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Crane Duet System Concertina


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Hi All,

 

I play and love my Jefferies Anglo, but I have had an urge to try a Duet,

 

I have a 48 key Crane on trial for a week.

 

It arrived yesterday, I am impressed and can get a few tunes with both hands out of it.

 

I am sure that I could find the answer if i search long enough, but I only have a short time to make a decision,

 

so I thought I would ask all those who have been through the same process.

 

On the left hand, what do you do when you run out of buttons ( high notes ) on the left-hand ?

 

Is this the restriction of the instrument ?

 

is the answer to buy a 56 button instrument ?

 

regards

 

Karl

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The 55key Crane is definately more usefull in the 'overlap' department..... the five note crossover of the 48 could be limiting but you can get used to whatever range of notes you have.

 

I found myself often at the top of the lefthand , C ,on the Maccann and now on my Hayden up to B. It all dépends how you play. There is a good right hand range on the 48 Crane and if you are using the left side for chord making there is enough for most purposes, perhaps a little limiting for chord inversions.

 

Whatever number of buttons one has on a Duet there is often a desire for more.... but that is offset by size considérations.

 

Mind you a reasonable size increase to the 55 key instrument will give the benefit of more wind in the chest which can be helpfull... but a longer bellows will take care of that problem in a small size Duet.

 

If you have the chance to get a 55key Crane I would go for that.

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I have a 48 key Crane on trial for a week.

 

It arrived yesterday, I am impressed and can get a few tunes with both hands out of it.

 

...

 

On the left hand, what do you do when you run out of buttons ( high notes ) on the left-hand ?

 

Is this the restriction of the instrument ?

 

is the answer to buy a 56 button instrument ?

If your playing style has you reaching for notes above what you have in the left hand (or below what you have in the right hand), one "solution" is to shift those notes into the other hand. The potential difficulties with this solution are

  • The two hands are no longer quite "independent" musically. (A problem for some, but not for others, depending on how one's brain works.)
  • Adding notes into the other hand means that the fingerings there have to be reconsidered and may even become difficult.

But the difference between a 1½-octave left-hand range on the 48-button and a 2-octave LH range on the 55-button maybe shouldn't be ignored, especially if your playing style has you running up against the limit already within your first week.

 

...a reasonable size increase to the 55 key instrument will give the benefit of more wind in the chest which can be helpfull... but a longer bellows will take care of that problem in a small size Duet.

As I've mentioned before, my 55-button Lachenal New Model Crane and my 48-button Crane &Sons Crane (made by Lachenal) are exactly the same weight and the same distance across the ends, though a 55-button Lachenal Edeophone Triumph (=Crane) that I once had was noticeably larger and heavier. You can expect a New Model to cost significantly more than the 48-button you're trying, but if your budget can handle it, you might want to look for one.

 

Still, you could do a lot with the 48 and move up to a 55 later on. You're not likely to lose much value on reselling or trading in the 48.

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Hi Geoff,

 

Thanks for your advice,

 

I am fascinated by the challenge, I have always played bionic instruments, couldn't get on with an English, but some how the Crane feels fine.

 

 

I have downloaded Brain Hayden's document and wring through chord shapes. My Jefferies anglo is away for repairs, my 26 button lacunal has just broken a spring, so I have plenty of time to play with the Crane.

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I have downloaded Brain Hayden's document and wring through chord shapes. My Jefferies anglo is away for repairs, my 26 button lacunal has just broken a spring, so I have plenty of time to play with the Crane.

 

Another document you might find useful is the Wilton-Bulstrode tutor for the Crane. The teaching method and tunes may be from a different generation, but you can still learn a lot. And the great thing is that it's available here as a free PDF, so you can download and print out your own copy. :)

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The 55key Crane is definately more usefull in the 'overlap' department.....

 

If you have the chance to get a 55key Crane I would go for that.

 

I believe that Greg Jowaisas has 55B Lachenal New Model in his queue for restoration and then for sale. Same size and weight as the 48B you are using right now.

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The New Model was the top of the line until the Edeophone was introduced - which is a lot bigger.

 

I think (?) that it has raised ends and long scale reeds so it should sound and respond better than a stock 48B.

 

Maybe Jim can tell you more.

 

Not a lot more, still...

The New Model was Lachenal's deluxe model with 6-sided ends. The 12-sided Edeophone was even fancier, though in my opinion not necessarily better. The Crane & Sons instruments I've seen were somewhat above Lachenal's most basic English and anglo models in quality, but neither the craftsmanship that went into them nor (consequently) the price were as great as for the New Model and Edeophone.

As with many other things (e.g., cars) the effort and engineering that went into models of different price classes was... different. One could expect the deluxe models to have quicker action, quicker reed response, and greater dynamic control. Supposedly also nicer sound quality, though that's really a matter of personal taste.

Both the New Models and the Edeophones have "raised" ends. I, for one, find raised ends generally more comfortable, but flat ends certainly don't put me off, and I think some folks prefer the flat ends.

As for "long scale" reeds, they are rumored to improve both responsiveness and dynamic range, but how much those qualities are affected by reed length and how much by other craftsman-controlled factors, I don't know that it's possible to say. I did once measure the reeds of four instruments with "long scale", and no two of them had reeds of the same lengths for the same notes. (I found similar variation with reeds not identified as "long scale".) So I'm inclined to not put too much weight on that designation, but much emphasis on actually trying individual instruments to see how they respond.

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there is a snazzy-looking ebony-ended lach new model crane 60-button newly in BB's listings and very rapidly festooned with an "On Hold" designation. I didn't jump in there because I am a metal-ends person. I knew it would go fast, but i'm bummed that it seems to be going before we got a video sample...

Edited by ceemonster
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there is a snazzy-looking ebony-ended lach new model crane 60-button newly in BB's listings and very rapidly festooned with an "On Hold" designation. I didn't jump in there because I am a metal-ends person. I knew it would go fast, but i'm bummed that it seems to be going before we got a video sample...

 

In many ways this is what I've been looking for. I've seen a couple of Aeolas that go down to G in both hands, but this is the first non-Wheatstone I've seen with those ranges. Being able to go down to the low G of some fiddle tunes without crossing into the left hand is in my opinion a major advantage.

 

For my own purposes, I'd like a bit more top to the left-hand range, but I certainly wouldn't reject this one on that basis. At 7 inches across the flats it's not much bigger than the 6-5/8 inches of my 55-button New Model, though at 2.155 kg (4 pounds, 12 ounces) it's 1½ times as heavy as the 1.388 kg of the 55-button. But if I had the money (and if it weren't already taken), I'd snap it up.

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On the left hand, what do you do when you run out of buttons (high notes) on the left-hand? Is this the restriction of the instrument? is the answer to buy a 56 button instrument ?

 

I ran into the same problem when I first got my 48b Crane - I especially missed the high A on the left hand side. But I eventually learned to adapt, especially by using the F# just below that where I would otherwise have used an A in a D maj chord. I've periodically thought about buying a 55b, but given where I live I'm unlikely to get a chance to try one before I buy it, so I have hesitated, especially since I very much like my 48b (a "rosewood-ended" Lachenal that Greg J. restored for me) and I worry that I would wind up with a concertina that has a bigger range but I don't like as much in other ways.

 

Are there any chord charts available ?

 

There's one at http://www.craneconcertina.com/chords001.pdf

 

I'm inclined to not put too much weight on that designation, but much emphasis on actually trying individual instruments to see how they respond.

 

I very much agree with this. I haven't played any new Models or Edeophones, but I know that Lachenal quality (especially in reed responsiveness) varied widely even within each model, at least within the basic "mahogany-ended" and the Newly Improved (fancy fretwork, "rosewood-ended") models.

 

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i dream, dream, dream, of a metal-ended crane edeophone.....ha, and a metal-ended Tenor or TT edeo, for that matter.... :rolleyes:

 

Have you considered getting a wooden-ended one and having metal ends made for it?

Edited to add: But I'd suggest first checking with Chris Algar and Greg Jowaisis to see how many they've seen. I'd be surprised it they haven't seen any at all.

Edited by JimLucas
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