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Everything posted by gtotani

  1. Gys Mans of South Africa used to make 40 button C/G with concertina reeds. Sadly enougy, since the COVID-19 pademic, he does not build new ones. He is still there and does maintenance service for concertinas, though. You could find him at facebook. Totani
  2. Just in case anybody is interested in playing this, I have put the sheet music with buttons and bellows direction on google drive, using the tablature system used by Gary Cover. The tune itself is public domain since 2007. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MKv3Ah86kLyjxXfse9bnknEMmdqQfgUT/view?usp=drivesdk
  3. If you are interested in playing, you can find the sheetmusic and accompanyment movie here. The concept of this campaign is also described there in Japanese and in English. http://e-fu.org/harunoumi.html
  4. New Year's Greeting to all. I played Japanese Traditional Music "Haru no Umi" as my new year challenge fo 2022. The tune is played everywhere in Japan during New Year season. Original instrumentation is Koto + Shakuhachi, and I played the Shakuhachi part with my Anglo concertina (Minstrel by concertina connection). I hope you enjoy. Totani
  5. Thank you Steve for your wonderful arrangement. I could not resist myself from playing it on square Herrington "Hercules". I believe some of you will get some idea how the tune sounds when played on C/G instrument.
  6. Hello Joel, I am a big fan of your YouTube videos, and thank you for sharing the sheetmusic. It is nice to see every note made clear, so that I can have better idea on the duration of those notes. Merry Christmas! Totani
  7. Thank you very much, Gary, for the outstanding arrangement and for sharing my play. I played it as a part of my Advent Challenge 2021. As same as last year, I played all 50 tunes of Gary Coover's "Christmas Concertina" book. This piece has been the biggest challenge. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLp1uphkpzyaKQBOlgOX3MQdNDCUTXnp9f Gen Totani
  8. You could trade in your Concertina Connection beginner for Troubadour or Peacock, I guess. Totani
  9. Merry Christmas to you all. I have revisited Gary's Christmas Concertina book again this year, with a new gear. Harold Herrington's square concertina "Hercules". This year, I have included "Merry Christmas Darling" as well. (only this one is played on Minstrel) I hope you enjoy. Happy Christmas and stay safe. Totani
  10. Waiting list for Duckling is 16 months If Rob can wait, a newly introduced Dabblers (28 or 30 button) could be an interesting alternative. https://www.flyingduckconcertinas.co.uk/dabblers.html And yes, Rochelle-2 is a good choice if one does not favor "bulky" and "glossy piano black" original Rochelle. Totani
  11. Welcome Rob, As a owner of Minstrel and Rochelle-2 by Concertina Connection, I suggest you get in touch with Wim Wakker of Concertina Connection to see if he has pre-owned Rochelle in stock. 1. You cannot go wrong a lot with Rochelle as a beginner instrument 2. pre-owned Rochelles are sold at lower price than brand new ones 3. pre-owned Rochelles that have gone back to Concertina Connection are refurbished and come with 2-year warantee, and 4. pre-owned Rochelles are also subject to trade-in program offered by Concertina Connection If you do not mind paying S&H or if you live in Dublin, perhaps you could try Wren2 out, as McNeela offers 14 day money back guarantee. As for Stagi (or Bastari), if you are lucky enough to get a good one, it will be good. If not, tough luck. I hope this information helps. Happy concertina life! Totani
  12. Hello, sorry for belated reply. I am glad to know to find another owner of Rochelle-2 who is happy with it. So far I have not noticed any change in bellows flexibility. The bellows of standard Rochelle of some years old seemed to be a bit more flexible. I guess it takes years to change. Happy concertina playing! Totani
  13. Yes, it is now available in amazon.co.jp! I have ordered one. This book is only available in hard copy and not in digital version for kindle. update: I received my copy today on November 4th. It was printed "on-demand" in Japan. Excellent work, Gary!
  14. Thanks for the good news! As I am far away from Red Cow Music, I will have to wait till it will be on print-on-demand at amazon worldwide!
  15. Gentry, Bad luck. Just sit back, relax and wait for the reply from McNeela. Sticky button on Wren2 is a typical problem and McNeela should have solutions to offer to the customers. Sending your Wern2 back to McNeela for refund and get a Rochelle (or Rochelle-2 (or Stagi))is another option. McNeela offers money back guarantee for unsatisfied instrument, doesn't it? (I am not sure.) Totani
  16. Hi, Folks, My main concertina is Minstrel with Wakker bellows upgrade that I boughtin early 2018, and I have acquired Rochelle-2 this year. Since both of them are hybrid Anglo concertina provided by Concertina Connection, I suppose some of you may be interested in how different they are. First of all, please have in mind that I know nothing about the default bellows that come with standard Minstrel. Secondly, according to the website of Concertina Connection, bellows for English (or Duet) differ from those of Anglo. http://www.concertinaconnection.com/replacement bellows.htm Therefore, what I write here, especially on bellows, may not apply to English concertinas and Duet concertinas. Thirdly, my Minstrel is version 1.0 with Hat design. Current Minstrel is version 2.0 wity Lyre design. (Origin) Minstrel - Made by Concertina Connection in USA Rochelle-2 - Made in China under instruction and supervision of Concertina Connection, shipped to customers from USA (Reed) Minstrel reeds sound and respond far better. One is able to control from pp to ff at ease. Rochelle-2 sounds somewhat "mufflered" but Minstrel sounds good. You can choose Jeffries layout for Minstrel when placing an order. Reeds are screwed to reed pan horizontally on both models. (Bellows) Very, very different. 6-fold Wakker bellows are as smooth as they should be from the day of purchase. 7-fold Bellows that come with Rochelle-2 are decent, but I felt that air capacity difference between "compressed" and "stretched" is inferior to 6-fold bellows of Minstrel. (fretwork) Fretwork of Minstrel is a beauty. You can enjoy the rivet action moving. Fretwork of Rochelle-2 is fancier that that of standard rochelle, but the area is limited to a minimum extent. (Type of wood) Both of them are black (ebonized, do you call it?). I think the quality of Wood is quite different. Is there any other questions? I would be glad to answer if I can. Totani
  17. Folks, Hello from Japan. I have acquired Rochelle-2 this July, and today I had a chance to put my hands on a standard Rochelle of some years old that belongs to a friend of mine. They are different exactly as described in the website of Concertina Connection. http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rochelle-2 anglo.htm In termes of 7-fold bellows, they looked quite similar and I felt they are of same quality. The aged bellows of original Rochelle were less stiff. To my surprise, when extended, the lengh of the standard Rochelle's bellows was longer. You might get disappointed if you expect smoother bellows on Rochelle-2. In terms of reed sound, I thought original Rochelle has a little bit brighter sound than Rochelle-2. If you prefer mellower sound, R2 could be your choice, but I do not think this would be a definite reason to choose R2. Both original Rochelle and Rochelle-2 that I played do not have "loud" voice, something like "muffed" sound where you cannot put all the power of air into the airflow of reed. Reeds of original Rochelle are mounted on accordion style bank with beeswax, where those of Rochelle-2 are mounted horizontally with screws. As for buttons, as it is explained in the official page, keyboard layout, rake, button size of both models are identical. Standard Rochelle has off-white plasticky buttons where Rochelle-2 has matte black-buttons. Neither of them are bush-felted, but do not make umpleasant noise. As same as other higer-grade model of Concertina Connection, buttons are skinny. As a consequence, the playability of standard Rochelle and Rochelle-2 do not seem to differ much. But, I believe that my Rochelle-2 is of the first batch and there could be some improvement in the following production. Who knows? (perhaps Wim does ) What makes Rochelle-2 better than original Rochelle are, from my point of view, 1. It is NOT bulky and close to standard sized concertina (still a little bit bigger than Minstrel) 2. Finish is matte black and not shiny celuloiid piano finish 3. Reeds are fixed horizontally on the reedpan with screws which would make it easier for the owner to get access to the reeds (for maintenance and fine tuning) 4. You pay less if you decide to upgrade to higher-classed Concertina Connection/Wakker concertina. I am very happy with my Rochelle-2 as my “camp” instrument or let my nephew give a try and I do not hesitate to recommend both models to any starters. As a conclusion, if someone asks me for an advice for his/her concertina, my first suggestion would be standard Rochelle. If he/she does not like the look of bulky&glossy instrument and ready to pay extra USD210, then Rochelle-2 would be a good choice. If he/she has desire to open the box and explore inside it, Rochelle-2 would be better. (I am sure Wim would not like the idea, though.) If any of you have original Rochelle or Rochelle-2 and have different perspectives, please share. Totani p.s. FYI, my main instrument is Concertina Connection Minstrel with Wakker Bellows upgrade, and I am getting used to the Herrington "Hercules" that came from Steve Shulteis through this forum. Such a lovely instrument!
  18. Thank you David Barnert, for pointing that out. Indeed, I use two elastic bands to keep the bellows of concertina closed. These elastic bands are those girls use to stop their hair from falling when they play soccer. From my experience with McNeela Swan (I used to have one), though provided with "fitted" hard case, elastic bands to keep bellows closed would be recommended and extra padding (like putting tiny stuffed toys in) would be a good idea. Totani
  19. Gentry, Both of them gave up Wren 2. One purchased McNeela Swan and the other AP James. Both of them had troubles with Wren 2 and never wished to buy another Wren 2. From what I have heard from them, you may experience sticky button(s), reed(s) installed inside out, leaky bellows etc. However, since you will be in Ireland, things can be different as you can always visit McNeela to solve the issues. As a matter of fact, Wren 2 was one of candidates when I chose my first concertina, but it went out of the list at ealy stage. Then I considered buying a Rochelle but I ended up buying a Minstrel. I could imagine myself going for upgrade in the future, then realized that starting with a btter instrument gives me more time to practice with the better instrument and it would save extra S&H for trading in as well. One thing. I understand you (and many others) find that a hard case is a plus. I do not think so.My first concertina is Minstrel by Concertina Connection. When I purchased, I asked Wim that I was thinking of buying a hardcase insted of a softbag, as many air travels were expected. Wim Wakker Immedeatly advised me that if I had any extra budget, I should spend money on bellows upgrade rather than upgrading to a hard case. So have I done and I am happy. My Minstrel had traveled with me to Mozambique, Cameroon, Poland, Germany, Spain, Peru, and of course Japan in a softbag, usually hand carried and sometimes in a suitcase and never had had any trouble so far. Through my experience, I have a feeling that concertinas not-so-fragile instruments. If the size matters, Rochelle will not be your choice, anyway. And if your budged does not allow buying a Rochelle-2, this is not either. Good luck and have a enjoy your concertina life. Totani
  20. I would recommend Rochelle, or Rochelle-2 if you can stretch your budget. If you want to start chepter, you could ask Wim Wakker if he has pre-owned Rochelle in stock. Rochelle has 5 year warranty and can be traded in at 100% purchase price. (of course, you would need extra S&H though) Rochelle is bulky and a bit slow, but I think it is a good starter instrument. Rochelle-2 is about the size of standard anglos. I have Rochelle-2 myself. One thing that I am worried about is Wim Wakker not responding to emails recently. I hope he is doing OK. On the other hand, I know of two Japanese who started with McNeela Wren 2 but purchased another one in less than a year. McNeela accepts trade-in for upgrade, but trade-in price is not 100%. I personally am not in favor of Wren 2. Ducklings, as Steven Shulteis suggests could be an interesting alternative, only if you can wait over 16 months. Perhaps due to its attractive pricing, waiting list is that long. Right. 20 button concertinas does not fit Gentry's need, but 26 could do. You can find 26 button vintage concertinas at a lower price than 30 buttons, generally. Hope you will come into a good concertina life! Totani
  21. Does Barleycorn sell any vintage 20b at the price of a Wren (or less)?
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