What’s a hybrid concertina?
This page has been added as an afterthought now (2014). In 2005 I didn’t feel there was a need for explaining the differences between accordion reeds and concertina reeds, but I do now.

A hybrid concertina is a fairly modern phenomenon. It is an instrument (English, Anglo-German or Duet) that is built with
accordion reeds instead of concertina reeds.

The reason for doing this has to do with
availability and expense: concertina reeds are not something you buy at the local DIY-market. Neither are accordion reeds for that matter, but they are mass-produced with good quality, and fairly inexpensive.

So hybrid concertinas are a way to get very good, very playable concertinas into the hands of people, at a price lower than for a new, “traditional” concertina or an antique one.

Is there a difference?
Yes. Here’s an accordion reed:

Accordion reed w background
It consists of two steel tongues (identical for a chromatic instrument and different on a diatonic instrument), placed on opposite sides of a slab of aluminium. Two valves (leather or plastic) prevents air from going “the wrong way” through. In accordions they are mounted in long banks, side by side, held in place by a mixture of beeswax and pine resin.

- and here, a concertina reed:

Concertina reed w background
It consists of a steel tongue (brass in really old instruments) clamped onto a brass or aluminium frame by a little block and two tiny screws. The frame is pushed into and held in a tapered, dovetailed, routed track in the reed pan. On the opposite side is a similar track and two valves of soft, thin leather prevents air going “the wrong way”.

In the English system, the reed pan is divided in sections by little walls – like the spokes in a wheel, with the hub off-center (since the low notes have larger longer reeds). In an English or Duet concertina, the two reeds are identical, in an Anglo-German they are different, and the sections created by the walls are
parallel.

There is another difference, but we’ll come to that in due course.


Sound
Yes, and they sound different and respond differently. One of the main reasons that I decided to build a new instrument, was that I wanted “the concertina sound”. Enough now.

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