semi miniature english concertinas

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Stephen
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semi miniature english concertinas

Post by Stephen » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:15 pm

Hello,

I have a question for the english concertina players on this forum. It's about the very compact 26 keys english concertina
This is one of the most fascinating free reed instruments I have ever seen, because of it's compactness. It's range is 2 chromatic octaves.
The dimensions are ideal for transport.

Does anyone have more detailed information on this instrument? Photos, weight, pics of the inside action, ...

The only photo online is taken in a sort of pub:
http://thewccp.org/concertina-systems

scroll down to and click on this photo:
"John Wild playing Piccolo English Concertina"

For more information on miniature and semi miniature concertinas, Google for Randall C. Merris' article on mini concertinas. It's available in a pdf:
www.concertina.org/wordpress/wp-content ... 9-2012.pdf
Randall C. Merris, “Miniature and Semi-Miniature Concertinas,” Papers of the International Concertina Association, 9 (2012), 8-39

In this article there is also a photo of an interesting 20 key Lachenal English concertina.
Every bit of information and online photos 20 to 26 key english concertinas is most welcome.
EC is so easy to play outdoors. 48 keys are the standard, 30 keys Jackie ECs exist, but these (semi) miniature ECs are so rare...
I'm hoping for concertina makers to revive these mini instruments.
(12 or 18 keys ECs have a very limited range, so 24 to 26 is the ideal range of music notes, starting from low g)


kind regards,
Stephen

xocd
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by xocd » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:14 am

You might want to raise this topic at concertina.net where concertina players hang out.
xocd
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TomBR
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by TomBR » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:42 am

Very appealing little instruments I agree. For reasons of space they'd have to have "proper" concertina reeds and traditional construction. That severely limits the number of makers. I don't think you could do that size, even with 24 keys, 12 on each side, using accordion style reed plates in "hybrid" construction.

Geoff de Limousin
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:10 am

Stagi make an 18 button semi miniature English concertina that uses accordion reeds I sometimes see these for sale second hand for a couple of hundred Euros.

Wim Wakker makes a Piccolo English ( E4 model) with real concertina reeds.
www.wakker-concertinas.com/E-4.htm

I know someone selling a couple of Wheatstone miniature EC's , 12 key models I think , not cheap of course . PM me if you want contact email.

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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by TomBR » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:07 pm

Neat work by Stagi to fit 18 buttons into a 3" instrument! Two octaves of C major plus an ingenious choice of accidentals - F# in both octaves and Bb and C# in the middle.
Suspect this might not meet Stephen's needs! :D

(Concertinas are normally measured "across the flats" the distance between the parallel sides.)

Stephen
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by Stephen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm

I'm waiting to see a photo of the E3 EC by Wim Wakker
http://www.wakker-concertinas.com/E-3.htm
"Because of the omitted top octave, The W-E3 model is very light and compact"

Personally, I don't really need the top octave of a standard 48 keys english concertina.
The range of my 30 key Jackie english concertina is fine, it is 2,5 octaves and entirely chromatic. The accordion steel reeds and the accordion reed plates of the Jackie have consequences on the size of the instrument, slightly bigger than a standard 48 keys EC.

Those semi miniature ECs (under 5 inches flat to flat end), like the one John Wild is playing in the photo, that's what I'd want to have. It is said to be about 9,5 centimeter from flat end to flat end.

I prefer stainless steel reeds for concertinas. I have a very old Lachenal McCann Duet 46 keys, with steel reeds. Can't play it, but the steel reeds still sound great.

Accordion reed plates inside ECs take too much space, they are not an option for small size ECs.

By the way, there is some buzz about the stainless steel reeds and individual reed plates of the Elite Psardo by Philharmonicas. Scroll to the bottom to see the reed plates:
http://www.philharmonicas.com/philharmonicas.html

On harmonica forums, buzz is the stainless steel reeds of the Elite Psardo harmonica could be made by Seydel from Germany? Is this true? The plates don't look like Seydel made them, but what about the steel reeds?
Could these individual reed plates with stainless steel reeds be used inside mini concertinas or mini accordions ... ??

Stephen
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by Stephen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:04 pm

Addendum

The Czech Harmonikas mass produced Dix concertina reed plates and reeds could help in the construction of miniature concertinas.
https://www.harmonikas.cz/en/dix-concertina-1#obsah

The online pdf showing the size of the reed plates.

george garside
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by george garside » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:55 pm

mini concertinas need a lot more bellows movement than ''normal '' size ones and this can make them harder to handle than normal size ones. Personally I cant see much point in them other than for novelty value as most concertinas are very small in comparison with even a small melodeon. ? how many mini concertinas would eqall the weight of ,say, a 48 bass box or maybe how many could you fit in the bellows of a 120 bass!?

george ;)

Stephen
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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by Stephen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:59 pm

My focus is more on semi miniature ECs.
Mini concertinas are much smaller.
ECs have less bellows changes than anglo concertinas.
Bellows size is not the main issue.
Reed tolerances and reed chamber volume have influence on air consumption or air loss.

These semi minis are certainly not toys. The Wheatstone company produced quite a number of 22 to 26 keys semi mini ECs.

Check out the Pauline de Snoo 12 key EC videos on YT. No excessive bellows changes.

I agree mini anglo concertinas have much more bellows changes.
I prefer the english concertina, a unisonoric instrument.

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Re: semi miniature english concertinas

Post by TomBR » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:05 am

George did say "movement" not "changes." To supply a given volume of air, bellows with a smaller cross section will need to move faster. Higher quality reeds can make a difference if they need less air, but then you've changed the air requirement.
Some people like the idea of small instruments, some are not interested.

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