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#1 Pgidley

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

So, Ive been playing the fiddle for quite some years and know a good load of tunes. Im happy with my fiddle playing, but I most enjoy playing with a small group, usually a flutist friend and my girlfriend on C#/D box. Ive been planning to take up the concertina at some point, and I've been playing around with a Stagi 20 button, and have gotten some tunes down on that instrument, despite the limited range. Ive been saving for a mid-range instrument, and have about enough now for something like and Edgley or Tedrow, or possibly a mahogany Lachenal or Jones. I could save a bit more and get a rosewood Lach as well.

My plan is to buy one of these instruments and put a down payment on a Sutner or Dipper soon after. Because of this plan, Im more concerned with playability and responsiveness than true concertina tone, as by the time ive played enough to consider myself a serious player, I'll have a top quality instrument.

Which would be the best choice for the meantime? I like the sound of the older instruments, but do they play as crisply as an Edgley? I know opinions would be varied, but I need to inform my decision as there aren't many concertinas (or concertinists) around to compare with.

If you prefer not to voice your opinions openly, please PM me.

Thanks!

#2 wntrmute

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:06 PM

Your absolute best bet would be to see if there's anyone around your area with an Edgley, Tedrow, or Morse. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, and it really comes down to which speaks to you more. Also, you'll want to figure out what kind of accidental row arrangement you want, Jeffries or Lachenal. The Jeffries is supposed to be better for Irish, but I like the orderly-ness of the Lachenal.
But I am still a neophyte player, so with a grain of salt with that opinion with regards to the layout. I think the board will support me on the high quality of all of the brands I've mentioned.
Also, I think Mr. Wim Wakker makes an instrument with traditional reeds along the same quality as a Suttner; as well as a couple of state-side manufacturers who make traditionally reeded instruments -- so don't count them out, either.

I can't speak to the quality of the older instruments.

#3 Pgidley

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 05:34 PM

The Wakker's Ive looked at look quite nice as well, though I have a while to decide. Mr. Edgely lives not far from where I am in Canada, and a friend of mine has one of his instruments, but I haven't been able to compare it to a Lachenal yet.

#4 Takayuki YAGI

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 09:57 PM

As a owner of one Edgley (24key C/G, 2006) and some Lachenals including Connor rebuild one, I try to put an personal opinion.

Mechanical property like key noise, key spring etc:
Edgley and Connor is far better than restored Lachanals I tried. I can easily play rolls on Edgley and Connor.

Reed responsiveness:
Edgley is fast.
Some good Lachenals are even fast but I think they are rare. I once tried My friend's instrument which has that quality.
My Lachenals are not so responsive and think these are typical level.

Tone:
Rebuild Lachanal and restored Lachenal have quite similar sound from listening position. But from playing position, I can feel more reverb from restored one than rebuild one. These have relatively quiet, warm sound than Edgley. I like these sound but it is personal preference.
Edgley has brighter and crispy sound as you know.


Vintage instrument would have wide variations in sound and playability even if they are restored. So if you are targetting a topquality instrument finally, I presonally recommend Edgley this time. You said you are not far from Edgley, it sounds good. I visited Edgley in 2005 before I made an order. Good person to deal with :-)


--
Taka

#5 david_boveri

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:15 AM

either would be good, but a dipper may take you a very long time indeed, so an edgley would be less trouble! the only benefit a lachenal would have would be zero wait time, unless you could find a used edgley.

of course, you could just have some fun, place an order on a dipper, buy a jeffries, and then have two wonderful concertinas when you're done!

#6 Chris Timson

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:41 AM

the only benefit a lachenal would have would be zero wait time, unless you could find a used edgley.

I have to be a little bit careful here, because lovers of hybrid concertinas get awfully defensive about the sound, but to my taste a good Lachenal sounds nicer than any accordion-reeded concertina ever made. The rosewood-ended boxes in particular have a beautiful sweetness of tone that I really love. My first anglo was a Rosewood ended Lachenal, and I always regretted selling it. Now, I have a particularly nice 40-button C/G that combines that sweetness with an unusually slick (for a Lachenal) action. There's some good Laches out there, and it's worth searching them out.

of course, you could just have some fun, place an order on a dipper, buy a jeffries, and then have two wonderful concertinas when you're done!

A policy I have been advocating for years. Mind, you do have to be able to afford the Jeffries in the first place. If you have any, selling your spouse and children into slavery can be a quick money earner. :ph34r:

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#7 Pgidley

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:07 AM

Oh im sure I'll end up selling a limb or something some day to aquire a Jeffries. Actually, one of the first concertinas I ever had my hands on was a Jeffries. Just having graduated, Ill have to put that off till I have a "real" job. Theres no question that I'll put a payment on a top quality instrument once I start learning, but right now Im trying to decide between looking for a good Lachenal, or going with one of the hybrid makers. I don't mind the wait time of the hybrid makers, since I'll be in the field doing research all summer.

#8 Tootler

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:56 PM

When I bought mine, The shop had a Connor which had Lachenal reeds but was otherwise a new box. It had the best tone of all those I tried - various makes of hybrid - but the reeds were slow speaking, especially at the bass end, even for me as a relative beginner so I ended up with a Morse.

Although the shop I went to did not have an Edgely, all the other hybrids I tried were very similar and I chose the Morse because for me it was the most comfortable to play and I have no reason to regret my decision.

Geoff

#9 kfk'51

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:02 PM

Tired of my stagi, I just woke up one morning, looked at my bank balance and gave Bob Tedrow a call. I ordered a standard (30 key Jeffries sys) C/G in the middle of Feb '08 (I think) and I got it some time in Apr. It's fast (the air valve and bellows deliver at something approaching the speed of light) and has a nice "honk" to it. I was used to the "standard" layout, but I now enjoy the Jeffries layout--especially in the keys of D and A. I'm still a tyro, and confine my playing to my living room, but I think it would make a good session choice as it's quite strident--a lot of bang for the buck.
Kevin

#10 wntrmute

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:18 PM

Well, my understanding was that the plan was to get a playable instrument in the under $2k range now, and to get the uber-cool top-o-th'-line instrument a few years down the road. How many vintage instruments are out there for under $2k that won't take another 50% or more of the purchase price to make playable? A week or two back, a Jeffries went for an insane amount of bling (though it was appraised, with a dinky trumpet, at about $1k or so). Vintage prices are unreal (if you can find one for sale) far more often than not except for the old German ones; and as interesting as I think they are, I can't honestly recommend one of those over a Morse, Tedrow, or Edgley.

#11 McIsog

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 09:55 PM

Vintage instruments have vintage parts. And IMHO - they may lack the speed, tightness and sensitivity of a new (built in the last 20 years) instrument. I have a whole pile of concertinas 1/2 new 1/2 old and what the old ones have in honk the new ones beat them out in tightness and sensitivity. My favorite 'new' instrument is the Tedrow Zephyr. Its the size of a Jeffries 30 key, very loud, very sensitive and fast.

#12 Bill N

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:35 AM

If i make it to your gig next week, I'll bring my Rochelle (and the Henry Harley just for fun), and you can give them a try.

#13 Paul Read

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:58 AM

Vintage instruments have vintage parts. And IMHO - they may lack the speed, tightness and sensitivity of a new (built in the last 20 years) instrument. I have a whole pile of concertinas 1/2 new 1/2 old and what the old ones have in honk the new ones beat them out in tightness and sensitivity. My favorite 'new' instrument is the Tedrow Zephyr. Its the size of a Jeffries 30 key, very loud, very sensitive and fast.

It sounds like you need to have the vintage instruments serviced. It isn't a big deal for a decent restorer to make an instrument tight and responsive again. That way you get a responsive instrument and that vintage concertina sound.

#14 d.elliott

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:22 AM

Vintage instruments have vintage parts. And IMHO - they may lack the speed, tightness and sensitivity of a new (built in the last 20 years) instrument. I have a whole pile of concertinas 1/2 new 1/2 old and what the old ones have in honk the new ones beat them out in tightness and sensitivity. My favorite 'new' instrument is the Tedrow Zephyr. Its the size of a Jeffries 30 key, very loud, very sensitive and fast.

It sounds like you need to have the vintage instruments serviced. It isn't a big deal for a decent restorer to make an instrument tight and responsive again. That way you get a responsive instrument and that vintage concertina sound.


Paul,

I could not agree more, There is nothing to say that a mid range or better traditional instrument, properly cared for, should not play as well (or better) than an equivalent modern instrument. There appears to be some 'unfortunate' generalisations in this thread.

The only caution on the older instruments is that a majority were not originally tuned to A=440hz, and the reeds will all have been re-tuned to the modern pitch. This need not be (and normally is not) a problem but occaisionally someone has a go with a grinder, course file, hammer and chisel; road breaker etc, and reeds are thinned out making them weak and not too clever.

Dave

#15 yankeeclipper

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:33 AM

The only caution on the older instruments is that a majority were not originally tuned to A=440hz, and the reeds will all have been re-tuned to the modern pitch. This need not be (and normally is not) a problem but occaisionally someone has a go with a grinder, course file, hammer and chisel; road breaker etc, and reeds are thinned out making them weak and not too clever.


Had my 1915 vintage Wheatstone English treble re-tuned from old pitch to A440 25 years ago, no "weakness" detected yet and it still sounds great today. :D

#16 bill_mchale

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:19 AM

So, Ive been playing the fiddle for quite some years and know a good load of tunes. Im happy with my fiddle playing, but I most enjoy playing with a small group, usually a flutist friend and my girlfriend on C#/D box. Ive been planning to take up the concertina at some point, and I've been playing around with a Stagi 20 button, and have gotten some tunes down on that instrument, despite the limited range. Ive been saving for a mid-range instrument, and have about enough now for something like and Edgley or Tedrow, or possibly a mahogany Lachenal or Jones. I could save a bit more and get a rosewood Lach as well.

My plan is to buy one of these instruments and put a down payment on a Sutner or Dipper soon after. Because of this plan, Im more concerned with playability and responsiveness than true concertina tone, as by the time ive played enough to consider myself a serious player, I'll have a top quality instrument.

Which would be the best choice for the meantime? I like the sound of the older instruments, but do they play as crisply as an Edgley? I know opinions would be varied, but I need to inform my decision as there aren't many concertinas (or concertinists) around to compare with.

If you prefer not to voice your opinions openly, please PM me.

Thanks!


The thing to remember in all of this is that much of it goes to personal taste; this seems particularly true when one is trying to figure out what one's first "serious" concertina should be. Ultimately, I agree with those who say that there is something special about the tone of a rosewood Lachenal, but at the same time, many of them (but not all) are not as responsive as many of us demand for playing in Irish sessions (Of course if you aren't planning on playing in an Irish Session, then ignore all this :)). Of course, good rosewood Lach's are probably pricey enough these days as well.

I have an Edgley personally. I prefer the feel to the Tedrow's (my own opinion only) I have tried, and it is plenty fast for most things I play. There is a sticky button that I need to address at some point, but it is the A#/G# so I don't use it that often and is not a big concern to me. Otherwise, action is fast and the tone is quite nice. I have also liked the Morse's I have tried. I also have a Marcus that is out on loan right now... It is very air tight but a smidge slower than the others I have tried (I suspect that for chord heavy English music it would really come into its own), but not slow enough to be a major problem for Irish music.

--
Bill

#17 Chris Timson

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:31 AM

I could not agree more, There is nothing to say that a mid range or better traditional instrument, properly cared for, should not play as well (or better) than an equivalent modern instrument. There appears to be some 'unfortunate' generalisations in this thread.

I'm going to do a +1 on this. A good concertina properly maintained will last for centuries. That includes old concertinas, new concertinas and concertinas formerly in ropey condition renovated by a good concertina technician. I've said before and I'll say it again. We don't own these things; we are their custodians for a time.

Chris

#18 McIsog

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:36 PM

If i make it to your gig next week, I'll bring my Rochelle (and the Henry Harley just for fun), and you can give them a try.



God talk about pushing buttons - OK OK OK
Quality has nothing to do with it either!!! That should add another 22 posts to this thread - LOL!




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