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Bob Tedrow

Fretless Concertina

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Wow! That looks amazing. How does the lack of fretwork affect the tonal qualities of the instrument, Bob?

 

Could you use a yellowish felt for the bushing to match the wood?

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Wow! That looks amazing. How does the lack of fretwork affect the tonal qualities of the instrument, Bob?

 

 

We'll know tomorrow when I put the reeds in and tune/set them. I expect it to have an rather different timbre than an instrument with lots of fret work.

 

Like the "suspension bridge" effect on the hand rest?

 

I will put a more sophisticated strap adjuster on as well.

 

I will report my subjective opinions later.

 

Bob

Edited by Bob Tedrow

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Birdseye Maple top; Ebony handrest

 

Should I add red button bushings?

 

 

post-67-1153264419_thumb.jpg

Looks like it'd be a cool instrument to play in more ways than one. Mike

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Let me guess what inspired this:

Your little saw broke.

Your wife said, "Don't fret."

And insted of replying, "Thanks for the sympathy," you jumped up and shouted, "Aha!!""
:D

Should I add red button bushings?
Could you use a yellowish felt for the bushing to match the wood?

I was thinking royal purple might make a "striking" contrast. B)

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Black felt would keep the colour scheme intact. That would be my choice.

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Black felt would keep the colour scheme intact. That would be my choice.

How about the black highlights with a bright-orange wood, and the openwork in the form of a grinning face... with delivery in time for Halloween? :D

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I'm with them over there. Defintitely not red; either black or 'wood coloured'.

 

I looked at this dopily thinking 'fretless' as in like a violin neck. I was intrigued!

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I must admit when I saw the title of the thread I misunderstood completely as my mind went to fretless basses and so forth - instruments where the lack of frets permit glissando effects. From there I thought of the reed with rollers that Wheastone invented (we have a pitch pipe based on the principle). Well, it didn't take long to come back to reality, all thoughts of glissandoing concertinas vanishing away.

 

Bob, as ever you are a real innovator. Brilliant!

 

Chris

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Like the "suspension bridge" effect on the hand rest?
Yes!
I looked at this dopily thinking 'fretless' as in like a violin neck. I was intrigued!
So did I..
there I thought of the reed with rollers that Wheastone invented (we have a pitch pipe based on the principle).
I was thinking Bob had managed to incorporate Tom Tonon's pitch bending system.

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Wow! That looks amazing. How does the lack of fretwork affect the tonal qualities of the instrument, Bob?

 

 

We'll know tomorrow when I put the reeds in and tune/set them. I expect it to have an rather different timbre than an instrument with lots of fret work.

 

Like the "suspension bridge" effect on the hand rest?

 

I will put a more sophisticated strap adjuster on as well.

 

I will report my subjective opinions later.

 

Bob

 

 

I have noticed that the hand rest looks a lot like a banjo bridge (most likely a fretless banjo bridge). ;)

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Wow! That looks amazing. How does the lack of fretwork affect the tonal qualities of the instrument, Bob?
We'll know tomorrow when I put the reeds in and tune/set them. I expect it to have an rather different timbre than an instrument with lots of fret work.Bob

I would expect a softer and more "enclosed" tone, closer to that of German instruments which have commonly had holes in that position. Indeed, my own experience in designing my Triskel concertinas is that the position of the holes around the circumference of the end is much more important, greatly affecting the volume and balance of the notes.

 

But radical-looking "fretless" designs (for reasons of cost-saving) go right back to the early days of the English concertina, like this 1845 Wheatstone "Plain" model:

 

P1010004.jpg

 

Or this 1850's Rock Chidley:

 

Chidley27642.jpg

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I looked at this dopily thinking 'fretless' as in like a violin neck. I was intrigued!
Me too :rolleyes:

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I looked at this dopily thinking 'fretless' as in like a violin neck. I was intrigued!
Me too :rolleyes:

And did nobody take it to mean a concertina with absolutely nothing to worry about?

 

Are we losing confidence in good old Bob? :unsure:

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And did nobody take it to mean a concertina with absolutely nothing to worry about?

Yep.

 

Chris

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Stephen,

 

So, on the Wheatstone 1845 Fretless, where exactly does the air go in and out?

 

Clive

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Stephen,

 

So, on the Wheatstone 1845 Fretless, where exactly does the air go in and out?

Clive,

 

The same way it would if there was fretwork, the pine "baffles" are set back slightly from the mahogany, just as they always are on "fretted" ends. Only it isn't apparent in a photograph. :huh:

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Edited to say that this post is somewhat redundant, seeing that Stephen's answer to Clive slipped in just ahead of mine. :D

 

So, on the Wheatstone 1845 Fretless, where exactly does the air go in and out?

Clive, I think that if you look closely, you'll agree with me that the lighter wood is not flush with the darker. The annulus is the "air hole", cut out from the outer plate of wood that forms the end, and the lighter wood is a (spruce?) baffle lying underneath.

 

Right, Stephen?

 

I think it's a lovely design, and I'm surprised nobody revived it in a time when simpler decoration was popular. Compared to the usual fretwork patterns, it should be spectacularly easy to make.

Edited by JimLucas

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