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About LateToTheGame

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    Chatty concertinist

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    Concertina, wooden flute, whistle et al
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  1. LateToTheGame


    I had a conner for years. It was very very nice. Again, who has been playing it and where it has been will make a big difference. If you are buying used make sure you know your seller. And make sure you can return if it you don't like it. And best, play it in person. Sometimes Hobgoblin has a Connor. Conner's are not hybrids, but rather made on the Wheatstone model by John Connor, now retired. He was a maker at the Wheatstone Co. who struck out on on his own. Some of his concertinas used salvaged concertina reeds, others new I believe. He initially started out sourcing reeds with Chris Alger's Barleycorn Concertina company if I remember correctly. I may be wrong on that detail. I think the Wheatstone key layout is what you have on that Rochelle, But a lot of players moved towards the Jeffries. The differences are subtle, with 3 or 4 notes in different places on the upper right hand. The most relevant to a new player the C# placement. After 20 years of play my Connor appreciated a fresh tuning and adjustment by a pro (Greg J) here in the states. But the bellows and action were still fine and it certainly remained playable as it was. At your price you can also go down the hybrid/true concertina reed instrument rabbit hole. Many people with your budget and your son's experience are very happy with the hybrid concertinas out there. The plus side is they can be purchased new off the shelf with a warranty from someplace like the Irish Concertina Company or the Button Box in the US and often sound very good. I have heard Morse played very well. Hybirds can sometimes sound like small accordions rather than true concertinas. But not always. And the action can be a mite slower, but hybrid makers have been perfecting their craft for the last 20 years or so and some sound very nice. You might want to start another discussion looking for recommendations on hybrids as well.
  2. LateToTheGame


    With any antique instrument you would be best to shop through a dealer like Chris Algar at Barleycorn Concertinas, or have a trusted teacher look at the instrument in question. There is a huge variation in playability and sound from most of the recognized big name older instruments. Factors like the year it was made play into its quality. And how well or poorly it was maintained or stored will be huge factors as well. Barleycorn concertinas goes over every instrument they sell. There are other makers, restorers and shops out there. So continue to ask for recommendations on this forum. If you do buy from a private party I'd recommend you have a trusted teacher look at the instrument both inside and out, before you put that kind of money down. As for the definition of student instrument verses professional instruments--- It is unlikely you will find a "pro" instrument in that price range. But depending on your son's level of interest you will find something levels above his Rochelle that will either be a stepping stone or a lifetime instrument. Good luck. You will find the right instrument out their somewhere.
  3. About 29 minutes into the first episode of the third season of the Magnificent Mrs. Maisel. A red celluloid 20 button boxed carried offstage by a woman in a cowgirl outfit in a large group shot. But it was there on screen for a split second.
  4. I am trying to figure out how to PM you... I am interested.
  5. It could be useful to add if this is a hybrid or Heritage model, just to keep you from answering repeated email questions should they arise. Good luck on the sale.
  6. Dipper often customizes for per the customer's request. So you may have an outlier or two even if you know the system he was aiming for (Wheatstone or Jeffries). He may keep a record with a chart if you provide him the number on your concertina, but basically he will likely have a standard layout with a few variations. If you can print out the chart for the Clare in richard's post, then compare with a tuner, tuner app or piano you may have all the answers at your fingertips. I hope you enjoy the concertina. You have one of the best instruments out there if you have decided to learn yourself.
  7. HaHa, They are asking about that little wooden accordion I am playing. I have also been asked, "Is that a clarinet?" after playing the wooden flute. (Which I am much better at having put in a few more decades.) There is something attention getting about the concertina though. I have sat in sessions playing flute well alongside very good players in a crowded bar, only to have the group as a whole more or less ignored. But I've pulled out the concertina and run through a rather dodgy set of Comb Your Hair and Curl It and The Foxhunters played as hop jigs, while my session mates were hitting them as slip jigs only to get everyone to stop dead in their tracks and reward us with a round of applause.
  8. Yes. I had my earphones plugged in and didn't notice. HaHa. This reminded me of an old Lawrence Welk show my local PBS station aired recently. It was in their black and white days. The theme was "France" and the fellow who usually plays the accordion was playing a very passable French tune on a 30 button anglo while strolling around the stage. The skill set is not an easy transfer so he put the time in to learn it. I have no idea why those connected in my head, but it is nice to see. I am constantly asked, "What's that?" When I play.
  9. I just noticed a listing on Barleycorn Concertinas for a D/A Lachenal which is temporarily being listed as a D/A as it was originally a D/A instrument. It is completely restored, but it seems Mr. Alger is testing the waters for this original tuning. He goes on to say in the listing if there is no interest in this instrument in these keys he will re-tune it to C/G. So if you are looking for a rare bird, here you go.
  10. I have an older Edgley Heritage concertina which sounds quite lovely and plays with that fluidity you describe. Mine is an older one made with Rosewood and I find it a bit too heavy for my ancient wrists so I will be moving it on sometime soon. I do think his later models are lighter. You could ask him. I also have a Dipper that I play most of the time and find the action on both instruments is very nice. He has been a great communicator and could answer any question you may have. I hope you post regarding the trials of the Irish Concertina Company instruments after your trip. I'd love to hear more about them as well.
  11. I had a Wheatstone system Stagi concertina that I learned on and as I up graded to a Conner before hybrids were a thing it was also a Wheatstone system. So I leaned towards them. I think most of the intermediate hybrids out there are Jeffries system. So that seems to have ruled the day. Having that push and pull c# is seen as important to most people, but I don't notice it. You will get more answers to that question if you start a separate topic.
  12. The bigger buttons on the less expensive instruments would actually be difficult to manage when playing at speed. You will not notice the size of a good button on a well made concertina. I recently played a hybrid what had buttons smaller than the buttons you describe on your Chinese concertina, but felt huge to me after playing my Conner and Dipper. That may have been a Button Box Morse Ceilli and was a very nice hybrid I borrowed at a session. And what you may think to be tiny buttons on my Dipper are perfectly domed and I don't feel them at all. That my be due to the precision of the pressure on the Dipper as well as the size of the buttons. I also have a Edgley Concertina that has buttons that appear to be larger than my Dipper's or my (no longer mine) Conner's, but feel very similar under the hand. It is tough to pick a concertina. We don't get to go down to the concertina store and try out a wide range of instruments. We get to order something and hope for the best. What your fingers may be noticing could be how well the button is domed (curved) and how hard or softly you need to push to sound the notes. I have been very curious about the instruments the Irish Concertina Company has been making of late, as well as a new introduction to the hybrid scene, The Blackthorn, sold by Chris Alger in the UK. And wish I could run over to a mythical concertina store and try them all out. And, yes, you will develop a bit of a callous on each finger, but they won't be as pronounced as a guitar or fiddle player's. With a better concertina you will be touching your buttons with less force to sound the notes as well.
  13. Interesting velcro idea... I used to think I needed to keep the concertina out to encourage my playing it. But now I find I will gravitate to its case as well. I have pets and many humans in my house so one of my concerns was hair and dust. The case sits on my desk in my living room out of direct sunlight and away from forced air or heating vents. It is easy to grab on a whim, even though my favorite spot to play is my kitchen.
  14. For some reason this link only played without sound, even though my speakers were turned up. Perhaps that's a good thing? HaHa
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