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Everything posted by Laurence

  1. Nope. The reedpan is not a soundboard. Many other instruments produce sound by resonating a soundboard that moves the air, but free-reed instruments slice the airstream as it passes through the reed slot. I never knew that! So, it's not like resting a tuning fork on a guitar body to get it to resonate more loudly? Have you ever noticed a reed increasing in volume when you set it down on a piece of wood while it's vibrating?
  2. This is good information. Luckily, I live in a dry climate so don't have to worry about wood shrinking or swelling. I've wondered why sycamore was a wood of choice, does it have properties that make it more stable? I think I'll follow your advice and leave the reeds alone, the difference is not alarming. It's the 2 Gs (push) and 2 As (pull), LH, that were different sounding. Thanks so much for posting details about the contact points of the reed frames to the wooden slots. That makes a lot of sense.
  3. Laurence, As I understand it, forcing a reed shoe tightly into its slot is likely to make the reed buzz, as the sides will tend to bind against the tongue, casing a metallic sort of sound. I've had this happen in the past solely as a reaction to high humidity levels, where easing the shoe out of the slot has instantly cured a buzz. If the shoe is too loosely fitted, the shoe will vibrate in the slot and cause a different sort of rattle. As to pressure points, I've heard it is important the clamp end of the frame is well anchored in the reed pan. Hope this helps answer your question, but I'm sure others will have more to add. Adrian Thanks Adrian! That helps. I have what might be a "nasal" sounding reed (or two, or three), but not sure of all the possible explanations and definitions. Pushing a certain note on the first (inner) row sounds clear and bell-like--chirping like it should, but pulling the same note on the second (middle) row sounds totally different...maybe like what's described as nasal...or at least some different kind of vibration (?) to it. It sounds more reedy, more buzzy, or something. Anyway, I don't like it as well. I'm playing an anglo Wheatstone - linota reedpan layout (radial pattern). A while back, I had pulled out the offending reed though, on the middle row, so maybe I pushed it back in too hard? Other than that, the concertina sounds like you'd expect...it has that nice traditional quality sound. Maybe, like yours, the chamber is too big for the reed? For some reason, my player won't open up the sound clips posted here, so I can't compare. Also, I've noticed that some reeds have been shimmed with a thin strip of paper along one edge--between the side of the shoe and one edge of the wooden slot. Wouldn't this interfere with tonal transfer from reed to soundboard, muting it to some degree?
  4. What effect does it have on tone if a shoe is forced into the slot too hard? Too soft? Where is the best pressure point between the shoe and the wooden slot?
  5. Yep, forgot to enter the decimal...thanks.
  6. John, is there another instrument besides the autoharp that might have the right sized string? 5mm = 0.19685 in., and no guitar string really comes close. What would happen if the gauge was a little larger, like 0.22"? Would that make the action of the button too quick...too hard to press? What size is standard for the better concertinas? Do some pro players prefer a "stiff" action?
  7. Smoke it by drawing in air from selective burning source, then push bellows together and watch the smoke pour out leaky places. Or, swab a tiny bit of soapy water around suspected places, watch the bubbles rise as you push the bellows together. Wipe off immediately!
  8. I wonder how many of these Jeffries on Craigslist in London are scams? http://london.craigslist.co.uk/search/?areaID=24&subAreaID=&query=concertina&catAbb=sss I know for certain that the Wakker at the bottom of that list is a scam... http://london.craigslist.co.uk/msd/3675993861.html It's the same pictures as the one on eBay in the US a couple months ago, and I know who has that Wakker now. I just double checked the pics as I saved the link. Notice how the Craigslist seller leaves out a couple numbers in the serial #. Here's the original US eBay listing... http://www.ebay.com/itm/WAKKER-W-A1-30-KEY-C-DRONE-C-G-CONCERTINA-LQQK-AT-THIS-BEAUTIFUL-CONCERTINA-/140915847808?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20cf3d3280&nma=true&si=Se1wxwjhWsvxfi1q23cDeMRyRZI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
  9. Yep, there's the Cliffs, and then there's the Cliff...which may not be a dive you'll want to take...
  10. This morning I was practicing The Cliff of Moher on my concertina, and when I ended the tune the way some fiddlers do, dropping down to an A3, I wondered if six-fingered persons have ever tried learning concertina. Might be a advantage sometimes...if you could get your hands through the straps.
  11. Alex, it would be interesting to see the counterpart of those pictures you posted pdf of the reed pans. If more internal volume within the chamber was the purpose of removing wood around the holes, was it possible to move the chamber end-wall down a little to make it bigger? Seeing how the wood is scalloped from one direction, a lot of the time, would this have anything to do with manipulating the direction (maybe intensity) of air flow towards a certain part or end of the reed? Just blindly guessing because it is so fascinating to see such a modification. I assume it's not like undercutting the fingerholes in the bore of a wooden flute of uilleann chanter?
  12. Thanks for the heads up on bellows design. I have been thinking I'd like 8 folds instead of 6 on the concertina I play most. Someone mentioned the depth of the folds, and that got me to thinking. I measured the depth on my 8 fold bellows, and compared them with the 6. Hummm...the 6 folds were almost 1/4" deeper. I assume deeper bellow folds means more air. They'd open up wider, right? So, I'm resigned to leave well enough alone and not try to swith them over. Both are exactly the same size (6 and 1/4",) high quality full black leather bellows, and both are tight. After reading this thread, I doubt now that I'd get a lot more air.
  13. Whilst suitable for ones own use, it is always difficult to construct charts that meet the needs or understanding of everyone. Unfortunately, there are many methods used to indicate what octave a note lies within which can lead to confusion. I believe that the numbers used on the charts in the link purely indicate the relationship between the octaves on each instrument. i.e. the lower the number, the lower the octave. Comparing the two sets of charts, it will be seen that the lowest notes on the G/D (0) lie within an octave lower than those of the C/G (1). I am sometimes asked to provide charts for particular instruments, usually by those contemplating taking up or upon obtaining a concertina. I find that the information supplied (See Example Attachment) generally meets all requirements. 31 Anglo Crabb Standard notes.doc Geoffrey Thanks for that. I think you are right. The C2 probably had nothing to do with the piano C4, it was just a numbering system within the concetina, and those color codes helped separate the octves.
  14. What you've just described (a D/G anglo) is in fact the same layout as a D/G melodeon. Such concertinas do exist, but as far as I'm aware they are extremely rare, with only a handful in existence made by Colin and Rosalie Dipper. They made the original "Franglo" for French melodeon maestro Emmanuel Pariselle, and he plays it brilliantly. I've been fortunate enough to have a go on it when he has been in England for melodeon workshops. I never knew that....thanks for the info! I have an old Wheatstone concertina that is tuned D/G (middle row D...up one step from C row on a regular C/G, and the G row same pitch as G row on a regular C/G) and I have to say it lends itself quite well to many of the Irish tunes I play. Other tunes work better with the standard C/G, but I nearly always go back to the D/G for tunes in D, G, Am, Em, and Amaj. It is esp useful for modal D tunes (pipe tunes like The Old Bush w/minor 7th scale). The amazing thing is how convenient the two rows are set up against each other in D/G for cross-fingering. The D/G is NOT played only on the rows. Many buttons on the LH stair-step up the scale (using either push or pull thoughout), alternatively between the 2 rows, same with RH. Several "runs of 3 notes" can be found too, using only the pull or the push. Fiddlers do this a lot. I see a lot of similarities between bowing a fiddle and working the concertina bellows. In fact, the most amazing thing about this D/G, regarding ornaments, is there are 6 notes (12 buttons) that have 2 buttons each pitched the same, but the 2 are in different rows (sometimes one is found in the 3rd row). IOW, if you want to double up on a note, just for the triplet effect (going back and forth), you can do that with the starting D note, then moving up the scale, you find the A, the octave D, the octave E, the octave G, and octave A - they all have doubles--and you don't have to switch directions with bellows. Very handy for some tunes. The triplet effect (using two fingers on 2 different buttons) is slightly different than the fast action of coming down on the same button with 3 different fingers, or popping the button 3 times with 1 finger. So, you can do that in six differents locations, with six different notes, while playing your tunes!
  15. Thanks for the explanation, Daniel. Now I understand why they say a G/D sounds more like an accordian...being pitched that low. I still don't understand why the charts here on this forum have C2 labeled on the button (LH, C row, ring finger) http://www.concertina.net/ms_finger_layouts.html when it's actually C4 on a piano! Oh well.
  16. I stumbled across this young kid playing a G/D today. A Pinch of Snuff. Pretty good! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vstwSHa0-BM
  17. Sorry for resurrecting such an old thread, but I'm a newby on this forum...so just catching up on all the discussions. I read all the comments to this C/G vs. G/D subject on The Session (and here also), but couldn't login for some reason to The Session, so I'll post my thoughts here. First, could someone clear this "range" thing up for me? I want to be sure I've got this right. According to the charts found here on this forum, a regular G/D has the G row (middle row) as G1 (LH ring finger). Is that really the case? That pitch (G1) seems too low according to a piano chart which has G1 right near the bottom of a piano keybord. So, the numbers on a concertina don't correlate with the numbers on a piano (C4 for example being middle C on a piano)? It would help if the numbers on all instruments referred to the same pitch. That leads to my 2nd question. The G row is the middle row, and it's a 4th lower than the D row--which is the first row, right? And the 3rd row is the accidentals, right? So, my next question is...if the D row on a G/D is one step above the C row on a C/G, why isn't the G row the same as a C/G instead of an octave lower? And furthermore, if the G row on a G/D was raised an octave (to match the G row on a C/G) and then the rows were switched so that you actually had D/G (not G/D), wouldn't this put both rows in the same range as other traditional instruments playing the tunes (Irish reels, jigs, HPs, etc)? Also, with this switch of rows, wouldn't the cross-fingering on D tunes (and G tunes) be a real advantage since the pitch on both would be fairly close together? There would be lots of alternatives...a push or a pull for the same pitched note--at least on several of the buttons in the first two rows, and perhaps more in the 3rd (accidental) row. Geez, my head is spinning....hope I've got everything right so you understand what I'm thinking.
  18. Did someone tune your C row up to D, and your G row up to A? That may be similar to what Grey Larson uses. Years ago I converted a 2-row cheaper Bastari to D/G, just out of curiosity, by switching the reeds around and retuning a couple others. I raised the C row up one step to D. I got really spoiled with the jugs, reels, and HPs. There's some really great cross-fingering on D/G too, no need to stay on the rows. Lots of the impossible A tunes also become easy to play as well, almost too easy, using the D and G rows...and mostly with the pull, although several of the notes are interchangeable with the push for bellows relief. Monaghan's Jig, a 4-part in Em, became the simplest tune ever on D/G. I'm sure it would be nearly the same on your D/A.
  19. I like that tune, but never learned it. I went over to The Session and played the midi version to make sure I had the right notes. I'll work on it...that's what I'm looking for.
  20. Are there some D tunes that are notorious for being hard to play smoothly on a standard tuned 3-row C/G concertina? Like well known session tunes that concertina players seldom if ever participate in? Or, to put it another way, what is the D tune you'd like to be able play but can never seem to get right?
  21. Surgical tubing works really good too, in fact I like it even better. It's really springy, spongy, sticky (doesn't slide up and down) and has great memory that lasts forever--ie, the smaller thicker stuff. Hard to cut stright with scissors tho--might need a really sharp knife, or hair cutting scissors with slight zigged edges that don't slip. Getting them cut stright is the secret to the buttons standing staying straight. Bi-Mart, or just about any of the big box stores, have lots of different sizes in stock too. Look in the fishing pole and tackle deptartment. Mine has lasted for well over 20 years and gets played a lot! Still plays as good today as the day I replaced those old black rubber worn out sleeves.
  22. The owner advertised it as a D/G, but in his email he calls it a G/D...which is what I think it is. In any case, he says the first row is D, the 2nd row G, and the 3rd row is the various sharps and flats. Don't most 3 row Anglo concertinas name the 2nd row first...like C/G? So, in keeping with that, it would be a G/D. BTW, the G row is an octave lower than a regular G row on a C/G concertina. That's one reason I backed out. I need to play in unison with a fiddler in my band, not an octave below in G. The other reason is that most metal ends are a little too harsh for my taste...and this Connor is loud, but sounds great, at least it did over the phone.
  23. Gerry has a Connors G/D 30 button Anglo concertina for sale on Craigslist, and lives in Vermont, USA. He has been trying to sell this gem for some time now. He bought/ordered it new about 12 years ago and it has basically gone unplayed. He's even lowered the price ($2100 now). I just about bought it but backed out at the last minute. This is about 1/2 the price of a new one (I think). It's all black leather (6 bellows) and has metal ends plus a D drone button. Original case included. Someone should snap this one up! He'll ship it to you--within the USA anyway, not sure about Europe and other locations. To email him directly this is his address gefalk@myfairpoint.net or phone 802.827.3868 in the US (he may be retired). I don't think he'll mind me helping him out here. I can't seem to paste the Craigslist address here, but just search Vermont + Concertina and you'll find it. It's the only one listed in the state!
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