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  1. I'm posting here now because I was wondering about the date of my recently acquired 20 button George Jones anglo. The serial number is 27782 and from what I can glean from various sources this must make it quite a late one. Can anyone out there give me an accurate date based on the serial number? Thanks in advance
  2. Thanks Ted. It's interesting to know that this configuration was used on other Jones instruments. Maybe this was intended to allow easier chord making, as you suggest. But I think I agree with you that the low A on the draw is more valuable than the D, which is available in the C row anyway. I am also used to a B on the push, but don't mind the G so much. I think I will certainly look to changing the D to A if I can get hold of a suitable reed. Thanks for your advice. John.
  3. I have just bought a nice 20 button George Jones anglo. Apart from a few minor holes in the bellows, now fixed, it's in pretty good shape, with very sweet sounding brass reeds, more or less in tune to old philharmonic pitch, possibly combined with some variety of meantone. But on checking the tuning I discovered that the bottom button of the lower G row does not play the standard B/A but instead plays G/D. Has anyone else come across this variation, and can anybody tell me whether it has any advantages? I think I would miss the low A for tunes played in the lower C register, but possibly there is some advantage in this layout for the G chords? I wonder if any of the musicians on this forum could advise me?
  4. Thanks very much to Alex Holden and Inventor whose contributions have. for me at least, really got to the crux of this question of how Pythagoras was able to formulate a sophisticated system of tuning without the aid of a smart app. Their examples of the monochord and organ pipes measured in feet has brought home to me the precise but essentially simple mathematical relationship between length and pitch. That is, double the length of the pipe or string and drop an octave. Halve it and raise an octave. This means that note intervals can be readily quantified by physical measurement and calculations of relative pitch and temperament can be made based on length values, without needing to know the Hz values of the notes. This makes the whole thing possible a couple of thousand years before the electronic tuner. Then, as Anglo Irishman pointed out, all that was needed was for everyone to agree which philosopher's foot should be used to calibrate the tape measure!
  5. Thanks to all for the many interesting replies, some of which have gone far beyond my original, essentially practical question, and some, I have to admit, a little above my head! Nonetheless all fascinating stuff and I for one have learned a lot. I think my original question as to how tuning was done in the nineteenth century has been pretty well answered. But not the question of how the tuning aids they used were originally callibrated. Or going back a bit further, how for example did Pythagoras measure the precise frequencies of notes in order to calculate the complex mathematical relationships within music? Unless I've missed something I think those questions still remain unanswered - but I'm sure someone out there knows..... John
  6. In our computerised age even those with limited talent can achieve what was once the preserve of specialists and craftsmen. I'm fairly musically illiterate yet I have successfully tuned two anglos, one to ET A440, another to Society of Arts pitch, quarter comma meantone - with the aid of a tuning app on my smartphone! What intrigues me is how the same or greater degree of accuracy and complexity was achieved by tuners working in the nineteenth century or earlier. How did they do it? How did they measure the small variations in vibrations between notes in different pitches and temperaments? Did they have super-accurate pitch recognition? Or did they rely on an extensive range of tuning forks or pitch pipes, and if so, how were these calibrated in the first place? I would be very interested to hear if anybody has any knowledge of this subject. Thanks. John
  7. Thanks Stephen. That definitely puts the lid on the Carreg Las debate. As you see from above I have now invested in another Lachenal 20 key, but am still on the lookout for a reasonably priced 30 button for learning on, so maybe Stagi could be an option.
  8. Thanks to everyone for your advice, which I have taken, but not in quite the ways suggested. To be honest I love my little Lachenal, even though it's old and crotchety. I've already put a lot of blood sweat and tears into bringing it from a virtual write-off to a sweet-sounding, meantone-tuned, if rather frail instrument, which can actually play a nice tune with a bit of elbow-grease applied. So for sentimental reasons I'd rather like to carry on nursing it back to health myself. Thanks to Dana for the interesting advice about the reed fit. It's not something I was really aware of, so now I'll take a closer look at the reeds. And the project will be ongoing. Meanwhile I want something I can play properly, so following everyone's advice and my own heart, I've ditched any thoughts of Stagi and Rochelle and have just bought another Lachenal 20 key, not restored, but in better condition than my other one - and I'm confident that with the help of the restoration experience I've gained so far, I should be able to bring it up to scratch. Once again, thanks to you all for helping me back onto the straight and narrow path! John
  9. Hi all. I'm relative beginner and currently own two 20 key anglos, a vintage Rossetti Rambler and an antique (not in a good way!) Lachenal, both of which I bought cheap and restored to a degree of playability. However they both have their faults. The Rosetti has a robust sound but is heavy and unwieldy with a number of squeaky notes and the Lachenal sounds nice but suffers from a severe shortage of breath and sticky keys. So have decided to buy a cheap new or newish box to keep improving my playing skills until I can justify spending an arm and a leg on a quality restored vintage instrument. Everybody in these forums seems to say the Rochelle is the best reasonably priced alternative, and to avoid the rest. One cheaper make I have seen advertised, but not mentioned here is Carreg Las. Does anyone know if these are any good or should they be avoided. I would appreciate any advice on this and any other tips on a good practice instrument. John
  10. Thanks Dana and Geoff for your helpful advice. You have given me the confidence to go ahead with using G as the root for both keys. I have now completed tuning the bottom C row and it sounds really nice with lovely sweet chords. Just the top C row to go. Looking forward to improving my very modest playing. If I ever get good enough to play with others I guess I'll have to retune to 440 - or better still, get another box!
  11. Hi all - hope someone can advise me. I am restoring a 20 key CG Lachenal Anglo circa 1885 and have got to the stage of tuning. The pitch seems to be somewhere around A447 and as far as I can tell the tuning is closer to quarter comma meantone than anything else. So rather than attempting retune the whole thing to ET A440, I have decided to use what seems to be the original tuning. Since I want to use it mainly to accompany myself singing and to practice and improve my playing skills this seems like a good choice. So far I have tuned the G row using G as the root note and it sounds very sweet to my ears. My question is, should I use C as the root note when I tune the C row, or would it be better to stick with G for the whole instrument, so that there is no variation in pitch when playing across the rows? If anyone has any experience of doing this or understands the theory well enough to explain it to a poor amateur folk singer who does everything by ear, I would be very grateful to hear you words of wisdom.
  12. I've been following with interest the discussions about dating Lachenals by their serial numbers. My question is whether the sequence of serial numbers applied to instruments made for various retailers' "own brand" models, was the same as that used for those bearing Lachenal's own badge. I'm currently attempting to restore a very battered old Lachenal 20 key anglo (wish me luck with that!) made for Metzler & Co, serial number 90480. Using current accepted wisdom I understand this would place it somewhere around 1885. Can anybody tell me if this is correct, or would a different numbering system have been used for the "own brands"? Thanks in advance for your help. John
  13. Thanks Nick. I've already done a bit of restoration on an old Rosetti Rambler. It was virtually unplayable wih several stuck and duff reeds, and buttons which disappeared inside the holes and stayed there. It now plays quite well, is largely in tune and actually sounds quite good. But the tone and action is not a patch on the restored Wheatstone English I borrowed from a friend about 40 years ago. I learned a couple of simple tunes on it and can still hear its lovely buttery tones in my mind to this day. My success in bringing the Rambler back to life starting to learn to play it has definitely given me the concertina bug. And since I enjoy tinkering, but not yet ready to shell out a fortune on a restored instrument, I'm taking your advice. I've ordered the Elliot book and have a dilapidated looking English-made anglo on the way! Watch this space..... John
  14. Thanks for the advice Bill & Daniel. I decided pass on the Journet as I already have a German made instrument. I've just bought a very cheap and dilapidated looking box, almost by accident, as I didn't expect my low bid to win the auction! So now I'm about to take possession of a bit more of a project than I intended, which I think could be a Lachenal, sold under the name of Metzler and Co. I expect to be coming back to the forums very soon for a lot of restoration advice!
  15. I am looking to buy an old Lachenal or similar as a restoration project. Concertinas for sale usually claim to have rosewood or mahogany ends and I have followed some of the the discussion about the relative merits of these in this forum. But I have noticed in the photos of some unrestored instruments, rosewood in particular, what appears to be worn or missing veneering. So I am wondering whether when an instrument is said to have rosewood ends, does that mean solid rosewood or rosewood veneer, and if it's veneering, what base wood would be used? Or is what I am seeing just an effect of ageing of the wood surface? Can anybody enlighten me?
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