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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

What Would You Change About Concertina Design?

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'Ardie' is (was?) the same person.

Well, he was a bit pushy, but I didn't and wouldn't mean to have him banned for that at all - didn't compare to "Chromaduet" f.i. - you won't tell me they're identical too, will you John? :rolleyes:

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Basically, I find the concertinas as they are perfectly OK. Obviously, better-made, more expensive models may sound better and be easier to play (e.g. better levers), but this is the case with all musical instruments. Improvements here are a matter of investment rather than invention.

 

I think the place for wishes is in the human interface - the points where the hands and fingers make contact with the instrument.

 

I have a Stagi 30-k Anglo, a Lachenal 48-k Crane and a small no-name Bandoneon (104 tones = 52 buttons). I have no problem with the Lachenal's 4.5 mm, the Stagi's 5 mm or the Bandoneon's 9.5 mm diameter buttons. I don't notice the difference between the Lachenal and Stagi buttons, and the large Bandoneon buttons seem consistent with the greater overall size of the instrument.

 

I have found the handstraps to be an important part of the human interface - I prefer stout, stiff ones - but these are wear parts anyway, can be exchanged by the player, and are available in different thicknesses and qualities. Again, a matter of (very modest!) investment.

 

The one feature that has bothered me is the air-button on the Stagi Anglo. Access to this is somehow obstructed by the handrest, and I had to shave down the shoulder of the rest, and fit an elongated button, to make it comfortable. I have heard of other players who find the air-button of their Anglos too far away, or too close, or wrongly aligned, so this is obviously a chance for improvement.

 

So what I would like to see is an air-lever like on the Bandoneon: Hinged on the top flat of the action box, and crossing the thumb at right angles. It is possible to position the lever for access by both long and short thumbs, and make it long enough to be found blind by the thumb.

I even thought of a user modification involving a bent teaspoon handle hinged to the top flat, and with a cork or felt pad bearing down on the actual air-button.

 

I've seen pics of old German Anglos with a lever hinged to the handrest (and thus basically parallel to the thumb), but that obviously didn't catch on. I would find the Bandoneon-style lever more useful.

 

Cheers,

John

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I agree with what you are saying about the air lever meeting the thumb at a right angle. It seems to me that the thumb is more suited to this movement. Colin dipper would apparently agree with you too on this one from what a friend of mine says.

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post-11647-0-54139700-1428840362_thumb.jpgas origami is another hobby, i have often wondered about different bellows design

Edited by nicx66

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post-11647-0-55961900-1432298104_thumb.jpgpost-11647-0-76400200-1432298135_thumb.jpg one of the main differences with this design is that the center air column/hexagon is offfset, whereas in a traditional design it lines up with the outside. Also, it is made from one rectangle of material and meets at a standing seam. birch bark is for decorative effect, though it is waterproof. this design has been utilized by a young lady who makes collapsable, lightweight homeless shelters. http://cardborigami.org

Edited by nicx66

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I have continued to contemplate a couple of things. First, can this design be adapted for a concertina bellows? presuming it could be, it would have to function as well as, or indeed better than, a traditional bellows design to justify its use. A couple of things I have observed with my models. most collapsible origami employs a twisting motion, which would not work for a concertina bellows as it would twist your hands. In eliminating this twisting motion, my existing design starts to get stressed at around 70% of full expansion. After repeated use, the paper forms its own gussets to deal with this stress. To solve this would require actual gussets, however, where to locate them is problematic. The peaks would be the best placement for design and function. The papers natural tendency is in the middle of the valleys. For continuity, i use some basic origami lingo. mountain folds=peaks VS valley folds=valleys. post-11647-0-00238400-1454974464_thumb.jpg

Edited by nicx66

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The origami bellows (light, cheap, diy) sounds good for reed testing bellows at least.

 

I'd like to see a Hayden with a right hand button field scale ascending from pinky to index just as it does on the left side. With the fingering I use, this would give the pinky 1/7 of the scale, and the stronger fingers 2/7 each just as exists on the left hand side. Uniform chord fingering pattens is another plus.

 

Anyone seen this suggestion before? Any downside?

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The origami bellows (light, cheap, diy) sounds good for reed testing bellows at least.

 

I'd like to see a Hayden with a right hand button field scale ascending from pinky to index just as it does on the left side. With the fingering I use, this would give the pinky 1/7 of the scale, and the stronger fingers 2/7 each just as exists on the left hand side. Uniform chord fingering pattens is another plus.

 

Anyone seen this suggestion before? Any downside?

I was told by Wim Wakker that the Peacock and the Wakker Haydens can be ordered with ascending or descending button arrangements on either side. Indeed, my Peacock has an ascending right side and a descending left side button arrangement. I find it a more natural fit to the way my brain works.

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I was told by Wim Wakker that the Peacock and the Wakker Haydens can be ordered with ascending or descending button arrangements on either side. Indeed, my Peacock has an ascending right side and a descending left side button arrangement. I find it a more natural fit to the way my brain works.

 

Interesting. So your Peacock is the reverse of my Beaumont. Anyone else have a custom button arrangement?

My Geuns C-system bandonion descends on both sides and I find that an easy fit for both hands and brain.

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I'm currently attempting to outsource the creation of the Concertina Nova, using UpWork.

There are several bidders competing to do the job, I'm unsure whether any will do well, but progress is full of trial and error.

 

See sketch attached, and website with more details at http://bit.ly/1TFLQ2z

 

By the way, the flexible thumb strap, and the under-knees strap are well proven after a year of trial, on two concertinas I have.

I wouldn't go back to a conventional concertina now.

 

If this Forum isn't suitable I'll move the discussion to the Concertina building and repair forum instead.

 

Kind regards,

Bruce Thomson in New Zealand.

post-10346-0-31423400-1464245640_thumb.png

Edited by Bruce Thomson

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I'm a total newbie. I would like the octagon corners to be less sharp. I'm expecting a new callus I'd rather not have. Or perhaps someone has a hint. Adjusting the straps hasn't helped so far.

 

Jeremy

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I'm a total newbie. I would like the octagon corners to be less sharp. I'm expecting a new callus I'd rather not have. Or perhaps someone has a hint. Adjusting the straps hasn't helped so far.

 

Jeremy

Hello!

Tell us please what sort of 'octagon' you are having problems with , you never know someone here might suggest a solution.

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Thanks for asking. I realize now I was vague.

 

The end plates on my Anglo are octagon shaped. After a few hours playing, the Mount of Venus (the area where the thumb meets the palm) on my right hand is sore from the point of the octagon digging in when I push air out. I'm practicing pushing equally with both hands, but the right is the one that gets sore.

 

Jeremy

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I  like everything about my Morse concertinas, the English Albion treble 37-button (which I haven't played for a long time because I have to get a repair done) and the Geordie English 45 button, the baritone (the one I play, needs no repair).

 

BUT....those Delrin buttons...hmm... I know they are probably the best choice for getting the best action, but I also have a Bastari 48 button English and an 18 button Stagi.  I really like those cheaper plastic buttons because they are (apparently) hollow.  They absorb the vibrations of hitting the notes more than the Delrin (solid?) ones do.  

 

I am one who has problems with very sore fingers at times, so maybe I notice this difference more.  

 

Of course, The Bastari is  a much cheaper concertina, but I choose to play it sometimes because the buttons will take the vibrations and not my fingers.   I guess if you want the very best action you'd go with the solid buttons but....glad I have both to choose from.

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How old are your Morse concertinas? 

 

The Button Box told me that my 5 year old Beaumont has an action that they have changed on newer models.  They offered to retrofit the new action for me for about $300. 

 

If your boxes have the old action then it might be worth giving the Button Box a call.

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Hmm, I'll find out about that, whether or not I'd decide to do it.

 

My Albion treble EC is an oldie, I think it was 2002 when I got it (number 108 I think?). The Geordie baritone is much newer... time flies and memory fails, don't have the papers in front of me but I guess it's about....5 years old (?).   Number 1039.  

 

At this point, I never play for a long period of time anyway, so if my fingers are in pain I can always practice with the Bastari and then switch to the other buttons.

 

I have some thin, natural silk glove liners and they help ease the impact on the fingers and aren't too bulky. It's a little annoying to wear them but it works!

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, bellowbelle said:

BUT....those Delrin buttons...hmm... I know they are probably the best choice for getting the best action, but I also have a Bastari 48 button English and an 18 button Stagi.  I really like those cheaper plastic buttons because they are (apparently) hollow.  They absorb the vibrations of hitting the notes more than the Delrin (solid?) ones do.  

 

Are the Stagi and Morse buttons the same diameter and shape? I find larger diameter buttons with a gently rounded top are quite a bit more comfortable than the 3/16" buttons with flat tops that many vintage instruments have.

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I noticed that the bottoms of the button holes in the action board of my Beaumont have a little disk of thin leather at the bottom, presumably to absorb the force of button bottoming out. 

 

I was surprised that it was not felt and wondered if the upgrade would replace these leather disks with felt disks.  I must ask the BB about this as I could do that myself.

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