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ceemonster

Intel on "Hybrid: Reeds

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A maker/dealer has stated to me words to the effect that all of the "hybrid" concertina makes (the ones better than the Stagis and their peers) have the same grade reeds in them. Is this accurate?

 

 

Are the accordion reeds available to go in "hybrid" concertinas identical to the ones that go in accordions, just cut down to fit?

I.E., Are they available in the same grade or quality categories, such as factory, durall, super-durall, TAM, and "true" handmade? Is there a way to ascertain precisely what make and grade of accordion reeds are in "hybrids?"

 

Are upgrades available, and if not, why not?

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I can't answer your question directly but perhaps clarify the context.

Reeds fitted to accordions are designed to work in a different way, so comparisons with their application in concertinas is not straightforward. The biggest difference is that accordions, because of their much larger bellows cross section are working with significantly lower air pressure than concertinas. They also have much more volume of air available. The methods of mounting the reeds is different too, but I'm not sure if that makes so much difference.

My guess is that the concertina makers may specify a different scale length and reed profile compared with regular accordion reeds if they want to get the best performance in a concertina sized instrument.

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I was under the impression that they are the same, since the justification for using them is to take advantage of the lower cost and improved availability of accordion reeds.

Having them made specially, given also that the hybrid concertina makers are low volume compared to the wider button accordion market, would rather defeat the object.

Obviously one would look for the best suited from standard offerings, though.

 

As I recall, the makers do seem to publicise the grade of reeds they use. Most also seem approachable enough to respond to an email enquiry if you have a specific make (or makes) in mind.

 

I have it in mind that most use TAM reeds, but I have no recollection where this came from so don't take it as gospel.

 

Having poked inside my Marcus a couple of times, I would suggest that changing reeds might be mostly constrained by the plate dimensions. There is not a lot of spare room, since the reeds are flat mounted and very tight together.

 

Wrt Theo's comments about pressure, which is determined by amount of push available/surface area, concertinas have less surface area so higher pressures are definitely available - but don't necessarily need to be used.

(Some melodeons, Lillys come to mind, are not much bigger than concertinas and single reeded - wonder if they use standard reeds?)

 

But if you do find the definitive answer - if there is one :rolleyes: please share it with us.

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A maker/dealer has stated to me words to the effect that all of the "hybrid" concertina makes (the ones better than the Stagis and their peers) have the same grade reeds in them. Is this accurate?

 

 

Are the accordion reeds available to go in "hybrid" concertinas identical to the ones that go in accordions, just cut down to fit?

I.E., Are they available in the same grade or quality categories, such as factory, durall, super-durall, TAM, and "true" handmade? Is there a way to ascertain precisely what make and grade of accordion reeds are in "hybrids?"

 

Are upgrades available, and if not, why not?

 

The reeds are not all the same. Some makers use Durale reeds, some use "Hand-finshed reeds and others use Hand-made quality reeds. Some makers, like myself, have the reed makers modify the hand-made reeds so they are more suitable for use in a concertina.

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thanks very kindly for these replies.

 

[(Some melodeons, Lillys come to mind, are not much bigger than concertinas and single reeded - wonder if they use standard reeds?)]

 

Lillys have hand reeds. though, i believe it is "hand" in the sense of TAM.

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A maker/dealer has stated to me words to the effect that all of the "hybrid" concertina makes (the ones better than the Stagis and their peers) have the same grade reeds in them. Is this accurate?

 

 

Are the accordion reeds available to go in "hybrid" concertinas identical to the ones that go in accordions, just cut down to fit?

I.E., Are they available in the same grade or quality categories, such as factory, durall, super-durall, TAM, and "true" handmade? Is there a way to ascertain precisely what make and grade of accordion reeds are in "hybrids?"

 

Are upgrades available, and if not, why not?

 

The reeds are not all the same. Some makers use Durale reeds, some use "Hand-finshed reeds and others use Hand-made quality reeds. Some makers, like myself, have the reed makers modify the hand-made reeds so they are more suitable for use in a concertina.

 

Does anyone know what reeds are in the Morse concertinas?

 

Don.

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Both Theo and Malcolmbebb were correct. Accordion reeds used in concertinas are IDENTICAL to the ones used in accordions. No manufacturer is going to develop new reeds for such a small market. In fact, only a few manufacturers are willing to cater to the concertina makers.

Salpa (antonelli) is by far the most popular at the moment. The only ‘customized’ accordion reeds for concertinas were developed by Harry Geuns in the late 90’s for the Geuns-Wakker hybrids. When these instruments were discontinued, Harry sold the design to Salpa. Last I heard was that they were used in a new jazz accordion model.

 

There is a choice between the different standard accordion reed qualities, ranging from export to ‘a Mano’ (Note: ‘hand made’ accordion reeds actually are hand finished and assembled, not made by hand from scratch). The major difference between the reed qualities is in responsiveness, air economy and consistency of the harmonic spectrum At low FPM values (foot per minute).

 

As Theo explained, air flow velocity in an accordion is much lower than in a concertina. Therefore the reed FPM value is relevant in accordions: the higher quality reeds (TAM, AM) perform better at these low values (<200FPM). Concertinas produce much more air flow, which makes the reed quality difference much less relevant. Even at low velocity, a concertina will produce almost twice the amount necessary for the average accordion reed.

To put it in perspective, if you need to drive 30 mph in a car, it doesn’t make any difference if you have an 8 or a 12 cylinder engine. Both engines can easily reach that speed…..

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wakker Concertinas

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[Does anyone know what reeds are in the Morse concertinas?]

 

i purchased a ceili from the morse folks as an Anglo beginner in the mid-oughts and was told after inquiring that the reeds were factory reeds. i asked about an upgrade and was told it wasn't feasible for them from a production-cost standpoint. as i've stated at more length elsewhere, i like the button action and the tone on the instrument very much, but am less crazy about the reed performance. however, i have zero knowledge or data as to current morse reeds.

 

i inquired about these issues because i'm starting to research acquiring a very nice accordion-reeded EC. i want one that has the F and F-sharp below middle C, so was looking at the tenors produced by Morse and Norman, as well as the very interesting 37-key by Marcus which delightfully gives you down to F, and has less of the super-high notes, which i might like better even than a tenor. i see that mr. wakker offers a range sort of like this on one of his concertina-reeded EC options---any chance the "Rose" EC will be anything like this, btw??

 

thanks again, all for the fascinating information.

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Just a thought, but if you have particular requirements for your next box, I would have thought contacting the makers might be worthwhile.

I would think that most of the likely candidates would have the flexibility to do a semi-custom box without taking waiting time tooooo far out.

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[i would have thought contacting the makers might be worthwhile.]

 

i have a fair share of experience at contacting and communicating with concertina makers, most of it very positive. in this instance, attempting to educate myself a bit on the nature of "hybrid" reeds and the types and grades they come in represents preliminary research i prefer to do prior to communicating with makers this time around...i know some view "hybrids" as so-called "intermediate" instruments, but that's not how i'm viewing it. i actually prefer the accordion reed sound for certain genres of music, and will be looking for a professional-quality accordion-reeded EC, with top-quality reeds and reed response for lead melody line-type playing in dance music genres such as particularly Paris musette, Paris swing, tango, jazz, eastern european, and more....:)

Edited by ceemonster

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[i would have thought contacting the makers might be worthwhile.]

 

i have a fair share of experience at contacting and communicating with concertina makers, most of it very positive. in this instance, attempting to educate myself a bit on the nature of "hybrid" reeds and the types and grades they come in represents preliminary research i prefer to do prior to communicating with makers this time around...i know some view "hybrids" as so-called "intermediate" instruments, but that's not how i'm viewing it. i actually prefer the accordion reed sound for certain genres of music, and will be looking for a professional-quality accordion-reeded EC, with top-quality reeds and reed response for lead melody line-type playing in dance music genres such as particularly Paris musette, Paris swing, tango, jazz, eastern european, and more....:)

 

I picked up on this thread rather late, but I thought it might help to talk a bit about the reed choice for our concertinas. We use Voci Armoniche "Super Durall" for all of our concertinas. (Note, these are not "Machine" reeds, which are a lower grade, the difference being the higher quality aluminum plate on the Super Durall. Voci Armoniche uses the same steel (C110S) on all of their reed grades.) When we originally made our prototypes, we found that blind tests were consistent in judging the higher grades of reed overly bright and harsh-sounding, without an appreciable improvement in response. So, rather than picking a reed for status alone, we opted for the reed that sounded and responded the best for our instrument.

 

Doug

The Button Box

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