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Bob Tedrow

Fretless Concertina

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I added these vents along each side. Previously, the sound was quiet and "enclosed" as Stephen predicted.

 

With the addition of the vents, the volume is near that of a fretted concertina, but with a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant.

 

Also the vents alongside seem to give the sound a good balance.

 

Bob

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I added these vents along each side. Previously, the sound was quiet and "enclosed" as Stephen predicted.

 

With the addition of the vents, the volume is near that of a fretted concertina, but with a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant.

 

Also the vents alongside seem to give the sound a good balance.

 

Bob

Will over-tightening the screws cause that top to warp?

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With the addition of the vents, the volume is near that of a fretted concertina, but with a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant.
I would guess they project the sound out at a different angle as well. The top vents probably make it easier to hear yourself in a group setting, and the front vents probably make it easier for an audience...

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I added these vents along each side. Previously, the sound was quiet and "enclosed" as Stephen predicted.

 

With the addition of the vents, the volume is near that of a fretted concertina, but with a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant.

 

Also the vents alongside seem to give the sound a good balance.

 

Bob

Will over-tightening the screws cause that top to warp?

 

Probably.

 

I thought of that but cut the vents out anyway.

 

I might make the next fretless without any holes in the top, just a pretty veneer and put the threaded brass inserts in the corners.

 

Or scallop the vents and have a third leg in there to match the handrests.

 

Or put a brass spacer in the middle.

 

You can choose.

 

Bob

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So just curious Bob, was this concertina designed in a moment of whimsy or did a customer specifically ask for it?

 

--

Bill

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Probably.

 

I thought of that but cut the vents out anyway.

 

I might make the next fretless without any holes in the top, just a pretty veneer and put the threaded brass inserts in the corners.

 

Or scallop the vents and have a third leg in there to match the handrests.

 

Or put a brass spacer in the middle.

 

You can choose.

 

Bob

Personally I vote for a brass spacer. I think that would look pretty neat. A fretless top also provides an opportunity to do a relief carving of some sort in the wood. I don't know how easy that would be to do or if it would take away the point of not having frets.....I thought of painting a design, but that might not wear well with the years.

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Personally I vote for a brass spacer. I think that would look pretty neat.

How about brass spacers holding tambourine-style jangles? :ph34r:

 

A fretless top also provides an opportunity to do a relief carving of some sort in the wood. I don't know how easy that would be to do or if it would take away the point of not having frets.....I thought of painting a design, but that might not wear well with the years.

How about marquetry inlay, then?

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So just curious Bob, was this concertina designed in a moment of whimsy or did a customer specifically ask for it?

 

--

Bill

 

Fair question.

 

1. The black material I used for the top is a cellulose material used in some electronic industry. I thought it might make a good solid substrate for veneering. Turns out the material is so tough it heats up my scroll saw blades and breaks them at an alarming rate. So I have to cut the fretwork v.e.r.y. s.l.o.w.l.y. I made a couple and vowed never again to try to hand cut fretwork in that material.

 

That being said, I have gracious plenty of that material at the shop.

 

2. Good veneer cost a lot. I just paid $345 for about an inch high pile of Amboyna and burled maple. It seems a shame to cut fretwork into it when it is already purty.

 

3. I wanted to hear what effect the fretless top has on the tone of my concertinas. I heard a nice Dipper English once in San Fransisco that had no fretwork, it had a great look and sound.

 

4. It's a builder thing.

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

Believe it or not, Charles Wheatstone tried it! :huh: :blink: :o

 

(It's in the form of a violin, the strings set in motion by wind, and operated with a concertina bellows (through its centre section) instead of a bow. It is to be seen in his 1836 Patent, and a prototype survives at Kings College, London.)

 

Edited for clarification.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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I added these vents along each side. Previously, the sound was quiet and "enclosed" as Stephen predicted.

 

With the addition of the vents, the volume is near that of a fretted concertina, but with a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant.

 

Also the vents alongside seem to give the sound a good balance.

Will over-tightening the screws cause that top to warp?
Probably.

 

I thought of that but cut the vents out anyway.

 

I might make the next fretless without any holes in the top, just a pretty veneer and put the threaded brass inserts in the corners.

 

Or scallop the vents and have a third leg in there to match the handrests.

 

Or put a brass spacer in the middle.

Bob,

 

I have an early Jones Anglo, in my collection, with arcaded (scalloped) vents, such as you describe. Otherwise my personal Lachenal Anglo has small areas of fretwork in the sides, which look very attractive and (I'm sure) add to the sound. Hopefully you can see them in this photo?

 

Lachenal83438.jpg

 

But whatever way they added side vents, including the Jeffries/Crabb models with metal fretcut sides, the old English makers always made sure that there was solid support for the "tops" where the endbolts passed through.

 

By the way, the timbre you describe ("a nasal timbre, no sharpness.. very pleasant") sounds rather like that of the early hexagonal "pencil-fret" Wheatstone Æolas, which also had very limited openings in the ends.

 

Have fun experimenting, it's one of the great joys of making! :)

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Stephen & Jim,

 

Thanks for aswering my query as to where the air come out! When I originally looked at the photgraph I assumed that the pine ring was purely decorative!, though even then I think I thought it a bit odd. Blame my age and eyesight!

 

Apologies for thedelay in acknowledging your responses - I've been away.

 

Thanks again.

 

Clive

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My, but that concertina looks real familiar. Looks just like mine. as a matter of fact. I purchased the concertina on saturday from Bob on saturday at the localpark up the road a piece from the house. took me friday evening and most of saturday to convince my wife to let me spend the money, but considering the number of guitars and mandolins she has lying around here, I eventually prevaled. this is much better than either of my previous instraments (a twenty button that says "Trinity College" on the side that I bought new just before moving to Ohio, and an old twenty button with made in Italy scratched on the side I bought on eBay in 2000?). Anyway, I like this concertina, just fine, and have already made more progress on it thatn I have on either of the previous two. So, if any of you were wondering where this particular instrament ended up, currently it is stuck along with me here in buckeye land.

 

Alan B) java script:emoticon('B)',%20'smid_15')

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My, but that concertina looks real familiar. Looks just like mine. as a matter of fact. I purchased the concertina on saturday from Bob on saturday at the localpark up the road a piece from the house. took me friday evening and most of saturday to convince my wife to let me spend the money, but considering the number of guitars and mandolins she has lying around here, I eventually prevaled. this is much better than either of my previous instraments (a twenty button that says "Trinity College" on the side that I bought new just before moving to Ohio, and an old twenty button with made in Italy scratched on the side I bought on eBay in 2000?). Anyway, I like this concertina, just fine, and have already made more progress on it thatn I have on either of the previous two. So, if any of you were wondering where this particular instrament ended up, currently it is stuck along with me here in buckeye land.

 

Alan B) java script:emoticon('B)',%20'smid_15')

 

 

Hello Alan,

 

got the Egan's Polka down yet?

 

Bob

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Idiot foreigner question. Where's Buckeye land and what's buckeye? (Another name for river blindness, perhaps?)

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Idiot foreigner question. Where's Buckeye land and what's buckeye? (Another name for river blindness, perhaps?)

 

Not idiot question. Nickname of Ohio USA (Buckeye State). It's a horse chestnut. All the States have nicknames, and mottos. Some are insider names, like Pennsylvania: "Land of Taxes". Sometimes we fight New York for that honor. It's a tossup.

 

Thanks

Leo

Edited by Leo

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replies as asked:

 

Bob--first phrase down, working on second.

 

Dirge--Buckeye is a descriptive name for the adherents of the majority religion here in a Ohio, whose worshippers gather in a large outdoor stadium on saturdays, except for those less fortunate who gather in bars. Yes, there is a tree by that name as well, which the worshippers gather up the nuts and string up as neclaces that they wear during their religious celebrations. When I attended university at Michigan State, oddly enough one of my roommates my first term was from down here and managed to find the only buckeye tree on campus and proceded to bring back several of the nuts to the dorm room.

 

Leo--it seems like telling a european that you live in the "land of Taxes" would be lik telling a fish that you occasionally like to swim :P

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replies as asked:

 

............Leo--it seems like telling a european that you live in the "land of Taxes" would be like telling a fish that you occasionally like to swim :P

 

But I like to pay taxes doesn't everybody? :lol: :D :lol: :blink:

 

Thanks

Leo

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Well I understood Leo's explaination but now I'm confused again. Do you mean baseball?

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