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Chidley system duet on eBay


SteveS
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Here is a link to a Lachenal 64key Chidley duet currently on eBay.

 

Looks very nice.

It does, indeed. A lovely New Model.

 

But a "Chidley" from Lachenal? I thought Lachenal closed years before the Chidley rationalization of the Maccann system became common at Wheatstone, where it was originated by one Mr. Chidley. Am I wrong? Or could this instrument have been converted at some point from a standard Maccann layout?

 

And what are the two buttons in the right hand which are outboard of the standard 6-wide button array of Maccanns (including the Chidley variant)? I'm guessing novelties, but the seller doesn't seem to be aware that they're unusual.

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...the seller doesn't seem to be aware that they're unusual.

 

There's a member of c.net by the same name as the seller (djangojessie). Perhaps she (?) will show up and give us further details, though it looks like she hasn't been here since July.

 

jdms

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And what are the two buttons in the right hand which are outboard of the standard 6-wide button array of Maccanns (including the Chidley variant)? I'm guessing novelties, but the seller doesn't seem to be aware that they're unusual.

 

I messaged the seller on ebay and asked about the two extra buttons. He replied that they are indeed novelty buttons, the "duck" sound and the "whizzy" sound.

 

Ron

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It's an interesting one and various oddities struck me:

 

1) it's a new model but gets glass buttons. Fancy! Surprising on anything less than an edeophone, I'd think. Wes's formula punts an instrument of this number just into the 20c, by which time the edeo was well established as the 'best' one.

 

2) Surely timewise the only way it can be a 'true' Chidley system is if it was reworked by someone other than Lachenal after their demise, perhaps with a set of glass buttons that were spare were fitted at the same time. This would be a lot of work, I believe. Otherwise it must be someone's bespoke one-off, and it doesn't look monkeyed with (although the pictures could be better). Edward Chidley's first experiment before he worked for Wheatstone, perhaps? Or his dad's?

 

My initial thought was that the seller had it wrong, was just someone with no knowledge who'd done some half baked research; but I can't see anyone here doing that; I'm confident that if Djangojessie says it's Chidley layout it is. The buttons certainly have the 'chevron with no loose keys' look of a Chidley keyboard.

 

3) I was surprised to see large unfretted areas on both ends, not just the bass side as I have come to expect with a duet.

 

Nice looking instrument though, and Richard Evans is not only 'Mr Kookaburra' he's a decent Maccan player so he would be able to give it a proper test run to base his opinion on.

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It's an interesting one and various oddities struck me:

 

1) it's a new model but gets glass buttons. Fancy! Surprising on anything less than an edeophone, I'd think. Wes's formula punts an instrument of this number just into the 20c, by which time the edeo was well established as the 'best' one.

 

2) Surely timewise the only way it can be a 'true' Chidley system is if it was reworked by someone other than Lachenal after their demise, perhaps with a set of glass buttons that were spare were fitted at the same time. This would be a lot of work, I believe. Otherwise it must be someone's bespoke one-off, and it doesn't look monkeyed with (although the pictures could be better). Edward Chidley's first experiment before he worked for Wheatstone, perhaps? Or his dad's?

 

My initial thought was that the seller had it wrong, was just someone with no knowledge who'd done some half baked research; but I can't see anyone here doing that; I'm confident that if Djangojessie says it's Chidley layout it is. The buttons certainly have the 'chevron with no loose keys' look of a Chidley keyboard.

 

3) I was surprised to see large unfretted areas on both ends, not just the bass side as I have come to expect with a duet.

 

Nice looking instrument though, and Richard Evans is not only 'Mr Kookaburra' he's a decent Maccan player so he would be able to give it a proper test run to base his opinion on.

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I got an email from Richard Evans (after Djangojessie forwarded my enquiry regarding note layout) who says the keyboard is shown, in the relevant section , at concertina.com . From which I assume he means " of this concertina or another just like it". So I am off there now to peruse....

 

OK, back again.

 

One other point... Richard Evans says that this instrument had Aluminium alloy reed frames which he has replaced , due to corrosion, with new Brass frames of his own making and some Lachenal originals . This use of Al.alloy suggests to me that this instrument was of very late manufacture or was one of those that were finnished by Wheatstone after Lachenal's closure hence the use of the Chidley layout.

I once had a very lovely Edeophone EC (Piccolo/Treble)which had the light alloy reedframes and Rivetted action and the type of inlaid 'Pewter' Badges that this Duet has. I believed that to be a very late Lachenal... from its serial number in the 60,000's.

 

The separate numbering systems for Englishes, Anglos and Duets at Lachenal can be confusing.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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2) Surely timewise the only way it can be a 'true' Chidley system is if it was reworked by someone other than Lachenal after their demise....

Not necessarily.

Not if it's a bespoke (American "custom") instrument.

The "Chidley" uniform modification for the Maccann is a fairly obvious concept. I had it myself before I ever heard of "the Chidley".

 

In fact, conceptually the Maccann layout seems more like a modification of the uniform "Chidley" layout, inviting speculation as to why the Maccann note placement is not the same in every octave.

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