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Richard Mellish

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Everything posted by Richard Mellish

  1. I presume that the references to "brass plated" and "aluminium" refer to the reed frames, not to the reeds. But if the frames aren't solid brass, why plate them?
  2. I'm reminded of the barber shop scene in one of the Marx Brothers' films: a bit too much off one side, so then take a bit off the other side, but then that's too short so take a bit more of the first side, etc. Surely one should file very little to start with, then a bit more if necessary. Also what about the effect of the reed chamber on pitch?
  3. I use that button on pull as part of a chord (F-major on a C-G). I don't think I ever use it on push.
  4. Richard Mellish


    I bought an instrument from a dealer. (I will not name which dealer or what instrument, except that it is a concertina of a respectable make.) It had supposedly been thoroughly restored. A while later I took it to an expert. (I will not name which expert.) The expert's advice was that the dealer had paid a restorer only as much as necessary to have it put into reasonable condition, rather than paying somewhat more (but not a huge amount more) to have it put into first class condition. I decided to pay the expert to do a proper job. As to what moral or what practical advice to draw from that, I'm not really sure.
  5. I too played for one women's (definitely not ladies') NW morris side, but that fizzled out many years ago, because not only the numbers but the enthusiasm and the quality of the dancing were declining. Sorry to say, nowadays I don't squeeze as much as I used to, but I haven't stopped.
  6. I'm wondering how the pads are joined to the levers. They appear to be integral, without the flexibility that a conventional concertina has at that point, and therefore relying entirely on the elasticity of the material on the side facing the action plate. Some conventionally made concertinas have the levers held in place in essentially the same way, but I seem to recall claims that rivetting is better. Is that just because the spring pressure can tend to pull the staple (or whatever) out of the action plate, which doesn't apply with 3D printing? Or is there any other disadvantage?
  7. One does of course need to use the right thumb for the air button on an Anglo, and some Anglos have a corresponding button on the left-hand end that plays a note, often referred to as a "drone" but also usable as part of a chord. If it's OK on an Anglo I don't see why it shouldn't be done on a Hayden.
  8. Inasmuch as you can use only one hand to play the notes, with the other pulling and pushing the piston, and the note is the same in both directions, the layout really has to be like one end of a duet system. The alternative is two ends and bagpipe bellows as suggested by Halifax. I can't see how to avoid the need to seal around the buttons. Whereas a conventional concertina has the reeds and pads between the bellows and the end that is open to the atmosphere, with this instrument the pipes pretty well have to be open to the atmosphere, so the other side of the pads, connected to the cylinder via the flap-valves, does need to be sealed. That would still be the same with the double-ended bagpipe bellows version. How is it achieved with a conventional pipe organ (large as in a church or portative)?
  9. It seems to me that "feedback" can be an issue in two ways. One is "howl round", when the loop gain is enough to cause continuous sound. Different original sounds may provoke that more or less quickly, but it will happen anyway. The other is where the loop gain is a bit below unity but enough to emphasise one or more frequencies. That clearly is more or less of an issue according to how much of those particular frequencies an instrument produces, which may indeed differ significantly from one kind of reed (and associated chanber etc) to another.
  10. As noted in the other thread, certain Cherry switches, as used in computer keyboards, would be ideal except that they are a bit too big to fit the spacings required for concertina buttons.
  11. I have sent Dave Ehnebuske a message. My thoughts (and those of others) about MIDI concertinas are in the thread https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/21042-midi-concertina-project/ .
  12. Anyone (Bruce?) have contact info for dehne1? I don't think I want to invest in a GlowForge, so I don't want to join that forum, but I would like to know what switches dehne1 has found that have an acceptable feel and are small enough for the button spacing of a concertina.
  13. Yes, but the reed that sounds on push has almost the same environment as the one that sounds on pull. The difference in absolute air presure pointed out by Tradewinds Ted is very slight. The fact that one reed is inside the chamber and the other is on the other side of the sound board is more significant, but still makes only a slight difference.
  14. I don't play Irish style and I do play (only) 40-key Wheatstone layout, which this certainly is, unless it's an odd special. I already have one very nice Wheatstone 40-key C-G and one very ropey Koot Brits 40-key C-G , so I really don't need another one, but I would happily pay the suggested $3500 or even £4500, if you don't find a taker your side of the pond.
  15. I agree that one should buy the best that one can afford, but I see no great harm in starting with a very basic instrument, for just long enough to find out whether or not one gets on with how the notes are laid out. I started on a cheap and cheerful 20 key German concertina, which cost me £2 and was enough for me to decide to continue with the diatonic system. I was very soon offered a 30 key Lachenal (for no money at all!) , which was potentially a much better instrument but leaked like a sieve and had had some of its worst leaks stuffed with toilet paper. I forget what I did to make it playable, but it served me adequately for a few years until I upgraded again.
  16. Some discussion also at http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=166414&messages=6 but the Mudcat servers aren't easy to get into just now.
  17. A major factor is that the sound from a concertina goes out sideways, so it sounds quieter to the person playing it than to everyone else, fellow musicians or bystanders. If you play at a volume that seems to you about right relative to the other musicians, it's probably too loud.
  18. Facebook says "You must log in to continue.". Sorry, but I don't wish to do that. Why not make it so anyone can view it without needing a Facebook ID?
  19. In particular a 40-key provides a lot of scope for playing whole phrases without change of bellows direction. Of course there is even more scope on a duet, but that's a different story.
  20. I assume you mean you want to reed frame to fit tightly in the reed pan, which indeed is necessary, but I was recently reminded that it should be tight only at the ends. A tight fit in the middle of the length would squeeze the sides of the frame closer together. If the gaps between the edges of the reed and the frame are already extemely narrow, as they should be, squeezing the frame could foul the reed.
  21. Nope, my G-D was made new for me by Steve Dickinson but, as I said, it's 40-key. Steve had suggested having the extras, on the basis that having 30 and wishing one had more is much worse than having 40 and not using all of them. I do use all 40, though a few of them not very often.
  22. My Wheatstone system 40-key G-D has a high A on pull and a C# on push; respectively the right-most and left-most buttons on the outer row on the RH end. The corresponding notes on a C-G would be D and F#. AFAIK those are standard.
  23. Sorry about that, and glad that someone else has resolved it. Something to do with ordinary and non-breaking spaces and how they are handled by different operating systems.
  24. On the Whatever Happened To Duet International ? thread I offered to dig out some recordings of Nick Robertshaw. I've put a first batch of them into a zip file at mellish.eu/Audio/Nick Robertshaw.zip . This is what I've extracted this afternoon from my Herga Folk Club recordings, some with concertina, but also some unaccompanied songs and one with guitar. More may follow, but no promises.
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