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Richard Mellish

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Everything posted by Richard Mellish

  1. How many concertinas are you planning to French Polish?
  2. The OP's use of the phrase "polka music" rather than "polkas" does suggest the particular tradition of the polka bands, in which case the above advice seems sound. It would be different for (for example) English or Irish polkas.
  3. In a stringed instrument, energy is coupled from the vibrating strings to the air by vibration of some of the pieces of wood, so the properties of those pieces are very significant. In a concertina the sound is generated by the reed modifying the flow of air through the slot that the reed moves in. The dimensions of the chamber, if any, the material of the ends (wood or metal) and the amount of open area in the fretwork all have some influence, but I would expect the choice of wood to have little influence to the sound, and therefore that the choice should be governed mainly by other considerations, such as resistance to splitting and warping. I'm prepared to be told I'm wrong if anyone actually knows different.
  4. There's a very nice large one (Crabb 67 key) in the buy and sell section right now, but the mention of a PM means that it may already be finding a new home.
  5. All fair enough, but I was commenting on the desirability or otherwise for the specific case of a concertina with some notes coming out of one end and other notes out of the other end.
  6. My understanding of binaural recording is that it is intended as an improvement on conventional stereo recording, giving more realistic spatial imaging. Given the nature of a concertina, with sound coming out of the ends in opposite directions, I am somewhat bemused as to the virtue of any sterophonic imaging at all. With a Duet, or with an Anglo if playing mostly melody on one end and chords or harmonies on the other, a case could be made for allowing the listener to hear the two ends separately. With an English, or with an Anglo played in the Irish style, don't you want all the notes to seem to come from roughly the same place?
  7. I'm unlikely to be tackling that genre, and if I were my existing C-Gs would presumably do just as well. Let's see whether you find anyone else to take it. If not, maybe bring it with you next time you come to Britain?
  8. I'm beginning to be tempted by this one. I absolutely do not need another C-G, but it is substantially different from both my Wheatstone (made in 1920 in the golden period) and my Koot Brits.
  9. I'm slghtly surprised by the enthusiasm for a metronome or click track. Is strict tempo desirable? If four musicians were playing together, wouldn't they be listening to each other rather than to a metronome?
  10. If you send a concertina from Germany to the UK for an overhaul, you risk being charged VAT in one direction or possibly even both directions -- and that would be on the value of the intrument, not on the cost of the overhaul. Brexit has had many negative consequences and we're still waiting to learn of any positive ones. How about looking for a repairer in Ireland?
  11. I suspect that most of the players who don't post here don't come here at all, so won't see that request.
  12. Presumably players of chemnitzers and bandoneons cope OK with both the large size and the square shape.
  13. I was tempted, but I am very accustomed to 40 button boxes and I already have one baritone, a Dipper Bb-F, so I felt someone else should take this one. It's a pity if there are no takers.
  14. How do you use it? Playing with fiddlers in A? If you ever decide to sell it I hope you will offer it on here.
  15. I am inclined to wonder whether a "bowing" valve was ever much more than a gimmick. I note Stephen's quotation about what they were supposed to do, but what can you achieve by way of "dynamic levels" by letting some air through the valve at the same time as playing a note that you can't achieve by just squeezing or pulling more gently? I can see that sometimes on an English you might want to play a short phrase in one bellows direction and a long phrase in the other direction, so there would be some virtue in being able to let air in or out quickly, as one does on an Anglo. But even then, what was the supposed benefit of having two separate valves, one for push and one for pull?
  16. Just by way of clarification of that bit from Ken: Jeffries, Wheatstone and Lachenal are the names of makers, who made various systems, not only Anglos. For Anglos with more than 20 buttons, the name Wheastone or Lachenal also implies a particular layout of the extra buttons, while Jeffries implies a different layout. Modern makers have made Anglos with both layouts.
  17. I always suggest trying to find somewhere where one can have a twiddle on as many different concertinas as possible.
  18. If I were in the market I would snap this one up. But I already have two 40 button C-Gs, one of which is a very nice Wheatstone, and I'm the wrong side of the Pond.
  19. Well, there are several of us in London who play concertinas. The lunchtime session on the first Sunday of each month generally has a few concertinas as well as fiddles and blowey things, and not many melodions.
  20. There's some confusion here. Is anyone currently building concertinas where the reeds themselves (i.e. the vibrating bits) are made of brass? Insofar as some makers offer reed frames made of brass as an alternative to any other material, what advantages does that offer?
  21. First point: absolutely. Which kind is easier to play depends how your brain is wired up, which in turn is influenced by what instrument(s) you have played previously. Second point: mostly true. Most people who play Irish music on concertina do play Anglos, but that is mainly because of history and tradition (including availability of teachers) rather than inherent suitability. If at all possible, somone just beginning should get to somewhere where they can have a quick go on different systems to see which makes best sense to them.
  22. Anyone in the UK considering buying this box will also need to be prepared for a steep import charge. It was an extra 20% on the D-A Anglo that I bought from Donovan in South Africa.
  23. I think Łukasz probably has the right explanation of your chirpy sound. My system is purely analogue up to the relays that trigger the contacts-to-midi module. There are two sets of relays, for pull and push, and over a small range of outputs from the load cell neither set can be energised (i.e. there is a dead zone as mentioned by Steve while I have been writing this). There is also an analogue output to the volume input of the contacts-to-midi module, which likewise remains at zero until there is enough positive or negative signal from the load cell. The least satisfactory aspect of mine is the articulation between the right-hand end and the load cell (which is rigidly fixed to the left-hand end). I have tried several arrangements which I haven't liked. I am intending to try a coil spring but have put the project aside for a bit.
  24. It has been claimed (by some who should know) that some "playing in" happens, with the instrument somehow performing better after a significant period of being played. What might be going on there? I would expect any change in the material properties of the reeds to affect the tuning, and that doesn't seem to happen. What else can change?
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