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Wet/celeste Tuning A Duet Concertina?

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Sorry, I'm a sucker for "wet" or "celeste" tunings in free-reed and pipe instruments. This normally requires two reeds per note (and for push and pull). But a slightly off-pitch reed in my Stagi Hayden Duet showed me another way.


In a Duet concertina (any format), why not tune the left side a little sharp or flat, to warm up the tone when the two sides are played together? The higher notes on the left sides, when used to form chords, will often overlap the same note in the right-side melody, and make for that sweet sound.


Yet the amount of detuning required (only a couple beats per second) is not enough to spoil your left side for accompanying other instruments, or blending in with a band. If anything, it would warm up the ensemble too.


I don't know what the skilled techs at Button Box would charge me to retune my left side a couple of Hz off, or whether they'd even consent to such an outrage ;-), but for the few uf us who play Duet, it's worth talking about.


Keep squeezin' -- Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer
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  • 15 years later...

Hi there, Mike!

I know it’s been a good number of years since you made this post, but I am on the same page as you and am currently searching for a way to acquire this wet sound on a concertina. I am in love with the concertina as an instrument, but seem to appreciate the sound of a small, wet accordion much more. Maybe this means I should get over my aesthetic desire and focus on the music, but if I could keep the joy of playing a concertina while getting this wet sound, I would be overjoyed. Did you ever find a satisfactory option in your search? If so, I’d love to hear about it! 

many thanks,


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On 3/3/2006 at 7:11 PM, ragtimer said:

The higher notes on the left sides, when used to form chords, will often overlap the same note in the right-side melody, ...


That wouldn't be the case for my duet playing. I would almost never play the same note at the same pitch on both hands. I'd also play the same note in different octaves only infrequently - I deliberately avoid it in order to keep the overall sound from getting too heavy - apart from the occasional unison passage of maybe three or four notes; but it would be odd to get that "wet" effect just for a few notes.

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1 hour ago, RAc said:



There is reason to believe that Mike (the user with the nick ragtimer) passed away a few months ago:




Let's hope I am wrong...


All the best, RAc


That's him. I knew him well but haven’t been in touch in a few years. Right there on the memorial page you link is a photo of him playing his Stagi Hayden concertina:




Rest in peace, Mike.


I’ll post a message in a new thread in case others that knew him don’t follow this one.

Edited by David Barnert
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