Jump to content

Improvement Suggestion For 46 Key Maccans


Recommended Posts

My experience is that 46's are severely blighted by the lack of that low D; it seems to be the note that you miss more than anything, so here's an idea.

 

Why not get the Ab converted into a D? Ab/Gsharp are not nearly as handy as that low D. It places the new D out on the bottom of the far column, where it will come usefully under your little finger for easy chord framing, in a slightly odd place but next to the C. No major engineering needed just some tinkering with a pair of reeds.

 

How to do it? Well someone needs to tell us if the standard D's and G's of that pitch have the same size frames; if they do I'd ring round and find a s/h pair of D reeds and change them myself. Cheap, and the concertina can be put back to standard at any time. Alternatively retune, which I'd guess involves weighting the reeds with solder; I'd be scared of this and would send the 2 reeds concerned to a pro., but the box would still play in the interim as long as you avoided the note concerned.

 

I came up with this because I have just traded the Ab on my 67 for an F; I can now play 6 more tunes that need a bottom F to every one where I'm missing the Ab and it is an excellent mod. Brian Hayden, thank you for remembering that this is what Reuben Shaw did with his 67 and telling me. Great idea.

 

Applying this idea to a 46 is my own work; you may call it 'The Gardiner Conversion for 46s'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well someone needs to tell us if the standard D's and G's of that pitch have the same size frames; if they do I'd ring round and find a s/h pair of D reeds and change them myself.

 

 

Tuning a 46 key Lachenal Maccann right now.

 

There is no D reed frame to measure, but its a fair bet that, because both the C and E are 45mm, then a suitable D would be the same length. The existing G# frame is 38mm. Not much space to re-engineer the pan either, so re-cutting the slot won't work.

 

Weighting may be the only solution. Might try one and report back.

 

Good idea, Dirge, though a better idea might be to trade it in on a Crane 48, which would have all the necessary notes on the left :P

 

MC

Edited by malcolm clapp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weighting may be the only solution. Might try one and report back.

 

Well, it sort of works, but the end result doesn't have the clarity of tone of non weighted (or lightly weighted) reed tongues, though it doesn't sound too bad played as part of a chord. Really too far to drop a reed's pitch by weighting imho. I have never gone beyond a couple of semitones using this method before.

 

Might try doing it again by soldering on a small brass block, as used on some accordions, rather than relying on just 40/60 lead/tin solder, which is all I have to hand (shops closed at present!), or maybe a solder with a higher lead proportion could give a better result (less matter for the same weight, so easier to profile).

 

Of course, as an alternative, I could just make new reeds.... ;)

 

Anyone else experimenting???

 

MC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad you like the idea Malcolm. Are you doing one on spec or have you already sold the idea to a customer, out of curiosity?

 

I did think it might hurt the tone of it a bit but that, as it would usually be a stand-alone bass note, it might well be bearable; it's not as though it's going to stand out as the one duff note in a run, say. Even if it's a bit farty it's still a D.

 

New reeds is how I got my low F and, as I said, well worth it. Mine are new Wheatstone and very nice too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you doing one on spec or have you already sold the idea to a customer, out of curiosity?

 

 

It's a customer's rebuild (ex-eBay purchase). He doesn't know about it yet, unless he is reading this thread.... :o (G'day, Malcolm!)

 

 

I haven't yet sold him the idea, but as a complete beginner on Maccann he might go for it; if not, it's easily reversible.

 

 

I like the idea of the D chord, using the thumb for the F# :ph34r:

 

MC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too, I think it should transform it. If you come up with the fix I might even see if I can pick up a cheap 46 myself as a bit of light (in more ways than one) relief to the big boys. Is the solder weighted pair THAT awful?

 

Incidentally I have very little trouble swapping back and forth between the 67 (with a misplaced low F) and the 71 with a std F; you tend to use bottom notes in a fairly ponderous way which gives you time to remember which finger to stick out. Also the most comfortable place for root notes is exactly where you are trying to put it, out on the far side of the keyboard where you can get a little finger on it and frame the chord with the rest of your hand.

 

I use my thumbs routinely, particularly to get to the rh C sharp on mine, so playing the F sharp that way should be no problem; it's probably more cumbersome than just playing it with your first finger though, for a D chord as we are discussing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the solder weighted pair THAT awful?

 

Not that bad; just a bit slow and breathy, though all the reeds at the low end are a bit that way anyway! We're talking cheap quality Lachenal reeds, remember....

 

It would be interesting to do the same thing with a Wheatstone, though the comparison between the C or E reeds and the weighted D might be more obvious. (I know of a Wheatstone 46 which might be for sale if you're interested...)

 

MC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(I know of a Wheatstone 46 which might be for sale if you're interested...)

 

MC

 

Talk about having your bluff called... not yet. (I don't think I can afford the replica mediaeval bagpipes that have taken my fancy either.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience is that 46's are severely blighted by the lack of that low D; it seems to be the note that you miss more than anything, so here's an idea.

 

Why not get the Ab converted into a D?...

 

...I came up with this because I have just traded the Ab on my 67 for an F; I can now play 6 more tunes that need a bottom F to every one where I'm missing the Ab and it is an excellent mod. Brian Hayden, thank you for remembering that this is what Reuben Shaw did with his 67 and telling me. Great idea.

 

Applying this idea to a 46 is my own work; you may call it 'The Gardiner Conversion for 46s'.

 

 

I was about to start into a poncey-bit about hell freezing over, but soemtimes even I refrain from stating the obvious...

 

perhaps another solution for the 46 would be to lose the low C instead, just tune it or replace it with a D, you would lose C, but if missing D is causing so much turmoil, why not sacrifce it for a good solid D?

 

But wait - have your cake and eat it to - make a foot bass that has only one note D, then when you are hankering for that low D you could just step on the pedal and voila! Viva la difference!

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...