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robert stewart

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About robert stewart

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    west virginia

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  1. It might be helpful to post some pictures. Then the experts here can give you more information. RJ
  2. So I would guess from your name that you Play early English dance music, usually at a Ford? Great quote! Thank you.
  3. As I posted the original question, with a link to "Humidipaks" (which I did not invent, and do not promote, though I am trying them out with my instruments), I would like to add a couple of further thoughts. Firstly, as I come from Scotland and lived for years in England (for shame), I can confirm that the climate is just as damp as it probably was in the heyday of concertina making. So at least 50% humidity would be normal for much of the year, though less indoors with heating. As heating in the 19th and early 20th was mainly by coal fires and stoves (dry) or gas (very moist), the concertina must be tolerant instrument. Here in West Virginia there are quite staggering daily variations in humidity, until summer when it is extremely high, or the dead of winter which is deadly dry. The 40-45% up/down action of these strange goopy breathy gel packs keeps the humidity from dropping low enough in the case to cause damage to a musical instrument. It helps, in other words, when they are inside a case with the lid shut, to keep a workable minimum for protection. As soon as the concertina is out and standing or playing, the instrument is breathing the ambient humidity or lack of it. The worst thing would probably be to have a concertina, in a case for a period of time, where the humidity was locked in and could not reduce. Rust, mould, rot. But if we practice every day..... best wishes, RJ
  4. Does anyone have experience using humidification gel packs for keeping a concertina stable? They are usually used for other wooden instruments (which also have, of course, metal parts). Typical example here: https://www.daddario.com/products/accessories/humidification/automatic-humidipak/ What is interesting with these is that they are supposedly to keep a stable humidity of 40-45% inside a case. If humidity is high they draw it in. If low, they emit some humidity. Here in the northern panhandle of West Virginia humidity rises high, then suddenly drops low, often within a very short time. Depends on....everything. Robert
  5. Thank you Geoff for sharing your story. I was thinking of the theory that the left brain works the right side, and the right brain the left side, therefore the nerves, fingers, etc. There are quite a few items on this subject on the web that show up in a search. To be honest I have no idea if the theory is correct, but it is widely used in various ways. Whatever it was, and however it worked, I am glad to hear that the EC helped you, just as it helped me. I much prefer playing the concertina to doing rehabilitation exercises! best wishes, RJ
  6. Thinking of the concertina as a therapeutic assist. About 20 years ago I absorbed some mercury that had crept into an outdoor hot tub in a heavy rainstorm. The result was blinding headaches, loss of mobility, and so forth. As I began to recover, I found that reading street signs was erratic...they would read (to me) nothing like what they actually said. There were other bizarre symptoms....but you get the idea. However, I renewed my love for the English Concertina, which works with right and left hands in rapid alternation, and therefore stimulates left and right brain. After a couple of months of daily practice (not having played for some years), most road signs read correctly for me, my speech improved, and my concertina playing really benefited. Hooray for Sir Charles and Louis!
  7. Just out of interest, does anyone know who really has that Lachenal "stretch" tenor-treble, with the Wheatstone straps?
  8. I sent an Ebay message to the (supposed) seller of this item and of the uilleann pipes. The instruments do not appear in his/her listings when you go direct to them, only as the scam items. Maybe the seller can have the fake items taken down.
  9. https://www.ebay.com/itm/WHEATSTONE-LACHENAL-ENGLISH-CONCERTINA/312868472811?hash=item48d86a07eb:g:T9IAAOSwYjRd4p8r Is this a scam? An interesting tenor-treble, with a stretch shape. the seller seems to be accepting bids, but when you look at the full details, says "only accepting Buy It Now". The same seller has a set of uilleann pipes for sale...and surprise! the details are almost identical, with the same "only accepting BIN" even though the auction seems to be accepting bids (which would cancel out Buy It Now). Or am I paranoid?
  10. Thank you so much for the information! Yes, it has 56 keys. So 115 years (approx) old, and still playing. I can post some pics if anyone wants to to see the instrument. Just had the action overhauled and everything tuned by Concertina Connection which made a tremendous difference to the response and, interestingly, to both volume and tone quality. Should be good for another 100 years plus...still playing after I have departed. best wishes, Robert
  11. How about this instrument? : Lachenal Edeophone extended treble EC: number 42951. Has ebony or ebonized ends, metal keys, complex fretwork, fivefold bellows. Interestingly this instrument has an original (Wheatstone style) riveted action, not the Lachenal hook/lever action. Waiting in suspense....RJ
  12. I wonder if the "value" of this item is not as a modern tool, but as an antique special item from the historic Lachenal factory. This is probably the kind of tuning bellows, along with a test concertina, that the great Tommy Williams would have used when he was a freelance tuner for Lachenal, as described in his famous interview and recordings, where he says they told him his tuning was too good. While I would not pay $448 for it, especially with one reed plate missing, it is a genuine piece of concertina making history that might be worth bidding something for. RJ
  13. I also have had excellent communication with Wm Wakker at Concertina Connection. Right now they are working on 56 key Edeophone for me, and Wm advised that they have found it has an original Wheatstone riveted action already in place. There has been a good exchange of Q/A, with no mysterious delays...usually within 24 hrs. RJ
  14. I tried the Myers on string, wind, and reed instruments. Like others, I was not especially impressed. For most concertinas we have the "stereo" effect to consider if you are close-miking for playing in a session or band. You probably need two small mics, and if they are in really close such as directly on the instrument in some way, they may amplify action noise or specific (sometimes unwanted) overtones. For higher end concerts and recording , you can use two really good microphones set up at a small distance from either end...not too far. This requires rehearsal and careful sound engineering. You can also work with one really good mic set up in front of the concertina, and somewhat above it. The height can vary: for band work it probably needs to be right in front and close. Like a human listener standing or sitting in front of the player. This last option gives a very natural sound...ie what you actually hear if you are a nearby listener (but louder). Concertinas often have unusual acoustic properties, and can sometimes sound louder further off. Ultimately it depends on what you want, what you are using the instrument for. And, regrettably, what you are prepared to pay. There is a huge difference between the performance of average priced price mics and high end mics. Robert (RJ)
  15. Looks like my previous Ebay link, just posted, should work for everyone on the list. The instrument has certainly been played a lot, whoever may have played it. The inverted H looking like an N is distinctive. Are there any other comparative signatures?....the stage sig is certainly more florid, but with several similarities to the one in the auction. Variety Artistes often developed a florid signature for signing programs or autograph albums. My guess would be that the signature on the inside of the EC might be an owner's safety signature....proof of ownership? Presumably Honri did not repair instruments? RJ
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