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Everything posted by pentaprism

  1. I just checked the price of the Swan - US$ 1,185. I remember paying between US$ 800 and 900 for it. If I were starting out, I'd rather pay a bit more for a restored 20-key vintage. I would outgrow it some day but would keep it as a travel concertina. A 26-key would be even better.
  2. I started with a Swan, and sold it in 6 months. It was a decent instrument if you're not sure Anglo concertina is for you, and it was probably OK for another 6 months for me. But I got impatient because many times I couldn't tell whether the problem was with me or with the instrument. When I found a second-hand Morse Céilí, I jumped on it and have never looked back. In fact, I ordered a new Morse Céilí (different key) when Button Box had them on sale. >> there really isn’t much difference between the quality of the Swan and the Phoenix.... I don't think it is the case. Just look at the Swan - it has no bushings while the Phoenix does. Just the lack of bushings, to me at least, is a source of frustration.
  3. Do a search on The Accordionists Forum. It has some comments re. the Hohner (and many others) line. In particular: Mid-Level Small Piano Accordions: Best bang for your buck? Hohner Bravo 72 Quality? There is a member by the name "JIM D.," who is very helpful. I would contact him before buying any accordion. Note that the second-hand market of PAs is not the same as that of ACs. Most decent second-hand ACs, in particular those from well-known makers (I'm not just talking about Jeffries, but also Button Box, Concertina Connections, Edgley, ... and the likes), command pretty high prices, in most cases can be up to 80% of new prices. PA second-hand market is full of people trying out and then giving up. The prices are much lower than new. If I were to buy a PA right now, I'd get a used made-in-Italy one from Liberty Bellows.
  4. I would also consider CBA. I started with PA, then moved to CBA about a year and a half later. If I were to do it again, I'd start with CBA. I think CBA is more "logical" (if there is such a thing) and more compact (this one is definite). Take the Roland FR-1X/Xb for an example. The PA version (FR-1X) had only 2 octaves on the right side, hardly sufficient for anything, while the CBA version (FR-1Xb) has 3 octaves on the right side, sufficient for most if not all of my playing. Also, try the 1-octave jump on a PA and try the same jump on a CBA to see how easy it is. The only problem is that CBAs tend to be more costly, and not as abundant on Craigslist as PAs.
  5. I started with PA but moved to CBA about a year after. I started learning AC about 1.5 years ago. I don't think playing accordion has helped or hurt my learning AC. It was the same as me learning PA after playing guitar (had to give up due to a problem with my left thumb). Your brain will adapt to different instruments.
  6. >> lots of conscious effort because there’s only audio feedback on finger placement accuracy,... COVID-19 era - masks are the "in" thing. 🙂 Also fixes the issue of "finger placement accuracy." 😎
  7. Among the concertinas I have had a chance to play, my favorite buttons are the ones of Delrin on the Morse Céilí - very smooth, very easy on my fingertips. R. Morse & Co. Céilí Anglo Concertina
  8. I really like my Fuselli Concertina Gig Bag. Its padding is about 2 cm thick. I used to use a hard case for the concertina when going back and forth between my house and my daughter's apartment, but now I'm using this soft case instead. Note that there are different Fuselli bags. Mine is the same as the one sold by Button Box: Concertina Cases.
  9. I have no experience on baffles. But I don't think they are effective in reducing the volume; rather, they are used on one side of the concertina to balance the sound. A 26-key is good, because the "missing" keys (compared to a 30-key) are rarely used any way.
  10. I'm also a new comer to Anglo concertina. In my experience: - I'd outgrow a decent 20-key (e.g. from Barleycorn) in about 12 months. But afterward, I'd still use it as a second instrument. - I outgrew a lousy 30-key (I started with one like this) in about 6 months. "outgrew" is a nice word. During that 6 months, I was frustrated because I couldn't tell whether the instrument or I was at fault! I'm still learning from Coover's "Civil War Concertina," written for 20-key Anglo concertina.
  11. That was what my daughter told me (her research is in theoretical computer science). 🙂
  12. Yes. It's not necessarily logical. It is 7 folds if you count two half folds at either end 🙂 But all concertina websites I know would list this concertina as "6-fold" bellows. Just like the year 2000 - most people say it is in the 21st century. But it is actually still in the 20th century, unless the very first year was 0000, not 0001.
  13. Hello @fiddleal This is the "smaller" version, and it has 6 fold bellows (I noticed the sevenmount website listed 7 fold)? Is a hardcase included? Also, can you please post the note chart. Thanks.
  14. I myself found Gary Coover's "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style" a bit too challenging for me. I then purchased his "Civil War Concertina," which was written for 20B Anglo. After I made some progress with the latter, the former became a bit easier. Both are good books. In fact, all books from Gary are great.
  15. Hello GotPlatelets, CBA player here. I hate to admit it, but my CBA playing is closer to "bad" than to "great." 😔 Among the popular types of concertinas, duet is the most similar to chromatic accordions. But I chose Anglo for two reasons: (1) I want something small so that I can play where a CBA is too clumsy or even impossible, e.g. in a car, and (2) I want something of free reed but challenging to my brain. The Anglo fulfills both requirements. About the Button Box, Doug is a wonderful person to deal with. Regarding their instruments, let's say that I bought a second hand R. Morse & Co. Céilí mid 2019 and like it so much that Christmas 2019, I treated myself a new one (of different key). Edited to add: Re. the kinds of music, I don't think you have to play ITM on Anglo. I play (more like "try to play") anything I like on Anglo. As examples, take a look at Gary Coover's Civil War Concertina and Christmas Concertina.
  16. Go here and click on “Notecharts” to see different key layouts. Gary uses Wheatstone layout in his books. But his “Easy Anglo 123” shows you how to “translate” the tablature to Jeffries key layout. I hope Gary doesn’t mind me posting it here. But after a while, you’ll develop your own fingering, and treat the tablature in the books as suggestions, not as hard and fast rules.
  17. How about a photo, or photos? It/they would be worth a thousand words.
  18. The OP specifically mentioned "Anglo concertina." >> The Concertina Connection instruments are 'over-size' at 7-1/4" across the flats. When I tried a Jackie at the beginning of this year, I found this a very awkward size. This is not necessarily true for Anglo concertinas designed/built by Concertina Connection. The Jackie is not an Anglo concertina. The Minstrel and the Clover are Anglo concertinas designed/built by Concertina Connection, both measuring "6 1/4 inch across the flats" according to Concertina Connection's website. >> I don't know that there's a big enough difference between the Swan or Minstrel.... I know the Swan doesn't have any bushings. I think the Minstrel does. That's a huge difference in my opinion. I used to own a Swan, and would have kept it for mobile playing if it had bushings.
  19. I started with a Bastari M CG 30, bought locally for cheap, and then a Swan from McNeela, and then a Morse Céilí from Button Box (and then others with concertina reeds). I still have the Bastari because it's too cheap to sell; it's somewhere in my office, currently closed due to the shelter-in-place order. The Swan has found a new home. Even I now own some concertinas with concertina reeds, I'm still playing the Céilí, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. If I were to start all over again, I'd start with at least a good-hybrid such as Morse Céilí or the likes (Edgley, Clover, Marcus, ...).
  20. I have arthritis on my left hand. Sometimes it's painful to play. A set of "upgrade" handrests help tremendously. In the photo below, the highest point of the handrests is about 1", the lowest is about 0.5".
  21. This is exactly why I asked you to post your location. I’m glad it works out.
  22. I finally gave up and paid $200 to UPS to get the concertina. If I wanted to challenge that, I'd have to fight with UPS Billing Department and I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. Over my friend’s objection, I contributed the payment as my birthday gift to her husband (I'll also find something for his "proper" birthday). That's a big chunk of changes, but I figured I wouldn't be any poorer or richer for $200. We finally received the concertina. It is good, but has some very minor issues. The seller said he would take care of it. Note that this was not the seller's fault. He was just as frustrated as we were. He told me it would be OK if I wanted to cancel the whole thing, and offered some compensation for the trouble. But I didn't take any of that. I didn't want him to pay for someone else's fault. Thank you all for your thoughts. >> can we start a campaign to get dates written properly so they read down the first column more readily Yes. My choice is YYYYMMDDHHMMSS (e.g. 20200914110532 for Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:05:32 AM).
  23. This is more of a shipping issue, but it is related to a concertina.... A friend of mine is about to celebrate his 60th birthday, and his wife wants to give him a surprise present. She asked me to buy on her behalf a high-end concertina from Ireland. The concertina has been on her husband's wish list for quite some time. She couldn't order it herself because the charge would show up in the credit card bill. The man would see it and that would spoil the surprise. So I ordered the concertina for her. The seller is very accommodating. He customized the concertina, and shipped promptly. But here is where the nice part of the story ended. The next part is better told by the tracking data from UPS website, in chronological order (I trimmed off the insignificant parts): 08/27/2020 12:46 P.M. Dublin, Ireland Pickup Scan 08/27/2020 6:10 P.M. Dublin, Ireland Origin Scan ..... 08/28/2020 12:10 A.M. Koeln, Germany Arrived at Facility 08/29/2020 2:02 A.M. Koeln, Germany Departed from Facility 08/29/2020 3:40 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Arrived at Facility 08/30/2020 9:31 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 08/31/2020 11:33 P.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 09/01/2020 10:58 P.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 09/02/2020 11:25 P.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 09/03/2020 11:17 P.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 09/04/2020 6:23 P.M. - A valid ID # (tax, personal, deferment) required for clearance is missing. .... 09/05/2020 12:37 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan Cleared Customs 09/05/2020 10:54 A.M. - Your package was released by the customs agency. 09/05/2020 12:19 P.M. Louisville, KY, United States Departed from Facility 09/05/2020 7:17 P.M. Buffalo, NY, United States Arrived at Facility 09/06/2020 4:24 P.M. Mount Hope, ON, Canada Arrived at Facility 09/07/2020 11:28 P.M. Buffalo, NY, United States Departed from Facility 09/08/2020 4:10 A.M. - Duties or taxes are due on this package. 09/08/2020 4:10 A.M. - Import C.O.D. charges are due for this package. Select Pay Now. 09/08/2020 7:28 A.M. - Your package is being processed at the clearance agency. / Delivery will be rescheduled. 09/08/2020 7:28 A.M. Mount Hope, ON, Canada Warehouse Scan 09/09/2020 3:40 A.M. Mount Hope, ON, Canada Warehouse Scan 09/09/2020 8:45 P.M. Mount Hope, ON, Canada Export Scan 09/09/2020 11:00 P.M. - Severe weather conditions have delayed delivery. Notes: - From Aug. 30 to Sep. 05, the package was stuck in Louisville, KY, with the status "Import Scan," which according to UPS, means "The shipment has cleared import procedures in the receiving country." - The destination is CA, USA, yet the package took a scenic route Louisville, KY, USA -> Buffalo, NY, USA -> Mount Hope, ON, Canada -> Buffalo, NY, USA -> Mount Hope, ON, Canada, and got stuck in Mount Hope, ON, Canada. - Everyday since Aug. 29 after the package allegedly arrived in Louisville, KY, the "Scheduled Delivery" on UPS website was "by 10:30 AM of the next day" (e.g. on Sep. 01, the scheduled delivery would be by 10:30 AM Sep. 02). That was until today when they claimed "Severe weather conditions have delayed delivery." I checked the weather in Mount Hope, ON, Canada, there were no severe weather conditions (73°/48° light drizzle). - I called UPS a few times, and was given conflicting answers by different people. Now UPS wants me to pay about $200 "Import Fees," which according to UPS, are included in the original UPS Express shipping charge already paid for by the shipper. I refused to do so. No matter how much I pushed, they wouldn't tell me why the concertina was imported to and then exported from Mount Hope, ON, Canada ( I kwow that "import fees" is a Canada thing, not a USA thing). I have a feeling the saga will continue.... Please wish me (and the wife of the birthday boy) luck. We need it!
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