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Author Topic: Wettest Boxes Around?  (Read 705 times)

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Richard J Delong

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Wettest Boxes Around?
« on: August 02, 2019, 07:37:00 AM »

Hello!

I'm interested in what style of box is typically tuned the 'wettest'?  I know this may be a silly question, as all boxes can potentially be tuned 'wetter,' but do some styles of boxes really maximize that tremelo effect, either through multiple voices, extreme tuning off-sets, or other approaches?

I have a G/C German Pokerwork and I'm finding that I absolutely love that tremelo sound and, at least to my own less-experienced ears, I think it would be hard to get too much of that good thing!  I've read that Austrian/Slovenian 'Steirische' style boxes may be loud and 'wet' as can be Italian Organettos... again, I know that any double-reeded (and above) instrument can be retuned, but my beginner's mind was speculating that some boxes may really be designed to maximize this effect... plus, it gets me dreaming of those future boxes, since (to be honest) I'm really enjoying learning a wide-range of music, and I don't really play with anyone else at the moment, so a big Slovenian box or an organetto is not necessarily out of the question for me... my ideals (at the moment) are maximum tremelo and loud as possible (but with quiet button action)!

Any first hand experiences?  Thank you!



 

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Theo

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 09:49:41 AM »

The wettest tuned boxes I've experienced have all come from Scotland, or from Scottish players.  There it is still popular to have MMM tuning based on -25/0/+25 cents, or even more, which is a quarter tone spread!  I don't like that sound at all, but plenty in Scotland still do.  Look out for instruments described as "Scottish Musette", it is more common in piano accordions.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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george garside

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 10:05:13 AM »

both my hohner gaelic and trichord are well on the wet side  of wet tuned and to me the nicest sounding box of the lot is a well set up shand morino. my double ray is fairly wet but true wetness needs 3 rather than two M reeds.  my DG serenelli  MML is reasonably wet tuned but far from the full 'scottish' sound and I am happy with the single reed sound of my lilly as I suppose its neither wet nor dry rather like a concertina.

That's what I prefer but of course each to his/her own   and in that sense wet or dry tuning are both as good!


george

« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 10:07:09 AM by george garside »
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 10:18:57 AM »

As a Scot, let me say, I loathe Scottish musette. Lord knows I don't have perfect pitch, but it sounds so out of tune to me, what it sounds like to someone who does have perfect pitch, I don't know. ;)  I prefer my boxes tuned dry, and in fact my favourite box at the moment is my bandoneon tuned D/G pressed wood. The wobble of wet tuning just doesn't work for me.


Sir John
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invadm

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 10:49:29 AM »

Hohner Corso  :||: wet as duck's bottom  ;D  and 3V with MMM reed set up
once I asked Theo to tune a GC erica; wetter than standard Hohner tremolo -as I too like wet Hohner sound- but when play in a group or with someone else your box sounds out of tune for sure.
Corso or Corona III if you are a Hohner person like me.
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Rees

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 11:24:31 AM »

Tommy Orchard and the Dartmoor Gipsy crew play very wet boxes. Big Gabbanellis and Paolo Sopranis - LMMM.
I've just got a D/G Corso from Martyn White ready for Dartmoor Festival next weekend.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 11:52:46 AM »

...to me the nicest sounding box of the lot is a well set up shand morino...

George is right. Not to my taste, but each to his own.
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Greg Smith
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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 07:29:17 PM »

Horses for courses. 

Speaking for myself, I very seldom play wet boxes alone, because I don't like the sound.  They're harsh, raucous and quite feral.  However, at noisy dances, they come into their own, because they fill a wide bandwidth in the band's mix.  I reckon a good wet box is worth three fiddlers.

At noisy sessions they can be useful because the harsh edge of their sound allows me to hear myself through (rather than above) the rest of the participants.  I don't have to break my hands trying to force as much air through the reeds as possible, so I can play lighter and therefore a bit better than I would in the same circumstances on an inaudible dry box.

Any other time, I prefer to play my dry or very light swing three-stop MMM Nuage (two Ms in unison, one M a little bit sharper).  Balm to my ears when I hit the right keys.

If your taste is for very wet boxes played at full throttle, don't expect to make too many friends.

Good luck.
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george garside

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 08:14:05 PM »

Horses for courses. 
s.

If your taste is for very wet boxes played at full throttle, don't expect to make too many friends.

 

For what its worth I never play any box at ''full throttle'' be it wet or dry tuned or anything in between. This is simply because in so doing you lose one of the main characteristics of a decent box i.e. its superb dynamic qualities  . Play at around mid throttle and you can maximise the dynamics ( going louder and quieter) play at full throttle/volume and you can only go quieter which few if any full throttlers seem to ever do!

george
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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2019, 08:55:05 PM »

ah, George, if only the box players of my acquaintance were all as mild and balanced as you, I would be content!   
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IanD

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2019, 05:08:28 PM »

Anybody else remember the Kipper Family "Tremelodeon"? Reduced me to gales of helpless laughter the first time I saw them play it... ;-)

(my guess is at least a semitone offset between reeds -- does anyone have a recording of them playing it?)

Aha!...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBsuGcnDTkg
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 05:13:22 PM by IanD »
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2019, 05:16:57 PM »

Yes Ian, it was a fantastic box, coupled with the innimitable Kipper lunacy. Sadly missed.....

I suspect some of the wettest boxes currently are being dried out after Sidmouth's stormy end  :(
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2019, 06:02:58 PM »

Anybody else remember the Kipper Family "Tremelodeon"? Reduced me to gales of helpless laughter the first time I saw them play it... ;-)

(my guess is at least a semitone offset between reeds -- does anyone have a recording of them playing it?)

Aha!...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBsuGcnDTkg
I'm fairly sure that the tremolo effect was due to a 'vox humana' stop which somehow activated a sprung leather flap inside the box which vibrated as the instrument was played, giving that warbling sound.
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2019, 06:11:51 PM »

Certainly sounds "mechanical" Steve, rather than reeds tuned that way.

SJ
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Re: Wettest Boxes Around?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2019, 10:11:36 AM »

Quite right, Steve.  I had a 2 row one given to me as a novelty years back - it was indeed a 'wobble-board' inside which caused the whole instrument to shake when activated on a stop, not just the notes! I don't recall whether it was a piece of wood, card or leather - think it was wood - we would laugh an awful lot every time we played it
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