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Joe G.

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Posts posted by Joe G.

  1. Give Dana Johnson a visit. He's practically your neighbor, there in Kensington, Maryland. If your daughter likes playing one of his instruments, not only does she get a really good concertina at a reasonable price, but she also gets the care and attention of the guy who built it. In my experience with him, Mr. Johnson is the real deal.


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  2. This is a Jeffries 30 button anglo in Bb/F. It has "C. Jeffries Maker" stamped between the right hand rows, so I would guess it was made toward the end of the 19th Century. It has a six-fold, all-business black bellows in very good condition, certainly not original but not new, either. It's been worked-over by Greg Jowaisas at some point in the past few years (not to restore it, but to put it into good working order), and it plays very well, indeed. The action is light and quick. While all the reeds are steel, set in brass shoes, Greg J. told me that they aren't all Jeffries reeds. The tone, however, is very well balanced, if less strident than you might expect. In short, it's a Jeffries that won't drive your partner out of the room, and it's a lot of fun to play. I'm asking $4650 for it, shipping included to the Con.US (negotiable for a Pac.NW, in-person sale). 


  3. I recently answered an ad on concertina.net for a Kensington concertina with Jeffries lay-out. I played it, liked it, and bought it, but two reeds played different notes from what I was used to on my C/G Jeffries. I contacted Dana Johnson and offered to pay to have the two reeds retuned or replaced to match the other concertina. He offered instead to do the work just to keep the Kensington playing as it should; all I had to pay was the cost of insured shipping. This is the only interaction I've had with Dana Johnson, but I couldn't be more impressed. First, he is a careful and thoughtful craftsman. In addition to the reed work, he replaced a fluttery valve (now it's perfect). I'm very pleased with the voice, action, and articulation of this Kensington concertina, but I also have nothing but praise for Dana Johnson's work-and-service ethic. If you're looking for a well-made concertina, consider Dana Johnson's Kensingtons. They—and he—are the real deal. 

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  4. I have a Dipper-restored C/G Jeffries (30 bone button, plus drone, baby cry and bird call) that I bought from another player in 1984. Having never played a Dipper, it has always felt like the perfect blend of vintage and modern to me, but over the years I guess I've come to take that for granted. During the pandemic I temporarily lost my mind and made what I thought was a low bid on a Bb/F Jeffries from a seller online. To abbreviate a long story, the seller accepted my bid. The Bb/F has decent action, if a bit softer than the C/G, but it doesn't sound like a Jeffries because someone along the way has swapped-out most of the Jeffries reeds. It has a pleasant tone but not the authority of a good Jeffries. Happily, it's fun to play, though I'm not especially attached to it. It makes me appreciate my C/G even more.

  5. I have a Jeffries 30-button Bb/F from the 1890s ("C. Jeffries, maker" between the right-hand rows). On the reed pans, written in pencil, I found "B. Peat, 104 Oban Rd, Barking" and "H. Dean 23-4-46." Nothing urgent here, but I'm curious as to whether they serviced the concertina. It has few of its original reeds, though it's otherwise in pretty decent shape. Thanks in advance for any information.


  6. Following the topic of this thread, I have a 39-button Lachenal with metal ends/buttons, parallel reed pans and Jeffries fingering. It's tuned to G/D, but I suspect it was originally in Ab/Eb. It has two numbers stamped inside, and they don't quite agree. On the reed pan it's stamped 199776, but on the inside of the bellows frame it reads 199797. I'd like to know anything about the instrument that this information reveals. 



  7. Just before the COVID pandemonium I was fitted for a pair of state-of-the-art hearing aids. I could hear my hair scratching on the piece behind my ears, and when I tried playing anything—concertina, mandolin, guitar—the sound was horrible. The audiologist said, "The world is full of sounds you haven't heard for a while." Like my hair scratching on the hearing aids, presumably. The hearing aids connected to my iPhone via an app, and I tried to use that to adjust the sound profile. It was just too frustrating, all around. It wasn't music alone that I found annoying, but that was the greatest disappointment, especially in the age of high fidelity earbuds. The hearing aids cost as much as a good Jeffries anglo, and they gave me no pleasure. I took them back. My hearing will have to be a lot worse before I endure that again.

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  8. I'm offering my 30 button Lachenal anglo #152418, with rosewood ends, bone buttons, apparently original six-fold bellows (a bit stained but otherwise in fine shape), refurbished in 2016 by Wim Wakker (mechanically restored, the wood French polished) and played very little since then. Asking $1950, PayPalled and shipped within the U.S., with a contribution made to concertina.net. Includes the case it was in when I first bought it from Lark in the Morning in the early 1980s.



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