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Everything posted by Oberon

  1. I had one from that era and it was actually quite lovely. Dovetailed steel reeds in aluminum shoes and even though the action was their style of 'hook action' it was swift and smooth. I miss its tone but I'm an Anglo man at heart
  2. I own this instrument now and its an AC Norman standard through and through, down to the last detail. I wrote Andrew about it ahead of trading, just to be sure, and he explained the history of this branding at the time. Its a lovely fast (loud) player and no different from another Norman Id tried from a more recent year. It needed some adjustments when I recieved it but its a stellar machine now.
  3. I'm putting the feelers out there to see if any folks have a C/G (or c#/g# or d/a even) 30 button, or more, Wheatstone from the 40's through the 60's. I know its not everyone's favorite era, for sure, and some of them can be worse than others but Ive been missing the concertina reed sound and was especially fond of the aluminum shoe'd reeds of the lasts 50s wheatstone I owned. I'm looking for models with dovetail reeds, not crimped please. It would need to be responsive enough for irish trad. Theres a Bb model being offered up that mostly fits the bill, but I'm most interested in c/g and higher pitches predominantly. I currently own a nicely fast playing and loud AC Norman C/G with Jeffries layout, tipo a mano reeds, badged Homewood. I love the thing, especially love jeffries layouts, but in the end its louder than I'd like. Id like to trade and add cash on my end for the right box, but its not a rule. Thanks!
  4. I saw that too. The bellows were in a right state, but the initial price looked reasonable, until the bids started rising of course. I think that, considering the value and renown of a jeffries anglo instrument, there are people who will spend considerably on any jeffries instrument, even a duet. Theres always the possibility that whoever bought might have done so to convert the duet into an Anglo. Its certainly been done a number of times before.
  5. Wow, this is certainly very interesting (and rather odd!). Do you have a closer up shot of the reeds perhaps? I'm quite curious about their construction. It looks like the low reeds on the left end have traditional styled reeds (with a rivet in place of a clamp). Are they in a dovetail slot?
  6. A particular Suttner may be less, but its not a Steve Dickinson Wheatstone, just as a Jeffries isnt a Dipper. Its worth the money. Your comment seems to imply something negative about the value of this instrument
  7. I tried digging around for answers to this but couldn't come up with anything, so here we are. Ive been thinking about this a lot lately as my trad playing requires ever bit of air in the bellows to be efficiently used, so when there's a problem its usually quite noticeable. Ive noticed for a while now that the speed at which my bellows will close changes depending on the reeds, and while that would make logical sense between low reeds and high reeds (lows using more air to cycle, highs less) the most surprising and frustrating rate is that of the D''' (right hand, first row, third button push). The neighboring push reeds consume at a pretty consistent rate for what you'd expect, but for some odd reason that D''' and maybe the neighboring G''' cause the bellows to close at an alarming rate comparatively. Additionally confusing is the fact that the reed set is pretty good, volume balance and intializing/swing cycle speed are all pretty consistent with the rest, but I cannot for the life of me figure it out, so im ordering a few other reeds in to see if there's a difference. The fact that they're not valved makes me wonder, but ive not run into this issue before with non-valved reeds. I imagined that if a reed cycled at the appropriate rate (which it would need to in order to produce the desired pitch, no?) Perhaps there would be air loss, but I cant come up with enough logic in that concept to buy it. I feel like I'd read something about this in the past but I simply cant recall. I'll see if I can slap a video together soon for reference.
  8. My current concertina is equipped with some tipo a mano reeds (the brand of which I cannot detect) and I've had accordions with such reeds in the past as well and the sound and playing quality has always been very pleasant, but lately I've been curious about how potentially higher quality or varied profile reeds might affect the tone of my concertina, should I want to swap them out. I recalled seeing concertina reeds in the past that had a somewhat 'rounded' (the edges seem to be curved a bit) profile so I'd started looking into that and noticed that Salpa make A Mano reeds with flat OR rounded (Bombata) tongues. They also have brass reed plates. Would such a reed, a brass plate and rounded tongue, or just a rounded tongue alone, provide a slightly more concertina reed-like sound perhaps? And though I think that's probably unlikely, I do wonder what folks experience with such reeds has been. Have these been used in Hybrids before? Is the response faster or harmonic quality greater? Thoughts?
  9. When I was shopping for a hybrid a couple years back, I figured I'd asked the folks at mcneela for some shots of the internals so I could make up my mind about whether I'd opt for a swan or something else. I knew they were made in China and was concerned they'd have stamped metal action like a stagi or something of that ilk, but surprisingly they are riveted. The pads seem glued on and the reeds appear to be waxed. I preferred bolted on reeds for ease of serviceability and ultimately passed, but its a nice box all the same. Just for a bit of on topic, I love the OP's logo job. I think its brilliant and its a massive improvement over the original boring typeface. I appreciate added artistic detail.
  10. As far as I recall reading at one point, the DIX reeds have a different profile when compared to vintage reeds (though I would assume those old companies also had their differences in profile as well?) So they aren't interchangeable with old reed pans. That is to say, if you remove lachenal reeds from a lachenal reedpan and attempt to install DIX, they won't quite fit or won't fit well. I could very well be wrong, but I do recall reading this at one point. I believe the solution to that issue is to build your own reedpan designed around using DIX concertina reeds. I think a couple concertina makers these days offer such concertinas with DIX reeds. I can think of two at least.
  11. The Phoenix is made in China to my understanding, and while I'm not sure I *think* the minstrel may be made in America. If the tech for mass production has gotten solid enough, it may mean that these two may not be too far from each other in terms of quality. Wim Wakker (concertina connection) is a very detailed and meticulous maker and even if the minstrel is produced for him and not by him, I feel that id be likely more apt to trust his quality control and product support. The Phoenix is sold by Mcneela and I cant say as to whether or not they have any concertina makers working for them in this department. My personal vote would be toward the minstrel, especially if you live in the States, but im sure other folks will have some input as well.
  12. Almost looks like a George Case, sans frequently seen inlays, but something is definitely different than the commonly seen ones if thats the case
  13. I would have assumed it was a Jones, too, as the fretwork seems similar to a number of their anglos. One of the rivet posts also has that keyhole shape that I've seen in Jones concertinas, but since this is a right Frankenstein, who knows whats original? The amount it sold for in this condition makes me wonder if someone knows something we don't. This jeffries here has simpler fretwork, could it be some bonkers jeffries? Probably not, but one has to tick all the boxes.
  14. Ive managed to increase the power to the very much needed B/A reed by removing the valves and setting the tongues higher. I tried clipping the ends of the valves originally, but I was hearing some very odd sounds when lightly pressed, and the notes just were a little too breath when attacked. Curiously, the alternate B and A notes are far more punchy and powerful. The sets seem to be very much the same, but yeah, the B/A button just doesnt have the same strength as the others. Perhaps its a matter of reed quality or maybe the chamber for those other higher reeds is smaller? Theo, in terms of producing a wedge, Im a bit concerned as to where I could put it. I would have to locate it away from the pad hole, not doubt, but If I put it at the far side of the chamber away from it, it would be close to the reeds tip. perhaps I should experiment with a thin piece of wood to just raise the 'floor' of the chamber? This block would be resting on the underside of the action board though, so it would have to be an easily removable component
  15. Alright, I've tried a few things as suggested on the B/A reed, which is the one that has been making me the most sad. I first tried rotating the reed, and while volume increased slightly, the timbre changes quite a bit as a result of the reed moving closer to the pad opening. Its a lot brighter and tinny sounding, which makes it audibly imbalanced for other reasons. I was hopeful about this but alas, it didn't completely help. I tried gasketing the reed a little to see if it was a leakage issue but it seems to have no additional affect, so onto the next option; I replaced the old leather valve for the A side of the reed with a mylar valve and trimmed the tip off, leaving a 2mm opening at the end. This seems to have altered things a tiny tiny bit, but it has not made the reed particularly louder, but I am curious about doing the same for the B side. One thing that is bothering me is that I can't tell if there's a standard for whether the b/a button (second button, first row, right hand side) is valved at all. Some folks seem to put valves on it, but its hard to find photos of hybrid reed pans, oddly enough. I considered the proposed idea of making the chamber for the reed smaller, but unlike concertina reeds, accordion reed chambers don't seem to have available room for this alteration. I imagine the only thing you could do is make the chamber more shallow, but I wonder what other effect this might have. I cant wrap my head around it. With s concertina reed, you can sort of change the chamber sizing as ive seen done a number of times but im at a loss for hybrid reed pans. I might give altering the height/set of the reed another go. I tried adjusting the height a number of times but it gets pretty hairy with higher reeds. I have had one accordion reed break in the past this way, so im a bit wary, but at least they're easy to come by. I may order a spare in just in case. Anywho, can anyone answer as to whether this reed should be valved to begin with? I think I tried the A side with no valve before but it seemed to respond more slowly or a bit too breathy. Perhaps a shorter valve combined with a higher set would help
  16. *edit*- just seems to have sold after I posted this! This might not be quite what you're looking for (wheatstone layout) but it looks like a really good deal: https://westernmass.craigslist.org/msg/d/amherst-concertina-marcus-anglo-g-30/7238767184.html
  17. Thanks for your reply and the kind words! The reed tongues seem to be nearly perfectly parallel to the plates, and while id figured it might help to create a higher set, the symptoms didn't correlate to what I commonly hear for low set; that a low set reed would sound quickly, but choke under higher pressure and would also be too quiet. My problem here is that the reeds are slow to speak, can be pushed to be much louder without any choke up and sound like a typical reed, but the overall pressure requirement is too high and imbalanced. That would normally point to bad valves perhaps, but without many valves present to begin with (because high notes) its a bit perplexing!
  18. Hello folks, I recently acquired an AC Norman 30b anglo in mostly good functional condition, and while I normally have a decent mechanical relationship with concertinas (that is, I can work on most things without being too baffled), there's an issue thats throwing me for a loop and its driving me a bit mad. The topic of reed volume is discussed often, and rest assured I investigated as deeply as possible before posting this query The instrument is mostly fast, bright and loud, which I absolutely love, but the right hand first row (closest to the player) and a couple accidentals are uncommonly feeble and require a higher degree of pressure to sound when compared to the rest of the instrument. This of course makes for a terribly imbalanced experience and the lows end up easily drowning out the highs. It also renders ornamentation nearly useless. The highs are weak to start and will eventually sound but far too weakly. My first thought was 'must be the set of the reeds'. So I popped her open and found that the set is actually quite good. No choking, just weak volume and slow. Then I pondered, 'perhaps the valves?', and while the valve on the b/a button needs replacement and several others appear to have spots of mold or mildew (eek), the other higher reeds of course lack valves, so that would bring one back to reed set again. My next assumption was perhaps gaps in the reedpan, but this doesn't seem to be a problem. The final conclusion ive drawn so far is that perhaps its the material that is attached to the reed pan. Its some sort of, I dunno, papery, ribbed material. it appears to be common for AC Norman concertinas. Is it some sort of gasket that once upon a time was spongey or soft to some extent? Does anyone have any experience with this material? I feel like this is most likely the culprit because I can't imagine what else would be the cause at this point. Bellows are sound, reedpans are dead straight, pads are fine, valves are mostly missing (as they should for these high notes i imagine). Any other ideas, folks?
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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?
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