Jump to content

Recommended Posts

When I first met Colin, his parting shot as he walked out of the building was along the line of: given an aeola and a comparable edeophone, which would you choose? I told him, he then asked why, I told him, he just smiled and left for his vehicle.

 

I still don't know if I passed the test, or even if that is what it was!

 

Dave

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

given the price I guess it would be a 'rich' sound chris

I have a theory that since Mr. Lachenal pioneered techniques for mass production of concertinas that there might be less variation in quality between Lachenals than between Wheatstones. (even though there is still significant variation by all accounts). I would think that adapting mechanized techniques would create more uniformity than having everything handmade. I haven't seen enough instruments to test this theory. Any thoughts?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a theory that since Mr. Lachenal pioneered techniques for mass production of concertinas that there might be less variation in quality between Lachenals than between Wheatstones. (even though there is still significant variation by all accounts). I would think that adapting mechanized techniques would create more uniformity than having everything handmade. I haven't seen enough instruments to test this theory. Any thoughts?

The final product is more than the sum of all its parts. There is the fundamental engineering. How is this thing going to operate? How much attention to detail is built into the manufacturing process, and how much pressure is there to bring a product to market at a certain price point. Then there is an unknown factor --working with organic materials that can behave in unpredictable ways. How and where will the instrument be played? It's a daunting task, and one that pioneers like Wheatstone, et al, as well as their modern counterparts have taken on. Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a theory that since Mr. Lachenal pioneered techniques for mass production of concertinas that there might be less variation in quality between Lachenals than between Wheatstones. (even though there is still significant variation by all accounts). I would think that adapting mechanized techniques would create more uniformity than having everything handmade. I haven't seen enough instruments to test this theory. Any thoughts?

 

I am afraid it is a lot simpler… first of all, Both Wheatstones and Lachenals concertinas were mass produced. Certainly by today’s standards. At this moment Juergen (suttner) is the largest producer of ‘traditional’ ( with ‘real’ concertina reeds) concertinas in the world with around 40 instruments anually, and I believe we are number 2 with around 30 instruments. Compared to both Wheatstone and Lachenal who made thousands of concertinas, our production is peanuts…

 

An other minor detail: when talking about Wheatstone and Lachenal, we mean the companies, not Charles Wheatstone or Louis Lachenal. They might have been involved in the development process of the early models, but I am sure they had engineers who designed/developed their models, just like today in the modern accordion industry. I know several owners of the leading factories, but non of them play the instrument, or has anything to do with the development of their products. They are managers, not free reed engineers..

 

The difference between Aeolas and Edeophones is mainly in different reed scaling and materials. I know that some people like to believe that there are all these harmonics produced by reedpans, special steel used for the reeds, and other ‘non controllable’ factors that create a unique instrument….. Unfortunately (?) in real life it is a lot simpler, as any free reed engineer will tell you.

In short: reeds cut the air flow (they don’t vibrate) and produce a controllable spectrum (controlled by reed length, inner reed movement, reed curve and material, and place of the reed in the chamber). By the way, steel used for concertina reeds is around 48 Rockwell (also aeola reeds), which is not that hard….

 

The trick is to either filter the higher harmonics produced by the inner movement of the reed (not the reedpan etc.), or try to safe/amplify them. In general, dense wood (e.g. sycamore, quarter cut fine grained maple) tend to favor the higher harmonics. Softer or coarser woods (e.g. mahogany, ajous) tend to ‘kill’ the higher harmonics.

 

When comparing an aeola with an edeophone, you’ll find that both have comparable reed scaling, although I personally prefer the edeo scaling (better equilibrium). The reed quality (frame/tongue tolerance) is always good in aeolas. In edeo’s they can be terrible or superb.. Lachenal used to have an incredible reed maker, unfortunately he was not the only one making edeo reeds…

The chamber design and reed position is comparable in both instruments, although the chambers in a 12 sided instruments are a little more uniform. Also, both instruments have the same dense reedpans. The big difference between the 2 models is that edeo’s have mahogany action boards and frames. This filters the higher harmonics, which makes the instrument slightly more mellow. You can compare this to a band pass filter in a analog synthesizer. Lachenal cuts the upper harmonics, and wheatstone tries to amplify them.

 

The action in an aeola is always better. The best thing to do with an edeo action is replace it. An other typical edeo problem is the glue. Over time bone glue does not hold on mahogany. Usually when you take the end bolts out of an edeo, the instrument falls apart.. Edeo bellows, both material and design, are much better than aeola bellows. We rarely have to replace edeo bellows. On the other hand, when we restore an aeola, we quite often need to replace the bellows.

Both aeolas and edeophones are nice instruments… nowadays the quality of an instrument is not only determined by the maker, but also by the condition. I’ve seen many instruments destroyed by incompetent tuners, with the wrong type of valves or pads, or just regulated wrong. If I was looking for an instrument, I would not worry about the maker, just the condition, preferably still in high pitch.

 

Wim

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...chamber design and reed position is comparable in both instruments, although the chambers in a 12 sided instruments are a little more uniform. Also, both instruments have the same dense reedpans. The big difference between the 2 models is that edeo’s have mahogany action boards and frames. This filters the higher harmonics, which makes the instrument slightly more mellow. You can compare this to a band pass filter in a analog synthesizer. Lachenal cuts the upper harmonics, and wheatstone tries to amplify them.

 

 

Wim

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

 

Wim,

 

I also find this an interesting obsevation, is the evidence for this purely empirical, or do you have a view of the mechanism for this attenuation? The Density difference is between 3% to 10% or 20 to 60 Kg /m2 subject to the species and source of mahogany employed

 

thanks

 

Dave E

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

This observation is mainly based on experience and ‘general practice’ among makers of musical instruments. Mahogany has been used for over a century in lower instruments, like baritone/bass concertinas and also in the related accordion industry.

When working on our new english and Hayden models, I did a lot of experimenting with different types of wood. My conclusion was that there is very little/no measurable difference between most hard woods (spectrum analysis), but both ajous and Sipa mahogany produce weaker higher harmonics. This confirmed for me this general assumption about mahogany.

I know there is a difference in mahogany qualities and densities. The problem is that the superior Honduras mahogany is listed as a protected tree and not available anymore. I read somewhere (don’t recall where) that Colin Dipper once used an antique piece of mahogany furniture (probably Honduras) for a baritone concertina....a great source of stable high quality wood, but I don’t think antique dealers would approve..

 

Wim

Link to post
Share on other sites
I read somewhere (don’t recall where) that Colin Dipper once used an antique piece of mahogany furniture (probably Honduras) for a baritone concertina....a great source of stable high quality wood, but I don’t think antique dealers would approve..

It's mine. Actually, it was an old British Museum display case that Colin rescued and recycled, so I don't think too many antique dealers would be offended. He told me the display case was marked 1868 inside and was made of Spanish mahogany, originally from Cuba. The instrument has a mellowness of tone that few steel reeded concertinas come anywhere near, though Anne has a brass-reeded Wheatstone baritone that comes fairly close.

 

Chris

 

Edited to add PS: The wood isn't the only reason the sound is so mellow. The reeds are huge and the chambers unusually deep.

Edited by Chris Timson
Link to post
Share on other sites

So...given the high overtone damping properties of mahogany. what kind of sound could we expect from this instrument?

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/C-Jeffries-31-key-Angl...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

 

 

Perhaps there are those who have owned or played Jeffries with mahogany action pans who might like to comment on possible sound differences from the maple/sycamore clad instruments?

 

Greg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lachenal used to have an incredible reed maker, unfortunately he was not the only one making edeo reeds…

Ah yes, the legendary "Mr. Green". Tommy Williams, who was himself a tuner (reed maker) at Lachenal's, reckoned that "when Lachenal's closed, one of our finest tuners, name of Green, he went to Wheatstone's, they wanted him bad."

 

Back in the early 1970s I went to look at a Lachenal New Model baritone for sale in Manchester, and the owner showed me his wonderful Edeophone with two sets of reeds - the originals were made by Mr. Green in high pitch, and when low pitch came in he'd had a new set made, rather than risk spoiling the originals.

 

Mind you, I've seen other Edeophones that I thought were "dogs", with poor reeds, too.

 

The big difference between the 2 models is that edeo's have mahogany action boards and frames. This filters the higher harmonics, which makes the instrument slightly more mellow. You can compare this to a band pass filter in a analog synthesizer. Lachenal cuts the upper harmonics, and wheatstone tries to amplify them.

You will find that Lachenal's usually employed mahogany in the (less-expensive) rosewood-ended New Models, and maple (and longer scale reeds) in the (more-expensive) ebony-ended ones. But I've always been disappointed that they used mahogany in the Edeophones, so I guess that makes me an "Aeola man"!

 

The action in an aeola is always better. The best thing to do with an edeo action is replace it.

Maybe I should get that done with mine (my 21st birthday present), then I might start playing it again. It's the action that puts me off more than anything else.

 

An other typical edeo problem is the glue. Over time bone glue does not hold on mahogany. Usually when you take the end bolts out of an edeo, the instrument falls apart..

Agreed, though Edeophone woodwork is usually superior in design.

 

But the biggest problem can be their inclination to roll, coupled with the delightful delicacy of their fretwork, so that many of them have cracks (or gaping holes!) in their ends from rolling off tables etc. (My own already had a crack through the right hand thumb-strap mounting area when I got it.)

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Link to post
Share on other sites
I read somewhere (don’t recall where) that Colin Dipper once used an antique piece of mahogany furniture (probably Honduras) for a baritone concertina....a great source of stable high quality wood, but I don’t think antique dealers would approve..

It's mine. Actually, it was an old British Museum display case that Colin rescued and recycled, so I don't think too many antique dealers would be offended. He told me the display case was marked 1868 inside and was made of Spanish mahogany, originally from Cuba. The instrument has a mellowness of tone that few steel reeded concertinas come anywhere near, though Anne has a brass-reeded Wheatstone baritone that comes fairly close.

 

Chris

 

Edited to add PS: The wood isn't the only reason the sound is so mellow. The reeds are huge and the chambers unusually deep.

 

 

It is not allowed to trade Cuban Mahogani since (I think) 1940 or so.. It is one of the more dense mahoganies. During the 19th century it used to be a popular type of wood for furniture and musical instruments. I have a Thomas Preston forte-piano from 1818 in my private collection made of Cuban mahogany. Nowadays Swietenia Macrophylla (Honduras) mahogany is the closest you can get to Cuban mahogany.

 

I have not seen your instrument, but I bet Colin placed the reeds (especially the larger ones) 5-10mm from the front wall of the chambers. This would give the air column at the front of the reed more room, which also results in a rounder tone. You find the same sound characteristic in early instruments that did not have shortened chambers. The larger (deeper) chambers are also necessary to supply enough air volume to start the reed’s swing cycle.

 

 

So...given the high overtone damping properties of mahogany. what kind of sound could we expect from this instrument?

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/C-Jeffries-31-key-Angl...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

 

 

Perhaps there are those who have owned or played Jeffries with mahogany action pans who might like to comment on possible sound differences from the maple/sycamore clad instruments?

 

 

 

The use of mahogany in ‘higher’ instruments is not that unusual. Lachenal also used it in other models. We use it in our English treble model E3, and E2 baritone.

The difference is in sound is not that big... I wonder if someone without any experience/training would notice the difference… it is more like a slightly different color of tone. If you compare a spectrum analysis of the same reed/instrument, with different action boards, you can see a (slightly) steeper drop off after the 3rd harmonic. The higher the pitch of the reed, the smaller the effect. That’s why it is usually used in lower instruments (more effective). The effect will be more noticeable with concertina reeds than with accordion type reeds. Concertina reeds produce less harmonics because of the frame slot shape. Accordion reeds produce (parallel slots) so many and strong harmonics, even a 50% drop would not be noticeable.

 

Wim

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have not seen your instrument, but I bet Colin placed the reeds (especially the larger ones) 5-10mm from the front wall of the chambers. This would give the air column at the front of the reed more room, which also results in a rounder tone. You find the same sound characteristic in early instruments that did not have shortened chambers. The larger (deeper) chambers are also necessary to supply enough air volume to start the reed’s swing cycle.

Good guess. Here's a picture of the left hand end.

 

dipper4.jpg

 

And here it is in all its mahogany glory.

 

dipper2.jpg

 

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

Colin made me a lovely "edeophone" - sort of . . .

Actually a cross between an edeo and Wheatstone's first english, with circular slit in place of fretwork.

You can see it on the front page of my site: www.riggy.com

 

Riggy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Make a Donation


×
×
  • Create New...