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Mike in Oban

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Posts posted by Mike in Oban

  1. I'll second the kitty-litter suggestion.  I bought an old accordion on-line that arrived so smoky it was unplayable.  I tried lots of things but the kitty-litter in the case was the one that seemed to work.  Even so, it's amazing how long-lasting tobacco smoke is - I still seem to catch the occasional whiff, years later. 

  2. I recently picked up the guitar again after a long absence, and I've found that the inevitable development of hard skin on the finger tips costs me some sensitivty when playing the concertina.  Can others play strings and buttons interchangably? I'm wondering if I have to choose.  (OK - I'd choose concertina.)


  3. Hi - standard I think - at least there's nothing in the documentation to suggest otherwise. Is there an easy way to tell? (I've never opened this concertina up, but wouldn't know what to look for as my only experience is with old Wheatstones & Lachenals.)




  4. For sale, Morse Geordie Baritone English Concertina.


    This instrument is in perfect condition. I bought it new from the Music Room in Clackheaton in 2014. I’m not sure if anyone else is selling these new in the UK anymore (now the Music Room has ceased trading). Of course, these originally come from the Button Box in Massachusetts.


    I never really got on with the Baritone. I’d intended to use it for accompaniment, but in practice never did, and so I’m selling it on to allow other projects. It has hardly been played, still smells of new leather, and I’ve never taken it out to play in public. It comes with the original box.


    Offers in the region of £2,200 would be appreciated.


    I’d much prefer to sell this in the UK if possible as I’m nervous about sending such a high-value instrument abroad. If anyone would like to try it, you’d be welcome to do so. I’m currently in York (despite the moniker).







  5. Hi - yes they do - 191917 in both cases. You can just about see the reed pan stamp in the photo, and that's replicated in the bellows frames. Apparently that gives a best date estimate of around 1930, but I know there's a lot on uncertainty around Lachenal dating.



  6. Hi Don - it turns out to be even more of an enigma than I'd originally thought.


    I wonder if I've misled people with the claim that the reeds are brass. To be honest, I'm now less confident that this is true. Malcolm is right, there is a stamp saying "Steel Reeds" on the right hand rest. (Depsite being right in front of my face, I'd not noticed that before.) My claim that the reeds are brass comes from the fact that this is how it was desrcibed to me as I bought it. It also sounds like a brass-reeded instrument - best suited to accompaniment. However, that's a judgement I've made from other brass and steel-reeded instruments I have - and they're all very different from this, so may not be comparable.


    Is there a straightforward way to distinguish brass from steel reeds? It would be nice to settle that aspect of the conundrum at least.



  7. Thanks for your responses. The chromatic idea is ingenious. I just tried to play some chromatic scales on it, and the sequence is pretty challenging.


    I looked at the reed shoes, and see that some of them are stamped and some aren’t. Interestingly, where I can see a note, it’s the right one – and there are examples in both rows. The Bb row is clearest, and seems like it might be a complete set, so I’m now guessing it’s the D that’s been added, and made up of spares.




    I hear your whisky is very good! I hope to try some next year!

    So they tell me ...


    It is wierd, isn't it? I'll check the reed shoes, but the reeds don't look to be tuned to within an inch of their lives, so I'm guessing replacement reeds have been swapped from another instrument.


    The best I could come up with is the observation that D and Bb are very common keys for men to sing in. Perhaps someone was aiming for an instrument that could provide very basic accompaniment in both those keys. In effect, it has created two simple instruments from a more complex one. Pure speculation, of course.



  9. For sale, a 20-button Anglo Concertina in Bb/D. Lachenal, brass reeds, in modern concert pitch, all in very good working order.


    This is an oddity. I confess, when I bought it from E-Bay, I assumed the Bb/D was just a misdescription, but it wasn’t. See the attached layout.


    It seems to have good provenance – there’s a Barleycorn stamp inside, though corresponding with Chris Algar, he has no idea how it ended up in this tuning. There’s a receipt from Worthing Hobgoblin from 2011, for five hundred pounds, correctly describing it as Bb/D.


    Perhaps someone else on Concertina net will be familiar with this layout, but it’s sufficiently unlike anything else that I can play, that it isn’t for me. It’s a shame, because everything else about the concertina is really lovely.


    It comes with a nice old (but not original) wooden box, whose condition I’d describe as ‘inexpertly restored’.


    Any offers in the region of £300?



  10. For sale, a Crane Duet. Brass reeds, in modern concert pitch, and with new pads and valves.


    I play English, and bought this to try out a different system. I couldn’t get on with it though. The instrument plays rather quietly, is somewhat breathy, and I could never get the treble to sing above chords played on the left hand. That seems to be due to the brass tongues and quite wide clearances.


    Anyone would be welcome to come and have a look – I’m in York, England (despite my moniker).


    Any offers in the region of £350?



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