Posts posted by Myrtle's cook
Ah! Thank you Greg. Appreciated.
I see that the description for for this instrument in the digitised Wheatstone ledgers in the Horniman includes the term 'S.V.'. I think this has been explained previously on this forum (but I could not find it) - can anyone provide enlightenment?
A very tempting instrument...
Hey, good work and result Soltanov!
As Mike says, what a great feeling to have fixed this. I am sure it helps in the bonding process with an instrument (after the inital feeling of apprehension when taking screw driver in hand...!)
Hope it will now give many hours of happy playing
A number of Liverpool marching concertina bands include Anglos alongside the more usual Maccans. It may be worth searching youtube to see what strategies these players adopt. Two names worth searching in this respect are:
- Bootle Concertina Band
- Colonel Saunderson Band
(sorry for not looking for these links myself - am presently posting using a phone that struggles with youtube)
I would expect these will bear out many of the suggestions above - and it's always reassuring to actually see what other people are doing.
Eddy - many thanks.
Jim - good point (particularly as folk clubs, sessions and festivals are not without the temptation of beer)!
Think I'll still be treating myself to one of these for summer use - easier to justify than a new concertina...
Eddy - this is really helpful, thankyou - I have been looking for something just like this.
Can I check that's a treble EC you've got packed in there?
I think my choice was along the lines of what Steve Mansfield describes above. My brain seems hard wired against the semi-intuitive approach of the Anglo, but very comfortable with something that directly relates to written music. It was sealed when I went to buy my first concertina and was allowed to 'play' (note the inverted commas - i didn't have a clue what I was doing!) through something like 20 instruments (both EC and Anglo). What sealed it was the sound from the Lachenal Excellsior that I went on to buy - didn't find anything else in either system whose sound I liked as much. Perhaps if I had found an Anglo with that sort of sound the outcome might have been different and I would have persevered against my instinct.
These were the specific silicone corner gaurds I was referring to in my post above, to protect my not so young forehead from the sharp corners of a cooker hood. I friend of mine uses the same thing in his restaurant - between the wooden table and the sheet of glass that forms an easy wipe surface on the table top. He finds they are occassionally prone to tearing which might have some bearing on their use of cases.
I have one of these Hobgoblin cases and the corner protectors are some form of plastic, adequate, but I am sure could be bettered. Some timeago I got some more robust corner protectors for a larger box I am planning to build to hold two concertinas - these were significantly more robust and impact absorbing being designed for stage PA gear.
Here is a link to some on Ebay, just as an example, they seem to come in all sorts of sizes. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PA-Speaker-Corner-Protectors-C6-Corner-1-x-1-6-Pieces-/261289491490?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Speaker_Parts&hash=item3cd6113c22#ht_1654wt_1069
Coincidently I have some of the clear silicone corner gaurds too - used in a kitchen project. They are quite soft so might not wear too well; they do however do an excellent job in preventing me gashing my forehead on the corners of a metal cooker hood!
I have come across a wooden ended Lachenal New Model Maccan with these 'monitor' slots (a smaller ?46 key model). They looked to have been factory made or professionally retro-cut. It had passed through several Liverpool marching bands so may always have been used as a band instrument. My recollection is that it was a pretty loud instrument and these slots didn't make a noticable difference in terms of directing sound up to the player (although I didn't have a unslotted reference instrument to compare it to).
Like these too. I can see that for some people's learning styles the colours will be very helpful.
Perhaps one's perceptions of Ebay are also framed by what one is looking out for?
Around a year ago at least two Aeola baritone trebles (or were they treble baritones) appeared on Ebay at the same time. I notice there are two Morse tenors on at the moment within the UK. Perhaps they are like the proverbial English buses, wait for ages then two (or more!) turn up at once.
Its seems with Ebay that when casual window shopping turns into temptation, that's when the fun and/or danger start. ...will my partner notice another black concertina as long as I don't have both of them out at the same time... ...'it was way, way below the price I would normally have expected to pay...'. Although, as I noticed on a recent Mudcat guitar related thread, 'I just hope that if I predecease my wife, she doesn't sell by guitars [replace with 'concertinas'] for what I claimed to have paid for them!'
Mark - I like the look of the handles on your cases (and the cases themselves!); the comfort aspect of this component should be an important consideration in the design process if any degree of transit is anticipated.
Sorry - ICT - Information communications technology - so computers, servers, lap tops and other techy gubbins
In terms of fabric, a possible word of caution?
In the dim distant past I worked as a curator at a large museum where the conservation department regularly undertook tests on moden fabric to ascertain how they would 'off-gas' in the confines of a storage case or show case. Their starting point was that many C19th fabrics used to line display cases and storage draws actually emitted damaging gases causing silver to blacken, steels to blue etc. In some cases these gases would combine with moisture to form acid/alkalines that attacked objects more aggressively. The gases usually resulted from the dying process. Some fabrics off gassed quickly (almost like drying out) and were fairly inert after a while; others seemed more prone to emit gases in certain conditions - hot, damp etc; some as the host fabric's structure degenerated.
All rather alarming on first consideration! That said my own Lachenal Excellsior does not seem to have been adversely affected by the purple velvet lining of its case in which it has lived for the best part of a century and a similar case does not seem to have hurt my Maccan Edeophone with metal ends.
I imagine modern case makers such as Calton must have wrestled with this problem and reached a safe conclusion?
I have found the dense foam used to make block cushions for ICT equipment can easily be cut to make blocks. They have the virtue of being dense enough to absorb shocks whilst firm enough to hold the instrument securely. I would also expect them to have been tested to ensure they do not off-gas in a way that affects delicate metalic components of either PCs or concertinas. Some seem to be derivatives of the more dense forms of plastazote extensively used in museums for packing delicate items (and available online - although Geoff Wooff's suggestion, above, would seem far more cost effective for sheet forms). They will take an adhesive if you wish to add a fabric covering.
Hi Gaspar and welcome!
I too play EC - including a[nother!] Lachenal Excellsior which like yours has been well played through its lifetime. I think you have a good concertina with a lovely tone that with a little work would be a wonderful instrument. As an alternative to recapping the keys as Alex, above, suggests, you might want to check out
http://www.concertina-spares.com/spareslist.htm for replacement keys. He also sells the material for bushing the keys and other goodies and will ship internationally.
All the best - and enjoy your music
Two suggestions to add, both rather smaller scale than Whitby and Sidmouth:
Saltburn Folk Festival http://www.cuttywrenfolkclub.talktalk.net/SaltburnFF/ 8-10 August on the North East Coast (a small and perfectly formed festival IMHO)
Liverpool Sea Shanty Sessions (in fact the full range of maritime song) http://www.shanty.org.uk/baltic/ , Blatic Fleet Pub, first Saturday of the month. Usually Anglos, ECs and a Duet to be heard. Liverpool is also a great city and base for exploring the NW and N Wales.
Sorry to continue the drift, they are indeed eye catching Wolf. I think I have seen from Lachenal pricelists and the photo in Les Branchett's tutor that Excelsior tenor-trebles do exist. There's temptation if one should appear!
Having listened to and very much enjoyed your playing on your 'Across the Seven Seas' CD it is interesting to hear that you have reached this potential crossroads.
To add my own 'two cents worth' I had been playing an 1870s Lachenal excellsior for some time - a lovely soft tone, but with some uneveness of response, tone and a few other peculiarities - when I decided to treat myself to an early Aeola from Chris Algar which had undergone a full service. The performance of the Wheatstone in terms of evenness of response, airtightness etc was close to being a revalation (a look inside underlines, as one would expect, that it is a better made instrument and had suffered less bodging over the years). That said, I do still play my Lachenal frequently as the tone is so attractive to my ear and well suited to my 'style' of singing. At the risk of sounding like a heretic, in an ideal world I'd have something as well built as the aeola but with the excellsior's sound/tone. I have seen a number of Anglos with reclaimed antique reeds, and think I have read somewhere that Wim Wakker reinvigorates Edeophones with new rivetted actions. Perhaps these offer alternative routes?
Be very interested to know what you decide.
Here is the Wheatstone solution and a rather beautiful Wakker version - I am sure there are restorers out there who could retro fit such a solution.
As per Robin's comment - tall buttons and long nails seem to get along fine. My first concertina was a Lachenal Excelsior with quite tall buttons and having reasonably long nails on my right hand for guitar playing was never a problem. However a more recent purchase has much shorter buttons and ebony ends - and my nails qucikly made an impression on the lacquer/varnish. Not good! A bit of experimentation and i have found the minimum nail length for guitar does not cause marking. I guess it is les of a problem for metal ended instruments.
I have seen a few Wheatstone EC concertinas (I think 'golden period') with ebony ends but fine metal plates in the key area which I presumed protect the wood.
I have used this type of velcro for costume making for several years - usually quick fixes. I have noticed quite a lot of variation in terms of powers of adhesion and also smell (although I do not make a habit of sniffing needle craft accessories!) - which suggests to me that different manufacturers use different adhesive compounds. Those which are not water based (?most) are likely to require some sort of solvent to remove adhesive traces when velcro is removed - I have noticed such traces left on smoother fabrics. To clean this up is likely to require a solvent based product which is also likely to attack lacquers, wax finishes etc. I have also noticed that when such velcro is pulled away from fabrics such as velvet it usually takes some of the velvet with it - this suggests it might pull bits of varnish away with it.
That said, if the concertinas in question are seen primarily as working instruments - as opposed to museum exhibits - then a certain amount of wear and tear might be expected and there are restorers out there who can refinish instruments.
Perhaps someone has experience of a specific brand of inert velcro?
Might be worth giving Chris Algar at Barleycorn a call. He periodically off loads old cases via Ebay, presumably when he sells an instrument on with a new case. He might well have one and be willing to sell direct.
Baffles - Pine Thickness?
in Instrument Construction & Repair
You might want to have a look at http://www.concertinamuseum.com/CM00010e.htm in the listing for individual instruments there is a tab that describes the baffles and has a photo of each one. It does not, unfortunately, describe their thickness but gives a good idea in terms of grain width etc If there is a trend then Wheatstone in particular seem to have gone for fine grained pine (certainly in terms of grain width that we would think of for guitar sound boards).
Were you considering a retro-fitting of baffles?