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The New Wakker A4 (eir) Anglo Model


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post-202-1217790193_thumb.jpgI finally completed the 3rd anglo design of our Wakker anglos. Starting with the A2 model, I spent about 800 hours modifying the reedpans, reed scaling, airflow resistance and ends, to get the final result: a bright, but NOT harsh sounding anglo with a more linear equilibrium than our A1 and A2 models.

The metal inserts are strategically placed over the primary reflection zones to help brighten the sound. The custom scaled and shaped reeds produce a strong 5th, which results is a somewhat ‘flute like’ tone.

Personally I am not a fan of metal ended harsh sounding heavy concertinas, that’s why I invested the extra time in research and development to come up with this solution… The W-A4 weights 1.15 Kg / 2.54Lb.

Our 3 basic designs cover the whole spectrum from mellow to bright sounding anglos. There are of course endless possibilities to customize each model.

 

The instrument will travel for a while. It will start in Oregon this week, and might visit one of Noel Hill’s classes the week after. Later this month it will go to the UK and Ireland before returning to the USA.

We don’t plan to organize a tour for this instrument, but if anyone is interested to try it out, or can be its host to a festival or work shop, let us know… we appreciate all the feed back we can get.

 

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

post-202-1217790341_thumb.jpg

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Wim - Where in the UK will it be sent to for trial ?

I have not played one of your concertinas and it would be interesting to see and play it.

Just out of interest do your modifications on design come from trial and error or theoretical research?

My question comes purely from interest and is not a trick question. I would suspect that the old makers used the former system of improvement.

Many thanks

Al

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Alan:

 

The instrument is going to Chris Algar. You might want to contact him if you want to try the instrument.

 

I start of course with the theoretical principles, which I then attempt to ‘confirm’ in reality. For instance, finding the best reed scaling is a matter of trial and error. The theory is pretty clear, but you still have to decide how much/little you want the reed amplitude to decrease to get the balance you want. There are a lot of variables that are not 100% controllable ( air flow, reed amplitude, etc.).

 

The ‘old makers’ did not have much theoretical knowledge of reeds and reed performance. It just wasn’t available in those days. They also did not have any organized schooling or apprentice programs as string and piano/harpsichord makers had in the 19th century. It was mostly trial and error for them.

Free reed research and schooling is something of the 20th century, financed and often organized by the booming accordion industry and educational institutions in Europe and USSR.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

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Guest Mick Diles

Wim,

 

This model really looks very nice and revolutionary and phantastic at the same time! I really would like to hear and try this one.

 

In your message I read about the range from mellow to bright. Can you tell me which model is most mellow and which one is the brightest?

 

Thanks in advance

 

M.D.

 

post-202-1217790193_thumb.jpgI finally completed the 3rd anglo design of our Wakker anglos. Starting with the A2 model, I spent about 800 hours modifying the reedpans, reed scaling, airflow resistance and ends, to get the final result: a bright, but NOT harsh sounding anglo with a more linear equilibrium than our A1 and A2 models.

The metal inserts are strategically placed over the primary reflection zones to help brighten the sound. The custom scaled and shaped reeds produce a strong 5th, which results is a somewhat ‘flute like’ tone.

Personally I am not a fan of metal ended harsh sounding heavy concertinas, that’s why I invested the extra time in research and development to come up with this solution… The W-A4 weights 1.15 Kg / 2.54Lb.

Our 3 basic designs cover the whole spectrum from mellow to bright sounding anglos. There are of course endless possibilities to customize each model.

 

The instrument will travel for a while. It will start in Oregon this week, and might visit one of Noel Hill’s classes the week after. Later this month it will go to the UK and Ireland before returning to the USA.

We don’t plan to organize a tour for this instrument, but if anyone is interested to try it out, or can be its host to a festival or work shop, let us know… we appreciate all the feed back we can get.

 

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

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In your message I read about the range from mellow to bright. Can you tell me which model is most mellow and which one is the brightest?

 

 

Mick:

 

The A1 in standard configuration is the most mellow sounding anglo we make. The A2 and A3 have more of a ‘bite’ to them, and the A4 is the brightest sounding model. Of course, an A1 with metal ends will be very bright, but different than the A4.

 

I tried to explain the different models on our site: http://www.concertinaconnection.com/wakker%20anglo.htm

 

Wim

Concertina Connection Inc.

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Wim,

 

Lovely to look at, a joy to play I'm sure. I love your striking two tone design. Never seen that before with both wood and metal ends, or am I mistaken? If so, is there an acoustical reason? Visually it's stunning.

 

Jody,

I think I remember seeing one of Herrington's old square concertinas that had ends that used both wooden and metal, but the design was very different. Wim's combination of metal and wood though certainly is striking :).

 

--

Bill

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I think I remember seeing one of Herrington's old square concertinas that had ends that used both wooden and metal, but the design was very different.

Yeah, I think someone here posted this picture:

post-463-1218030298_thumb.jpg

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I think I remember seeing one of Herrington's old square concertinas that had ends that used both wooden and metal, but the design was very different.

Yeah, I think someone here posted this picture:

 

Interesting that both designs employ Keltic knotwork designs - Wakker more sparingly, on the metal, Herrington more lavishly, on the wood.

 

Wim's idea of having the button area in metal makes sense to multi-instrumentalists like me. My right-hand fingernails are otimised so as not to be too long for the concertina but not too short for finger-style banjo. But I do touch the face of the concertina with my fingernails, which would probably leave marks on a wooden end after a while! (Never thought about this before, because my present Anglo is metal-ended. A point to note when buyng a new concertina, though!)

 

Cheers,

John

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Funny … I thought I was the first with wood/metal ends…. Herrington’s metal insert looks nice, but it doesn’t serve any acoustical purpose. It is not in any reflection zone. I would really like to see Colin’s instrument, if anyone has a photo….

 

Jody:

Yes, there is an acoustical reason. I don’t like to add things to an instrument if it doesn’t serve a purpose. I am glad to hear that you approve of the visual result, however, I know for a fact that many more conservative players will not agree with you….but, that’s part of the fun.

 

I tried to explain the differences of this instrument on our site, but in short, the metal inserts are located right above the pads, which is called the primary reflection zone. The reed scaling I developed for this instrument together with the different chamber design produces a lot of harmonics, which the metal inserts helps reflect. The instrument sounds somewhat like a metal ended concertina, but without the harsh, thin sounding qualities. The tone still has ‘body’. An extra benefit is the weight reduction compared to a traditional metal ended concertina.

 

Azalin:

I am not a fan of sound samples. Although I am a professionally trained (classical) musician, with a life time of free reed experience, I find it almost impossible to hear the sound differences of our own instruments when listening to recordings. Even when I use a high end audio system..

 

That is one of the reasons we decided to make an instrument for trial purposes. The only way to really hear/appreciate an instrument is by playing it yourself. So, once in a while, when our schedule permits, we’ll make a trial instrument. Last years traveler (W-A2 model) was on route for over a year. We don’t plan anything like that for this A4 model, but there are a few people that were interested in trying it.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

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yes, wim is right about sound clips. they don't make a difference. some concertinas sound good in certain rooms, some do not. this life and variety of concertinas can be lost in recordings. although, i can usually tell the sound of a suttner on a recording, i am sure i could not tell the difference between two suttners that sounded very different in person on a recording.

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I think I remember seeing one of Herrington's old square concertinas that had ends that used both wooden and metal, but the design was very different.

Yeah, I think someone here posted this picture:

 

Interesting that both designs employ Keltic knotwork designs - Wakker more sparingly, on the metal, Herrington more lavishly, on the wood.

 

Wim's idea of having the button area in metal makes sense to multi-instrumentalists like me. My right-hand fingernails are otimised so as not to be too long for the concertina but not too short for finger-style banjo. But I do touch the face of the concertina with my fingernails, which would probably leave marks on a wooden end after a while! (Never thought about this before, because my present Anglo is metal-ended. A point to note when buyng a new concertina, though!)

 

Cheers,

John

 

you got it! that is one of the main concerns of wooden ends. i have a concertina on order and i am debating between solid black ends or natural wood finish. the only thing holding me back is that with a solid black finish, it will wear through much quicker than with a wood grain, burl, or amboyna. i have already discussed with the maker, and am pretty sure i will go with black anyways. this means that i will have to get the instrument refinished at least once in my life, with some minor polishes in between. i love the look of wood up close, but personally i like the look of black from far away, so i am almost positively going with black.

 

with a wood grain, burl, or amboyna, you probably wont have to worry about wearing through or damaging the finish in your lifetime, but rather the lifetime of the instrument. however, the black will definitely be a problem! metal is a perfect solution, of course, and metal/wood ends even better.

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Funny … I thought I was the first with wood/metal ends…. Herrington’s metal insert looks nice, but it doesn’t serve any acoustical purpose. It is not in any reflection zone. I would really like to see Colin’s instrument, if anyone has a photo….

 

Jody:

Yes, there is an acoustical reason. I don’t like to add things to an instrument if it doesn’t serve a purpose. I am glad to hear that you approve of the visual result, however, I know for a fact that many more conservative players will not agree with you….but, that’s part of the fun.

 

I tried to explain the differences of this instrument on our site, but in short, the metal inserts are located right above the pads, which is called the primary reflection zone. The reed scaling I developed for this instrument together with the different chamber design produces a lot of harmonics, which the metal inserts helps reflect. The instrument sounds somewhat like a metal ended concertina, but without the harsh, thin sounding qualities. The tone still has ‘body’. An extra benefit is the weight reduction compared to a traditional metal ended concertina.

 

Azalin:

I am not a fan of sound samples. Although I am a professionally trained (classical) musician, with a life time of free reed experience, I find it almost impossible to hear the sound differences of our own instruments when listening to recordings. Even when I use a high end audio system..

 

That is one of the reasons we decided to make an instrument for trial purposes. The only way to really hear/appreciate an instrument is by playing it yourself. So, once in a while, when our schedule permits, we’ll make a trial instrument. Last years traveler (W-A2 model) was on route for over a year. We don’t plan anything like that for this A4 model, but there are a few people that were interested in trying it.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.

Wim, This may be it?
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Guest Mick Diles
Wim, This may be it?

The attachment (BMP format and almost 2 Megabyte) might be a problem for some of us. So I converted it to JPG, 82 Kilobyte. :)

 

post-1973-1218172202_thumb.jpg

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There has been discussion of the effect that partial or total metal ends may, or does have on the tone of an instrument. Without any evidence one way or the other I would expect any fabric lining behind the endplates to also have a similar significant effect upon tone. In so far as I can see there is no fabric lining with this new instrument ( and of course many others ). Has anyone undertaken experiments using a variety of fabrics and arrived at any conclusions ?

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