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David Hornett

Tassie Tiger Huon Pine / King Billy Pine Sampler

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Re my previous discussion concerning differing woods imparting a different tone.

 

I have completed the 5/12 concertina with the King Billy Pine reed board, so now can compare with the Huon Pine. In all regards, other than the reed boards, the instruments are identical in size, construction and materials.

 

There is a difference in the sound, although hard to detect on a recording.

 

The King Billy pine is an exceptionally soft wood, the Huon Pine is about the density of Macrocarpa Pine. As a player, a subtle difference is: the King Billy, especially in the mid range and up the treble -- the sound is softened compared to the Huon. I have left a sampler on Sound Cloud:

 

Tassie Tiger Huon Pine / King Billy Pine sampler

 

 

As said, the difference is small, my son says about both instruments, "They both sound just like concertinas to me". The Better Half declares the softer King Billy is the more pleasant instrument, "Mellow and not as strident in the higher register." I on the other hand have to be bending over the instruments to note the difference, unfortunately my iPad mic is possibly not sensitive to due justice to tonality. The recording has been made in the kitchen with all effects turned off.

 

The Sound Cloud recording starts with the Huon Pine instrument, in the second section of the track, just before i play individual note on both instruments it is king Bill, followed by individual notes.

 

Please accept apologies for my poor musician skills.

 

David

Edited by David Hornett

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Thanks David, that's very interesting. Are the reed chamber walls the same material as the pan board? What about the action board?

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Alex,

 

In everything the instruments are identical, with the exception of the reed pans. I cut out all components for 4 instruments at once and made, as far as is possible by hand and eye, 4 complete sets of reeds over two weeks. I have two sets left to assemble, but because of the way King Billy 'strings', rather than chips with a router, when cut, I think I may go back to Huon Pine. The King Billy reed pan saved 56 grams in weight between the instruments, so you can get an idea how light the wood is.

 

In these instruments the chamber walls are King Billy, the pad board King Billy, the action seat Huon Pine, because the King Billy is too soft for the pivot posts; the end plates, Banksia (a heavier wood) and the frame Huon Pine, with the buttons coastal Casuarina (Tasmanian She Oak, the hardest wood known). Bellows Kangaroo Skin. The latest 31 button instrument weighs 1.058 kgs.

 

David

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