MatthewVanitas Posted October 11, 2013 Share Posted October 11, 2013 I've been playing my CC Elise Hayden duet for three years now, and overall finding it more fun and easy to play than any keyed instrument I've messed with previously. Because of it I've managed to avoid getting a harmonium or shruti box, and I'm selling off several of my melodeons because this is just more versatile. I've never played an instrument where I had such an easy time harmonising with others, and shifting keys without changing fingering pattern is fantastic. Initially I had no complains at all about the Elise, despite assurances that I would "outgrow" it. But indeed, over time I notice the small flaws of performance: buzziness or breathiness on some reeds, key action not as smooth as would be good, etc. And though the Elise's range and scales does me great for a large part of the time, since I mainly do folk music in keys of C, G, and D, occasionally when jamming with friends I run across the other keys I can't hit, or while playing some music with mode changes or non-Western scales I find myself lacking chromatics I need. So I do feel that I'm well pushing the boundaries of this starter axe. I'd heard the Stagi Hayden isn't particularly great in quality, though the larger number of buttons would be an upgrade, so no desire to spend $700 used or $1000 new on one of those. I was delighted when Wim came out with the Peacock, and figured that would be my natural choice, but then the Morse Beaumont comes out with 10 extra buttons (52 vs. 42) though still the same 7" across the flats (same size as my 34-key Elise, oddly enough). Those 10 extra buttons, however, go mostly to an extra 2 notes of overlap between hands, 1 extra note each at bottom and top of range, and the rest duplicate chromatics for uniform fingering, so helpful but not night-and-day. I know some people don't feel comfortable publicly comparing competing products in a close-knit enthusiast community, but if anyone has any input, public or private, about choosing between the two I could really use the input. And a trip up to Buttonbox from DC would burn up at least two full days and a few hundred bucks in travel, largely negating the price difference anyway, so I don't know that I'd have much chance to try out either in the DC area. Any opinions as to what the extra $1250 for the Morse gets me, or any subjective differences in feel and tone between the two? Given that $3800 is getting me a large part of the way to the $6k+ for a Wakker concertina-reeded Hayden, I considered that, but am just not sure I'm ready to commit that yet. Also I've never played any actually concertina-reeded concertina, so I'd hate to pay double for "true" reeds and then find I like hybrid more anyway. And while I'm here, topping out the price scale, has anyone gotten a quote in recent years for a Hayden duet from Wheatstone? Am I guessing right it's like £8k+ for one of theirs? Thanks for any input on figuring out where to jump to from the Elise. I'm just glad that in a short time we've gone from "Stagi for $1000 or full custom for $6000" to having $400, $1000, $2600, $3800, and $6000 options. It'd be lovely if there were an $1800 option somewhere there in the middle, but at least the Beaumont and Peacock are within reach with some saving. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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