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Hayden Duet


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Hello fellow concertina enthusiasts. This is my first posting although I have been involved with concertinas for 40+ years!

Having attempted to play most of the common systems with varying degrees of success, I am looking for a Hayden Duet instrument.

I do realise that they are quite rare, but this website reaches almost everywhere, so I can be a little hopeful :-)

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Depending on your budget and dedication, you have three options available:

- starter Elise from Concertina Connection at 425$: 34 button, limited instrument, but perfectly capable of learning all of the Hayden techniques on it. And it can be traded in for a discount when upgrading to either of two of the following:

- Concertina Connection Peacock at 2900$: 42 "almost standard" instrument. Not perfect because of those missing 4 buttons, but the cheapest, fully usable instrument.

- Morse Beaumont at 3950$: 52 button instrument, the highest range available "off the shelf" with some very good opinions on the build, tone and action.

All of the above are hybrid concertinas, with Peacock being the only one with flat mounted reeds (Beaumont has a mix of both reedblocks and flat mounted reeds).


For the cheapest, traditionally reeded instrument you have to pay almost 6k$ and wait 6 years...

You could also contact Bob Tedrow and ask him if he's willing to build one, he has done it before.


There is a very little chance for finding something larger/older/more traditional second-hand, there were only few offers of used Peacocks recently.

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Hello TJ, I own a Elise and a Beaumont, and have or have owned a Herrington hybrid Anglo, Jones vintage Anglo, and Lachenal vintage Crane Duet. So I'm no expert but have a little basis of comparison.


The Beaumont is a lovely item, very well finished, great smooth action, and surprisingly light and agile for a big box. From what I've seen it follows the same pattern as all the other Morse/Buttonbox instruments, so whatever you read of reviews of those broadly applies. Morse's design simplifies some of the skeleton, making his boxes very light, which I find great.


So far as tone, I've played my Beaumont next to my Lachenal Crane, and I do concede that next to each other, you can tell the difference between the true/vintage concert reeds and the modern hybrids. That said, the hybrids to me don't so much sound "accordion" (particularly since they're just single reeds, and a lot of what folks find "accordion" is multiple wet-tuned reeds). The Beaumont sounds somewhat more "organ"-like to me, which I'm actually fine with since I somewhat got into concertina since it's more compact than a harmonium.


Even if you can't lay hands on a Beaumont in your area, assuredly someone around there has a Ceili/Geordie/Albion by Morse that you could lay hands on and see how you like the feel, build, tone. And that broadly extrapolates to their Beaumont Hayden model.

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No worries. As you're an experienced player, you'd almost certainly find the Elise too clunky, as it's a beginner's box. So really for you it's a Beaumont, Peacock, or buying a new or used high-end. Really the only guy reliably making high-end Haydens is Wim Wakker, and his waitlist is around 2 years or so. And a used Wakker Hayden pops up on this forum maybe every other year, so not a lot of traffic in those. And a used Wheatstone or Dipper Hayden would also be extremely rare.


I haven't played the Peacock ever, and don't know how many people here have played one side-by-side with a Beaumont. My vague understanding is the Peacock might sound slightly more concertina-like in having that piercing quality, is a good bit less expensive than a Beaumont, but the build quality isn't as refined. Bob Tedrow has occasionally built Haydens too, but they don't seem to get the great reviews that his Anglos get, and are more a one-off project for him.

Edited by MatthewVanitas
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[[[My vague understanding is the Peacock might sound slightly more concertina-like in having that piercing quality]]] The Peacock comes standard with a higher grade of reeds known in accordion-land as "hand-finished," and also known as "hand-type", aka "tipo a mano,' aka, TAM (as opposed to true "a mano" accordion reeds, which I've never encountered in a concertina). In general (though not always 100%), TAM reeds are brighter than "factory" reeds of the type which come standard in the Morse instruments. This could account for your impression that the Peacock has more of "that piercing quality." Many hybrid instruments ARE made with "hand-type" TAM reeds, and DO have that quality. Morse instruments come standard with factory reeds, which in general (not 100% always) are less bright and "piercing" in personality.


"Factory" accordion reeds themselves come in sub-grades, and Morse uses the best factory grade, often called "Super Durall." They have a very nice sound IMHO, but it is less bright, with less "cut" than the TAM sound. Mind you, some people prefer Morses precisely because their standard reeds are less squawky; Not everyone likes the sound of the high notes on TAM boxes. I like squawky and bright in a folk instrument myself, but the standard Morse reeds do sound very nice in their way. If you've ever heard the Castagnari Lilly, a single-reed, one-voice bisonoric accordion that sounds like a big hybrid concertina, that might give you a taste of the bright TAM sound. The Lilly comes with TAM reeds and has that "piercing" tone.


BTW, Morse has recently begun offering a very reasonably priced upgrade option for TAM reeds on I believe all models now. I think at first it was only for the Geordies and the Beaumont, but I think you can now get it for all of them. I have a TAM Morse Geordie Tenor, and am musing a TAM Baritone Albion EC. In addition to their brighter tone personality, TAM reeds respond somewhat faster and more easily, and that is very, very nice to have in a concertina. I don't understand the reasons for this, but cut down for concertinas, even the very top-grade, premium accordion reeds do not respond as fast and easily as good concertina reeds. So, one wants to optimize as much as possible, is my view.

Edited by ceemonster
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It's actually a Wheatsone Maccann with a Crabb label on the case - here's a link.


Do you mean the rather nice looking Crabb? I think that is a Maccann.


If there is a Wheatstone Hayden duet up on eBay then please post a link.


The seller tells me that the serial number is 29632 which, I think, dates it to about 1922/3. Top period Aeola.

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Thank you to everyone who has posted.

I have received much advice and assistance from the members of this community and it is greatly appreciated.

I have managed to purchase a WH1 Wakker instrument and when it arrives, all I have to do is learn to play it!

I may, in the near future, have a 55 key Crane Duet to sell, should things go to plan, watch this space.

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I can remember you Tim from the days of the original Yorkshire Concertina Club that met in Leeds.You may recollect we organised a Concertina Convention in Pontefract in 1976 where Harry,Neville & Geoff Crabb attended.I am in regular contact with Geoff and see him at least once a year.He regularly posts on this site.

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