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malcolm clapp

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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.
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    Woolgoolga, NSW Australia

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  1. Chris, you mention the instrument in question has some historical significance in Australia. I'd be interested to hear just what the historical significance is, but I understand if your research is on-going and you may not wish to reveal the results currently. Just an observation, but quite a few music shops advertised Lachenal instruments in newspapers during the late C19th and early C20th, and one or two mention Wheatstone, as a search of Trove will show, but I can't recall seeing any early advertising for Jones' concertinas in Australian printed sources. A more detailed search may possibly reveal something.... (For the benefit of those outside of Australia, Trove is a web site containing digital Australian newspaper records. A bit like You Tube in that once you start browsing you can't stop until about 4 in the morning; high levels of self control required 🙂 )
  2. I have to agree with Chris Algar's comment. I believe that they compare well with, say, a mahogany ended Lachenal, but the fretting on a rosewood Lachenal is, to me, certainly more aesthetically pleasing. I've had a few Jones instruments through my workshop, but can't remember whether the ends were solid timber or veneered. From memory, the ends were a little thicker than Lachenals, perhaps somewhat negating the need for bushing felt, though I do recall adding end bushes to one Jones anglo upon the owner's request.
  3. Hi Noel, Not sure if I'm the Malcolm to whom you addressed your query, but I'd be lying if I said I could remember a repair I did 35 years ago.... But as Stephen said, it should just pull out, but you may need to invest in a copy of the Charles Atlas Thumb Strengthening Course, available from all good book sellers an internet scammer somewhere on the net. On a more serious (and hopefully more helpful) note, try dismantling the other end and see if it comes apart more easily. Then push the sticking reedpan out from that end. Good luck. MC 🙂
  4. Can I suggest, as an experiment, handing the concertina to an experienced player, take half a dozen steps away and listen for the offending noise when the instrument is being played. You will probably find that the valve-slap sound decays much more swiftly than that of the reeds, which the maker was probably aware of, but remember that your concertina was built to a price point, hence the use of something other than top of the range materials and endless time spent on final adjustment in their workshop. While that particular model of concertina may be a disappointment to you, there will always be a degree of superfluous noise; you will not notice it after a while, except perhaps if you use it with close mics for recording purposes. (Have a close listen to a few concertina tracks on YouTube from top players with first class instruments and you will hear similar or worse culprits!) So my best advice is stick with it for a while, and welcome to the world of concertinas. And try to refrain from holding down buttons when changing bellows direction; it will aid clarity and improve finger dexterity. Maybe where you play two notes on the same button, you may discover an alternative fingering and bellows direction available by playing one of those notes on another row; seek them out: it will encourage you to learn your way around the keyboard with increased fluidity. (Sorry for straying a little off-topic.)
  5. Unable to answer your question, but there is one with identical ends currently on Gumtree Australia, with a pretty confused description. No useful information, and the seller knows nothing much about it. It has a label "EBOR", most likely a shop, wholesaler or auctioneer's tag, so not much help.
  6. I never quite thought of it in these terms, but a pretty accurate description of a typical English treble keyboard. Attached diagram might be of use, showing the standard (unmodified) configuration.
  7. In Portugal, the 3 row 12 bass melodeon or button accordion is known as a "concertina", usually in the keys of G/C/F, and tuned to such a wide tremolo that it might surely crack glass 🙂 Quagliardi certainly made (or distributed/rebadged) such a model. I have seen a photo somewhere of one on the internet, and also had one through my workshop very briefly, but was beyond repair, both bearing more than a passing resemblance to a German Koch melodeon from the early 1920s. So the short answer to the OP is yes, Jim... but not as we know it, though as Stephen suggested, it's not impossible that they may have made something more akin to a recognisable concertina, but I've never seen nor heard of one. (Apologies for probably misquoting Mr Spock)
  8. More information about John Mason and his repertoire can be found on the excellent glostrad site http://glostrad.com/tunes-from-john-mason/
  9. If I remember rightly, Colin Dipper, or a close associate of his (Robin Scard?), made several instruments with Lignum Vitae buttons back in the early 1980s. It would be interesting to know how the buttons (and indeed the concertinas) have fared over the years.
  10. A Russian speaking friend recently suggested checking out Nikolay Bandurin , a modern Russian singer and concertinist in similar style. I'm told that some of his verses are a bit risque (maybe think Benny Hill), while others are comments on current affairs, but apparently nothing sufficiently controversial to get him a long engagement in Siberia .... Quite a few YouTube clips and Google references; well worth a look. I just wish that Google translate was a bit more helpful on the YouTube clips. (Sorry about the font; my laptop seems to have gone psycho)
  11. The following (undated) message currently appears on Mark's website: I am closing the online shop for a while as I have strated to dream of hexagons I will re-open the shop after I have recharged my batteries. If there is anything urgent give me a ring and if I am not in someone will take a message. Thanks Mark Hope he's ok, but not a good omen...
  12. Likely the same one that I referred to above, owned by a fellow from Young, NSW.
  13. A quote from an old Mudcat post by Brian Peters seems relevant: <The (other) thing about a 30-button anglo is that there's plenty of opportunity for serendipity - you hit the 'wrong' button on the LH and a weird combination of notes gives you a clashing or unworldly harmony that sometimes stinks but sometimes makes you think "Hmm, that might come in useful."> The discussion centred on the somewhat unusual chording used by the late Peter Bellamy, though Brian suggests that Peter's chording was in no way accidental, but well planned and thought out. I'm not sure whether I agree, but maybe have a listen to recordings of Peter on (say) YouTube if you want to hear some unusual (weird?) harmonies.....
  14. Some years ago, I had the pleasure of restoring for a customer a bone button C Jeffries Maker metal ended 20 key C/G anglo. Original specifications, materials and build quality were every bit as good as that of the 31 key model that I owned at the time. Both instruments originally had quite deep 6 fold bellows, but I replaced them with 7 folds, not because either of them lacked capacity with 6, but because imho they were damaged beyond repair and the cost of the extra fold was minimal. I have also played and examined externally, but not looked inside, a 20 key Wheatstone Linota, which, in terms of appearance and playability, was as well made as any 31 key Linota I've played. Presumably, both of these 20 key instruments would likely have been special orders judging by the small number in existence when compared to 20 key Lachenals.
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