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Hayden Elise


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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.

 

 

Careful, careful ..... if you want to enjoy yourself and don't want to read the dots that's fine. I'm a curmudgeon, read those squiggly lines and can't imagine not doing so. You can surely do it with an Elise or any other concertina. As my wife would say, "Each to their own bad taste!"

 

But, I would image that you would come up short in a duet-contest with Dirge. I'm just saying ... :P

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The original post asked: For those who have been playing it for a while, how is it settling in? Not: please rant for the umpteenth time how much you don't think the Hayden system is worth learning.

 

As I said, I'm sure you all can play better than me. But you can't tell me I don't have a ball playing the Elise by ear and not worrying about my future as a concert concertina-ist.

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I am always pleased to hear about people who enjoy playing Hayden duets; that is what they were intended for. I think the "Elise" is a wonderful instrument for an amazingly reasonable price. I look forward to hearing about the new accordion reeded instruments from Button Box.

As far as upgrades to concertina reeded instruments are concerned there is always the option of buying a Maccan Duet and having it rebuilt to Hayden System. I know of two medium sized Maccanns which have been sucessfully converted to Hayden system, and have seen a number of Maccanns that have been nicely converted to Cranes.

Most importantly, enjoy playing your concertina whichever type you like. Never worry about anyone who likes to think they can play better, faster, or read music quicker than you, they are probably not enjoying themselves half as much.

Inventor.

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As far as upgrades to concertina reeded instruments are concerned there is always the option of buying a Maccan Duet and having it rebuilt to Hayden System. I know of two medium sized Maccanns which have been sucessfully converted to Hayden system, and have seen a number of Maccanns that have been nicely converted to Cranes.

Inventor.

 

If you found an instrument with trashed ends but otherwise sound I can see this might work. Otherwise you pay the price for a Maccan as well as an a fair part of a new action and ends. Still sounds expensive, although perhaps cheaper than any other option.

 

Of course if you had such a damaged instrument it might be worth getting it rebuilt as a Hayden purely to sell. Must remember that one in case the situation arrises.

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I am always pleased to hear about people who enjoy playing Hayden duets; that is what they were intended for.

Brian, I have been playing Hayden concertinas since 1986 and it has made me tremendously happy. I started with a 46-key Bastari and in 1994 acquired Wheatstone #60082, which apparently you were the previous owner of (I got it from Rich and Doug of the Button Box). You and I met at the Chippenham Folk Festival in 1993.

 

Anyway, a profound and heartfelt "thank you." This is exactly what I didn't know I was looking for the first 30 years of my life.

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  • 1 month later...

post-10030-0-00312400-1336943947_thumb.jpg

This is my first post on this forum, so greetings to everyone!

 

I don't have any experience with high-end or vintage concertinas, but I play the Hayden layout for 1.5 year now, of which almost a year on the Elise (I started learning it on a self-made 64 button MIDI instrument based on W-H2 layout, and prior to that I've played a 20 button Anglo for a year), and I think I have a quite reasonable beginner experience to share:

 

As someone already stated before, Elise, as limited as it is, is still more versatile than 20 button Anglo, and in my humble opinion, than 30 button Anglo either, considered being specifically designed for melody+accompaniment play. Especially for my type of repertoire, consisting mostly of modern rock covers, polish street music of pre- World War II times and some usually accordion-played arrangements (like Dansbanan, Beirut and Yann Tiersen). Even with 34 keys it has enough room for transposing song accompaniments to match different voices (one or two tones). Of course it sometimes lacks fully chromatic layout, but for me it is the short range of bass side and small overlap that is most limitting.

 

On the manufacturing/durability side: there were and are no problems with reeds or tuning, bellows is still a bit stiff on the pull towards the end of the range but despite some wear it is still airtight. Straps stretch with time, so now I use them one hole tighter than in the beginning. My biggest complain is about keys: the original plastic ones are loose, domed ends made my figers hurt after half an hour of playing, and the buzz appearing on transitions between close notes was ruining any pleasure from having an analog instrument after months of playing only MIDI, so I decided to make new ones: made from machined alluminum (original keys are very light and I didn't wanted to change springs), fully felt-bushed (both end board holes and lever holes), gave the Elise much needed precision, feel and nice, quiet keyboard work. And improvement on the looks of entire instrument :)

 

Attached is a photo of the LH side, with accented A below middle C (on RH side, the A above middle C is accented). The leather belt around the side is a part of my neck strap.

 

To conclude: I think this is a fine learning instrument, with a new Peacock and Tedrow (quite) affordable wider-scale concertinas there is a room for an upgrade, at least to a fully chromatic instrument, and in my opinion, the Hayden layout is easier and more intuitive to learn not only than other duets, but even a piano keayboard. So I must join "a profound and heartfelt 'thank you.' " for Mr. Hayden for reinventing and reintroducing this great layout!

 

(Please excuse me any mistakes in this and further posts as english is not my native language.)

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  • 1 month later...

Łukasz, great post and pic!

 

Do you have any close-up photos or write-up as to how you did your bushings and new buttons? Do you have a lot of background in machining aluminum, or was making the buttons less difficult than it sounds? I'm not sure there's any chance that making aluminum buttons would be within my skill/tool level, but maybe if it's something easy for someone more skilled I can do a skills exchange with some acquaintance to knock out a batch of buttons for me.

 

Your English is great, so no worries there. Looking forward to hearing more about your project and music!

 

 

EDIT: if I go looking for buttons, does anyone know if the buttons are all the same across all the basic CC models? If I'm looking to convince a friend to make some aluminum ones, it may be an easier pitch if it's something that he could template out for larger production, and then maybe get more sales for if there are other folks wanting to do some DIY hot-rodding of the basic CC boxes.

Edited by MatthewVanitas
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Łukasz, great post and pic!

 

Do you have any close-up photos or write-up as to how you did your bushings and new buttons? Do you have a lot of background in machining aluminum, or was making the buttons less difficult than it sounds? I'm not sure there's any chance that making aluminum buttons would be within my skill/tool level, but maybe if it's something easy for someone more skilled I can do a skills exchange with some acquaintance to knock out a batch of buttons for me.

 

Your English is great, so no worries there. Looking forward to hearing more about your project and music!

 

 

EDIT: if I go looking for buttons, does anyone know if the buttons are all the same across all the basic CC models? If I'm looking to convince a friend to make some aluminum ones, it may be an easier pitch if it's something that he could template out for larger production, and then maybe get more sales for if there are other folks wanting to do some DIY hot-rodding of the basic CC boxes.

 

This is how they look "under the hood" after a full year of intense use.

 

As of my background in machining, I would say I have enough :) I'm no professional, more like advanced hobbyist, but I do have a milling machine with

Compound Table and a decent machine vise. But I have done similiar projects using a multitool, drill press and file only.

The biggest problem with "DIY hot-rodding" set are the holes in the box itself. If you want them to be bushed you have to drill them 1.5-2 mm larger to make room for the felt. And they have to be on the exactly same axis, so you have to have a robust drill press or a milling machine and means to mount the side panel to it. Otherwise the holes will end up all over the place and you'll render your instrument useless..

Apart from that, making new keys is just copying the dimensions of original keys on pieces of aluminum rod and drilling two holes in each key - one for a lever and one for bottom post (this has to be made from stainless steel and glued into the hole).

 

As for 3d printed keys, I don't thing they will be smooth and strong enough and the bottom posts will have to be made from steel, so you will still have to drill some holes and cut some metal, so why bother, when you can have aluminum, brass or delrin buttons?

post-10030-0-67237800-1340460302_thumb.jpg

Edited by Łukasz Martynowicz
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