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"accordion" Reeds Vs. "concertina" Reeds


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I loved the tone of my Albion from the start. It was pretty loud and I remember it being almost too much after playing for a while in my small practise room. It must have mellowed (or perhaps my ears have?) because I never feel that way anymore. I can play it longer than any other concertina I've owned and never get tired of the tone or have my hands-thumbs-wrists get sore. I'm trying to like my New Model more than the Albion but it's not happening. I tried to mostly play the New Model for a week or so; and now I'm back to playing the Albion most of the time. For whatever reasons, I just find it more enjoyable to play.

When I first played it I thought it had a reedy tone but perhaps that's not it. It must just have more harmonics than a vintage. It's certainly less pure sounding. Mine is #77 and after several years it still plays & looks perfect. I've never had to open it up except to satisfy my curiousity.

Perhaps sometime in the future I'll sell the New Model and get a baritone Albion. Does anyone with a baritone Albion miss the upper range? I don't miss it at all on my treble Albion. There have been just a few times where I could have used one more note but the d is usually as high as I ever need.

bruce boysen

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In general I am a fan of baffles and have fitted them to vintage concertinas as well as hybrids, but they are definitely worth it for hybrids. I would like to suggest that Rich and the other makers consider supplying them as an optional extra.

 

Chris

My Tedrow aeola model has cloth baffles fitted, as shown on Bob's aeola web page. Since I got mine second-hand, I don't know whether they were an option or standard. I love the tone.

 

Tim

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There are many design features affecting tone, has anyone asked Tom about the comparability between the two instruments, steel ended? baffled (thats me); raised ends? type of wood? openess of the fretting? material used for baffles if fitted (leather, wood, pasteboard)? To name but a few obvious features that are discernable without opening up the instruments.

 

To be truly brave, we can then get into chamber depth and design, ...................

Given the interest todate, I hope Tom has a new battery in his venier caliper!

 

As to 'vintage' v 'hybrid', and the advances being made; I think a change in terminology is now well overdue. I suggest:

 

Vintage: Old, in car terms pre-1930's I think is the definition

 

Hybrid: Uses accordion reeds in a concertina chassis, irrespective of age

 

Classic: Uses 'concertina' reeds, or reeds with the design features of the original concertinas, irrespective of age.

 

Thus say, Colin Dipper, makes brand new 'classic' concertinas, not brand new 'vintage' concertinas.

 

 

Dave

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I am not sure classic is the best term for the new ones either. It suggests, at least to me (and maybe only me) that the modern instruments are constructed in more or less the same manner as vintage instruments. While that is true in some cases, in others there is some real innovation going on (I know Colin Dipper has made some innovations). Not sure what the best term is... Not sure there is a best term.

 

--

Bill

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I am not sure classic is the best term for the new ones either... Not sure what the best term is... Not sure there is a best term.

Personally, I would prefer to say they are of "traditional" design, something which has been evolving since about 1834 but is still essentially the same.

 

In car terms "vintage" and "classic" have the following specific meanings :

 

Vintage - Cars manufactured from the beginning of 1919 up to the end of 1930.

Classic - Cars tend to be at least fifteen years old.

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I have being using the word 'classic' because its less of a mouthful, and because its often coupled with the word 'design'.

 

I think we need a term which is a clear alternative to the term 'hybrid' relating to a design feature but does not implying a level of antiquity. I had forgotton the classic car connotation that Stephen pointed out.

 

For the older concertinas the word 'vintage' has been accepted and it works very well, the alternative presumably being 'modern'.

 

I think it would be helpful to c-netters to have an alternative term to 'hybrid', for the original reed design form, any other ideas?

 

Dave

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For the older concertinas the word 'vintage' has been accepted and it works very well, the alternative presumably being 'modern'.

Dave

I am very much in favor of the term "modern", covering concertina's made today by craftsmen like Morse, Geuns, Norman, Marcus, Edgley, Tedrow, etc.

I never liked the word "hybrid".

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To what extent would we want the terminology we come up with here to be relevant at any later time than the present? I would think using words like "modern" is a bit shortsighted. The architectural historians are now well past "postmodern." Do we really want to go down that path? How soon will it be before something newer than the hybrids comes along and we need to differentiate what "they" were doing at the turn of the millennium and what came after?

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Recently, recovering from a disc op on my back and dying to get back to some concertina, I picked up from first choice the Albion treble, 6 fold bellows and no leaks, light and easy to play standing upright. As I gradually resumed the familiar tunes I realised that the 'rattly' harmonic seemed absent, the top C was perfect, the tone sounded much better, and further the volume seemed to have increased too.

Though I'm not aware of any formal research to confirm my speculation, it seems possible to me that in a system experiencing stresses of improper adjustment, the stressing forces may tend to "push" the system into better adjustment.

 

Come to think of it, isn't that the principle behind grinding "perfect" optical lenses?

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I think we need a term which is a clear alternative to the term 'hybrid' relating to a design feature but does not implying a level of antiquity.

I think that "hybrid" is a good term for those concertinas designed/constructed predominantly along vintage lines but with accordion reeds. This seems to be pretty clear to folks and accepted. I don't see where the term "hybrid" implies age. Terms should be clear toward meaning at any time in history - "hybrid" works just as well now as it will 100 years from now.

Dictionary.com defines "hybrid" (amongst other things) as

 

1. The offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock

2. Something of mixed origin or composition

 

So this is consistent.

 

I think it would be helpful to c-netters to have an alternative term to 'hybrid', for the original reed design form, any other ideas?

I think that having such a term would be very good too. Vintage seems solid and well established here. Concertinas made in this current time, in the vintage style, could be referred to as "modern", but modern means anything that is currently being done, which would include hybrids, Stagis, etc. Very confusing (as David points out).

 

Vintage-like seems to say that they are

similar to but NOT as vintage ones. But some of those makers make them for all intensiveness to be identical to vintage ones.

 

I think "classic" is good and its definition is sound for our purposes:

1. Adhering or conforming to established standards and principles...

2. Of a well-known type...

 

There may be better words that "classic" though I can't come up with any at the moment... maybe "archetypal" but while that may technically seem correct, sounds pretty cumbersome to me. Other suggestions?

 

There are a lot of "classics" out there: cars, music, clothing, jokes, mistakes, movements... and they are fairly well defined.

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>The terminology I have been using is "vintage" and vintage-type".

I LIKE your "vintage-type" terminology. Very clear.

 

So I wonder where my instrument fits in:  old Lachenal box and reeds, new Dipper mechanism. A new vintage instrument?

Sounds like restored, souped up vintage concertina to me... Lachenal on steroids!

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for preference I would prefer a term for the orginal reed form that does not use the word 'vintage' in it, simply because to the unfamiliar it will imply a level of antiquity which is not true for a modern instrument.

 

What about something like 'single-frame' or 'single-vented'?

 

Dave

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I am very much in favor of the term "modern", covering concertina's made today by craftsmen like Morse, Geuns, Norman, Marcus, Edgley, Tedrow, etc.

But the concept of using accordion reeds in a concertina with English mechanism and leather bellows is already more than 50 years old, going back to Wheatstone's "May Fair" models.

 

Many people today would regard that as "Antique" ! :huh:

 

So I wonder where my instrument fits in:  old Lachenal box and reeds, new Dipper mechanism. A new vintage instrument?

Sounds like restored, souped up vintage concertina to me... Lachenal on steroids!

"Hot-rodded" maybe ? B)

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Stephen,

 

I suggested the term 'modern' to refer to concertinas that are of current manufacture, not to describe reed form or materials used, that is modern as in not old.

Hi Dave,

 

Yes, but I was replying to, and quoting Henk's use of the term, which he qualified by following it with a list of makers of such "hybrid" concertinas. If he had mentioned any makers of modern "traditional concertinas" (still my preferred term) such as Bayne, Connor, Dickinson, Dipper or Suttner, I would have taken his meaning differently.

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