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Hayden Elise


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Hi, I think the Elise has been out for over a year now. For those who have been playing it for a while, how is it settling in? I'm not concerned with accidental mechanical failure. I'm still thinking of exploring the duet system and I have a budget. I would expect to use an Elise for 2-3 years before an upgrade. So, I hoping for verdicts on sound, bellows, and longevity and playability over the one - two years you have had the instrument. Thank you! Eric in Montana

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i do not have an elise but have passed on them due to this factor relating to considerations other than how the instrument functions. do you already have musical knowledge, and/or already play at least one instrument proficiently? if so, this factor might be a biggie---the elise is missing significant notes even within its modest range. some, such as myself, find this a deal-breaker---particularly if, as you say, you wish to purchase something you will use for two to three years. it's too bad, because a version complete enough to do the job as a starter would not have to have the full standard hayden 46......

 

if you are a beginner with music as well as with duet concertina, this factor may not bother you....

Edited by ceemonster
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I think that the construction of the Elise is similar to that of the Jackie and Jack, which have been around for longer. (The Rochelle has different bellows, I believe.) For what it's worth, I haven't noticed any changes in my Jack in the 9-10 months I've had it. I bought it used from the Button Box, and I don't know what its history was before that.

 

As for the Elise missing important notes, one limitation you should be prepared for is if you want to play tunes in the melodic minor (in which the sharped and unsharped versions of the 6th and 7th notes both appear). D minor is the only key where the Elise gives you the complete melodic minor scale.

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Eric,

 

I've had my Elise for five months now. It's been a trooper through some pretty heavy playing without any negative impacts. On the positive side, I can report that the bellows have become much more responsive with use, which helps make playing more lively, I think.

 

I play music from Irish trad to contemporary folk/country/alt. There are times when I wish for another 10 buttons under each hand; you are really limited for keys with more than three sharps (Eminor's OK) or more than two flats. You learn to work around that limitation by playing with less (sometimes with interesting results) or transposing. I consider the ease of transposing to a different key one of the strengths of the Hayden layout.

 

I'm a true believer in the Elise as a great way to get into playing Hayden duet. It's a really good combination of affordability, playability and versatility.

 

Rick in Texas

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Eric,

 

I've had my Elise for five months now. It's been a trooper through some pretty heavy playing without any negative impacts. On the positive side, I can report that the bellows have become much more responsive with use, which helps make playing more lively, I think.

 

I play music from Irish trad to contemporary folk/country/alt. There are times when I wish for another 10 buttons under each hand; you are really limited for keys with more than three sharps (Eminor's OK) or more than two flats. You learn to work around that limitation by playing with less (sometimes with interesting results) or transposing. I consider the ease of transposing to a different key one of the strengths of the Hayden layout.

 

I'm a true believer in the Elise as a great way to get into playing Hayden duet. It's a really good combination of affordability, playability and versatility.

 

Rick in Texas

 

You're coming to Old Pal at the end of the month, right?

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You're coming to Old Pal at the end of the month, right?

 

Reed,

 

I am, and excited about it. I'll be driving down on Wednesday the 28th, tent-camping just outside of town. And you?

 

R

 

I'll be driving down Thursday night after work and staying in town, most likely cramming the workshop tunes into my head and fingers prior to Friday. :lol:

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Hi, I think the Elise has been out for over a year now. For those who have been playing it for a while, how is it settling in? I'm not concerned with accidental mechanical failure. I'm still thinking of exploring the duet system and I have a budget. I would expect to use an Elise for 2-3 years before an upgrade. So, I hoping for verdicts on sound, bellows, and longevity and playability over the one - two years you have had the instrument. Thank you! Eric in Montana

Eric--

 

My Elise (one of the first batch, I believe) has held up nicely, even after quite a bit of playing. However, if your goal is to upgrade to a concertina-reeded instrument you might consider playing Crane or Maccann instead, unless you're prepared to spend $5800 or more for a concertina-reeded Hayden. After I started to run up against the limits of the Elise I looked at that situation and decided to switch to Crane. I'm happily playing Crane now, but I would have saved a lot of re-learning time (though I would have made a larger initial investment) if I had started with a 35-button Crane rather than the Elise.

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My Elise (one of the first batch, I believe) has held up nicely, even after quite a bit of playing. However, if your goal is to upgrade to a concertina-reeded instrument you might consider playing Crane or Maccann instead, unless you're prepared to spend $5800 or more for a concertina-reeded Hayden. After I started to run up against the limits of the Elise I looked at that situation and decided to switch to Crane. I'm happily playing Crane now, but I would have saved a lot of re-learning time (though I would have made a larger initial investment) if I had started with a 35-button Crane rather than the Elise.

Good luck with that, Daniel. I've given up trying to explain it.

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I bought an Elise in April 2010, and though I wouldn't say I've been playing it heavily over the last two years, I've been playing it enough to get a decent feel for it. Overall the bellows have certainly nimbled up, and I think the action has gotten a little smoother. I haven't noticed any particular change in tone; I do have two reeds that have a small amount of buzz in one direction each, but unless I'm carefully playing single notes I don't really even notice it. I have one or two almost never-used keys that are a bit stiffer than the others, but that's about it.

 

All in all I'm quite pleased for the money. The box is somewhat limited in terms of key, but given that it easily covers C, G, and D, with partial ability to cover F and A, that covers the vast, vast majority of styles of music I play. The ease of transposition is certainly nice; given that it's an "isomorphic" keyboard I can move my fingers one button over and play the exact same pattern transposed a step higher.

 

Good luck with that' date=' Daniel. I've given up trying to explain it. [/quote']

 

If I recall right, your general argument is that starting on a Hayden is a bad idea because there is no supply of vintage Haydens to upgrade to? So no <$5000 boxes with 46+ keys and concertina reeds. Granted that is the case, though I am looking forward to seeing if Wakker and/or Morse do come out with hybrid 46ish button boxes for $2000ish. I do see your point, but the only other options would've been "nobody produces any new duets", or someone had to pick a system to be the main system in which modern duets are built. Hayden seems as intuitive as any, and more than most, and also is actually used on a handful of other electronic instruments. Isomorphic keyboards in general are at least a recognised and developing feature, whereas I don't reckon anyone is building anything in Crane or Mccann these days.

 

If enough student-quality Haydens hit the market, between Stagi and CC, there will be demand for mid-level hybrids, and at whatever point proper-reeded concertinas. In the interim there is a demand for inexpensive starter hybrids, and Hayden seems to have become the standard.

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I bought an Elise in April 2010, and though I wouldn't say I've been playing it heavily over the last two years, I've been playing it enough to get a decent feel for it. Overall the bellows have certainly nimbled up, and I think the action has gotten a little smoother. I haven't noticed any particular change in tone; I do have two reeds that have a small amount of buzz in one direction each, but unless I'm carefully playing single notes I don't really even notice it. I have one or two almost never-used keys that are a bit stiffer than the others, but that's about it.

 

All in all I'm quite pleased for the money. The box is somewhat limited in terms of key, but given that it easily covers C, G, and D, with partial ability to cover F and A, that covers the vast, vast majority of styles of music I play. The ease of transposition is certainly nice; given that it's an "isomorphic" keyboard I can move my fingers one button over and play the exact same pattern transposed a step higher.

 

Good luck with that' date=' Daniel. I've given up trying to explain it. [/quote']

 

If I recall right, your general argument is that starting on a Hayden is a bad idea because there is no supply of vintage Haydens to upgrade to? So no <$5000 boxes with 46+ keys and concertina reeds. Granted that is the case, though I am looking forward to seeing if Wakker and/or Morse do come out with hybrid 46ish button boxes for $2000ish. I do see your point, but the only other options would've been "nobody produces any new duets", or someone had to pick a system to be the main system in which modern duets are built. Hayden seems as intuitive as any, and more than most, and also is actually used on a handful of other electronic instruments. Isomorphic keyboards in general are at least a recognised and developing feature, whereas I don't reckon anyone is building anything in Crane or Mccann these days.

 

If enough student-quality Haydens hit the market, between Stagi and CC, there will be demand for mid-level hybrids, and at whatever point proper-reeded concertinas. In the interim there is a demand for inexpensive starter hybrids, and Hayden seems to have become the standard.

No, can't be bothered. Typed it all 50 times before. Enjoy your Hayden and good luck.

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Good luck with that' date=' Daniel. I've given up trying to explain it. [/quote']

If I recall right, your general argument is that starting on a Hayden is a bad idea because there is no supply of vintage Haydens to upgrade to? So no <$5000 boxes with 46+ keys and concertina reeds. Granted that is the case, though I am looking forward to seeing if Wakker and/or Morse do come out with hybrid 46ish button boxes for $2000ish. I do see your point, but the only other options would've been "nobody produces any new duets", or someone had to pick a system to be the main system in which modern duets are built. Hayden seems as intuitive as any, and more than most, and also is actually used on a handful of other electronic instruments. Isomorphic keyboards in general are at least a recognised and developing feature, whereas I don't reckon anyone is building anything in Crane or Mccann these days.

 

If enough student-quality Haydens hit the market, between Stagi and CC, there will be demand for mid-level hybrids, and at whatever point proper-reeded concertinas. In the interim there is a demand for inexpensive starter hybrids, and Hayden seems to have become the standard.

What I said was, "If your goal is to upgrade to a concertina-reeded instrument you might consider playing Crane or Maccann instead, unless you're prepared to spend $5800 or more for a concertina-reeded Hayden." I didn't say that no one should buy an Elise or that Concertina Connection shouldn't make them. For a player who doesn't mind an accordion-reeded concertina or for a player who is willing to spend that $5800 to upgrade, an Elise can be a good idea. Since I did want to wind up with a concertina-reeded instrument and didn't have $5800 to spend on an upgrade, starting on Crane might in retrospect have been better for me. I find both the Crane and Hayden layouts to be reasonably intuitive.

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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The box is somewhat limited in terms of key, but given that it easily covers C, G, and D, with partial ability to cover F and A, that covers the vast, vast majority of styles of music I play.

If you're satisfied with the limitations -- in keys, chords, or otherwise, -- then the Elise is fine. After all, in that respect it's far more versatile than a 20-button anglo.

 

It's those who want their concertina to be an instrument on which to play piano-style arrangements who will probably find it lacking.

 

The ease of transposition is certainly nice; given that it's an "isomorphic" keyboard I can move my fingers one button over and play the exact same pattern transposed a step higher.

A feature which, like full chromaticity, isn't all that important in many styles of music.

 

...I am looking forward to seeing if Wakker and/or Morse do come out with hybrid 46ish button boxes for $2000ish.

My impression is that if/when they do, the price will be higher than for "equivalent" anglos or treble Englishes. I would guess at least $3000.

 

...whereas I don't reckon anyone is building anything in Crane or Mccann these days.

Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone) advertises 3 models of MacCann, and I believe Colin Dipper has made at least a few duets (Crane and/or Maccann, and a custom layout for a Frenchman), but price and waiting time can be significant deterrents to someone wanting such an instrument. I believe Bob Tedrow (Homewood) has also made a few accordion-reeded Maccanns. But the main reason why so few new vintage-type duets are being made is that actual vintage instruments in good, playable condition are still readily available at prices far below the cost of making a new instrument.

 

If enough student-quality Haydens hit the market, between Stagi and CC, there will be demand for mid-level hybrids, and at whatever point proper-reeded concertinas.

Unfortunately, demand does not guarantee supply... at least not at prices in your desired "affordable" range. If the "demand" is unwilling to pay an adequate price, then it's not true demand. No one is going to sell concertinas at a price below the cost of making them, yet vintage duets are still available in that below-cost price range.

 

In the interim there is a demand for inexpensive starter hybrids, and Hayden seems to have become the standard.

This is true, and it's what has created this dilemma (discussed over and over again) for those wanting to start with a duet but not dogmatic about which system. I think things would be quite different now if Wim had introduced the Elise with either a Crane or Maccann keyboard instead of the Haydn layout.

 

But he didn't. So I wish you luck on achieving a Hayden upgrade when (and if) you want one.

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I find both the Crane and Hayden layouts to be reasonably intuitive.

And while the Crane is still my duet of choice, I don't find the Maccann at all confusing or awkward.

 

Even the Jeffries duet has a certain intuitive quality to it -- at least in certain keys, -- though a very different quality from the other duets or the English.

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Hi, I think the Elise has been out for over a year now. For those who have been playing it for a while, how is it settling in? I'm not concerned with accidental mechanical failure. I'm still thinking of exploring the duet system and I have a budget. I would expect to use an Elise for 2-3 years before an upgrade. So, I hoping for verdicts on sound, bellows, and longevity and playability over the one - two years you have had the instrument. Thank you! Eric in Montana

 

I'll have had mine a year next month. It's been a lot of fun. I play it, probably, five days a week. Usually, I have it sitting on the kitchen table and I pick it up a few times a day. The bellows were stiff for a long time and they appear to be made from duct tape. The buttons are a little wobbly, too. It's the cheapest (and least expensive) duet concertina you will find, for sure. But I love it for what it is. I don't dislike it for what it is not.

 

If your plan is to explore and enjoy yourself on a budget, go for it. If you wish to play in a serious ensemble, reading all those squiggly lines on the staff and being a curmudgeon, then don't go the Elise route.

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I don't doubt it. But what's that got to do with getting an Elise and enjoying myself? Your dislike of the instrument is well documented. Now your ego is also well documented, too. If I had wanted to insult you personally, I would have used your name. Get over yourself already.

Edited by Mystery Jig
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OOh, touchy, aren't we?

 

I don't doubt it. But what's that got to do with getting an Elise and enjoying myself? Your dislike of the instrument is well documented.

 

Now your ego is also well documented, too. If I had wanted to insult you personally, I would have used your name. Get over yourself already.

 

"reading all those squiggly lines on the staff and being a curmudgeon"

 

You're right could be any one of dozens of duet players on Cnet and I apologise for jumping to the conclusion that you meant me.

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