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Everything posted by pentaprism

  1. Personal experience. The instrument in 2020 was an Anglo concertina. I paid about $250 on a $3200 concertina from Ireland. The instrument last week was a travel guitar. I paid $84 on a $1300 guitar from Greece. I could be overcharged. But when they hold the item hostage, there was not much else I could do.
  2. I found several websites that could estimate the import fee, but all required some sort of registration/login/payment. I think for musical instruments from Europe, the total import fee is around 7% of the value declared. The problem is that in most case, the seller doesn't know how much the import duty will be in the destination country, and just states that "taxes, import duty/fee are responsibility of the buyer." In both of my cases, the shipper brought the item here into the US, and then told me that the item was on hold and I would have to pay the fee to have it released from customs. I guess the shipper didn't know the amount until US Customs inspected the item and decided how much the duty would be. In my first case in 2020, UPS screwed up so bad. The person I initially contacted had no clue where the item was nor how to get it out. Meanwhile the item, according to the tracking data on UPS' website, went back and fourth between US and Canada (note that the item was supposed to go from Ireland to US). No one at UPS was able to explain to me why. Finally someone found out that I'd have to pay $250 to get it released from US Customs. DHL handled the case last week much better. They picked the item Aug. 9 from Greece. I received text & email messages every step of the way. Late Saturday night, I received an email from DHL that I had 5 days to pay for the import duty. At the time, the item was already in San Francisco. I paid immediately and received an itemized receipt from them: Item Value: 1314.84 Regulatory Charge: 1.19 Import Export Duties: 65.74 Duty Tax Receiver: 17.00 Total: 83.93 DHL delivered it on Monday Aug. 14 (my house is 35 miles from San Francisco Airport).
  3. Hello Sandra, My post is not about the quality of Marcus concertinas. It's about buying from outside of the US: prepare to pay "import duty." In 2020, I bought a $3200 instrument from Ireland, shipped by UPS. The import fee was about $250. Last week, I received a $1300 instrument from Greece, shipped by DHL. The import fee was $84. Both shipments were comparable in size (about 2 cubic feet) and weight (about 6 pounds). The shipping last week was smooth, taking only 5 days. The shipping in 2020 was a nightmare, taking a month and a lot of back and forth messages with UPS.
  4. Where is the negative comment in "It was not his fault, but he was very nice and very accommodating"? To be honest, at this point I still don't really know what the cause of the shipping problem was. All I knew at the time was that the concertina, instead of going directly from Dublin to California, decided to take a scenic tour to other countries. When I informed Sean of the problem, he was just as surprised as I was as how that could have happened, and he did try everything he could to make me happy, including offering a full refund. I didn't take the refund offer because that would be unfair to him. Fortunately, in the end it was resolved, even thought it did cost me a little bit of time and money. As for me, based on that experience, I'd deal with Sean again any day. Did I tell you that the problem was not his fault, but he was very nice and very accommodating?
  5. It never fails to amaze me: people post here, only with a link to a "for sale" post somewhere else. If you want to sell it here, post it here. And if you sell here, give the credit here.
  6. Now it is no longer available. Donation sent to concertina.net.
  7. I did buy the Swan but if I started over again, I wouldn't buy it. For about the same amount of money, I recommend instead getting a better 20-button. Later on, when you are ready to upgrade to a good 30-button, you can keep the 20-button as a spare or for travel. There are plenty of tunes that can be played with a 20-button. If you get the Swan now and later upgrade, I think you'll find the Swan frustrating and you won't want to keep it.
  8. I replied to all PMs. Thanks for the interest.
  9. I bought this from a member here a few years back to try out G/D. Then I found that that G/D did not interest me as much as I thought it would. Also, I came back to classical guitar about 1.5 years ago (after many years giving it up due to an injury on my left thumb, which has been getting better) and found that I spent more and more time playing guitar. The G/D Ceili in particular spend most of her time in the case. So I'm thinning the concertina herd. The concertina is in excellent condition. She has been upgraded with a set of wonderful Kensington handrests that Dana Johnson was kind enough making them for me (original handrests are included). The original case is included. Price: $2000, including FedEx Ground shipping to 48 US states. Please contact me for shipping to other locations. Ceili-notechart-GD-Jeffries.pdf
  10. I have a chance to play a Vintage. It is a beautiful instrument. The sound is bright (for sure brighter than your Kensington), not necessarily a bad thing. The buttons are light and even. I myself prefer delrin to metal, however. The bellows are very soft, in fact, too soft to my taste. Even when new, you close the concertina, and put it down, the bellows don't expand much, may be 1/4 - 1/2 inch. IMHO, the softness of the bellows makes the concertina less stable when being played fast. Note that I'm not commenting on the quality of the bellows, which I think is quite good. I haven't played many concertinas, but among the ones I could get my hands on, I best like the feeling of the Morse Céilí bellows. They feel just right, not too hard nor too soft, when new and when well-played. By the way, I had a chance to deal with Sean Garvey, the owner of The Irish Concertina Company, on some issues regarding shipping. It was not his fault, but he was very nice and very accommodating.
  11. BustedFlat, You're first. PM me with your shipping address. I'll ship it to you next Thursday (too late for me today).
  12. I bought it a while back to see if Anglo concertina is for me. I since then upgraded and it's been sitting in its soft case. It's definitely slow; but from what I can tell, everything works as it should. Included: the instrument + soft case (as pictured). Price: the cost of FedEx Ground shipping from ZIP 94621 + US$ 1 (so that I can brag that I've made profit on the deal 😃 ) + a donation to concertina.net. The amount of the donation is of your choice; you don't have to tell anyone about it. You can pay me (Paypal F&F or check) and make the donation after receiving the instrument. If you want to give it a good home. Please reply here (so everyone knows that it's been taken) and send me a PM. Note: I can ship only on Thursday. Please be patient.
  13. I don't know about shipping from Canada, but the statement above, in my experience, is true for shipping from the US. I used to sell photography gears and shipped many cameras/lenses to overseas. I always used USPS. At least the import/export charge, if any, was known up front. I never had a case in which the shipper held the package hostage until the 'fee' (of which amount I would have no control over) was paid. But the original question is about shipping from Ireland to the US.
  14. I bought a USD 800 concertina from McNeila. Shipping was quick and I didn't have to pay anything more than what McNeila charged me. But exactly 2 years ago, I bought a USD 3200 concertina from another seller also in Ireland. UPS hold it hostage until I paid them $200 (or $250?) "import fee". I think it was because the declared value exceeded a certain limit (USD 2500?). It was not the seller's fault. He was surprised by the 'import fee' as well and offered to pay for it but I didn't want him to. He later tried to make up for the trouble by sending me a nice soft case.
  15. That’s a given. Even something like Roland V-accordions (I have a few) can not replace their acoustic counterparts. But if someone sold a V-concertina that’s similar to the V-accordions, I’d be the first in line. The best concertina (replace “concertina” with anything you’d like) is the one you have at hand. The iPad concertina and iPad accordion have kept me busy many times when the “real thing” was not available.
  16. Make a mask.... The mask is 2 parts:- A clear acetate sheet. Something like this.- An adhesive foam sheet. Something like this.I made a photocopy of the app on the iPad screen, attached the photocopy to the foam sheet (watch out for the orientation and the side with adhesive), then punched away with a hollow punch tool like this. Then I attached the punched foam sheet to the acetate sheet.I glued velcro dots at the corners of the iPad and of the mask to keep the mask from moving around.
  17. Not sure what you mean by “soft.” If it means “not loud,” I don’t think you can find such a concertina, especially a decent one. They are all loud IMHO. If it means “easy to play,” I doubt if you can find one better than the Morse Céili.
  18. Dana will take care of this if you order a new one from him. From what I know, he even did some conversion for people buying pre-owned Kensington concertinas. From Dana's website: "For those few people who have use for the second reversed Eb in the Jeffries layout, I have done that for some people who play in keys that make that more useful. A straight Jeffries option ( only slightly different from the Kensington Standard ) is something I will be happy to talk about though it requires a small amount of reed pan conversion at the current time. Irish Trad. players will get much more use out of the extra C# than a second Eb." Dana is.a wonderful person to deal with.
  19. I learned something today. Thanks for posting the problem and thanks for posting the solution. Now I appreciate even more the reed design by Dana Johnson. From his website http://www.kensingtonconcertinas.com/kensington-reeds.html : "I make my reeds starting with large sheets of brass for the reed shoes and reed clamps, and wide strips of reed steel I shear and grind into the individual reed tongues for each of the 60 reeds of the concertina. Traditional concertina reeds are normally mounted in tapered dovetail slots. The reed shoe sides match the dovetail slot and when slid home and the reed shoe fits snugly which is important for good sound. This method works well in places with stable humidity, but in places like New England in the US, winters are very cold ( down to -30 F where I used to live ) and house humidity levels drop to 10% or lower. summers see the humidity go up to 90%. This causes expansion and shrinkage of the reed pan and it's slots. When it expands against the reed shoe, the softer wood crushes, sometimes pinching the reed shoe sides against the reed causing it to jam. When it contracts in winter, it pulls away. After a few cycles of this, the slot remains oversize and the reed shoe needs shims put in to keep them from rattling or falling out.. I switched the way my reed shoes are held in the slot. They have a chisel point at the tip and a small semicircular cut at the base where a small flat head screw simultaneously wedges the reed shoe forward where the point mates with a small nick at the bottom surface of the slot, and also holds the base of the reed shoe tightly at the same time. Since the reeds are mounted in the direction the wood hardly shrinks at all, they aren't bothered by the movement of the reed pan."
  20. Does the course use Wheatstone or Jeffries key layout? Does it matter much if it uses Wheatstone and my concertina is Jeffries?
  21. @Gentry, I wouldn't buy a $500 30b Anglo concertina. I'd rather buy a $500 20b Anglo concertina. With either one, if you stick with Anglo concertina, you'll want to upgrade within a year. But you'll want to keep the $500 20b as a second concertina, and you'll be dying to get rid of the $500 30b. I've been there, done that (the $500 30b - actually more than $500), didn't like it a bit, and wished I had gone with a $500 20b instead. Please read these threads:
  22. Why do you have "to unlock the iPad/ phone due to screen"? The apps I use have options that disable the screen lock. Some apps call it "Screen Always On" (that has to be turned on), some call it "Auto Lock" (that has to be turn off).
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