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Maccann Edeophone on eBay


Daniel Hersh
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It's here. I have no connection to the sale but thought it might be of interest. 58 buttons if I've counted correctly.

Well I've counted them up twice now, and on each time round I made it 55 plus air button (so 56) ... I know I need new specs, but I think it was right :blink:

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It's here. I have no connection to the sale but thought it might be of interest. 58 buttons if I've counted correctly.
Well I've counted them up twice now, and on each time round I made it 55 plus air button (so 56) ... I know I need new specs, but I think it was right

 

You are right - I mis-counted.

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It's here. I have no connection to the sale but thought it might be of interest. 58 buttons if I've counted correctly.
Well I've counted them up twice now, and on each time round I made it 55 plus air button (so 56) ... I know I need new specs, but I think it was right

You are right - I mis-counted.

55 + air would be standard for Lachenal, I believe.

And 57 + air was the Wheatstone equivalent, yes?

What I find interesting on this instrument is that in the left-hand fretwork there's a hole for a thumb button.

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55 + air would be standard for Lachenal, I believe.

And 57 + air was the Wheatstone equivalent, yes?

What I find interesting on this instrument is that in the left-hand fretwork there's a hole for a thumb button.

 

They're two std Maccan sizes and the difference is important. The 58 is the smallest Maccan type with (usually) a RH range down to middle C. They're generally regarded as hugely more versatile, and are much more desirable. The 56, on the other hand, is like a 46 with more dog-whistle and bass notes. I think both factories made both sizes. They seem to have an agreed duet range between them all through, surprisingly. Why wouldn't Lachenal or Wheatstone come up with their own choices of size and range I wonder?

 

What I find interesting is have the missing bits fallen off from a good cooking in the central heating (my guess) or has someone really been playing football with it?

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They seem to have an agreed duet range between them all through, surprisingly. Why wouldn't Lachenal or Wheatstone come up with their own choices of size and range I wonder?

One guess is that MacCann patented his system and they were producing them under licence to his patent, so were not free to make revisions to the keyboard, at least not publicly.

 

Another guess is convenience/cost of production. Someone did spot a gap in the market for a relatively small duet with a more convenient set of keys. It's called a 48 key Crane. Unfortunately, the larger average size of the reeds in the 48-key Crane means that it is necessarily physically rather larger than a 46-key MacCann. The 46-key Maccann is the same size as a 48-key English, which means it can share some common parts, whereas you'd need more custom parts for a 48 Crane. I think also all the reeds for a 46-key Maccann are produced for basic models of English and Anglo, but you need some extras for the 48-key Crane (low accidentals). So the 46-key Maccann remained a common instrument because it was relatively cheap to produce with fewer custom parts.

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... It's called a 48 key Crane. Unfortunately, the larger average size of the reeds in the 48-key Crane means that it is necessarily physically rather larger than a 46-key MacCann. The 46-key Maccann is the same size as a 48-key English, which means it can share some common parts, whereas you'd need more custom parts for a 48 Crane. I think also all the reeds for a 46-key Maccann are produced for basic models of English and Anglo, but you need some extras for the 48-key Crane (low accidentals). So the 46-key Maccann remained a common instrument because it was relatively cheap to produce with fewer custom parts.

 

My 48 button Crane is 6 1/2" across the flats; my treble EC is 6 1/4". The Crane is about 100 years younger than the EC, but I doubt that the size changed much in that period. Not a big difference, but enough that the same reed pans wouldn't be useable in both. The range of the Crane, though, matches well with the range of a tenor EC, not a treble. Thus a more appropriate question would be whether or not a Crane and a tenor EC could share parts. Both would have been marketed mostly to bands, not as mass market general purpose instruments. Perhaps the intended market would have more impact on the number of 46 button Maccans vs the number of 48 button Cranes produced.

 

The edeophone in question is larger than the base size and looks like a nice instrument. I'm not bidding, though. I already have enough concertinas (my wife might say too many).

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My 55-key Wheatstone Crane was 7 1/4" across the flats. Now, my 35-key Lachenal is 6 1/4" across the flats and fits into the Lacenal EC box, excpet for handrests and the positioning of the thumb screw groove. When you open it up, it looks an awful lot like a Lachenal EC but with a different action. That is, reed pans have 48 slots but only 35 being used. Could be sharing EC components?

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They seem to have an agreed duet range between them all through, surprisingly. Why wouldn't Lachenal or Wheatstone come up with their own choices of size and range I wonder?

One guess is that MacCann patented his system and they were producing them under licence to his patent, so were not free to make revisions to the keyboard, at least not publicly.

 

Another guess is convenience/cost of production. Someone did spot a gap in the market for a relatively small duet with a more convenient set of keys. It's called a 48 key Crane. Unfortunately, the larger average size of the reeds in the 48-key Crane means that it is necessarily physically rather larger than a 46-key MacCann. The 46-key Maccann is the same size as a 48-key English, which means it can share some common parts, whereas you'd need more custom parts for a 48 Crane. I think also all the reeds for a 46-key Maccann are produced for basic models of English and Anglo, but you need some extras for the 48-key Crane (low accidentals). So the 46-key Maccann remained a common instrument because it was relatively cheap to produce with fewer custom parts.

But didn't Wheatstone leave the field to Lachenal by waiting until the patent had expired before making them? Surely they could have chosen their own sizes and ranges, and you'd think most firms would in the circumstances. I think the idea that they would want to use the same base sizes (= jigs) that they used for the EC seems highly probable; maybe that pinned it. Or did they just copy Lachenals because it didn't seem a large enough market to be worth serious investment?

 

As to the 46 specifically, it seems to me that only Lachenal made really big numbers of bottom of the range specimens speculatively, and I think it was their version of an elise.

 

(As for it looking a nice instrument, Larry, haven't you noticed the great chunks missing from the ends?)

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Larry, haven't you noticed the great chunks missing from the ends?)

 

I noticed, but it looks like one piece of woodwork on the side. I'd think that would be the easiest of possible repairs. I suppose it might indicated other possible difficulties I didn't see, though.

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Larry, haven't you noticed the great chunks missing from the ends?)

 

I noticed, but it looks like one piece of woodwork on the side. I'd think that would be the easiest of possible repairs. I suppose it might indicated other possible difficulties I didn't see, though.

I thought there was no way that could be missing unless it was part of other trouble too. (and is it only one bit? I thought it was worse but don't care enough to look again!)

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Larry, haven't you noticed the great chunks missing from the ends?)

 

I noticed, but it looks like one piece of woodwork on the side. I'd think that would be the easiest of possible repairs. I suppose it might indicated other possible difficulties I didn't see, though.

I thought there was no way that could be missing unless it was part of other trouble too. (and is it only one bit? I thought it was worse but don't care enough to look again!)

When I bought my Lachenal Crane it had the same problem, which was an easy repair, but it also had warped reed pans. Don't know if they were related to each other though. Perhaps Greg Jowaisas, who did a fine repair/restoration job on it, will comment.

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Larry, haven't you noticed the great chunks missing from the ends?)

 

I noticed, but it looks like one piece of woodwork on the side. I'd think that would be the easiest of possible repairs. I suppose it might indicated other possible difficulties I didn't see, though.

I thought there was no way that could be missing unless it was part of other trouble too. (and is it only one bit? I thought it was worse but don't care enough to look again!)

When I bought my Lachenal Crane it had the same problem, which was an easy repair, but it also had warped reed pans. Don't know if they were related to each other though. Perhaps Greg Jowaisas, who did a fine repair/restoration job on it, will comment.

 

I'm with Dirge in that this one shows evidence of some questionable care taking. The bellows scuffs show an over all lack of care and the separating end pieces could be from too much heat or dampness. I'd like to see the reeds. The treatment of the bottom of the strap screws makes me cringe and hope that no internal work was done.

 

Daniel's Crane had slightly warped reed pans probably from loose corner blocks. Eventually the pans straightened out and behaved. Daniel, I believe, was able to look at the internals of his instrument prior to purchase which is always a good idea.

 

Can the Edeo be restored? Most likely. And with enough time, money and conviction Howard Hughes got his "spruce goose" into the air. Restoration costs are often the big ebay dilemma: "To bid or not to bid, THAT is the question."

 

Greg

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

And what happened next?

 

Well, second time around it sold to me for the UK sterling equivalent of c.£600 once carraige and duty were included - a not insignificant gamble of my hard earned cash - but within a nail biting whisker of my upper bid.

 

When it arrived it showed signs of having had a hard working life and a certain degree of bodged repairs. An initial assessment suggested it needed:

- New pads (one had already detached itself)

- New valves (again, some missing/detached)

- Retuning (although mercifully all reeds were sound and in brass frames)

- Bellows: the leather rather dry, but basically sound; air escaping where the bellows are formed over the end frame atthe bass end

- Frame on the treble end: at some point the box had succumbed to gravity and rolled off a table, or been dropped. It looks like it landed on this end, requiring the joints to be re glued with a few rather crude replacement pieces of wood. A rather crude but hopefully reversable job

- Several other small pieces of wood (now detached) also need to be glued back onto the frames

All in all a rather sorry state - but those keys that did play produced a very encouraging sound!

 

Not wishing to add to a history of bodged repairs I resisted the self-restore route and sent the box to Andrew Norman. His appriasal also identified that the bellows seals had suffesred some bodging and some of the patching to the bellows was a tad workmanlike. At sometime the exterior of the bellows had also been painted gold (eye catching - although not in a particularly pleasant way!?), before being re-blacked. After a little time in Andrew's 'waiting room' the concertina has now been fully restored and back with me for a few months. It looks great and if I ever get to full grips with this duet system (I am an EC player used to a rather more straight forward lay out!) I am sure will also sound brilliant.

 

Was it worth the eBay gamble in this event? Well total bill was roughly double the purchase price. I have not seen a 55k edeophone Maccan for sale recently so lack a direct comparator, but this feels good value. Unexpectedly, the most satisfying thing is knowing that a rather distressed box has been returned to full playing order. The discussion on concertina.net (above) was tremendously helpful - belated thanks to all those involved.

 

Will try and post some images when I have mastered that particular trick.

 

Should add that I consider Andrew's work on this concertina to have been absolutely first rate.

Edited by Myrtle's cook
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