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About Oberon

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  • Interests
    Playing guitar, irish music on b/c box, making ocarinas (21 years of experience), cycling.
  • Location
    New England

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  1. I have a mayfair in great condition, but requires just new thumb straps. It could do with a light set up but it works pretty well as it is. Comes with original case
  2. What effect does increasing the hole size for a pad have on the playing characteristics of its note? Typically these holes are round and can only be a certain usually round size in order to fit the profile of a reed chamber as well as for applying even and consistent pressure, no? As I said before, in ocarinas, chamfering a hole causes the pitch to rise for that corresponding note. By removing material around the hole without increasing the pad contact areas diameter, there may be some effect that helps with pitch balance or something. Considering the chamber cant be made larger due to the tight and precise quarters of a reedpan, chamfering may be a way to get chamber volume that you would be lacking in particular areas. I imagine it must be incredibly awkward to try to make a chamber in the middle our out areas larger without having to make severe modifications to neighboring reed chambers and overall dimensions of the reedpan. I also know that in my experience of 22 years of making ocarinas that the response time of a hole that has been chamfered is indistinguishable from those that have not. The only thing that changes is pitch, but of course, the ocarina may have some different properties in terms of physics here If someone wants to try it, one way to figure this out would be to fill in the area of the chamfer, making it the same as the other 'normal' holes, with a temporary and removable material and record the pitch change. That would be risky for sure, but I bet something changes.
  3. As mentioned, this is often done in woodwind instruments as well. I make a particular kind of woodwind, where almost all of the holes are internally chamfered. Doing so has two effects: -chamfering internally raises the pitch of the note without increasing the functional hole size. This is important for ergonomic purposes. Sometimes a hole diameter can be too large for average or small fingers to cover comfortably, so one chamfers the 'undercut' of the hole in varying amounts until the note is in tune and it will keep the hole much smaller than if chamfering was not used -the more you chamfer, the more material you are removing, and by effect you are slightly increasing the chambers volume (size). There is a fine balance between chamfering too much and lowering the entire pitch/chamber of the instrument, and too little and having poor ergonomics. Sometimes if the instruments base pitch is too sharp, adding deep chamfers too all the finger holes will reduce it's overall pitch enough to bring it into tune This makes me wonder. Was the purpose of adding these chamfers in the concertina to increase the overall volume (dimensions, not audible volume) of the corresponding chamber? Usually you see makers wanting to reduce the size of a reed chamber to improve response (though that's untrue on some instruments with tapered reed pans). Thoughts?
  4. Howdy! I'm trying to source some goatskin leather to replace some deteriorated thumbstraps on a wheatstone EC that had matching bellows and straps. The trouble I'm running into is color accuracy. I'm a bit nervous about getting something that's a total mismatch and was curious as to whether someone has already worked out this particular chocolate brown and can point me in the right direction. Black has been pretty easy, and green, but the brown has been a bit daunting. Thanks in advance!
  5. Theo, Valve quality and thickness, shape, etc, does seem to be a very nuanced subject. Those factors appear to affect quickness of playing, harmonic content, and the dynamics heavily for sure, and I look forward to learning much more about the very really and very severe effect valves have on a concertinas playability. One thing I'd noticed on my own instrument is that the valves are quite thin, leading to mant popping/slapping sounds and the occasional warble or jump in volume, but in general there seems to be a great level of volume dynamics available to me and higher harmonic values than my previous instruments. But in regards to size standards, is there a chart or picture or table illustrating valve sizes for a given reed? I'm sure the thickness and taper of the cross section of the leather is incredibly important, as well as grain direction, but is there a basic standard I can work off so I can order in some valves from CC or concertina spares or will I be better off ordering valve leather and manually cut 96 reeds by hand and shape them for my friends box? It's a beat up old tutor model and he just wants it running in some way shape or form
  6. I know the common suggestion for sizing valves is to measure the previous existing valves, but is there a generally accepted standard for valve length for a given instrument? Ive got a friend with a Wheatstone treble EC, 48 keys, with absolutely no valves on its 96 reeds (barring those few very high reeds which wouldnt have valves anyway). Someone began a project but never finished, it seems. All pads are present, but it is sadly barren of valves. I assume I could use my digital caliper to measure from maybe 4 or 5mm beyond the base of the slot (where the old glue would be) and extend it a few millimeters beyond the opposing side for a valve that would be long enough to not be sucked in/stuck and function freely, but I wonder if there is a standard sizing chart somewhere that Ive never been able to find. Concertina Connection sells valves of all sizes, as well as two different thicknesses, so I could probably approximate with the calipers and select the appropriate length. When folks have discussed valve length before, Id noticed its commonly stated that valve lengths vary from make to make, but surely wheatstone had a standard they used, lachenal as well, considering they manufactured thousands of instruments. Thoughts?
  7. Theres also always the possibility that the reed shoe is a little tiny bit loose in the slot. I recently had this issue with my wheatstone EC. I knew the box was in concert pitch before sitting down to play, and upon playing D, found it was a good bit flat. That was very odd, so I opened the box up, found the D, lightly pulled on the Reed shoe and it came out without any resistance at all. I cut a tiny tiny piece of paper a la dave Elliotts book suggestion, pressed it back into the slot with the paper and put the box back together Reed was perfectly in tune again. Just that slight looseness around the reed drew energy away from the note, making it flat. I'm in new England and winters are very dry here (baseboard heating) so it makes sense. I always put the concertina back into a humidified case, but even just a minute of playing in a dry environment is like pumping warm air into wood. May be worth checking that first (if you haven't already)
  8. update: found a box elsewhere. Thank you folks! Hello, I'm switching on over to English from anglo and am testing the waters to see if any folks have an EC they're looking to sell. I'm very interested in one in particular I'm looking at presently, but am wondering if theres anything else that might fit the bill just in case something occurs (like its sold suddenly). Budget is around $1200-1300 usd plus shipping, maybe a bit higher, depending on the box. Metal ends would be great, but wood is also fine, of course. Cheers!
  9. Heres some audio clips: Tunes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v0w2h6hyb400cki/20200116_113303.mp4?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/76mjphcghfgmjnu/20200116_113117.mp4?dl=0 Scale: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dprdmz2h55if1ro/20200116_112939.mp4?dl=0
  10. Up for sale is an old Lachenal concertina with mahogany ends. It has brass reeds that sound very warm and sweet, with a few steel reeds on the left hand end, but they blend nicely together in pitch, all are in working condition. All new pads and grommets, apart from the air button pad which works just fine. It is very much in playable condition, though in need of a little tuning. I'd bought this instrument very recently off ebay but I would like to switch to English instead. There had been work done to this instrument before it came into my possession, and it will need a bit more restoration going forward. There were some cracks in the left hand action board that were repaired, but not very well and could stand to have some fresh work done. The previous owner made and installed neoprene gaskets to take up slack at the meeting of the action board and reedpan. They work well, and once the chamois is replaced on both reedpans, it may mate nicely again. Height adjustment to the corner supports may be in order here as well. There are some old patches that seem to be holding but could probably be replaced. No case included. $620 +shipping, which is less than I bought it for last month. Please feel free to ask any questions! Im happy to record a sample as well if youd like, photos coming soon.
  11. Dowright, It looks like 165161 from what I can see. I hope that helps!
  12. I'd say I'm particularly interested in an English, and if folks arent into in trading, but are selling one, I'd be interested in hearing what you've got!
  13. Hey folks In my unending quest to have a concertina that plays well without issue, so I can improve as a player, I'm putting the feelers out there to see if someone would be interested in a trade. I recently bought a mahogany ended C/G 28 button lachenal in fair shape. It needed some work and still does. I've improved a number of things and while I really do enjoy working on instruments (I make them for a living) I'd rather spend more time playing and less time fixing. I was a bicycle mechanic for over 10 years and after working on bikes more than riding them, I'm loathe to repeat that same pattern with concertinas. It plays, itll need tuning and it's got some other things going on but it's a good candidate for restoration. I also have a melodeon I'm putting up for sale to fund this concertina venture. I didnt intend to sell my box as I really love it, but I really want a proper concertina that plays well off the bat more than anything so I can just get to enjoying the thing. A bit about the Morgane: Hohner Morgane, in keys of B and C. The action is quick and set lower compared to factory Morganes, and it's been upgraded with italian Tipo A Mano reeds and the entire range shifted down a little, so that it mimics a 23 button Paolo Soprani's low end. That is, it is shifted down one button. Responsive, dry tuned and the tipo reeds really are a easy on the ears. The button clasp on one side recently came undone at the rivet on the strap side and I havent gotten around to replacing it, but it's a cheap fix really. Normal light wear, in good cosmetic shape, but please feel free to inspect the photos as best as possible. Includes original hard case and one strap for playing on the side, as folks do these days with trad. Anyway, With that in mind, I'm curious if anyone would trade either a 30 button anglo or English treble in exchange for both my lachenal concertina and hohner morgane b/c box. I'm not interested in stagi, bastari, Italian or chinese boxes, I'd be more interested in a modern hybrid like the Minstrel or a proper restored vintage concertina, maybe a lachenal new model, or something comparable. I dunno, just putting the feelers out there to see if theres any interest. If not, I'll ultimately just sell both individually to gain the funds anyway. I'd considered checking if this is something the button box would be interested in but I'm not sure. I'm happy to provide more information or photos or clips if I can as well. I'm based in New England in the States. Shipping could get a mite expensive if going overseas, not to mention parcel force's extortionate fees, so just bear that in mind. We could figure that out at any rate. Thanks!
  14. Ooooh, I like that, brilliant! I had attempted to work it in and found it was a bit lackluster a result, but causing negative pressure sounds like it could do the trick. Man, thanks so much!
  15. That sounds alright enough, if the existing set of reeds in an instrument are not so hot to begin with. Though, as someone mentioned earlier, there are some makers that seem to get brilliant results. I was combing around Edgleys pages earlier and saw what looked like DIX reeds in an instrument of his. I could be wrong of course, but it looked similar at least. His instruments sound fantastic, as do 7 mount, so as long as the instrument is well made it seems worth it
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