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wim wakker

New Wakker Hayden Duet

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P.S.

So far as I am concerned I think that the Button sceme as on the Russian is the best for a medium sized concertina, this fits into a convenient 7" size using standard accordion reed plates or on a Crabb type up and down tonechamber instrument. I daresay I could design an instrument radially if required.

inventor

I have to agree. This is one of the few proposed Hayden layouts that extends the RH down to Fiddle G (so we can play all those EC and fiddle tunes), but also extends the LH down to F for better oom-pah bass.

 

And yet keeps the key count under 70.

 

So far, I have not seen any layout that permits an F# Major chord in the LH. Playing along with a guitarist in the key of E, you will probably want this one sooner or later.

 

Personally, I consider extending the RH down to FIddle G (fully chromatic) more important than pushing the RH down to G or F, though I think the LH should have a low Bb.

 

Your mileage may vary, as ever. --Mike K.

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The ‘long scale reeds’ found in aeolas and edeo’s and harmoniums (which use the same reed technique and are the closest free reed relative to the concertina) are actually based on uncompromised reed dimensions. We use these also in most of our anglo and english models.

I've worked on and played a few reed organs (American version of harmoniums), and while the reeds are long and (mostly) unweighted, the attack response is pretty slow -- so much that I don't usually enjoy playing a reed organ). I wonder why accordions, often with weighted reeds, can start a ntoe faster than a reed organ?

 

This is not to argue with Wim, who has made a very fine posting and explained his philosophy of instrument design.

Extreme small instrument dimensions can only be obtained with brutal scaling methods like adding weights to the lower reeds, something I refuse to do…. I rather add a ¼ or ½ inch and have an instrument with a uniform spectrum and reed characteristics…..

I'm glad Wim does not weight his reed ends. Most accordian bass reeds are weighted, and can be slow and mushy on the attack, though not as slow as some reed organs.

 

Do the really top-of-the-line accordians use unweighted reeds, even in the deep bass? Would make for really thick ends!

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Unlike in concertinas with accordion reeds, in instruments with traditional concertina reeds the size of the i

 

Extreme small instrument dimensions can only be obtained with brutal scaling methods like adding weights to the lower reeds, something I refuse to do…. I rather add a ¼ or ½ inch and have an instrument with a uniform spectrum and reed characteristics…..

 

Wim

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

Is adding weights to the lowest notes really so terrible? My G/D Lachenal has two or three of the lowest notes weighted, and I saw a 38-button instrument once that had ten(!) notes with little square brass-type weights. Neither instrument seems to be any worse for that arrangement. I'm just curious what opinions are out there and what effect (positive or negative) weighting has on reed physics.

 

-David

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Is adding weights to the lowest notes really so terrible? My G/D Lachenal has two or three of the lowest notes weighted, and I saw a 38-button instrument once that had ten(!) notes with little square brass-type weights. Neither instrument seems to be any worse for that arrangement. I'm just curious what opinions are out there and what effect (positive or negative) weighting has on reed physics.

 

-David

 

In relation to starting, a weighted reed is like having the same size sail but a heavier boat.

 

Chris

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First of all, you can not compare accordion reed technology with concertina reeds. It is not a matter of quality difference (accordion reed certainly are not of lesser quality), but it is like comparing two different types of engines.

 

Accordion reeds have a much larger amplitude and a completely different inner reed energy, because the air flow activates the full length of the reed. Due to the way these reeds are designed, they need a stronger air flow to maintain their swing cycle. You can compare it to a car that needs more fuel to maintain a certain speed because of more friction.

 

Because of the higher air flow needed to maintain the swing cycle, the weight at the end does not have any/much affect on the reed performance and harmonics. As long as the needed energy increase caused by the weight is less than the energy supplied by the air flow, the weight does not affect the performance of the reed.

On the other hand, the amplitude of a concertina reed is lower. The reed’s swing cycle is activated much more aggressively, but less air flow is needed to maintain this cycle. The amount of stationary swing cycle/air flow is determined by the angle and width of the frame vent.

A weight at the end of a reed does not always affect the reed performance because of the aggressive swing cycle attack (the air flow is aimed at the tip of the reed, and increased by the slot in the reed pan). Thicker reedpans, (e.g. Jeffries anglos) create a stronger air flow and will create more amplitude right from the start. Think of it as some sort of turbo charge. They will even start reeds with weights on the tips. Only when there is a poor reed/frame fit, the reeds will become slow because of the extreme loss of energy.

 

If reeds have relatively low resistance ( e.g. strong curve= thin body), you can hear the ‘over pull’ of the reed. This over pull happens when the reed is pulled way past its normal amplitude because of the strong initial air flow. Most anglo players associate this with the typical Jeffries sound or Jeffries attack. The ‘speed’ of a reed with tip weight is also partly determined by the flexibility of the reed: the higher the weight at the tip, the stronger the reed has to be to return to the ‘first cycle position’.

The only real problem with these reeds is that the weight affects the harmonic spectrum. Normal reeds have smaller inner movements that create the harmonics (octave, fifth, etc.). The weight obstructs these smaller inner swing movements, and creates a dominant principle swing cycle which produces the tonic frequency.. Simply put, the reed sounds dull, almost without any harmonics.

 

Regarding the harmoniums, the slowness is often caused by the long route the air has to follow to reach the reeds. French harmoniums are of a much higher quality. They don’t have this delay.

 

Wim

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

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Just an example of what I mean.

 

post-202-1185476144_thumb.jpg

 

The first reed is a ‘full size’ low F reed for a Wakker A3 F-C anglo I am finishing this week. It just short of 6 cm ( 5.94 cm to be exact). The middle reed is a C reed for the same instrument, measuring about 4.5cm.

The reed in the back is from a vintage concertina with the same pitch as the middle reed ©, but it only measures 3.4cm. I don’t think it is difficult to see why the weight interferes with the inner swing cycles….

 

Wim

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

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So I have a comment on Wim's 65-key. Like the old Bastari 67, it extends the LH down a 5th (for deeper oom-pah bass, let's be honest about it <_< ), but neither extends the RH below middle C. With all the fiddle and EC tunes that descend to G, with accidentals to boot), it would seem that a top priority for a larger Duet would be to get down there, even at the cost of those big bass reeds on the LH.

OOPS! Big mistake on my part! I don't know what I was looking at when I said that Wim's new 65-key does not extend the RH range down to Fiddle G. It does (while omitting the G#).

 

In fact, I entered this thread tonite to congratulate Wim on extending both hands down a 4th or 5th, and with only 65 keys. I was aghast to see what I'd said earlier. I'll try to edit that old posting and fix that.

 

I beleive the only other Hayden layout to extend both hands downward within a reasonable (say less than 70) key count was the Haydenskaya, the failed Russian project which I believe was layed out by Brian H. himself. Since Wim also followed Brian's design, it's not surprising that his new 65 key really finishes the task of extending both hands.

 

The odl Bastari 67-key did not extend the RH downward. It seems to have concentrated mostly on adding "flats" keys to both hands, to enable playing in the flat key signatures preferrred by brass and woodwind instruments. For playing in such keys, it's hard to beat. For the typically sharp keys used in trad music, Wim's is better suited, with its Fiddle G range.

 

Dreaming of a Wakker 65 someday ...

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Fiddle G

Sorry, what's that?

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Which is? The G below middle C?

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Re Ragtimers questions -

The 65 button instrument has a lowish Bb (the one below tenor c) I have only ever come across one Duett concertina that had a very low BBb (the one below bass C) on a monster 84 button Maccann, or on specialist huge single action counterbass englishes.

Note that on the 65 button Hayden every perfect fourth or perfect fith that is available can be played somewhere on the instrument with only one finger (the flat top buttons that Wim is using makes this easier than domed buttons). There ten majors and ten minor chords which can be played with the easy close fingering (either one or two fingers for a 3 note chord, any inversion) but f# major is not one of these, however it can be played with only 2 fingers (fore finger for f# & c# and little finger bflat) in the key of E you have 3 easy majors (A, E, & B) 3 easy minors (F#m C#m & G#m) easy B7. If you need F# major play as above, personally I am much more likely to use an F#7 in the key of E, and usually use the partial chord using the notes e, f# & c# with two adjacent fingers.

Re the overall size.

Concertinas become difficult to use when they go over 8" across the ends 7.75" sounds perfectly acceptable, especially ass the instrument has no compromise long scale reeds. One way of reducing the size of the larger Hayden system instruments is to link the enharmonic repeats accordion basswise i.e. in this case the Abs & G#s and the Ebs & G#s; however I have never been able to persuade any concertina maker apart from Nicoli of Moscow to do this.

Inventor.

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(the flat top buttons that Wim is using makes this easier than domed buttons

Domed buttons help in sliding a finger from one note to another and lifting off one of the two notes you were previously holding down with one finger, in my humble opinion. I'd much rather have domed buttons, (but it is what I'm used to).

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The 65 button instrument has a lowish Bb (the one below tenor c) I have only ever come across one Duett concertina that had a very low BBb (the one below bass C) on a monster 84 button Maccann, or on specialist huge single action counterbass englishes.

My own double-action "contra"bass English goes down to the G an octave below the bass clef (2 octaves below the fiddle's low G), and it's fully chromatic. On the other hand, its top note is middle C.

 

Concertinas become difficult to use when they go over 8" across the ends...

I would expect this to depend very much on an individual's physique, and particularly on the size and shape of their hands. I'm sure that the size at which things "become difficult" for David Cornell or Alex Jones is quite different than for me or for someone with even smaller body or hands than mine.

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Concertinas become difficult to use when they go over 8" across the ends 7.75" sounds perfectly acceptable, especially ass the instrument has no compromise long scale reeds. One way of reducing the size of the larger Hayden system instruments is to link the enharmonic repeats accordion basswise i.e. in this case the Abs & G#s and the Ebs & G#s; however I have never been able to persuade any concertina maker apart from Nicoli of Moscow to do this.

Inventor.

Rich Morse has always planned on using links for his enharmonic duplicate notes, and his fingering charts show which ones those are. Let's hope his Hayden plans come to fruition.

--Mike K.

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Note that on the 65 button Hayden every perfect fourth or perfect fith that is available can be played somewhere on the instrument with only one finger (the flat top buttons that Wim is using makes this easier than domed buttons). There ten majors and ten minor chords which can be played with the easy close fingering (either one or two fingers for a 3 note chord, any inversion) but f# major is not one of these, however it can be played with only 2 fingers (fore finger for f# & c# and little finger bflat)

It's a relief to hear someone else advocating what I call "mash" chords, where you mash down two buttons with one finger. I had discovered Em7 and Dm7 played as usual, but ring finger takes the 3rd from the 4th row (an octave higher) and can be bent down to grab the 7th in the 3rd row.

 

I tried Inventor's F# major chord, but on my instrument you have to flatten the finger's first joint out quite a bit to catch the two buttons. Maybe on closer-spaced keyboards, the finger tip can be kept in the usual vertical position and catch two buttons (on purpose, for a change ;) ).

I am much more likely to use an F#7 in the key of E, and usually use the partial chord using the notes e, f# & c# with two adjacent fingers.

Agreed -- and in fact, the 7th chord without the 3rd is especially fine sounding when the melody side plays the 3rd. I've learned to use this version fo the E7 and D7 chord when the melody has the 3rd (the leading tone of the home key), to get a better overall voicing and avoid that "accordion" sound.

Re the overall size.

Concertinas become difficult to use when they go over 8" across the ends 7.75" sounds perfectly acceptable, especially ass the instrument has no compromise long scale reeds. One way of reducing the size of the larger Hayden system instruments is to link the enharmonic repeats accordion basswise i.e. in this case the Abs & G#s and the Ebs & G#s; however I have never been able to persuade any concertina maker apart from Nicoli of Moscow to do this.

Inventor.

I've already stated that Rich Morse planned on using such links. But I can imagine that implementing them is tricky, since they're at opposite sides of the button field. I don't knwo which is harder to fit such links into -- the parallel bandoneon German style action, or the English radial setup. I can imagine that makers would rather just go ahead and fit the redundant reeds.

--Mike K.

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But I can imagine that implementing them is tricky, since they're at opposite sides of the button field. I don't knwo which is harder to fit such links into -- the parallel bandoneon German style action, or the English radial setup. I can imagine that makers would rather just go ahead and fit the redundant reeds.

--Mike K.

 

 

There are 2 different ways to connect buttons in an accordion: the stradella bass mechanism, which uses a selective rod system, which is not usable in a concertina, and the parallel link between 2 buttons as found in early/simple free bass mechanisms and right hand 4,5 and 6 row flat and stepped button keyboards.

The maximum distance between the two connected buttons is never more than about 6 cm. One of the reasons for this is stability. In most better quality instruments the connector is a flat (5-2mm) piece of dur-aluminum which is double riveted to the button mechanisms. The keyboard pressure in these instruments is normally around 120-150 grams.

Because of the length of the levers and distance between the buttons and "heavy duty" pivot point (about 10cm), linked buttons work quite well in accordions.

 

The action in a concertina is far too light to handle the amount of side pressure created by a link, which has to be much longer than 6 cm. the distance between the button and pivot point for these buttons in a concertina is about 1-2 cm.

To create enough stability for the mechanism to function smoothly without noise and vibration using the same material we do now ( MS58 Brass), the levers and connectors need to be at least 1.5/2-3mm. even if you ‘fine tune’ the lever pivot point, you still need 90+ grams of key pressure.

Our normal keyboards pressure is between 60-70 grams, which means that the linked buttons will feel much heavier. The end result is a keyboard that feels like a cheap Lachenal (lot of pressure differences between the buttons).

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

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There are 2 different ways to connect buttons in an accordion: the stradella bass mechanism, which uses a selective rod system, which is not usable in a concertina,

This is a truly remarkable system, what old computer designers call a "diode matrix encoder." It can be used to encode anything, including a Hayden/Wicki free base setup. But as you say, it requires the buttons to move at right angles to the bellows, unlike a concertina.

and the parallel link between 2 buttons as found in early/simple free bass mechanisms and right hand 4,5 and 6 row flat and stepped button keyboards.

The maximum distance between the two connected buttons is never more than about 6 cm. One of the reasons for this is stability. In most better quality instruments the connector is a flat (5-2mm) piece of dur-aluminum which is double riveted to the button mechanisms. The keyboard pressure in these instruments is normally around 120-150 grams.

Because of the length of the levers and distance between the buttons and "heavy duty" pivot point (about 10cm), linked buttons work quite well in accordions.

I think you mean that the link is jsut a solid extension of the single lever, and that both buttons ride on that lever. Is that right? This would do the 4th and 5th rows of a CBA, for example.

And because the fulcrum is so far from the buttons, the two buttons feel about the same pressure.

The action in a concertina is far too light to handle the amount of side pressure created by a link, which has to be much longer than 6 cm. the distance between the button and pivot point for these buttons in a concertina is about 1-2 cm.

Yes, one button would be much closer to the pivot point than the other, and not feel right.

To create enough stability for the mechanism to function smoothly without noise and vibration using the same material we do now ( MS58 Brass), the levers and connectors need to be at least 1.5/2-3mm. even if you ‘fine tune’ the lever pivot point, you still need 90+ grams of key pressure.

Our normal keyboards pressure is between 60-70 grams, which means that the linked buttons will feel much heavier. The end result is a keyboard that feels like a cheap Lachenal (lot of pressure differences between the buttons).

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

I think, and this is just my speculation, that links in a Hayden Duet could be done with both buttons each operating their own separate lever and pivot, with the two levers meeting at the single pad. One lever would hold the pad, the other lever would fit under the first lever end and lift it and the pad with it.

 

However, the link button would be lifting two levers and their springs, so would have to feel twice the key pressure. Not good.

EDITED to add: Wait! Only the "primary" lever would have a spring -- the linked button's lever would just lift the primary lever (at the pad) and its single spring; the link lever would have no spring of its own, just its own pivot point.

So -- key pressure would be the same on both buttons, and this is a workable scheme!

 

And thanks for giving us a professional maker's view of the problems.

--Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer

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