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New Carroll Concertina


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#1 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:03 PM

Hi Andy and all,

I have been playing my Carroll 30b C/G anglo for a week and I am very impressed.

Several years ago Wally Carroll decided to make a 30 button anglo. Inspired by the vintage Linota and Jeffries sound he has learned to make his own profiled steel reeds and every other part of a concertina. (Yes, he makes his own slotted end bolts.)

Six months ago I heard Wally play his prototype. I was so impressed with #1 that I immediately placed an order for #2. I can honestly say that Wally has improved on what I thought was already a very nice, capable instrument and that #2 has exceeded my hopes and expectations. I live fairly close to Wally so I've had the privilage of watching the instrument be born the past four months.

The result is an instrument with a radial layout. The reed shoes are dovetail fitted into the pan. The reeds are quick to respond and have, what I like to call, a very pure sound. The instrument is nearly as loud as my Linota. The action is rivetted and it is very smooth and quick. Bellows are six fold and seem just the right blend of stiffness and flexibility.

One aspect of the sound that I immediately noted (no pun) was the great balance between the bass and treble/left and right sides. (We must get Alan Day to record on one of these Carrolls!)

That is probably all I care to say right now. I know I have given a few hints that the Carroll will be at the NHICS Midwest camp. I wanted to pique some interest because I think this is very, very nice concertina and I think people will be interested in trying it out.

Wally Carroll, the maker, is a fine player and he will be at Noel's camp too.

I'll let Wally supply any additional details that he may want to give you, at his discretion. He is very busy in the workshop completing #3 which has already been sold. Please be patient.

Regards, Greg

#2 Dan Stener

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 07:26 PM

Hello All,

Greg, would you and or Wally care to note contact information?

Perhaps there a link or contact information here that I've failed to find?

What models does Wally make - Anglo, English, Duet?

It's great to hear that another builder is developing and producing a fine instrument.

Thanks.

And best wishes to Greg for playing and to Wally for building.

Be Well,

Dan

#3 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 08:31 PM

Hi Dan,

For the present Wally is concentrating on 30button C/G anglos.

I have a few pictures of mine but I do not have a photo or drawing program to reduce them to 120k for the c.net format. Suggestions welcome.

I will remind Wally that folks would like to know more.

If you are going to be in the Cincinnati, OH area you can email me to arrange getting together if you'd like try out the Carroll #2.

Yes, I think it is a wonderful thing for concertina players to have lots of choices.
That is why I want to support Wally Carroll in particular and thank the Colin and Rosalie Dippers, Juergen Suttner, Peter Hooft, Richard Evans, Hamish Bayne, Bob Tedrow, Frank Edgley, Rich Morse, Bob Herrington, A. C. Norman, Marcus Music, John Conner, Geuns-Wakker and Steve Dickinson for all the fine instruments that they are making. Apologies to anyone I overlooked.

And while I'm cheering I'll add a round of applause for the wonderful repair people that keep the vintage boxes playing. Malcolm Clapp, Paul Groff and the Button Box are a few of my favorites.

Regards, Greg

#4 Wally Carroll

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 06:55 PM

Hi Dan,
as Greg mentioned, I am currently only making Anglos. Numbers one, two and three are all 30 button C/G's. If the photo upload works, I'll attach a photo of #2 to this message.

These instruments are modeled on a 1914 Wheatstone Linota that I acquired several years ago. As Greg mentioned, the reeds are traditional concertina reeds that I manufacture here in my workshop.

The best way to reach me is by email: wally@sligoroad.com

Alternatively, I can be reached by phone at 859-426-0075.

I do plan to get a website together with additional info within the next couple of months and I'll be sure to make an announcement when that happens.

Regards,
Wally

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#5 Dan Stener

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 06:11 AM

Hello Wally,

Thanks for the contact information.

I'll wait until you get a few more anglos under your belt and then call to prod you about an English.

Be Well,

Dan

#6 RoyJanik

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:17 AM

I've taken the plunge and ordered Carroll concertina number 9, myself. Here are some selected pictures of the Carroll concertinas I encountered at the Noel Hill school last week:

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#7 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 04:08 PM

Thank you for the pictures, Roy!

I think many know by now that I believe Wally Carroll is building a top notch concertina with a sound that can hold its own with and perhaps rival the better vintage concertinas. It was gratifying but not surprising to watch the positive response to the Carroll by the Noel Hill Midwest campers.

Three camp participants and one who could not attend placed orders. Three of these folks already own Jeffries, and two of those three have Dippers. The fourth person is Roy Janik and you can tell by his photographs of the Noel Hill camp that he is a person of discriminating taste! Or at least he knows a good concertina when he plays it!

My point is that while these people will continue to play their wonderful vintage instruments, when they saw, heard and played a Carroll they thought it "noteworthy" and ordered one.

Congratulations, Wally! And I hope an increasing number of people will get to play and enjoy a Carroll concertina.

Regards, Greg

#8 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:02 PM

Let me add that in the four months since my last post in this thread that Wally has completed #s 4 and 5 of the Carroll concertina line. You can see these latest efforts on his website and they are wonderful sounding as well as beautiful to behold!

He is building one fine box!

My #2 is still going strong. Other than "operator error" when I am playing it, I can find few shortcomings with this instrument. Now that Wally has his website up and running I'll stop cheerleading and let you look and read for yourselves. I should go practice.

Regards,

Greg

#9 bill_mchale

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 03:02 PM

It does look like a very nice box; the website is a little basic still, but at least it is there. I am glad to see he has options for the key layout.

One thing I noticed, the pictures on the site use a different strap arrangement from the traditional straps shown here. Are traditional straps an option or has he switched entirely over to the new style.

I can't wait 'til someone posts some sound files.

In any case, I might have to start saving up once my Edgley and Kennsington comes in.

--
Bill

#10 RoyJanik

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 04:51 PM

Now I'm excited all over again. Number 9 is not very far away.

#11 Mark Stayton

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 06:31 PM

Now I'm excited all over again. Number 9 is not very far away.

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And Number 8 is closer still!

#12 Michael Reid

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 07:37 PM

You can see these latest efforts on his website and they are wonderful sounding as well as beautiful to behold!

And that web site, for those who are wondering, is www.carrollconcertinas.com.

#13 Wally Carroll

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 10:22 PM

One thing I noticed, the pictures on the site use a different strap arrangement from the traditional straps shown here.  Are traditional straps an option or has he switched entirely over to the new style. 

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Hi Bill,
I can make either type of strap arrangement. The 'new' arrangement is actually quite traditional. I personally prefer the 'new' style.

I hope to get sound files up in the very near future.

-Wally

#14 Paul Read

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 08:56 AM

How is heavy this concertina compared to a Jeffries or Wheatstone 30B?

#15 Wally Carroll

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 10:25 AM

How is heavy this concertina  compared to a Jeffries or Wheatstone 30B?

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Instrument #4 (pictured on my website) weighs in at 2.57 lbs which is approximately 2 lbs 10 ounces. I didn't weigh #5 but I would expect similar results as it was made in virtually the same way.

There is a chart at http://www.concertin...de_weights.html which gives comparables.

From a quick look, the lightest 30 button Jeffries listed is: 2 lbs 14ounces
There are three Wheatstone Linotas listed: one is 2 lbs 5 ounces, one is 2 lbs 10 ounces and one is 2 lbs 12 ounces.

The Wheatstone Linota that I own is 2 lbs 10 ounces.

-Wally

#16 david_boveri

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 01:20 AM

And Number 8 is closer still!

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congratulations on receiving number 8 on tuesday! (forgive me if my memory failed to get the date).

and thanks for letting me play it, thus making me want one. you've thrown away the next 3 years of my life.

#17 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 02:16 AM

David,

I agree with you that Mark has a wonderful new instrument. He has always been very accessible and generous with his music and expertise.

It was a pleasure to meet you at Noel Hill camp, to hear you play and to share your enthusiasm for the music and concertina.

"...thrown away...." ? Perhaps "invested" is a more appropriate word. I have little doubt that your commitment to a Carroll concertina and Irish music will pay you handsome dividends.

Best wishes,

Greg J

#18 Mark Stayton

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 06:29 AM

congratulations on receiving number 8 on tuesday!  (forgive me if my memory failed to get the date).

and thanks for letting me play it...

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David,

Thanks, and you're very welcome. Carroll #8 is a joy to behold, play, and hear.

One of the great side benefits of attending Noel Hill school is the opportunity to get hands-on experience with a wide variety of instruments. There's nothing like it to help you choose the right instrument for you. In fact, playing #3 at last year's school is what sold me on the Carroll in the first place, so I guess I'm just passing along the "I gotta get me one of these!" feeling. ;)

...thus making me want one.  you've thrown away the next 3 years of my life.

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"...thrown away...." ? Perhaps "invested" is a more appropriate word.

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I agree with Greg - think of it as an investment. In the interim, invest yourself in the music and building the skills that Noel taught, and your dividends will be that much greater when your Carroll arrives.




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