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Aldon Sanders

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  • Interests
    Ukulele, English Concertina, piano, flute, pennywhistle, guitar, mandolin, fiddle. Anything musical.
  • Location
    San Jose, California USA

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  1. The buttons are pretty pretty rough. There's no flaking. Just a rough texture that will quickly develop verdisgris if I don't give it a good wiping after playing it. It would be great if they were salvageable. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures here so folks can see. I don't do social media so it might bet a bit of trial and error on my part to get the images up. I'd think that given how much care was taken making this instrument the buttons should be consistent (and so also swapable), but there's no way to know without actually digging into the action. Thanks to all who've responded. You've given my brain something to chew on. I really hope that I can help this concertina be the best it can be. Aldon
  2. I have a Wheatstone Aeola 64 button tenor-treble English concertina with raised amboyna ends. It was made in the 1950s (and according to the Wheatstone ledgers has a twin that was made at the same time). When I bought it (c.1999) it was unplayable with stuck and corroded buttons and non-speaking reeds. I was able to get it playable myself, but eventually sent it to the Button Box to get it refurbished and tuned. At the time Bob thought the buttons were okay and usable. They still are, but the buttons in the most used area (the area that corresponds to the basic 45 button instruments) are still roughish, corroded, and ugly. I'd really like to either replace them, or move the overused ones to the higher register where they'll be rarely touched, and move the more pristine ones from the higher register into the more played area. Is this possible for me to do without too much hassle or is it best left to a professional? I've come to realize more and more how rare and valuable this concertina is. It has a glorious ear-pleasing smooth round tone that I've never heard on any other concertina and plays like a dream. I now consider myself a steward of this instrument - entrusted to play, love, and care for it. The rough feel and look of the most used buttons is the only thing that really bothers me. I'm seeking advice from you knowledgeable people about how to deal with this. All opinions and advice are welcome. Thank you! Aldon
  3. I was so looking forward to being there today, but my ankle had different plans (swollen & sore) so I won't be able to make it. Hope you all have a great gathering! Please share pix & videos! Aldon
  4. Great playing! What's the name of the last tune? It's familiar & I've played it before, but the title eludes me.
  5. The link opened fine for me using Google drive. Thank you for sharing.
  6. The buttons on the beginner instruments do wobble and get stuck, though not as horribly consistenlty as the Stagi instruments do. This is from personal first-hand experience, not a description on a website. The fix for buttons on the Jack, Jackie & Elise that slip under their holes and get stuck: open the action and move the spring of the offending button closer to its mechanism. When the spring slips away from the mechanism it allows the button to move around in its hole and sink down below the hole where it gets stuck. I've had this happen on both a Jackie and Elise. The hardest part of the fix is getting the buttons to line up again so they go through their proper holes while reassembling. Carefully inverting the action (holding it upside down) while not letting any of the buttons fall off their mechanisms lets gravity do the aligning. Then it's a matter of getting the cover back on without disturbing the buttons' positions. I do this with the action still inverted. Aldon
  7. You missed the qualifying part of my statement: "...where the buttons are loose and can slip under their holes." I don't see how your link relates to that fact.
  8. They're completely different. The Busker has a traditional Wheatstone-like action, while the Jack/Jackie's action is like a Stagi where the buttons are loose and can slip under their holes. The bellows on the Busker are leather. The Jack/Jackies bellows are made of some type of synthetic material. The reeds on the Busker are arranged directly on the reed board with screws. The reeds on the Jack/Jackie are on wooden boxes that are waxed into place. The Busker is much smaller than the Jack & Jackies. These are some of the major differences that come to mind at the moment. I'm sure there are others. Aldon
  9. Someone on Cnet posted a video of concertina marching bands (maybe someone here can point you to the right thread) and they were playing their instrument in plastic bags. I don't know how well it works but the idea is appealing. Aldon
  10. Thanks Steve. You get a nice groove on your EC! Totally enjoyed that video! Aldon
  11. Thanks for the tip on the Pelican Storm. I got the standard basic Busker with the regular bellows.
  12. My Busker arrived last Thursday. (my b-day is June 22nd - Happy B-day to me!) I'm really impressed with the quality of this instrument. I was expecting to have to "play-in the bellows", but they came just fine. They stay closed and don't creep apart when set down, and they expand very easily. This is a much different experience from the Elise which was stiff at first but loosened up over time. I love the Delrin buttons. I'd read that they can be slick, but mine aren't. They feel great under my finger tips. As a bonus I don't have to wipe them down after every time I play like I do with my Wheatstone 64 button (metal) Aeola. I'm also liking the smaller range of the instrument. It feels tiny compared to my Wheatstone! There is just enough range to play almost all fiddle tunes that don't go up to high D - which is in my experience about 98% of them. The intonation is spot on. The tone started out brash but as the reeds break in the tone is becoming more clarinet-like. The low G and G# on the righthand side had a little buzz in them from the difference in climate between Washington & Central California. Mr. Wakker said to give them time to acclimate and if the buzz persists for a couple of weeks to give him a call and he'd walk me through adjusting them. All in all I am very happy with this instrument and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as a great upgrade from a Stagi. I'm looking forward to having it with me on my travels, but need to visit a camera/bag shop to find a better carrying case for it. The basic one that came with it is oversized & lightly padded. I might end up ordering the upgraded bag Concertina Connection offers. Anyone have suggestions for a bag for the Busker? Aldon
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