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Clare concertinas - brass accordion reeds?


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 A few years back I had a lovely Tedrow 30 button Anglo concertina but had to sell it as I was lightening the load and raising funds for a transatlantic move back home to Ireland.  Now that the move has happened I'm hoping to have enough money to replace it in a couple months time - I'm going to keep me eyes peeled for something second hand, but was also checking out the Irish Concertina Company website - I noticed that they previously listed their Walnut Clare model as having "professional accordion reeds" and their Cherry wood Clare as having "brass accordion reeds", but now there's a note saying that as of 2021 all Clare models will be built with brass accordion reeds - would that steer you away from a new Clare model or would it be much of a muchness in a hybrid Anglo? 

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I have been under the possible misunderstanding that at least in vintage boxes that brass have a “warmer” and softer volume over all. And steel was always reccomended. Unless you specially wanted “that sound”.

 

modern production? No clue.

 

it may be worth asking the maker why they are doing that. And what are the plus/ minuses. And if they would recommend a new brass, or find a used steel model.

 

it would be cool if you get this info to let us all know. Maybe this is a new thing? And cutting edge.
 

Or, it could be completely a sub optimal cost saving measure.

to keep a price point of the old model by cutting corners.

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53 minutes ago, Stephen Chambers said:

What I think they mean is that they're using steel reeds on brass plates, but their way of describing things can be very confusing...

Agreed.

 

or it could be they are intentionally angling for a more vintage tone. Brass reeds.

 

it would seem odd that they would opt for a solution steel reed brass plates. That many would really not see as optimal. Also adding weight. 

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13 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

What I think they mean is that they're using steel reeds on brass plates, but their way of describing things can be very confusing...

Ah, ok - I messaged them via their website asking what the reason for the switch was, so hopefully will hear back from them soon!

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21 hours ago, seanc said:

... it could be they are intentionally angling for a more vintage tone. Brass reeds.

 

 

Nobody in Irish music circles today plays, or will buy, a concertina with brass reeds, which were made in the past for ease of manufacture and cheapness.

 

Quote

it would seem odd that they would opt for a solution steel reed brass plates. That many would really not see as optimal. Also adding weight. 

 

Steel reeds screwed onto brass shoes are what were used in all the good vintage Anglo concertinas, and steel reeds on brass plates are used in the most expensive of accordions made today.

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I’m 100% positive, that they mean brass plate, steel tongue, and probably mean DIX range of reeds by Harmonikas.cz. The reason is very different tone, way closer to traditional concertina reeds, than standard accordion aluminium plate reeds. In last years harmonikas.cz extended their DIX range towards concertina world and now offer three grades of reeds suited for concertinas - fully traditional with straight screwed tongue; semitraditional with standard accordion shaped tongue on concertina shaped shoe; and their brass plated twin tongue accordion reeds. I have those reeds in my Hayden and they sound lovely. They have way more depth to their tone than standard accordion reeds.

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Heard back from The Irish Concertina Company - though the website states that the Clare is being made now with brass accordion reeds, when ordering one you still have the option to choose the professional accordion reeds from Italy. Didn't clarify whether "brass" refers to the plates or to the reeds themselves (which I asked about).

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Hello, I asked them a few months ago...

Here is the answer

"Going back 7 years we used brass reeds in our Clare concertina but gave up after a while because of the weight of oversized reeds. We now have a maker of reeds to make reeds to our Spec and size is similar to the higher end Concertina reeds. Only thing is they are still accordion double sided reeds and they do have a higher pitch 
but you could not compare with the Vintage (model) etc
.".

 

I also asked about the sound (if mellower and all...) but  didn't anser that (or I asked for a sound sample but he didn't have any). Modern brass reeds is intriguing ! I would love to hear one.

 

Hope it helps,

Nicolas

 

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I don't for one moment believe that they're using brass reeds because they're using bought-in reeds, not making their own, and no brass reeds (suitable for use in Anglo concertinas) have been manufactured since Lachenal's closed down in 1933.

 

Unfortunately they seem not to know how to properly describe what they are working with/making, and they're (very evidently from this thread) therefore causing great confusion amongst potential customers.

 

The only brass reeds being manufactured today are those for harmonicas/mouth organs, and toy instruments.

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