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Jeffries 38 Vs 45+ Button Anglos

Jeffries anglos 38 button

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#1 adrian brown

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 05:13 AM

Following Will's post about this on another thread, I thought this issue might deserve it's own. With yet another 45 Jeffries on Ebay this weekend (which might or might not be an anglo) and having reassured my wife that I won't be tempted to increase my button allowance, I thought it would be good to discuss what you get for your extra 6 or so buttons.
Will mentioned 4 issues in his post for preferring the 38 layout and I'd say mine are pretty much the same, but in a different order.

On sound, I've yet to be convinced by the 6 or so Jeffries anglos I've played with 45 (+) buttons. They have all sounded rather shrill and my impression is that their dynamic range is not as good, as my 38s. Most of those I've seen are either "Jeffries Brothers" or have the cruder "C Jeffries" mark, which I understand indicates they are probably later instruments than the "C Jeffries Maker"? The one on Ebay this weekend has the "C Jeffries Praed St" cartouche, and so it may be a different kettle of fish altogether?

Weight would be my number 2, since I mostly play standing and I'm somewhat older than Will :)

On 3, I'm not sure what those extra 6 buttons would bring to my party. Thinking in terms of a CG box - on the right hand side, I could often do with a high Eb, but I sometimes put one in temporarily (in place of the pull G#) for some pieces, but of course it would be nice to have both. On the left side, I often miss a pull C# and a low F# (I have a low D instead of the former and there's simply no space for the latter.) On the whole though, I'm not sure the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for me and the repertoire I want to play. If I can't play certain combinations of notes, I'll either transpose the piece to make it fit, or find another. In this respect I enjoy working within the restrictions of the 38 layout, at the same time trying to push to see how far you can go within the boundaries it sets you.

On 4, not sure button spacing worries me, and I've got used to swapping between the Jeffries "needle" buttons and the more rounded and larger Suttner buttons

Anybody play both a 38 and a 45+ anglo regularly? If so, do you miss the extra buttons when only playing a 38? What do other 38'ers miss from their layouts?


#2 wayman


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Posted 14 September 2014 - 09:34 AM

Regarding weight, I'm mostly thinking of comparing my 38 button Jeffries to my Morse. The difference is only a pound or pound and a half: the Morse was 2 pounds something, the Jeffries 38 was three pounds something. I don't feel this difference when playing, at least not for morris dances: I can play Sherborne Trunkles standing holding the Jeffries at head height or above in a crowded pub. But I might not want to do a whole concert set standing; can't say, never tried.


I haven't weighed or played the 45 button Jeffries at the Button Box in a while. I might find it's at least a pound heavier than my 38 button, or at least heavy enough to make a difference to me -- who can say (but if it didn't sell this weekend, I might measure it Monday).

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Jeffries, anglos, 38 button

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