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Has The Market Bombed For Ec

English Concertina sales

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#19 ceemonster

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:13 AM

[[[So you leave me wondering if you would really be happy with a Jeffries-style EC, or in fact are demanding a much different beast.]]]

 

I'd be delighted with an EC that sounded like a Jeffries.  I agree with you that the Wheatstone 22s and some of the 21s have a good sound in the vein I like (though not like a Jeffries, which would be my 1st choice in a tone personality), but if/when I buy a nice concertina-reeded EC, it will have to have tenor notes.  (I love the lower notes, both for their intrinsic sound and for the way they enable you to play many tunes in "bari" octave, and hate, hate, hate, the way the treble layout instead gives you a super-high octave I never use and don't care about, right in the most comfortable ergonomic position).  If I do acquire a concertina-reeded EC, it's probably a TT, since Tenor 48s are thin on the ground.   And I'm not thrilled with the timbre/tone personality of a lot of the TT ECs out there.  They are beautiful-sounding, I'm not saying they aren't.  But it's not the fat, dance-band concertina voice personality I'm looking for.   When they're loud, they tend to be "thin" loud.  The answer to this is of course for an enterprising, creative, and innovative maker to give the world a Tenor 48 with a nice fat, brassy folk-dance-music sound to rival the volume and timbre of the Anglo.  But the market for bespoke ECs just is not there to inspire them to it.

 

Ah, the Model 24.  But isn't that an EXT, not a TT?  Where, oh where, is the non-Aeola metal-ended Tenor or TT big brother of the Model 22/21, big cousin to the Model 24, with the same lung power and voice personality as those models?


Edited by ceemonster, 06 December 2017 - 02:24 AM.


#20 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:38 AM

Ah, the Model 24.  But isn't that an EXT, not a TT?  Where, oh where, is the non-Aeola metal-ended Tenor or TT big brother of the Model 22/21, big cousin to the Model 24, with the same lung power and voice personality as those models?

 

I guess I would very much love to have an instrument like that at hand too - maybe there are some ME TT Aeolas of this kind, I don't know. However, albeit loving the lower reeds myself as well, the treble (including, after some soldering, an indispensable wheighted low F, replacing the Ab) falls so easily under my hands...

 

Model 24 is extended "upwards", yes - and I don't believe I really need these notes either - however there's one funny point: My understanding was (and still is), that a Model 22 concertina has (as opposed to the 21s, rather like an Aeola) "large scale reeds", giving it a more profound sound in the lower register. However, the 24 (or at least mine) actually hasn't, possibly to make room for four more pairs of reeds on either side. The effect is that in fact the lower notes don't have the full (but in that case mellow) sound of - f.i. - my Lachenal Excelsior, which has in fact noticeably longer reeds. But the Model 24 doesn't sound "thin" by any means - it's loud, strong (apparently with a very distinct first harmonic; thank you, Don!) and nasal, and to my surprise (as I always thougt "long scale reeds" to be essential) I very much like it!

 

Best wishes - Wolf

 

P.S.: A Jeffries EC would be fantastic!


Edited by Wolf Molkentin, 06 December 2017 - 05:43 AM.


#21 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:13 PM

... and I always thought that the Anglo Concertina was for the rumbustuous Morris dance, Irish dance and coarse sailors' forebitters, whereas the EC was for cultivated, bourgeois, semi-classical music (and the Triumph Duet for rumbustuouos - but sometimes sentimental - Gospel songs).

 

I mean, how can you get enthusiastic with only a thumb and a pinkie to express yourself with?

 

[Duck and run]

 

Cheers,

John



#22 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:48 PM

John, it's as simple as that: just free the pinky, reinforce the thumb straps' being connected to the action board (if necessary, which most likely will occur at some point), and squeeze the hell out of your instrument... 😎👹

#23 m3838

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

... and I always thought that the Anglo Concertina was for the rumbustuous Morris dance, Irish dance and coarse sailors' forebitters, whereas the EC was for cultivated, bourgeois, semi-classical music (and the Triumph Duet for rumbustuouos - but sometimes sentimental - Gospel songs).

 

I mean, how can you get enthusiastic with only a thumb and a pinkie to express yourself with?

 

[Duck and run]

 

Cheers,

John

Ah! Exactly! Remember Goran's ideas? I made myself a pair of wrist rests with the wrist straps and immediately outgrew my Jackie! It is not able to follow my needs now, reeds are chocking etc. I have way too much power over the bellows and super stability of the instrument. I'm in total tonal control! Now I started to work on the tone, rhythm, nuances and it's a lot of work. But before, with just the thumb strap, the instrument was a toy, abandoned for many ears. Actually I'm beginning to understand why EC was out of circulation among the professional musicians. It is relatively inexpressive without modification. 



#24 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:19 PM

But before, with just the thumb strap, the instrument was a toy, abandoned for many ears. Actually I'm beginning to understand why EC was out of circulation among the professional musicians. It is relatively inexpressive without modification.


Seriously? I guess it's no offense towards the maker of the Jackie to object to any judgement of the EC as a historically established "system" based on the capabilities of a beginners' model (having of course its own merits precisely due to its inexpensiveness, which may of course result in a certain inexpressiveness).

Why not leave room for possibility that there are players - fellow forum members, including myself - that are perfectly happy with their instrument as is, and not willing to accept to be playing on and fond of a toy-like relict, suitable only for the unprofessional?

BTW, I'm feeling a bit (more) sympathetic to "Dirge" now (whose contributions I'm still badly missing here), if anyone should recall his departure and former presence...

Best wishes - Wolf


Edited by Wolf Molkentin, 07 December 2017 - 09:24 AM.


#25 m3838

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:56 PM

Not sure if I understand your comment, Wolf.

Jackie is a beginner's instrument only in respect of it's presumably flimsy construction, that may not (?) hold under the pressure of rigorous playing. In my case high C# peg is coming off it's nest, causing the button to get stuck in open position. In all other respects Jackie is just as equal, if not better than many "true" concertinas. The "toyness' of Jackie is of the same kind as the "toyness" of all other ECs, and stems from underdeveloped holding system. Those who like things the way they are, may stay with them as they like. But the consequences must be kept in mind. Among them high risk of injury and compromised dynamics.  While EC fingering system is ingenious, the holding is underdesigned. Now that I made an improvement, my playing is vastly better than before and the stress on my hands is way lower. I have so much more power over bellows with so little effort that I need to be mindful not to choke the reeds. As before I was getting tired and my playing was lacking everything. Give me a few more weeks to practice and I will record a video so you can see the improvement.



#26 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:57 AM

Your reply, equaling the "if-not-better" Jackie with "all other ECs", is confirming my objections to an even higher degree than expected (thought I might have been overly polemic before). I have not much to add, just pointing out that I don't believe to be capable of what I'm doing with the instrument with your "improvement" applied, which I happily accept as a real one for yourself and your different approach and style.

#27 m3838

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:14 AM

That seems to be the major opposition: Imprecision of the argument.

Jackie is a fine instrument. It's main problem is the reeds that are not as fast, but it's never a problem with me, as I don't consider fast playing been a good one. Jackie definitely can  be compared with all other ECs by holding principle. Which is (to me) the main obstruction to achieving the expressiveness of a musical instrument.  But wait and let me demonstrate it. 


Edited by m3838, 07 December 2017 - 02:15 AM.


#28 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 04:06 AM

Of course your perfectly welcome to demonstrate your point soundwise  :)

 

In the meantime, your claim seems to imply that fellow EC players are not capable of really expressing themselves in the music they're playing with their vintage ECs.

 

And, a fast response of the reeds (and a rapid action as well) has indeed proved essential for me - the "upgrade" from the Excelsior to the Model 24 has made way for an instant improvement (after 18 months of hardly playing at all), and it happens obviously due to these two aspects - in combination with much better air supply.

 

About the sound of a Jackie vs. vintage Lachenal or Wheatstone we don't need to argue; my personal point would be that I really like the sound of an accordion, which I then would achieve with one of my PAs oder melodeons, but nothing compares to the sound of a good concertina reed - which is undoubtedly a matter of individual taste.



#29 Don Taylor

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:12 AM

I really hesitate to involve myself in this debate, but there is no way that you can compare the bellows on a CC beginner instrument with a set of properly made leather bellows on a vintage or a modern 'real' concertina.  The CC action and the reeds are OK, but the bellows is what it is - a stiff, plasticky approximation of a real set of bellows. 

 

I can see the need to gain extra leverage on these bellows using a Goran strap. 



#30 harpomatic

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:53 PM

when I was first deciding on the concertina system to start with, the look of those thumb-straps/pinkie rests was so awkward, that I wouldn't even contemplate the additional weirdness of split hand keyboard, the movement of low to high notes being horizontal, as opposed to all others being "up &down", and its unisonoric nature was weird to me, as I was quite an accomplished harmonica player by then... Now, fast forward 13 years, I accidentally get a great deal on an Aeola, thinking of flipping it and getting some prized anglo german box, a concertina or bandoneon... Well, i am thinking of selling my collection of anglo concertinas and bandoneons, or at least trying those thumb-straps on them before I do...

BTW, I find those pinkie rests useless, which positions me firmly in a four finger playing camp....I guess this is where me and Mr. Wheatsone part ways, though my buddy Mr. Regondi doesn't object to my views....


Edited by harpomatic, 07 December 2017 - 07:59 PM.


#31 m3838

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:09 PM

It was with a heavy heart that I read about stiff CC bellows. When I ordered my Jack, then exchanged it with the Jackie, the bellows were very good. Easy to stretch, airtight, not sticky at all. My several expensive instruments from CC and the Button Box were not up to the claim: the main problem with those instruments were the reeds with uneven response, some louder, some quieter, some full bodied, some squeaky and metallic. Jackie is definitely heavier, which for me was not a problem. Albion was small and light and it felt a bit weird. Pinkey rest is totally useless, I agree. I took them off.

Don, when you talk about bellows in connection with the reed response, I lost you. But I think you are saying that there is no room for improvement for a "good" instrument, which simply cannot be true.

Wolf, it is my greatest frustration with the concertina, for which I abandoned it for so many years, that I do think that EC is mostly unexpressive. Osipov is a great virtuoso, Danny the "Rat Face", if you remember him, was (is) a very good performer on EC, trying his best to give all his heart to the sound. But vast majority of us is not that successful. My hopes are that the grip will contribute to overcoming this unfortunate slip of a design. If not, I'll disappear again.



#32 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:22 PM

Danny is a tremendous performer indeed, but IMO "fanning" the bellows doesn't add to expressiveness (rather the reverse will be true). Speaking for myself this is part of why I'm sticking to the treble EC, thus being capable of giving the left end the articulation I feel appropriate.

May the "Göran strap" (and rest) do it for you (as well as others), and I'll happily listen!

Bedt wishes - Wolf

#33 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 08:49 AM

One reason I see for the lack of  dynamics    of some  on the  EC   is due to the 'grip'    suggested in Tutor  books;  of placing  just the  final joint of the thumbs  into the loops.  Unless one has  very strong hands  this just does not give  enough  power  to  the  Bellows.   Of course this does all depend on the shape of one's Paws  but my  method of shoving my thumbs as far into the straps as  they will go  and heaving  and pushing , bouncing on the wind  in the bellows  to produce  as much dynamic  range as  is available from the reeds works very well for me and I see no need  for  modified  holding  ideas.

 

I recently suggested, to  a neighbour  who wished  to  learn  the EC,  the purchase  of a  Jackie....I wished I hadn't   after I tried it, but the bottom line comes into the choices we all make  and when people think they can get into  playing an instrument because there are  cheap 'starter' models available.  Yes the idea is fine  but only works for the totaly committed  who will put up with the discomfort  of an item designed down to a price!  

 

It is also possible, though not easy  to  quantify,  that these  starter  instruments  from china  may put off  more  people than they encourage.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 09 December 2017 - 08:55 AM.


#34 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:39 AM

One reason I see for the lack of  dynamics    of some  on the  EC   is due to the 'grip'    suggested in Tutor  books;  of placing  just the  final joint of the thumbs  into the loops.  Unless one has  very strong hands  this just does not give  enough  power  to  the  Bellows.   Of course this does all depend on the shape of one's Paws  but my  method of shoving my thumbs as far into the straps as  they will go  and heaving  and pushing , bouncing on the wind  in the bellows  to produce  as much dynamic  range as  is available from the reeds works very well for me and I see no need  for  modified  holding  ideas.


Good point Geoff!

Best wishes - Wolf




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