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4to5to6

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  1. Hi Blackie... 

     

    I’ll try to distinguish the models.  This is off the top of my head so I hope I’ll be corrected if I have this wrong.  I’m no expert and have only been playing the concertina for about 10 years but I’ll try..,

     

    A 48B Treble has 3-1/2 octaves G to high C similar to the range of a violin.  Middle C on the LH side

     

    A 48B Baritone is played the same as a treble with 3-1/2 octaves but is transposed down one octave.  Middle C is therefore on the RH side which makes it unique.

     

    The popular 56B Tenor Treble has the middle C on the LH side, the same as a treble, but with an extra row on the bottom giving you 4 octaves, C to C.

     

    Following suit, a 48B Tenor is like a 56B tenor treble but with the top “treble” row removed.

     

    A 56B Baritone Treble is similar to a tenor treble (middle C on the LH side) but with the top row removed and a extra bottom row added, 4 octaves G to G.

     

    The 62B and 64B Baritone Treble (see below) is like a 56B tenor treble but with an extra row on the bottom.  The lowest note is either a G or an F for 4-1/2 octaves.

     

    I just found this in my notes:

    Wheatstone Baritone Treble Aeola:
    Model 14 - 56 keys, G to G, 7-fold (8”) 
    Model 15 - 62 keys, G to C, 8-fold (8-1/2”) 
    Model 16 - 64 keys, F to C, 8-fold (8-3/4”)
     
    I can’t forget the 56B extended treble which is a treble with a super high extra row on top.
     
    I am not quite sure how to define an F Tenor.  I believe it is similar to a treble but tuned roughly half an octave lower.  So if a Tenor is a C instrument, a F Tenor is an F instrument with a Bb within the middle two columns.
     
    I don’t know now to define a C Bass or a G bass or really even a baritone bass.  Maybe there is no standard as I’ve seen basses that are from 2 to 4-1/2 octaves, double and single acting.
     
    Wheatstone would build “special” instruments as well.  Just about anything you can imagine within the limits of what a reed can do.
     
    A lot of this info came 1st from studying the price lists then from experience picked up over the years.
     
    Another important thing to consider is how the thumb strap positions are relative to the button positions.
     
    I’m no expert at this, but hopefully have it right.  Please correct me if wrong.
     
    I’ve never owned a baritone treble or a bass and have only played or worked on a couple over the years so my knowledge is limited especially to the lower tonal range instruments.
     
    In my other life, I played bass for over 30 years so hear the bass lines and lower harmonies.  I’m currently working on some arrangements that go into the baritone and bass range and could really use preferably a 56 button, model 14 (light weight) if anyone could help me out.  Beggars can’t be choosers so I would be extremely happy with any instrument classified as a baritone treble or baritone bass.
    • Thanks 1
  2. On 7/2/2023 at 1:11 PM, conzertino said:

    I have a EE model 15 BT, a ME model 16 BT and a ME BB für sale - all Aeolas, all in good condition...

     

    Hi David,  I sent you an email.  I am interested specifically in your EE model 15.  Please reply with a few photos and serial please.

    Thanks.

  3. Wanted in any condition:

     

    Wheatstone model 14 baritone treble English concertina preferred.

     

    56 buttons preferred.

     

    G to G preferred.

     

    The model 14 has an arrangement similar to a Tenor Treble (middle C on the same side) but an extra bottom row added and the top row removed.

     

    Any condition from fully playable to completely wrecked (I can use it as a model to build one).

     

    I am open to other baritone treble models and also a baritone bass.

  4. *** I've decided to keep it ***

     

    I am offering my model 22 for sale.

     

    3800 CAD

    2900 USD

    2600 GBP

     

    Free shipping within Canada and Lower 48 is included.  No reasonable offer refused.

     

    Wheatstone Model 22 raised metal ends treble 48 button concertina - professionally restored and tuned to A440 concert pitch. Built in approximately 1904.

     

    Professionally restored: new pads, valves, springs, felts, end seals, thumb straps, etc. Air flows were adjusted. Untouched reeds voiced and tuned. Nickel ends were re-plated and an original new-old-stock maker’s badge was supplied by Steve Dickinson of Wheatstone, England to make it perfect and complete again.

     

    The model 22 is a unique Wheatstone model featuring short action built for fast speed, small reed chambers for fast response and loud volume, and a tone that fits perfectly into a loud session.

     

    This concertina is designed to be played fast and to be heard.

     

    Photos and sound recording available upon request.  PM me.

     

    *** I've decided to keep it for a while longer ***

  5. My favorite English concertina from 1856 only has 4 folds and surprisingly, I never run out of air. However, the folds are much wider than normal giving it a lot of extra capacity.  Serial number is sandwiched between one for Regondi 7572 and Blagrove 7574 so I presume it is a best of the best instrument.  Charles Wheatstone was still alive when it was built. It was also cared for and stored extremely well as it is in exceptional condition... even the wooden case is almost mint perfect.  It is untouched original except for the steel reeds tuned to A440.  I have a number of Aeolas, an edeophone, etc. but this is the one I love to play the most and I am sure the deep fold bellows has something to do with it!  Thinking about it, Regondi played 4-part harmonies with 4-folds and I’m sure he didn’t run out of air.  I’m really not sure that the later instruments are better when I see how express and fun to play this 1856 is!  Maybe in some ways technology moved on but the early craftmanship, especially on concert level instruments, was amazing!  I found out later that I purchased it exactly on it's 165th birthday!

     

    My later (also very rare due to the war) brass shoe, steel reed 1942 Aeolla treble has a factory 8 fold fellows which is fun but a bit extreme in my opinion and takes away from the tone and expression, also in my opinion. :)  It is still an exceptional instrument as well, totally untouched as it was factory tuned to A440 but there is something special about my 4-fold 1856 Bulteel.

  6. Congratulations!  Enjoy!  

     

    Playing octaves is a great way to get used to your instrument. You could also do 3rds and 4ths etc., then harmonize the major and minor scales with 3 note and 4 note (7ths) arpeggios.  I enjoy practicing scales adding a sharp or a flat each time as if I was going around the circle of fifths/fourths...  C scale, G scale, D scale...

     

    Practicing aside, always have fun.  Play your favourite music with friends.  Get in a session.  There is no end to getting better and better and the rooms you move into just get larger and larger so always enjoy where you are at.  Separate the practice head space from the art headspace.  In the end, it’s about the art and expression.  That’s music.

     

    Wow!  Enjoy!

  7. I have a 64 button maccann Wheatstone aeola that I should part with.  I’m an English player and can barely play a scale on it.  I only purchased it as it was a local sale amongst a batch of accordions someone had purchased and on the same ledger page as my TT Aeola.  Interesting enough, I later met another local player with yet another Wheaststone also on the same ledger page!!!  What is the chance of that?  I imagine that it is a rare occasion to have three concertinas from the same ledger page all together at one time.  I’ve always wanted to line all three up for a photographic moment :)  PM me if you are interested and I will dig it out take a few photos for you.

  8. Thanks Dave.  Good info.  I’ll download the 1915 price list.

     

    Would you agree that even though an instrument goes down to the bass range (1-1/2 octaves below the treble range) and also up to G, the tenor range (1/2 octave lower than a treble’s highest note), because the middle C is on the RH side, it should be called a “Baritone Bass” and also with the extra high notes, possibly an “Extended Baritone Bass”?

     

    Here’s the price list:

    http://www.concertina.com/pricelists/wheatstone-english/Wh-Pricelist-Eng-c1915.pdf

     

    http://www.concertina.com/pricelists/wheatstone-english/Wh-Pricelist-Eng-c1929.pdf

  9. What is the precise definition of a Baritone English concertina?  One octave lower with finger switched from left to right?  Middle C on the RH side?

     

    48B Treble

    Range similar to a violin, 3-1/2 octaves, G to C.  Middle C is on the LH side.

     

    56 Tenor Treble

    Same as the treble but a full four octaves C to C, going further down to one octave below middle C.  Middle C is on the LH side.
     

    48B Baritone:

     I have a Lachenal 48B with the exact same fingering as a treble but transposed one octave lower and understand this is a typical “Baritone”.  It is great for playing low notes as you don’t have to learn any new fingering… just play it like you would a treble.  It’s tricky however if you want to play the regular treble range as you have to mirror image the fingering to go up an octave.  Middle C is changed to the RH side.  

     

    Then there are the Wheatstone Baritone Trebles:

    Model 14 - 56B, G to G

    Model 15 - 62B, G to C

    Model 16 - 64B, F to C

    The price lists call these Baritone Trebles but I’m not sure what side the middle C is on.

     

    I was just lent a newer 1955 model 12E with 64B, F to C for the weekend.  The fingering is not switch side to side on this one so it is exactly like playing a Tenor Treble but just continues down to a low F in the bass range.  Middle C is on the LH side.  Would this then be called a Treble Baritone?

     

    I am also borrowing a 64B 6-sided Wheatstone stretched bass that only plays unidirectional on the push.  It goes further down all the way to a low bass C and all the way up to a high G, the range of a Tenor instrument.  This started the definition discussion again as the middle C is on the RH side just as a Baritone!  So would this instrument then be called a Baritone Bass? …an extended Baritone Bass?  Maybe a Baritone Bass Tenor?  Does the swapping of middle C to the other side define it as a Baritone and trump the other titles?  This instrument is in the missing ledger period so I don’t have a model number.


    This has to have been discussed before but I can’t quickly find a specific discussion on it.  Unfortunately, the price lists give the instrument ranges but not which side middle C is on.

     

    What is the precise definition of a Baritone concertina?

  10. There’s a 72B good period McCann Aeola for sale near Vancouver, BC Canada

     

    Vancouver Craigslist:

     

    1919 Wheatstone Aeola 72 key McCann duet good period concertina. For sale or trade. Very good Aeola model with superior long scale steel reeds in brass shoes. Sounds wonderful. Metal ended. 72 button. Tuned to A440 concert pitch. Airtight 8-fold bellows. Good woodwork and finish. Air button. New straps. Low F to high C (baritone to treble range).

    Please see photos. More photos and detailed info to come.

    Willing to trade for a Baritone Treble English or similar, straight trade or plus / minus cash depending on condition, make and model.

    I am open to any reasonable offer.

  11. Here is an interesting article on the history of bakelite with mention of celluloid plastics:

     

    Leo Hendrick Baekeland and the Invention of Bakelite

    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/bakelite.html

     

    “Baekeland made the first public announcement of his invention on February 8, 1909.”

     

    I can’t give out the serial number as it is not my concertina but it is a 1937 extended treble Aeola described in the ledgers as “shell”.  There is no shrinkage characteristic to say a nitrocellulose pickguard on a guitar so I can’t see it being celluloid.  Nitrocellulose plastic emits corrosive gases (and is highly flammable) which can corrode surrounding metals if left in the case unvented and there is no evidence of this happening here.

     

    I contacted the owner to do a non destructive rub test on it to see if it has the typical bakelite smell when heated slightly by rubbing.  I’ll give an update if I get any additional info.

     

    It’s a very good representation of natural torteshell and I am sure would fool most.  Photo attached.

     

    image.thumb.jpeg.3c28c61a9e53cc26d055f7ea26c62acf.jpeg

    • Thanks 1
  12. .

    Thanks Dana.  Great info.
     
    I plan on building a batch of A440 reeds in different lengths, widths and thicknesses with different back bevels, straight slots, tapered slots, etc. just to see how they all compare: sound, respond, their dynamics, etc.  I may even build a small test concertina containing all A440 reeds to help compare them all.  Just a thought.  I understand the theory but still can’t fully visualize the sound generation of reeds (ie. chambers on one side only but both draw and push sound the same) but will build some models to help figure it out.  I can sometimes hear larger reeds ringing on when the air flow stops so these vibrations must contribute to the the tone as well as the reed “chopping” up the air flow at a certain frequency.
     
    I understand one of the biggest challenges is the reed back bevel.  Lower reeds having almost none and higher pitched reeds needing a lot to dump the air quicker decrease power while still having good dynamics and fast response.  The challenge of controlling the balance between response and dynamics... getting balanced response with equal power across the entire range.  This will be a fun challenge and a real learning experience.  Can I get all 56 keys to act as one big happy family fitting them all into an 8 inch octagon?  I am sure there will be a lot of design compromises to juggle back and forth.
     
    Then there is the chamber sizing, action board holes / pad sizing, hole location over reed, etc.  Then on to getting the lever pivot locations right and balancing spring tension and feel with the action levers.  I have same gram gauges to help with this.  I picked up some different gauges of stainless and spring brass wire to experiment with.  Diameter and number of Spring coil turns will be a challenge.  I like a fairly strong spring tension for control and speed but too much and the concertina feels heavy to play, too light and no button feel or speed.  Dynamics and balance are critical to me.  Balance and feel across the entire range is going to be the challenge.  I’ll try to model each lever on the computer first.  Use the theory then experiment.  what have I missed?  What don’t I know that I don’t know?  Reed vent slot sizes and profiles need to be considered and are not easily observed in existing concertinas as they are covered by the valve and reed. Then the valves, type and thickness of leather and valve pins.  No pops once the reed starts as pressure is increased.  I got some gold plated craft brass for valve pins but may just use piano wire.
     
    On and on and on... I have some challenges ahead but will try to use my 1919 McCann duet and 1919 tenor treble as a detailed model first drawing them up and then transfer this info over to the photos of Geoff’s 1927 56 button model 14 BT as a starting point to achieve my goal of having a model 14.  I will model everything on the computer first and build experiments then the final instrument.  Reed scaling will definitely be the biggest challenge but I’ll just keep experimenting until I’m happy.  Hopefully I can learn better how reeds work through these experiments first.  There’s also the break in period of reeds to contend with so results won’t be instant.  I find reeds take maybe a hundred hours of playing before they really come alive.  
     
    My 1856 treble once owned by the Bulteel family is such a fun instrument to play.  Completely enjoyable.  Perfect except for those missing low notes I now need.  I can make it sing sweet or get it to growl.  Perfect balance of feel, dynamics and control.  Not super load but still crisp and responsive.  perfect for at home playing.  How did they do this and it’s not even a newer Aeola?  Research showed that Richard Blagrove may of had some influence on this instrument as he had a connection with Emily Bulteel and bought the next serial number on the same day so 7573 may have been made with especial care and attention.  I play it a lot which probably helps as well.  Check it out: http://www.horniman.info/WNCMARC/C1050/PAGES/C6P0140L.HTM Note the 12 guinea price.
     
    I haven’t found a decent source for spring steel for the reeds yet or an inexpensive way to sheer it to prevent those tiny micro cracks that will cause reed failure later on?  I did see an inexpensive hand sheer that looks like a big pair of scissors that will do up to half inch mild steel but with a lot of curve in the jaws so I rejected it.  I can’t afford or justify a small fly press but did use them before in an electrical enclosure manufacturing company I worked for so know the advantages.  Any ideas?
     
    Lots to think about.  Let's to do.  One bite at a time.
     
    i’m talking a lot about my project but a lot of this applies to understanding the characteristics of what makes a good concertina so hopefully I haven’t completely hijacked this thread. 
     
    All the little things that make a quality instrument.
  13. On 11/27/2021 at 7:35 AM, Christian Husmann said:


    Just curious:

    in the ledgers you’ll find both Tortoiseshell and Shell, sometimes on the same page.

    just two words for the same material or is there actually a difference? 🤔

    Christian 


    just saw this...  Not sure if this is always the case but at least sometimes “shell” in the ledgers refers to a bakelite plastic made to look like tortoiseshell.  Bakelite was invented in 1907 so it would be interesting to see when the “shell” references began.  “Tortoiseshell” refers to that made from the shell of a turtle of course.  I’ve also wondered if there is are different materials when the ledgers say “ebony” and “black”.  I often suspect that “black” refers to ebonized wood while ebony is the type of wood. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/finishing/ebonizing_wood/

    • Thanks 1
  14. That’s awesome!  Yes.  Play, play play!  Keep those bellows nice and supple and that reed metal work hardened!

     

    Leather is a bunch of fibres. Connolly is the lube that keeps the stiff fibres soft and from rubbing against each other and breaking down.  That’s how I visualize it.  The first thing I do after getting an old concertina that has not been used for year's is condition the bellows with Connolly Hide Care.  I’ve never had it interfere with later repairs (glue sticking) or card/lesther seperating, etc.  Don’t use a liquid oil.  That would be a disaster.  I can’t believe how 150 year old leather can rejuvenate!  The other best alternative is to build a new bellows but why go to all that  work and expense if you don’t have to.  if too many gussetts and hinges are cracked and the top runs have yo be redone that it may be worth just building a new one.

     

    Disengrated cards can also be repaired using wood stabilizer or petrifier.  It will turn soft cards rock hard again and even fix cards with minor cracks.  I’ll add the exact brand name I’ve successfully used here later on when I get home.

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