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Author Topic: small box with best bass  (Read 1589 times)

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george garside

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2017, 09:22:16 AM »

if playing with finger tips it is extremely important to keep finger nails really short so they do not have any contact with buttons ,the finger end itself being quite 'fleshy'

george
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squeezy

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2017, 09:23:55 AM »

if playing with finger tips it is extremely important to keep finger nails really short so they do not have any contact with buttons ,the finger end itself being quite 'fleshy'

george

I can definitely vouch for this ... one days nail growth can completely throw my playing which is very fingertip based.
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Squeezy

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george garside

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:28 AM »

a simple test for 'correct' nail shortness is that if you push finger tips into the palm of  the other hand   no mark should be made.  When teaching the box  I found that guitar players were a pain in the backside as they were most reluctant to cut nails short as they used them for strings the plucking  of.

George 
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Melissa Sinclair

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2017, 06:54:06 PM »

Any opinions on which small quint box, such as a Lilly size, would usually have the most full and deep sounding bass? Either one or two voice treble is ok, but I'd like a light and compact box that my old arthritic body can manage. I'm now using a Saltarelle Bourouche, which is not good for bisonic phrasing and is killing my arms and shoulders. Will not be using a mike.
Thanks
George

George, not sure where you are, but I have a CF Liliput that I think has a nice deeper base sound. I'm in Maryland and work in DC - seems you got to Virginia, but that is a big state, so not sure where that puts you geographically. Don't know if that would help if you would want to try it out. (And I'm not playing it yet, excpept a couple of times). I also have an older Hohner in GC and a borrowed Streb.
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deltasalmon

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2017, 07:16:51 PM »

Lower key of the box will be deeper bass  ;)

Actually no ... almost all melodeons are made with C being the lowest bass note and B being the highest regardless of the tuning.

This is a little OT but my van der Aa C#/D the B is the lowest bass note. It makes me love playing tunes in B minor where I get to take advantage of that low growly B-bass note.
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playandteach

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2017, 11:11:28 PM »

Don't know if that would help if you would want to try it out. (And I'm not playing it yet, excpept a couple of times). I also have an older Hohner in GC and a borrowed Streb.
Welcome back Melissa, I was worried you lost your way with the melodeon as you'd gone silent, but now I see you have a Streb, so the silent thing is obviously nothing to worry about.
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Melissa Sinclair

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2017, 12:00:34 AM »

I got extremely busy, too busy to write or come here, and then I got sick... Boohoo! I haven't had as much time to do ANYTHING until today...
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IanD

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2017, 01:14:49 PM »

Lower key of the box will be deeper bass  ;)

Actually no ... almost all melodeons are made with C being the lowest bass note and B being the highest regardless of the tuning.

This is a little OT but my van der Aa C#/D the B is the lowest bass note. It makes me love playing tunes in B minor where I get to take advantage of that low growly B-bass note.

On 3 D/G Baffetti Bincis of different vintage in the team, the lowest notes are C B and A...
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Martin J

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2017, 08:19:57 AM »

I haven't seen any mention of you having tried a melodeon.  It is a very different technique from a CBA.  If you haven't had the opportunity to play around on a bi sonic box I really recommend you do so before buying.
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Guy

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2017, 07:29:03 PM »

a simple test for 'correct' nail shortness is that if you push finger tips into the palm of  the other hand   no mark should be made.  When teaching the box  I found that guitar players were a pain in the backside as they were most reluctant to cut nails short as they used them for strings the plucking  of.

George

That's fine-except I play finger style guitar as well! I've just had to adapt to do both, but it does make it difficult to cope with Hohner-style keyboards...

Cheers,
Guy
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george garside

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2017, 09:32:35 PM »

indeed!
george ;)
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squeezy

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2017, 12:03:48 AM »

Lower key of the box will be deeper bass  ;)


Actually no ... almost all melodeons are made with C being the lowest bass note and B being the highest regardless of the tuning.

This is a little OT but my van der Aa C#/D the B is the lowest bass note. It makes me love playing tunes in B minor where I get to take advantage of that low growly B-bass note.

On 3 D/G Baffetti Bincis of different vintage in the team, the lowest notes are C B and A...

And that's why i said that ALMOST all had the C as the lowest ... my own beloved Saltarelle Conn II has the B as lowest and my Albrecht box goes down to having a low G on the bass.  That being said the vast majority of boxes made use C as the lowest note on the left hand, and it definitely has very little to do with the tuning of the box.
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Squeezy

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Cooper

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2017, 01:14:16 PM »

  That being said the vast majority of boxes made use C as the lowest note on the left hand, and it definitely has very little to do with the tuning of the box.

Do you know why they chose this like that? And can we think of a configuration that would be most logical, considering the tuning of a box?

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Theo

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2017, 01:46:20 PM »

I think it is mainly to do with getting a good response from the basses. Below C it becomes more and more difficult to get a good bass response with the typical design of bass reeds and reed blocks.  It is not impossible but it does need good reed quality, and larger reed chambers.
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Theo Gibb

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squeezy

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2017, 01:54:05 PM »

I think that for the main part it is a convention ... but it does make sense to some degree.  The low G on my Albrecht 2 row is very very low sounding to the point that it begins sounding like a growl rather than a pure note.  My massive Hohner Elysium in C/F (bass melodeon) has 5 voice left hand bass notes with the lowest being a C a whole octave below the normal lowest bass C reed and frankly it is fairly inaudible in amongst the higher octaves that also get played when you press a button.  In order to get these incredibly deep notes to sound full, it would need some sort of formant (like a cassotto chamber) which amplified these bassier frequencies and to operate it would need to be bigger than any melodeon I've ever seen!

I really love having B as the lowest bass note on a D/G box - but if you transposed that in to a G/C then it would either be a fourth higher or a fifth lower and I think that would either sound very high or very low to most ears.
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Squeezy

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Theo

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2017, 02:06:08 PM »

I think that for the main part it is a convention ...

I think thats right.   Possibly related to the early development of diatonics being strongly biased towards the key of C:  C one row, CC#, CF, CG etc.
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Theo Gibb

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AirTime

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2017, 07:57:36 PM »

Thanks for so much help with my first post!
I can see that I may be heading down that long and financially devastating road that I think many of you have traveled.
Wanting a European box and being in the US is tough as well.
In response: I had posted on the accordion forum after buying my Bourouche, that the bass seemed a little loud compared to the treble. Sometimes from using one M reed (not so bad with bandoneon), but also as squeezy has mentioned, the thing has four bass reeds and the smaller ones activate quicker than the big ones giving it a kind of bright bass.(C in fact being the lowest). I like a big deep bass for long scale phrasing of the balfolk type stuff, but of course would like the box to be able to do it all.(not going to happen I know). The Bourouche CBA is greatly versatile, but I now realize that some phrasing that seems common on the bisonic is not achievable on the unisonic. It seems kind of like you can "sing" on an accordion but you can "dance" on a melodeon.( I had a C#D for a while).
I did come close to bidding on a Dony on ebay recently but chickened out.
I would love to try a Lilly.
I'm off to central Virginia on Sunday to look at a Sandpiper and a D/G Bouebe for sale by another member.
I'll post results.
Thanks!
George

That Bouebe formerly belonged to me ... & I have a CF Sandpiper. You will find them interestingly different from each other. Sandpiper's generally seem to have very dry tuning, which lends itself to a certain type of tune & playing style.

I recently sold a Lilly. I liked it a lot, but again, it is most suited to a certain playing style & tune. A Lilly does not have a "resonant" bass, no matter how you play it, but is definitely better in GC or AD than in DG.

I would agree with the other comments: a "full-size" box almost inevitably has a richer more resonant sound than smaller sized box. In my experience, Hohners seem to have more resonant basses than Italian boxes - it results in a sound where the bass is more obviously the accompaniment for the treble side, whereas with a modern Italian-style box the bass & treble seem more "balanced", allowing for more of an interplay between the bass & treble sides. Both can be effective in appealing in their own way.
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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2017, 08:22:29 PM »

Hi. I play a Saltarelle l'elfique 19+2 box.  It has a lovely tone, good bass and is super compact, weighing only 3.75 kilos.  Having the two accidental buttons in the middle is really useful. 

Spent three days at a festival in France listening to many, many melodions and chose the Saltarelle for the smooth round sound - and it is very pretty!

I had heard some mixed reviews of Saltarelle but I am very happy with it  :|||:
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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2017, 02:16:00 AM »

OK,
So I bought the Sandpiper. I briefly mentioned having had a C#/D box for a short time a couple of years ago. Learned a few tunes but no bass.
I'm already thinking I should have bought the Bouebe, but my main objective was to see If my arthritis would permit me to do this at all.
So far, I'm finding it much easier on my arms and shoulders, but tougher on my hands. The left hand I think is due to small strap, big hands, as well as what I think is a bit shallow air button and finding the right finger position. The right hand just seems clumsy after being used to the CBA which is so easy to find the melodies as well as to play them at lightning speed when called for. So a whole new brain thing needs to happen here! Stop playing on the row! This is a G/C btw and a I see now that a D/G would be better for learning from videos.
So, the basses. Well our hosts (Joe and Laurrie) where so delightful and interesting that focus on proper evaluation was just not going to happen for me (people are always more important than things). Hence, I went with my plan to buy the least expensive and begin the learning process. The bass on this box is much more the sound I had hoped to hear for this type of music is about all that I can say for now. The sound is less complicated than the Bourouche and the big reeds sound earlier I guess because less reeds to move. Ok for now, but if my hands hold out, I fear more boxes ahead!
Thank for advice so far.
George
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AirTime

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Re: small box with best bass
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2017, 03:30:53 AM »

This is a G/C btw and a I see now that a D/G would be better for learning from videos.

GC is a good choice. Don't worry about "learning from videos", there are a number of easy ways to adjust the pitch of a youtube video so that it plays in the keys of your box.
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