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Question on Reeds When Looking to Upgrade

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Hi everyone,


I'm finally looking to upgrade my Mcneela Wren after a couple of years of playing on it. I'd really like to invest in something for the long haul, but even after doing some research I'm a little confused on what constitutes "hybrid" reeds from traditional concertina reeds.


My current understanding is that hybrid concertinas use accordion reeds rather than traditional concertina reeds Do the sellers that offer "tipo a mano" mean that these are made in the traditional way? For instance, I see the Morse Ceili recommended quite a bit - is this still a hybrid concertina? If not, are there any makers that still offer reeds in the traditional way, or is this exclusive to vintage concertinas from makers like Lachenal?


Thank you!


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Hybrid does indeed mean a concertina made with accordion reeds.


Tipo a Mano is a sort of accordion reed. It means it is a machine made hand finished reed. Morse concertinas are indeed what would be called a hybrid instrument. Anything advertised with tipo a mano is a hybrid concertina.


There are a number of people still making concertinas with traditional concertina reeds, you can see a list of them in this permanent thread here: 

 Whatever you go with, enjoy the music!

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Yep, agree with Jake. Music is more important. I know a guy who gets great music out of any instrument. Must be his soul doing that.



My personal experience sofar: My heritage Edgley sounds quite better and less brittle or harsh,

than my G/D Edgley with hybrid reeds.

I had a Harry Crabb English for over 40 years, handmade reeds, great sound too.


Drawback seems a bit that my heritage Edgley seems heavier, and therefor feels a bit lazy in response compared to a Hybrid. Maybe not so with other brands? 


I prefer traditional reeds for sound however, but for fast playing and a more penetrating gig-rig  in a battle with banjos i would choose a Hybrid. Especially the higher ranged reeds seem quite louder. To get that loudness with traditional reeds it seems it needs more pressure. IMO that is !


PS bought a hybrid Seth Hamon wheatstone system but i am already used to jeffries layout.  

It's a real light weight & fast player, very responsive, but i am into selling it instead of a planned conversion for now. (See another post).

Needs wood chopping to get that right and i rather not mess with a perfectly made instrument.

So i am out shopping for a jeffries system hybrid for gigging now. 


Hamon's instruments are definitely a step up from the far cheaper McNeela instruments.

Guess Jake makes good stuff too, as some others do.


PS i'd certainly prefer a 7 fold bellows, especially when you're into chording, for a little extra air reserve.


Edited by fiddler2007
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Jake and Fiddler -


Thank you both! This is exactly what I needed to get me started on the right path - I'll take into consideration what was said about being able to cut through the group sound when playing in a session as well.


I'll let you know what I end up going with once I've made a decision.


Thank again!

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PS the more expensive reeds like Voci tip a mano are made more precise than the cheaper reeds.

Reeds are fitted precisely in the reedplate slots, thus more air efficient and the instruments are less asthmatic and faster responding than the cheaper brands.

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