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Age of Scholer Anglo


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#1 Adam-T

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:30 AM

I know Scholers are the equivalent of the current Chinese boxes being made in Klingenthal and the lowest of the low for their era but wondered all the same how old this one was . it`s a lot smaller than the smallest Chinese Anglos, has what looks like riveted mouth-organ reeds (they`re brass anyway) and a wooden pallet lever mech which leaves the chinese thin aluminium rubbish for dead.. The end straps were leather and nailed on (??), they were perished so I replaced them with camera bag webbing using the same method.

The thing actually plays fine bar one slow reed at the low end and is amazingly leak-less given the age, the 3 screw end fitment and ccontinous card-stock bellows construction . Sound-wise, it`s not got the raucous power of the Melodeon Steel-reed powered chinese junkers, softer as you`d expect given brass reeds. I wish the chinese boxes had these pallet levers

Thanks

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DDR-Concertina-1.jpg

Edited by Adam-T, 12 April 2012 - 09:40 AM.


#2 Rod

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

I know Scholers are the equivalent of the current Chinese boxes being made in Klingenthal and the lowest of the low for their era but wondered all the same how old this one was . it`s a lot smaller than the smallest Chinese Anglos, has what looks like riveted mouth-organ reeds (they`re brass anyway) and a wooden pallet lever mech which leaves the chinese thin aluminium rubbish for dead.. The end straps were leather and nailed on (??), they were perished so I replaced them with camera bag webbing using the same method.

The thing actually plays fine bar one slow reed at the low end and is amazingly leak-less given the age, the 3 screw end fitment and ccontinous card-stock bellows construction . Sound-wise, it`s not got the raucous power of the Melodeon Steel-reed powered chinese junkers, softer as you`d expect given brass reeds. I wish the chinese boxes had these pallet levers

Thanks

Pics

DDR-Concertina-1.jpg


From memory looks very similar to my very first instrument, purchased for next to nothing, brand new, mid 1970's, Charing Cross Road, London. No regrets. A cheap and sensible introduction to the instrument for a complete and utter novice.

#3 Adam-T

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:28 PM

So its around the 70s then - Thanks .. I paid next to nothing for this one, it hasn`t the bite or power of the chinese newies and I`ll have to clean the reeds to get that wheezy one up and running properly (I`m not sure whether the pull reed is on the top or underneath) ..

BTW it`s about half a semitone sharp of A440 which makes it useless for accompanying other instruments bar synthesizers which have easy global fine tuning. this seems to be common in Klingenthal boxes (well the melodeons anyway)

Edited by Adam-T, 12 April 2012 - 01:29 PM.


#4 richard

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:05 PM

Hi

Does that concertina say Scholer on it? The Scholers that I am familiar with had Plastic ends and sides, "mother of toilet seat" if you will, and didn't look like yours. The Scholers I have seen and owned were much better than the Chinese ones I have experience with which were pieces of C_ _ _. I did have one like the one you have and it wasn't so bad either.

Richard

#5 richard

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:09 PM

This is the type of scholer I am familiar with.

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  • scholer.jpg


#6 Adam-T

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:38 PM

This is the type of scholer I am familiar with.


This one does have the Scholer badge on and its all wood, Yours looks a lot newer, is it one of the really large ones with 2 voices of melodeon type reedblocks ?, from the pic it looks like celluloid covered plywood like the chinese boxes rather than plastic, the straps look the same light brown leather and Nails as my old one..

I have fixed the lazy reed now (Muck in the underneath one), the brass reeds give it a mellow sound. the Chinese one sounds fine (rather like a Chinese accordion on one rank as you`d expect) but the lever mech isn`t reliable. When I say "Sounds fine" you have to take into account that I come from a world of PAs and Melodeons where reed blocks and steel reeds are the norm - LOL .

there are two sizes of Chinese 20 button Anglos, Both are all wood believe it or not (Bogseat celluloid coating) the one I have is the smaller of the two and even that dwarfs the old brass reed Scholer as you can see... the larger Chinese model is quite a bit bigger than the one here.

2-Concertinas.JPG

Edited by Adam-T, 13 April 2012 - 02:10 AM.


#7 Mike Franch

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

I've refrained from commenting as I figured what need to be said about this has been said, but as I look at the photos of this instrument, inside and out, I find myself thinking, "charming." Yes, it's cheap and probably wouldn't last long under heavy playing, or probably not sound very good, but the simplicity and economy are appealing, perhaps even elegant in engineering terms. I imagine that for a great many people, it was an "entry drug" into the concertina world.

#8 AlexCJones

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

I have found Scholers in 3 sizes:
Large: Each side of the hexagon is 4 1/2 inches, 3 reads per note, so that each key plays in 3 octaves. Instrument tuned to C/G but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

Medium: Each side of the hexagon is 4 inches, 2 reads per note, so that each key plays in 2 octaves. Instrument tuned to G/D but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

Small: Each side of the hexagon is 3 1/2 inches, 1 read per note. Instrument tuned sharp of D/A so that it is almost midway between D/A and Eb/Bb. In Adam-T's photo, the small on on the left must be one of these.

I have some with the pearloid "Mother-of-Toilet-seat" finish, some red and some grey, and some with the wood finish with the fake wood grain painted on. I originally bought the first one in order to cannibalize to fix different 20-button branded "Frontalini". The Frontalini has the pallet style button mechanisms, except they are metal, like aluminium or steel, and its reeds are perfectly in tune. When I found myself with a large Scholer that was the wrong size to cannibalize, I thought the 3 octave tuning was so cool, that I would get another one the same size, and use the parts from this other large Scholer to fix the first large Scholer. But in the construction of the second large Scholer, glue was used too liberally, so that it is rather difficult to take it apart and keep its parts intact.

My advice about Scholers is to avoid them, no matter how cheap you find them. The wood they are made of seems to be better suited for making matchsticks, the tuning is always off, the reed are not mounted separately, but instead groups of 10 (5 in 5 out) are mounted together each on a common trapezoidal red block.

If you want a simple wooden-ended 20-button, so you can look like a more authentic 19th-century sailor, then get a Hohner D40. If you want that parallel octave thing going on, then Stagi makes a 20-button that does that.

I'll take some photos and post them when I have some more time.

#9 Adam-T

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for the Info, I thought it was worth a look for next to nothing, intertesting to pull apart and hear its wheezy brass reed sound and I can`t lose money on it ... as for the multi voice Scholers, shame they didn`t do a dry tuned LM setup for a Bandoneon sound (assuming they didn`t) because anything else with more than 1 voice which uses standard reed plates in vertical block will end up sounding like and will be, really a concertina shaped Melodeon.

#10 AlexCJones

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for the Info, I thought it was worth a look for next to nothing, intertesting to pull apart and hear its wheezy brass reed sound and I can`t lose money on it ... as for the multi voice Scholers, shame they didn`t do a dry tuned LM setup for a Bandoneon sound (assuming they didn`t) because anything else with more than 1 voice which uses standard reed plates in vertical block will end up sounding like and will be, really a concertina shaped Melodeon.

I agree, that for a cheap instrument to take apart, the Scholer is the best. Not only is the financial loss negligible if one gets destroyed, there is not much if a risk of extinction of these, since there is not exactly a shortage.

But, for the educational part, I now think that it has been worth it. I still do not know much about wood quality, but comparing the button board of a Scholer with that of another inexpensive 30-button, the difference was obvious even to me. You might be able to pinch part of the Scholer button board between your fingers hard enough to make a dent.



#11 AlexCJones

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

Okay, so I said that I'd post some pix of my Scholers.

First, here is a red-colored wood ended D/A (Eb/Bb ??) that has 3 and a half inch sides:
3andhalfinchModels.JPG

Here are 2 that have 4 inch sides. The grey mother-of-toilet-seat one has its bellows stretched out because I am attempting to de-mildew them. On the right, you can see one of its ends, showing that it is double-reeded. It is pitched in G/D. On the left is a different one of that size, but it was single-reeded. I don't remember what it was pitched in, and I don't plan to reassemble it. Two of its trapezoidal reed blocks are lying there.
DSCN2328_023.JPG


Here are my two 4 1/2 half inch sided triple reed triple octave models, both pitched in C/G The wood-ended one is the one I intend to fix. The grey mother-of-toilet-seat one is one I got for parts for the wood-ended one, but in the construction, too much glue was used, so it is difficult to take apart. Its button board assembly is lying in front to reveal the 3 sets of reeds per row,
DSCN2331_024.JPG

Edited by AlexCJones, 24 April 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#12 AlexCJones

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:13 PM

Stupid thing made me post it twice. I was just looking at one of the pictures, clicked the back button, and I was back in the editor. I clicked Save changes, because I did not want to lose it. There is no option to delete, so I have removed the redundant content. But I can't get rid of the photos on this one.

Edited by AlexCJones, 23 April 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#13 Adam-T

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:24 AM

Thanks Alex, The big one Looks massive , the small one the same as my G/C (or thereabouts) one. shame the big one didn`t have steel reeds, it`d sound sharp and powerful like a 3 voice melodeon .

#14 Novascotian

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:18 AM

I have found Scholers in 3 sizes:
Large: Each side of the hexagon is 4 1/2 inches, 3 reads per note, so that each key plays in 3 octaves. Instrument tuned to C/G but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

Medium: Each side of the hexagon is 4 inches, 2 reads per note, so that each key plays in 2 octaves. Instrument tuned to G/D but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

Small: Each side of the hexagon is 3 1/2 inches, 1 read per note. Instrument tuned sharp of D/A so that it is almost midway between D/A and Eb/Bb. In Adam-T's photo, the small on on the left must be one of these.

I have some with the pearloid "Mother-of-Toilet-seat" finish, some red and some grey, and some with the wood finish with the fake wood grain painted on. I originally bought the first one in order to cannibalize to fix different 20-button branded "Frontalini". The Frontalini has the pallet style button mechanisms, except they are metal, like aluminium or steel, and its reeds are perfectly in tune. When I found myself with a large Scholer that was the wrong size to cannibalize, I thought the 3 octave tuning was so cool, that I would get another one the same size, and use the parts from this other large Scholer to fix the first large Scholer. But in the construction of the second large Scholer, glue was used too liberally, so that it is rather difficult to take it apart and keep its parts intact.

My advice about Scholers is to avoid them, no matter how cheap you find them. The wood they are made of seems to be better suited for making matchsticks, the tuning is always off, the reed are not mounted separately, but instead groups of 10 (5 in 5 out) are mounted together each on a common trapezoidal red block.

If you want a simple wooden-ended 20-button, so you can look like a more authentic 19th-century sailor, then get a Hohner D40. If you want that parallel octave thing going on, then Stagi makes a 20-button that does that.

I'll take some photos and post them when I have some more time.

Just wanted to comment in case anyone is doing research on Scholers and is put off by this.  I traded an old piano accordion I don't play for a 1960s D/G and it wasn't at all bad as long as I played it solo.  It is true it was useless for sessions, but for singing or solo playing it was fun to play. I have several Anglos of better quality, but I still have a bash at my Scholer from time to time.  I have a collection of cheap antique and vintage concertinas, and the primitive quality of some, including my Scholer, can be quite compelling - although I will admit that they compel people to leave when I try to play along with better melodeons and concertinas of a higher calibre.



#15 Frank Edgley

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:42 AM

The red plastic one is the same as my first concertina. I played around with it for a few months until a reed broke. Not a complete loss, however as I've used it for years as part my tuning jig.






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