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Accordion reed profile and its affect on hybrid concertina dynamics/sound?


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My current concertina is equipped with some tipo a mano reeds (the brand of which I cannot detect) and I've had accordions with such reeds in the past as well and the sound and playing quality has always been very pleasant, but lately I've been curious about how potentially higher quality or varied profile reeds might affect the tone of my concertina, should I want to swap them out. 

 

I recalled seeing concertina reeds in the past that had a somewhat 'rounded' (the edges seem to be curved a bit) profile so I'd started looking into that and noticed that Salpa make A Mano reeds with flat OR rounded (Bombata) tongues. They also have brass reed plates.

 

Would such a reed, a brass plate and rounded tongue, or just a rounded tongue alone, provide a slightly more concertina reed-like sound perhaps? And though I think that's probably unlikely, I do wonder what folks experience with such reeds has been.

 

Have these been used in Hybrids before? 

 

Is the response faster or harmonic quality greater? 

 

Thoughts?

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There is a difference between A Mano and Tipo a Mano reeds in the way they are made, although I am of the opinion that who the reedmaker is makes the makes the biggest difference. With the maker I get reeds from both types are excellent, in tone and response, although I make 95% of my hybrid instruments with A Mano. Tipo a Mano is supposed to mean "hand finished" and A Mano is supposed to mean "hand-Made., according to what I have been led to believe. I don't think the model of accordion reed will get you closer to the "concertina sound," whatever that is. Different concertinas made by different makers, over time, sound differently. An Eglish system instrument sounds quite a bit differently compared to an anglo. A Jeffries anglo sounds different that a Wheatstone or Lachenal. As for quality, again this depends on the maker. I have seen Lachenal anglos with tolerances so wide you could drive a truck through, and some (usually the better models) with very good reeds. Modern Italian and Czech reeds are made as well or better than the reeds of most high end antique instruments. The sound  of the various concertinas depends partly on the reeds, but also the design of the reed pans etc. etc.

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I haven't explored this make of reed you are mentioning but I have a warning to make: You have to be a bit careful with taking the accordion reeds out and replacing with other ones - they may be actually a quite different size and not fit into your reed pan. You should be able to get some sort of drawing from the manufacturer to compare. I know that is not really what you were asking about but its something that the accordion reed maker I used to buy from warned me about. (Their Tipo a mano and a mano were actually scaled differently and the plate was a different size, that manufacturer was Voci armoniche)

 

Also un-related but I am interested: you mention the reeds are by salpa - I understood that Salpa no longer exists, it merged with Antonelli to become Voci Armoniche. Are those reeds old stock perhaps? Or do salpa continue a small arm of their own brand, I have seen businesses do this sometimes when bought out or merged.

Edited by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe
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