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Everything posted by lxnx

  1. I'm curious - are there any long term negative effects from retuning the entire pitch of a concertina? Assuming it's professionally done, would e.g. retuning a Bb/F to a C/G have some negative impact on the tone or longevity of the reeds? Would a concertina that's been significantly returned be worth less than one that was originally tuned to that pitch?
  2. Many thanks for the advice, and thanks for the offer Bill, it's reassuring to know there's a backup plan if all else fails! I've ordered some replacement strings, and will go out hunting for some appropriate screwdrivers this week.
  3. I'm due to fly off to the Noel Hill concertina school in 2 weeks, and as luck would have it, it looks like one of my button springs has just broken. I was playing, and after pushing a button in, it didn't come back up. Looking more closely, it seems like there's a gap between the spring and the button lever, so it isn't putting any tension on it. This has left the button stuck down, and the button lever loose. I've got a 30 button Lachenal anglo, and had a go at getting it open for the first time (following the advice in Dave Elliott's book) to take a closer look. I was able to remove the 6 outer screws, and remove the action box from the bellows, however I couldn't work out how to separate the pad board from the action box to expose the levers/pads though. There was one screw on the bottom of the pad board, but removing this didn't seem to help. The only other screws I could see were 6 tiny ones around the edges of the outer metal face place, and 4 tiny ones near the middle buttons of the face plate (I didn't want to touch any of these, they were very small, a bit worn, and I don't have a good enough screwdriver to risk messing with them). Has anyone got any advice on: a. Suggestions on how to separate the pad board from the action box for a Lachenal b. Whether fixing a broken spring myself is feasible (assuming that is indeed the problem) and failing that; c. Recommend someone who's likely to be able to repair it within the next 2 weeks before I'm due in Ireland... (I'm based in London, so anyone near there I can physically take the concertina to would be ideal!) The only positive is that this gives me a good excuse to keep a backup concertina around
  4. Many thanks Bruce, I hadn't even considered the different plug issue, and bringing a recording device sounds like an excellent idea. I've now lengthened my checklist significantly (I just need to sort out the important things like travel and accommodation now). Thanks again!
  5. I bit the bullet, and decided to sign up to attend Noel Hill's concertina school in Ireland in March this year. Has anyone who's been before got any advice? Both about the classes, and about travel/accommodation - it seems like rather a remote place to get to! (not to mention a cold one!)
  6. Ah, thanks for pointing that out, I've been pretty busy the past couple of months, so I guess the first posting passed me by!
  7. Found this short video the other day, always nice to watch all the hard work that goes into concertina making: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4QHWas4G2I
  8. Thanks Stephen, I'll give that a go and see if it helps.
  9. One of the buttons on my concertina (30 button Lachenal anglo) squeaks a bit, and now that I've noticed it, is driving me to distraction! I'm not sure what the button is made of, possibly plastic/bone (it's definitely not metal, it's white which has discoloured yellow with age). It seems to be squeaking where it rubs against the wood next to it. If I push the button in while holding it a bit to the left/right/top then it's silent, but in its natural position (or while pushing it in while holding it downwards towards the hand strap), then it squeaks. Any suggestions on a fix for this?
  10. I think the whole British Pathé archive was added to youtube a few days ago, so this is probably a new video, good find!
  11. Hope it's ok to post links to videos found on youtube here (apologies if not!). I recently came across this video of Aoibheann Queally's lovely concertina playing along with Quentin Cooper, Eoin O'Neill and Noirin Lynch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0AXTiTyl_Q (by the way, does anyone know what concertina she's playing? It's got a lovely gentle tone...)
  12. Some great stories about journeys through concertina ownership. This has also given me a bit of insight into some of the concertina makes out there, interesting to see the models everyone switches from/to and why
  13. I'm mostly curious as to what prompted the purchase of a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) concertina for those of you lucky enough to be in that position? To get a specific sound? To pick up a bargain? Problem with your first concertina? I'm also wondering how long you'd been playing before adding to your collection? This post was mostly prompted by me seeing some discussions on buying new concertinas from makers with a 3-6 year waiting list. It occurred to me that such a thing requires a fair amount of planning ahead, so I was wondering what prompted that decision. As a beginner, I can't even being to imagine what I'd be wanting in a concertina in 6 years time for example, but maybe someone who's been playing for a decade knows their requirements won't change much during that time.
  14. Sorry if this is a silly question, but was wondering, is e.g. a C/C drone just another button which plays a C note on the push and pull? Or is there something special/different about drone buttons?
  15. Thanks for the link Marc, those are some very handy charts, I'll try and get them printed out when I can.
  16. I've been learning to play Irish tunes on the anglo for a couple of months now, and am trying not to develop too many bad habits as I go along. So I've read up a lot on cross row playing, and preferred/default button choices for a lot of notes (mostly to avoid having to play consecutive buttons with the same finger). One thing I'm coming up against in a few tunes is running out of air. I'm getting better at using the air button whenever there's time, but I'm finding this tricky in certain tunes, especially jigs, where the bellows pattern is e.g. push-pull-push, push-pull-push, etc., since the note duration seems too short to hold the air button while playing. So I was wondering what the best way to deal with this is: a) should I rigidly stick to the preferred buttons, and just get air whenever I can (even if it means pressing the air button a lot and for short durations) changing my button choice for a particular tune to make managing air easier (e.g. using the draw G, 3rd button top row LHS sometimes, for example) I can see advantages/disadvantages to both, but if there's a "more correct" way, I guess I'd be better off putting effort into that.
  17. Thanks for the responses all, I think I'm starting to understand why these instruments are quite so in demand. Though I'm still unsure of the reasons modern makers don't make concertinas to similar specifications if they're so desired. Is it that it isn't economically viable? (e.g. 5x $4000 concertinas could be made in the time it takes to make 1x $8000 of Jeffries quality?) Or is it that there are so many variables involved, it's difficult to re-create all the components that would be necessary for that sound exactly? (in a similar way to Stradivarius instruments, though to a much lesser extent! )
  18. No, no, nothing like that, I think I just underestimated the number of Jeffries concertinas that are out there. From their value, I assumed it was mostly professional performers who might own them (I'm also new to the concertina, so have yet to meet another player but I assume that part will change at least!).
  19. I contacted Marcus Music, and Dave Marcus was extremely helpful. Unfortunately I think the box they offer didn't seem to be quite a good fit for my concertina (it seemed that there'd be too much room around the edge for the concertina to wiggle around in while moving). The Button Box seem to offer a nice option where they have a box that they fit corner blocks to based your specifications. Is there anyone who does this in the UK?
  20. Apologies if this has been answered before, but I couldn't find much from searching. I was just wondering what it is that makes Jeffries concertinas so sought after? Is it purely because of their sound/build quality? If so, can't concertinas by modern makers easily replicate this? Or is it that they were made by someone with levels of mastery/experience that haven't been reached currently? Is it because they're good quality for their age, aesthetically pleasing, and they're sought after as a classic car might be? I've occasionally seen these concertinas for sale which state that e.g. bellows/valves/straps/buttons have been replaced. In these, what still makes them sought after? Just the reeds/wood/decoration? I've never tried one (and am probably never likely to get the chance), so this is something I'm just curious about.
  21. Thanks Chris, some good suggestions to follow up on in there.
  22. I've only got a soft case for my Lachenal, and was wondering if anywhere sells snug fitting hard cases for them? I've seen several nice boxes that are sold with new concertinas, which have: hard casing horizontal storage (so the concertina is on its side when in the box) padding around the sides (so the bellows are pushed closed, instead of being able to open or wiggle about while stored) Is there anywhere to buy cases like this for different makes of concertina? Or are all concertinas so different that they'd need to be made to measure? I'm based in the UK, but can probably order from anywhere within Europe.
  23. Just had another listen, and it's a tiny bit buzzy on the push too, if that helps diagnose it any more. Either way, I'll take a look inside over the weekend when I get some time spare.
  24. Thanks for suggestions so far, I guess it can't hurt to open it up and look for anything obvious too. I hadn't come across Dave Elliot's book before though, sounds like that's well worth a read anyway!
  25. On my 30 button C/G anglo (a Lachenal), I've noticed one reed is very slow to sound on the push (I usually have to remember to push extra hard to get it to sound when playing it in a tune), and if I push very gently, it just sounds like air leaking until I increase the pressure. The pull note on the same button is fine. It's the 3rd button on the left-hand G row (B push, C pull) if that makes any difference. Is this likely to be something I can fix myself? I've yet to open up my concertina, and am slightly scared of doing so...
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