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Squeakers and Whistles


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Some old concertinas are fitted with comedy squeakers and whistles ,normally one on the push and one on the pull.

Although these are interesting and amusing my preference has been to replace them with reeds. The sound quality is not as good as a dovetail fitted reed ,but the extra reed is far more useful than a rarely used comedy accessory.

Is this your preference ?

Al

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     Having no use for squeekers or whistles, I had someone re-purpose the 2 additional LH side buttons on a couple of 34-button C/G Jones instruments. The re-working isn't cheap, nor something I'd ever attempt to do myself, since takes some very fine woodworking, re-carving of the centre hole thro' which air flows. Result: the very useful additional 4 notes gained thereby makes a huge difference to playing and the tunes I tackle -- easy playing in keys of F, D minor, G minor.

     My approach was to put squeeze Bb/pull E on one, and squeeze F#/pull C# on t'other.

What I gain thereby (on squeeze) is a really nice Gminor ; C7 and a C# + F# combination that allows for nice pairing of 3rds up & down a D scale. If you want, I can send you a note schematic/layout.

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Hi Alan

Long time no see!

I've got a 34 button Jones that I'm slowly rebuilding and there are some reeds missing.

I gather there should be at least one button dedicated to comedy squeaks or whistles and I'd hope to restore it as such.

If there are no manufacturers that currently make these effects, I presume there'd be dozens of people with a discarded whistle in the spares bin.

 

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3 hours ago, Squeaky Pete said:

I've got a 34 button Jones that I'm slowly rebuilding and there are some reeds missing.

I gather there should be at least one button dedicated to comedy squeaks or whistles and I'd hope to restore it as such.

If there are no manufacturers that currently make these effects, I presume there'd be dozens of people with a discarded whistle in the spares bin.

 

The whistle is very simple - it's like two small metal discs with a small hole in the middle, mounted a short distance apart. Some whistling kettles work on the same principle. The squeaker is basically the same as what you get in a dog toy, except the antique ones were made of tinplate or brass rather than moulded plastic.

 

The novelty sound generators are generally pretty small and there may not be enough space on the reed pan to enlarge the chamber and replace them with a pair of reeds.

Edited by alex_holden
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I have a 61 button MacCann Edeophone. When I had it restored (by Greg Jowaisas) I opted to keep the original squawk and whistle. Because large duets were often played by professionals, I like to think of the original owner/player maybe using these sound effects in the British Music Halls, or on the Vaudeville stage in the USA. Many of those comedic entertainers were highly skilled concertinists. 

However, I can understand why it might benefit an Anglo, for modern use, to add extra notes if possible when the buttons are already there.

 

Just think! Concertinas with squawks bells whistles frog croaks etc  were perhaps the first analog synthesizers.  best wishes, Robert.

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Chamber space was a factor in Robert retaining the novelty sounds on his duet.  (Not enough room for desirable lower pitched reed replacements)

 

I have a fancy metal end Lachenal with a "duck call".  It consists of a 2 inch long tube which extends into the bellows cavity.  Startling and good for a laugh or guffaw.

 

Greg

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On 8/7/2021 at 5:29 PM, Squeaky Pete said:

Hi Alan

Long time no see!

I've got a 34 button Jones that I'm slowly rebuilding and there are some reeds missing.

I gather there should be at least one button dedicated to comedy squeaks or whistles and I'd hope to restore it as such.

If there are no manufacturers that currently make these effects, I presume there'd be dozens of people with a discarded whistle in the spares bin.

 

My experience with building one of these was the old squeaks and whistles were not wonderful. I did wonder if it was because the chambers were too small. I exchanged the old squeaker (think it was from a Lachenal) I first used with one from a modern dog toy and it was much louder. 

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10 hours ago, Jake Middleton-Metcalfe said:

I was always tempted to try and put an acme siren whistle in a concertina. I don't know if anyone is mad enough to want that though. For those not familiar this is what they sound like: 

 

Cool idea. When I was a kid I had a cheap toy that made the same sort of sound (probably drove my parents crazy with it).

 

Has anyone built one with a button-operated bell inside? Or maybe a percussive "clapper"?

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