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Wheatstone v Jeffries and how many buttons?


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1 hour ago, seanc said:

I realize this may be borderline heresy..

 

but, if the focus is classical. Would an English or Duet maybe be a better long term fit?


 

not at all saying it can not be done on an Anglo.


But, having a fully chromatic instrument, relatively agnostic regarding key and not having to plan out a note on a push /pull be a little better fit?

I have spent a life in twisted mental pursuits, like higher dimensional logic. What appears consistent and logical in 4D becomes confused and irrational in 3D. What we find beautiful in nature is the result of just such a distortion. In the same way, the conceptual even musical scale becomes wonderfully distorted when expressed in the form of an Anglo concertina. Now when I hear an English or Duet, to me they sound too even, flowing too smoothly, whereas the Anglo is more like a gushing river breaking over rocks, which, to me gives it life and vitality 🙂 I am not expecting to be able to play everything on the Anglo, but I am certainly intrigued to see how far I can take it. Every instrument has its own limitations, not every instrument can play every piece of music. I play a concert harp, and there are things I can do that a piano cannot, but then there are things you can do on a piano that a harp cannot, and relatively limited though it is, there are some things you can do with a concertina that cannot be done on either a harp or a piano. Variety is the spice... 🙂

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On 5/2/2022 at 2:49 AM, adrian brown said:

Another consideration is that while Jeffries Anglos were made in many different keys, the 40 button Wheatstones are mostly found in CG - I don't think I have ever seen one in say FC, although I guess they must exist?

 

This stood out to me as a really weird observation, but when I went looking in various places (Barleycorn, etc) for vintage instruments, it seems accurate. Though some contemporary makers will do a Wheatstone layout in almost any tuning you can think of, including FC.

 

I note that @wim wakker's 40-button anglos are octagonal. Might it be that the longer reeds necessary for lower tunings are difficult to cram into a standard-size hexagonal box? I know when I spoke to @Jake Middleton-Metcalfe about 40 button systems, he indicated that it wouldn't be feasible to make one lower than CG.

 

Regardless, like the OP and several others on this thread, I thirst for more buttons, and having gotten started on a 30b Wheatstone, the 40b system looks like the way to go. Or, perhaps some sort of customized mostly-Wheatstone 38b system, meaning I need to try to figure out which two buttons I can get by without.

 

For those interested, I've been experimenting with such layouts here to get a sense of the tradeoffs (so far, inconclusive): https://anglopiano.com/#layout=gd-wheatstone-40

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5 hours ago, Luke Hillman said:

I note that @wim wakker's 40-button anglos are octagonal. Might it be that the longer reeds necessary for lower tunings are difficult to cram into a standard-size hexagonal box? I know when I spoke to @Jake Middleton-Metcalfe about 40 button systems, he indicated that it wouldn't be feasible to make one lower than CG.

 

A regular octagon is slightly smaller than a regular hexagon with the same width across the flats.

 

I have made a 38 button Jeffries-layout G/D with long scale reeds and parallel chamber reed pans in a 6 1/4" wide hexagon. It plays faster and with more pitch stability than a typical vintage G/D because they usually have shorter, heavily weighted bass reeds and shorter chambers. I suspect I could have got it down to F/C with some slight compromises at the low end. There was no space for an extra button on the left hand on that one, but it might just have been possible to squeeze in two more on the right. If a future customer asked for a 40 button F/C, I would probably suggest going a bit bigger, maybe 6 1/2" wide.

https://www.holdenconcertinas.com/?p=1664

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My 40 button Wheatstone/Dickinson G-D is heaxgonal, 6 1/4" across the flats, but has the compromise of a weight on the end of the bottom G reed, which is a little sluggish. I have four 40 button Anglos that are larger and I don't really see any great disadvantage in the larger size. Yes, more wood means a bit more weight, but I think the larger reed frames make more difference to the weight.

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On 5/2/2022 at 10:49 AM, adrian brown said:

I would agree with everything LazyNetter says above and will just add the following comment about the 30 button layouts. Having adapted many of my arrangements for the Wheatstone 30 button layout in my book, A Garden of Dainty Delights, I found the biggest problem was the lack of a high draw d. This complicated the fingering considerably and meant a less than ideal LH accompaniment in many of the pieces. However the flexibility 38, or 40 buttons will give you is really worth the investment if you want to play legato passages, or impose your own press/draw sequences to give certain rhythmical emphasis. 

 

Another consideration is that while Jeffries Anglos were made in many different keys, the 40 button Wheatstones are mostly found in CG - I don't think I have ever seen one in say FC, although I guess they must exist? What I want to point out is that if you think you might like to play the deeper sounding Anglos one day, and not have to change fingering, it might be worth starting with the Jeffries system.

I hope this helps,

 

Adrian

I was just really enjoying a youtube channel, when I realised it was yours. Thank you ❤️

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On 5/6/2022 at 8:29 AM, alex_holden said:

 

A regular octagon is slightly smaller than a regular hexagon with the same width across the flats.

 

I have made a 38 button Jeffries-layout G/D with long scale reeds and parallel chamber reed pans in a 6 1/4" wide hexagon. It plays faster and with more pitch stability than a typical vintage G/D because they usually have shorter, heavily weighted bass reeds and shorter chambers. I suspect I could have got it down to F/C with some slight compromises at the low end. There was no space for an extra button on the left hand on that one, but it might just have been possible to squeeze in two more on the right. If a future customer asked for a 40 button F/C, I would probably suggest going a bit bigger, maybe 6 1/2" wide.

https://www.holdenconcertinas.com/?p=1664

I should add that my 38 button FC Jeffries is a bit larger than the standard anglos - I measured it as 6 3/8"AF, but perhaps that counts as 6 1/2" given that the standard version is a bit smaller than 6 1/4"?

 

Adrian

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