375 price, but that's still a few hundred less than what a Stagi runs, and I've just never really been enamored of the Stagi Hayden from what I've read here over the years (of archives).

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I have heard several very good reports regarding the prototype Button Box Hybrid Hayden. However I am very well aware that Button Box had to make many hard commercial decisions after the tragic death of Rich Morse.

I was always trying to persuade Rich Morse to get an accordion reeded Hayden up and running before he attempted to go for a traditional reeded instrument; being most impressed with the quality and sheer lightness in the hand of their accordion reeded English and Anglo concertinas. Rich was however adamant that when Button Box made Hayden duets that they were to be traditionaly reeded instruments.

Remember that Button Box's main business is retailing Folk Music instruments especially Melodeons from around the World, and they are very good at that; concertina making is just a sideline which I suspect may be subsidized by the Main Shop.

Wim Wakker (Concertina Connection) on the other hand is a dedicated concertina maker, he seems to get things up and running in double quick time. I look forward to seeing his Accordion reeded Hayden Duets, especially if he also does a Do-It-Yourself kit as on the Clover Anglos.

Coming back to the original question of Elise and Stagi concertinas. A couple of years ago I played an Elise on the "Music Room" stall at the Sidmouth Festival; and was most impressed with the instrument especially at the price it was selling at. Upgrading from that I would reccomend going for a Tedrow instrument or waiting for a Wakker or Button box hybrid, hopefully in a years time.

Inventor.

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there are several clips of this wakker hayden....in one of them the gent says he had something like a stagi, didn't like it, and had this done....this is a hybrid, rigtht? or....?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpVOOmmQA5Q

No, not a hybrid. That's Jeff Lefferts, who goes by "Boney" on this forum. His instrument is a Wakker W-H1. It has real concertina reeds and 46 keys.

Edited by David Barnert
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That's Jeff Lefferts, who goes by "Boney" on this forum. His instrument is a Wakker W-H1. It has real concertina reeds and 46 keys.

Correct. You can see photos of my actual concertina on that page. I played a Stagi "Hayden" for a while, and it might be sufficient for slower stuff, especially if you have strong shoulders.

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