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malcolm clapp

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About malcolm clapp

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    Concertina, melodeon & accordion enthusiast and repairer. Retired from repairing recently after 30 odd years, but still do the odd fix for friends.
    I play anglo and English, but not at the same time!
    My style on both is akin to a frustrated duet player. (Also have a Crane aeola).
    Happy to assist with concertina problems and give, hopefully, helpful advice.
  • Location
    Woolgoolga, NSW Australia

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  1. Very likely a valve touching the chamber wall. Certainly the first thing I would check.
  2. John, I think Sir Charles had been dead for some 20-odd years prior to the introduction of the earliest Aeola, so not sure we can credit him with choosing the name.
  3. Such a great drop in pitch (5 semitones) suggests a reed that has started to tear across at a low point of the belly and is well on its way to breaking. A replacement reed will be needed.
  4. I believe I was told that an associate of the Dippers, Robin Scard, was responsible for turning up LV buttons for them, and for some instruments made by him using more exotic woods than usually found in concertina construction. I've only ever had the pleasure of examining a couple of examples of his instruments, and indeed they are things of great beauty.
  5. I, too, would like to know more.... Could the Rev Hillier have been Signor Alsepti himself, but with a quick costume change? He obviously had access to clerical garb as referenced in Stephen's post regarding his belonging to the Franciscan Brothers. (Pure speculation of course...) I have a faint recollection of reading a press clipping of another well-known player of the period doing something similar as a music hall turn.
  6. Not currently playing due to ill health, but I could play in the key of F on a C/G 30 key concertina quite comfortably, probably better than my efforts in playing in D. However, I found playing outside of the home keys needed quite a high degree of concentration. My need for playing in F was almost entirely for solo song accompaniment, where my primary concern was on the song lyrics and relating to an audience, which I found was more easily achieved when playing off of the middle row of a 30 key instrument, especially for chords and bass runs. Why F? Well it seemed to suit my limited vocal range best for the vast majority of songs I liked to sing. My solution was to lower the pitch of a Morse Ceili by 2 semitones from G/D to F/C, achieved entirely by adding weight to the reed tips with solder. A very slight reduction in reed response speed was an acceptable result, noticeable in attempting to play fast tunes, but that was not the purpose for which this concertina was to be used as I have other concertinas for that. So the end result was being able to play in F with fingering that I was more familiar and comfortable with, thereby allowing me greater capacity to give attention to what I considered more potentially important aspects of performance. (Hoping to get back into a bit of playing soon, but wondering if my vocal range has changed, in which case the F/C Morse might become redundant.....Glad I haven't got $8k tied up in it!)
  7. Looks very Wheatstone to me. I can't recall seeing wooden-stemmed metal-capped buttons by any other maker from this period.
  8. Ditto the Pacific :-( Don't know of a workaround, so guess I'll just have a beer instead....
  9. As previously noticed in the seller's photos, a good place to start might be to reduce the length of the chamber by adding another divider close to the tip of the reed shoe. And it perhaps wouldn't hurt to check that the reeds are securely screwed down....
  10. It is not uncommon, especially in older literature, to find a C reference pitch rather than the A which is commonly used today.
  11. If it is a Wheatstone serial number, then certainly it would seem to have been built during the late Chidley period of ownership of the Wheatstone company.
  12. Almost looks as if some of the valves (in the chambers) are mount on the other end to usual? Hmmm. Didn't think of that.... Any sign of other holes or remains of pins in the chamber walls, Ken?
  13. The position of the number would indicate Wheatstone to me. Unfortunately, the number falls into the period when the sales ledgers no longer exist (or haven't yet been discovered???) I've not seen a Jones English with such a high number. Not saying they didn't; just that I've never seen one. One interesting(?) feature is that the valve pins seem a long way back towards the fixed end of (most of) the valves. Or are the valves just longer or further forward than usual?
  14. Whilst not suggesting, Halifax, that your original post isn't food for thought, I can't imagine quite how dropping a concertina might result in a cracked reed A cracked reedpan maybe, but surely not a cracked reed. Or am I missing something here?
  15. Never had a problem downloading content with the (free) SoundCloud Downloader add-on under Firefox. The only drawback is that it is only available as 128kb .mp3
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