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Raised Ends As A Mark Of Quality

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Interesting article, and great that you found a solution that lets you control the instrument without injuring yourself.


My take on your approach is that you might not have the problem that I mentioned with raised ends, because (unlike me) you do not maintain contact between the heel of your hand and the corner of fretwork that is delimited by the handrail. Correct me if I'm wrong in my observation; I've never seen or heard you play in person, but it looks as though the heels of your hands "float."


I know I have to give up some subtlety in control of the ends when I have to play on an instrument that prevents the heel of my hand from applying variable pressure directly on that corner. But again that's because I learned to operate the concertina using such pressure as a variable. All these technique issues are very personal and there are many solutions that can work well and sound well for different players. On the other hand, from the number of players who have trouble controlling their instruments or who develop tendonitis/carpal tunnel etc., there are evidently approaches that are "wrong," at least for those players!



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  • 2 weeks later...
Hmm. I just had a thought: What if the area around the buttons isn''t really raised, but that instead the edges are depressed?


So I just measured a few of each, both Wheatstone and Lachenal, of differing ages. To my surprise, the heights of the edges (above the end of the bellows) were consistent among the standard-range instruments of both types, but on those with "raised" ends the height was about 1/8" less.


Hmm! B)


For whatever reason the raised top was introduced and that debate will go on forever no doubt, the reduction in edge depth allowed the use of a makers 'standard' length button in both raised or flat topped versions of a similar model.

The height difference of the raised area relative to the lower surrounding area usually being equal to the reduction in edge depth. Does that make sense?


Personally, I believe that many claimed improvements in style or changes in look of instruments occured during periods of declining sales, to justify the price being charged or due to competition between the two 'big' makers. The smaller makers just followed suit offering similar so called improvements but at a much reduced price.



Edited by Geoffrey Crabb
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