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Morse Or Edgeley?


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#1 David Levine

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:48 PM

It has been said in another post:

Edgley: reed response: 8-9. Edgley action: 7.
Morse: reed response 7. Morse action: 8-9.
Over all I would say its pretty close to a dead heat between those two boxes for ITM.


Is this the consensus? I'm considering one or the other- Morse or Edgley. I play ITM exclusively.
I have a great old Jeffries but I am more than a bit nervous about traveling with a concertina
worth more than anything else I own, aside from my house.
Asher, on Frank Edgley's site, is a great player. Quite an endorsement.
Michael O'Raghallaigh's praise for the Morse is also impressive.
Wouldn't reed response have a lot to do with action?
And are they about equal in build quality?
Is there an accomplished player out there with experience in both?
Thanks- I know I'm posing tricky questions and that the answers will be subjective - but I'd appreciate any comment.
Any PM would be strictly confidential.

#2 wntrmute

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:02 PM

I'd bet money that you could find people to swear by a Tedrow or Herrington, too. Probably the best way to decide would to be play one of each and see which one speaks to you most.
Barring that, roll the dice and let fate choose.
I don't think you can go wrong in any case. But I'm a n00b, so with a grain of salt.

#3 pubpersona

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:04 PM

-Other inquiring squeezers want to know too. -Thanks for posting these questions.
-Brian

#4 asdormire

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 06:49 PM

Having now played a Morse and an Edgely, I still think I prefer my Tedrow, but if my choice was one or the other, I liked the Edgely better myself, but that was purely personal. Given the weak US dollar, and the current strength of the Canadian, the Morse might make more sense for a European at the moment. A North American should try to find someplace where he could play all three if at all possible (or four, including the Herrington.) I think we should be thankful we have so many makers now on both sides of the pond to chose from.

Alan

#5 Robin Harrison

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:59 PM

............boy, this isn't going to help. But I was in an English session today in Cambridge, Ontario with a D/G Edgley that sounded great and was louder that heck............and I was at the Button Box work-shop day earlier in the year where one performer palyer a Morse that sounded like a concertina reeded anglo.It was a wonderful sound .
Both excellent choices. Robin

#6 eskin

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:00 PM

I have an Edgley and a Carroll. The Edgley is a wonderful instrument, phenomenally well built, and extremely fast. I haven't played a Morse, but I can very much recommend Edgley.

#7 Richard Morse

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:07 PM

I was at the Button Box work-shop day earlier in the year where one performer palyer a Morse that sounded like a concertina reeded anglo.

That was Frank Ferrel, and I don't think he'd mind if I posted a recording of one of the pieces he played at the concert that evening.

Please keep in mind that this recording was made with my mono dictaphone (about $35 bucks worth, with built-in mic) so the recording quality is really poor. Despite, Frank really makes the Morse sound pretty good!

-- Rich --

#8 David Barnert

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:01 AM

My father espoused a very effective way of making a decision between two seemingly equivalent choices. If, after collecting all the information you can, you cannot make a choice, toss a coin. Then, if you are disappointed with the result of the toss, you have ONE chance to turn it over...

#9 ceemonster

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 02:36 AM

naturally, tone is important, but as an irish player, i find that my number-one desire in a concertina is that it be FAST. it is tough enough to get reels up to dance speed, that responsiveness is make-or-break. FAST in a concertina involves three kinds of "action" (or responsiveness)---button action, bellows action, and reed action, aka, reed response.

i have a morse ceili, play it a lot, and love it. having said that, here is more detail on my own experience of its up & downsides....i would give the button action not the 8 or 9 mentioned above, but rather a ten. i would rank the bellows action as not exceptional but not bad....perfectly fine. but...i would rate the reed response on this guy lower. the reeds are somewhat resistive. it is not that the concertina won't play fast....it will, and as i said, the button action is grrrrreat. however, at fast-dance-reel speed, it is gonna work or even strain your hands to push those reeds, plain and simple. i'm talking about speeds upwards of about 100 or so on the metronome. you don't really feel the strain at a slow or relaxed speed. again, i love the concertina. i just wish it had that button action AND easier reed response.

like the poster above mentioned, i too find the ceili's tone wonderful, and people keep mentioning to me how much they like its sound.

Edited by ceemonster, 12 November 2007 - 02:43 AM.


#10 Robin Harrison

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 08:02 AM

That was Frank Ferrel, and I don't think he'd mind if I posted a recording of one of the pieces he played at the concert that evening.

Are you sure that wasn't a Jeffries , Rich.............it could have been.
Well done Robin

#11 Richard Morse

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 08:49 AM

That was Frank Ferrel, and I don't think he'd mind if I posted a recording of one of the pieces he played at the concert that evening.

Are you sure that wasn't a Jeffries , Rich.............it could have been.

I'm positive that is was a Morse. Frank's main instrument is fiddle... and when we contacted him about being on staff for our workshop he said he'd love to but that he didn't have a concertina any more as he so focused on fiddle. So we lent him one of ours for the month before the event. It had to be specially keyed as he uses a non-standard fingering but beyond that there's nothing else different about the box. He isn't able to play a Jeffries or Wheatstone system easily. I had brought my recorder that evening specifically to record him playing our box, and as it turned out that was the only recording I made the whole evening.

After the concert there was a lot of talk about how good our box sounded up there. Many people were surprised. Keep in mind that it may have sounded more lush because of hall qualities (medium-sized, high ceiling with an audience of 90-some) and that he had guitar backup (doesn't come through well, but does add lushness to the sound).

-- Rich --

#12 David Barnert

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 08:54 AM

Are you sure that wasn't a Jeffries , Rich.............it could have been.

I'm positive that is was a Morse...

I think Robin was kidding, Rich. Suggesting your instrument sounded like a Jeffries.

#13 Richard Morse

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 09:44 AM

i would give the button action not the 8 or 9 mentioned above, but rather a ten. i would rank the bellows action as not exceptional but not bad....perfectly fine. but...i would rate the reed response on this guy lower.

We realize that our boxes aren't perfect for ITM - they're geared for a broader/general market - though we can tweak them for ITM.

We *do* realize that they could be better in places, and that reed/action comparison/discussion here a couple months ago has galvanized us into doing something about it. We methodically went over the entire box and have made improvements to the compression and action (yes BION - though a minor improvement). It will be a few months before we implement our reed improvements as we're still working through the various choices to maximize the value of the improvements. Hopefully we'll be able to do it without raising our prices.

And speaking of prices... our boxes and Jeffries are in completely different classes. It's hardly fair to compare our $1825 US (882 GBP, 1252 EUR) boxes with $8000 Jeffries.

-- Rich --

#14 Paul Read

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 08:27 AM

And speaking of prices... our boxes and Jeffries are in completely different classes. It's hardly fair to compare our $1825 US (882 GBP, 1252 EUR) boxes with $8000 Jeffries.

-- Rich --


And 1770 C$ <_<

#15 bill_mchale

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:29 AM

i would give the button action not the 8 or 9 mentioned above, but rather a ten. i would rank the bellows action as not exceptional but not bad....perfectly fine. but...i would rate the reed response on this guy lower.

We realize that our boxes aren't perfect for ITM - they're geared for a broader/general market - though we can tweak them for ITM.

We *do* realize that they could be better in places, and that reed/action comparison/discussion here a couple months ago has galvanized us into doing something about it. We methodically went over the entire box and have made improvements to the compression and action (yes BION - though a minor improvement). It will be a few months before we implement our reed improvements as we're still working through the various choices to maximize the value of the improvements. Hopefully we'll be able to do it without raising our prices.

And speaking of prices... our boxes and Jeffries are in completely different classes. It's hardly fair to compare our $1825 US (882 GBP, 1252 EUR) boxes with $8000 Jeffries.

-- Rich --


I will definitely be interested in seeing the final result. The Morse is currently my second favorite of all the hybrids, if the reed response was tweaked to match the Edgley... well, it would still be a little light for my tastes, but I could always tape small lead weights to it or something :)... Just kidding.

In any case, I am not sure the comparison between the hybrids and the hi-end instruments is as unfair as you claim Rich. I am a big believer that the hybrids represent the sweet spot of concertinas in terms of price/performance. With the notable exception of the Kensington, you are talking about a price increase of two thousand dollars (or more) before you really start seeing what I would characterize as better instruments. Sure, you might instruments with a decent tone, but you will lack responsiveness or button action. Even then, much of the improvement (and their desirability) can be described as personal preference with regards to the tone. Ultimately, the increase in performance of the instruments is likely to be far less than the increase in cost. A Morse or an Edgley will provide an instrument that will limit the playing of only the relative handful of best players around. For the rest of us, we need to live with the fact that our playing is not limited by our instruments but by the amount of time we waste on here trying to find an instrument that will far exceed our playing abilities :).

--
Bill

#16 CaryK

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 12:32 PM

I am fortunate enough to own an Edgley and have had several opportunities to play a Morse. I like them both for action, response, and tone. But I prefer the Edgley, because I like the little more weight it has. It's additional "heft" gives me a greater feeling (perhaps subjective) of control. I play mainly while seated so the additional weight of the Edgley has been very comfortable in that position. The light weight of the Morse can be an advantage to some, but I like the more subtantial feeling of the Edgley, when I am playing. But if given a Morse, I'd be glad to play it too and proud to own it.

I also own an "older" (1998) Herrington. A little heavier than my Edgley and not as quick in reed response or as airtight, but its extremely quick button action makes it fun to play and I think Harold Herrington has likely improved his product with time.

#17 Marcus

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 12:34 PM

I love my Morse - however If I'd bought an Edgely I'm sure I'd love it just as much. If I had unlimited funds I'm sure I'd have many concertinas which would exceed my abilities, but as it is I have only one and I'm very happy with the choice I made.

If you want a listen check out my video on http://www.myspace.com/marcuskermode

As you can see the concertina far exceeds my humble abilities!

#18 ceemonster

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 11:38 PM

[I am not sure the comparison between the hybrids and the hi-end instruments is as unfair as you claim Rich. I am a big believer that the hybrids represent the sweet spot of concertinas in terms of price/performance.]

hear, hear. i believe this point has big wave-of-the-future potential. given the prices and waits for new "authentic" reeded concertinas, and the scarcity and asinine, silly-money price-tags on vintage ones, i believe there is a market waiting to be tapped for hybrids that are optimally responsive on all counts (buttons, reeds, etc). i mean, hybrids as principal instruments rather than learners or spares. we're just about there even now with the current edgleys & morses---they are every bit as beautiful in tone as concertina-reeded ones, just different. and if the responsiveness was there on all counts, i believe that difference would matter to fewer and fewer people.

in other news, "bell-like," is how i would describe the morse tone.....




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