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Richard Morse

Concertina Choice

What concertina would you choose if you could have only one and it would be presented free to you?  

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I agree that an open market segment waiting for someone to jump into it is a 36 or 38 key hybrid anglo.  Rich M. perhaps you can fit those reeds from the Albion in there?

Now that's a thought! I don't see any problems producing such an instrument as we already get 37 reeds into our Albion English, our design, tooling, reeding, action, etc. is well developed and available.... Though maybe we could only do 36 keys in C/G as the G/D reeds are so much larger they hardly all fit in the bass side as it is now.

 

I'll talk to Doug and Bob about it today. Certainly coming out with a 36-key anglo will be a walk in the park compared to developing our Hayden (not that an aside into a 36-key anglo will stop our Hayden project!).

 

So, how many of you would be enticed to add a 36-key to your stable?

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Hmmmnn. I voted before I saw the note that modern built concertina reeded instruments should be considered vintage.

 

Since I play a very custom layout, I wouldn't pick any of the true vintage instruments, everything I get has to be new, much to the despair of my bank account...

 

--Dave

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46 keys?  Thats almost obscene :)

If you're refering to my 46-key Hayden, that's the "standard" number of keys for that basic duet model. Nothing obscene or extravagant at all!

Richard, not reffering to Duets or Englishes.. you guys are hopeless anyway :). But Stuart mentioned something about a 46 key in C/G; I assume since he mentioned a tuning he meant an Anglo.

 

--

Bill

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So, how many of you would be enticed to add a 36-key to your stable?

I'd love a thirty-two or -three button Morse G/D, all the extra buttons being on the right hand. I only use a few of the extra buttons on my 45-button Jeffries, and that would enable me to have a Morse with the same significant button-layout.

 

Do you do part exchange?

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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Well a 36 key anglo would certainly entice me.. though a 38 or 40 key would be even more enticing :).

 

--

Bill

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.... have to have the sound and playability of my Jeffries G/D and the physical lightness of my Morse G/D. ......

Chris

I suppose the only downside to your Jeffries is the weight, as other than that it's a superb piece of kit. Perhaps you ought to put helium-filled air bags inside the bellows to make it lighter (be fun in a session if they burst- particularly if someone was singing).

 

I suppose top of my Wishlist would be a brand new Crabb GD 30 or 40 key - it wouldn't really matter which.

 

Pete

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Well all I can say is that anyone who thinks that a Jefferies/Wheatstone/Dipper/Suttner, etc is too heavy for them, please feel free to let me take them off your hands. Coming from the button accordion world where 7 or 8 pounds is considered rather light and 12 pounds is considered normal, I would have no trouble at all playing a 4 pound concertina :)

 

--

Bill

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Stuart, you are right, I remembered about Norman 36 key anglos after I posted.

 

Rich, I guess my interest would depend on the choice between some classic 36-key layout and getting to place some of the buttons and notes myself (e.g. a low D and F# down by the lowest notes) along with the classic duplications/reversed notes on a C/G. But the 36-40 key itch is still an under-addressed piece of the market. And you're welcome for that free advice! :)

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Stuart and Ken, the only problems with the Normans right now is that the Dollar is so week against European Currencies that the prices on European Hybrids have gone up quite a bit; at this point they are at a price point where once currency is exchanged a basic Marcus is running around $2000 and a Marcus with the best reeds is running over $2600 (I assume the same would hold true with the Normans). $2600 would buy an awful lot of concertina from Frank Edgley or Bob Tedrow and would leave one an awful lot of change on a Morse.

 

Now that I look at it, Hobgoblin is claiming to sell the Norman 30 button for $1475, though I am not sure if I believe that price is current since it means it is selling for less in U.S. dollars than in Euros (where it was in the 1500s). In any case even if Hobgoblin had a special arrangement that allowed them to offer the 30 button relatively cheaply, I doubt the same would hold true of a special ordered 36 button.

 

--

Bill

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Rich, I guess my interest would depend on the choice between some classic 36-key layout and getting to place some of the buttons and notes myself (e.g. a low D and F# down by the lowest notes) along with the classic duplications/reversed notes on a C/G.  But the 36-40 key itch is still an under-addressed piece of the market.

Well, we did bat around the extended anglo idea today.... Figured that we could get 3 more reeds in the left side if they were'n't the lowest ones, and maybe 4 more on the right side. Total of 37 if we kept to our 6 1/4" hex size, for that's what we'd do to keep the project easy.

 

Unfortunately that means that you wouldn't get a low D and F#. Doug mentioned that there were several players that really, really wanted that low D.... But probably not enough to entice us into a larger format box.

 

OTOH, we can see making a standard size 40-key anglo (with our concertina reeds) once we get the Hayden and English tenors in production. Of course they'd probably weigh a bit more than our Ceili anglos... but that's not saying much! :P

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OTOH, we can see making a standard size 40-key anglo (with our concertina reeds) once we get the Hayden and English tenors in production.

Yes, Yes!!

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OTOH, we can see making a standard size 40-key anglo (with our concertina reeds) once we get the Hayden and English tenors in production. Of course they'd probably weigh a bit more than our Ceili anglos... but that's not saying much! :P

Richard,

wait, with your cocertina reeds? Are you guys going to start making your own reeds? And what is a standard sized 40-key anyway? Is it the same size as the Hayden?

 

In any case, I would definitely be interested in a 38 or 40 :)

 

--

Bill

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Yes, we'll be making our own concertina reeds, and have been working toward that for several years now. Making them one by one is easy enough, but in the quantities we'll be dealing with we need to have things automated. Currently we're in the "refining" stage in ascertaining/adjusting the profiles for pitch and flexibility. Even this stage is taking a lot longer than I had ever imagined.

 

I've seen vintage 40-key anglos from the "standard" 6 1/4" hex to about 6 1/2". My 46-key Wheatstone Hayden is 6 1/4". Our Morse Hayden will be 58-key and 6 3/4". Early design considerations for our 48-key English tenor put that at 6 1/4" so I'm pretty sure that we can make a 40-key anglo to be 6 1/4".

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Oh my... :) So when you go to concertina reeds are you still going to use wax to hold them in place or revert to a slightly more conventional method to secure them?

 

(edited to more closely resembling a sentance written by a native English Speaker :))

 

--

Bill

Edited by bill_mchale

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Oh my... :)  So when you concertina reeds are you still going to use wax to hold them in place or revert to a slightly more conventional construction?

 

--

Bill

Actually, that's a very interesting question. To generalise it, when your concertina reeds are available for use in new concertinas, will you still be making the same design innovations as for your current instruments, will you revert to a more traditional design, or will you come up with something new?

 

Or is that touching on "commercial in confidence"? :ph34r:

 

Chris

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And will the existing line of concertinas continue as is or will they be upgraded to the new reeds (though perhaps not as I expect that will require an increase in price). Ooh.. I can see it now.. they could continue to offer their current instruments as student instruments and the concertina reeded instruments as professional level instruments. If they could put out a 30 button Anglo with real concertina reeds for say $2500 I bet they would have a real winner... Dozens of people who thought instruments with real concertina reeds would have to cost well over $3000 would suddenly find such instruments within reach. Of course I guess it all depends on how much it actually costs Richard to produce such an instrument :). Still I am holding out for the 38/40 button Anglo :).

 

Just a thought, I think this could be very interesting. In general my impression is that most of those offering concertinas with traditional reeds at least started by basing their designs off of classic Jefferies and Wheatstone designs (there are exceptions.. from what I heard Colin Dipper might be one, Dana Johnson I know has several innovations in his Kensington Concertinas). In contrast, the hybrid makers basically had to develop instruments from first principals... in some cases emulating traditional construction and in others differing considerably. In general it appears that Richard has diverged the most from traditional construction resulting in an instrument that is exceptionally light.

 

When Richard Morse starts (mass?) producing his own reeds, even if he useses a more conventional approach to securing them I bet he continues to find innovative construction techniques that will allow his instruments to retain the lightness that attracts so many here.

 

--

Bill

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Gee Bill, I'm starting to feel like an old-timer, as much of this ambition on the part of Rich and other makers has been floating around for some time. I remember hearing about it and seeing the prototype of the now-Ceili made by Dana J. back in 1998 (said prototype is actually closer to the Kensington). Of course if the search function were working better here (oh-oh, that's my problem again) you could look up several threads on this from the last year anyway (esp. on Haydens and reed-making).

 

And yes, like fretted instruments (which have had their own renaissance) you will likely continue to see innovations.

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So when you go to concertina reeds are you still going to use wax to hold them in place or revert to a slightly more conventional method to secure them?

No wax. The reed tongues will be secured with strap and screws and the assemblies are integrated into a concertina-similar reedpan. :ph34r:

when your concertina reeds are available for use in new concertinas, will you still be making the same design innovations as for your current instruments, will you revert to a more traditional design, or will you come up with something new?

A little bit of each. The action mechanisma will be the same as our current concertinas as well as the chambers being attached to the underside of the pad pan... the reeds, vents and reedpan will be similar to traditional concertinas (without the chambers attached, that is)... plus something new in the way it all goes together. One of the really nice things about the design is that it should eliminate the problem of choking and buzzy reeds due to seasonal humidity changes.

And will the existing line of concertinas continue as is or will they be upgraded to the new reeds

We expect to continue our current line of hybrids to as is (with incremental improvements from time to time).

When Richard Morse starts (mass?) producing his own reeds, even if he useses a more conventional approach to securing them I bet he continues to find innovative construction techniques that will allow his instruments to retain the lightness that attracts so many here.

We do expect our new line of concertinas to be significantly lighter than their counterpart vintage ones.

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