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david robertson

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Everything posted by david robertson

  1. Sorry about that - I must get round to updating the site! What happened was that between the buyer reserving the instrument and my completing the restoration, I bought the best Edeophone I have ever seen, and he bought that one instead.
  2. Similar in what way? It has the usual Lachenal slotted plate pivots rather than riveted action. It is interesting, though, to see how the Edeophone developed from the New Model - but then I have always thought of the Edeophone as a New Model in its Sunday best.
  3. This is a lovely example of an early Edeophone (No. 36875), still with the oval cartouche and paper label rather than the later 'Edeophone' metal scroll - though at this point in its evolution it had already acquired the 'Edeophone' thumbstrap adjusters. Best of all, it comes with the very desirable glass buttons. When I bought it, it had a rather stiff set of 5-fold bellows, but I happened to have a later Edeophone whose ends were beyond repair, but which had a good 6-fold set, so I cannibalised it, and those are the bellows you see here. Restoration work has included new pads, valves, dampers, bushings and straps. All chamois seals have been replaced, all woodwork has been stripped and refinished in French polish, and the instrument has been tuned to modern concert pitch. It lacks its original case, but I will throw in an Aldi angler's bag, which has compartments enough for a few spares and a screwdriver, and a waterproof compartment for a pair of kippers. I have now reduced the asking price to a miserly £2250 - or if you're in the mood for a gamble, it's currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of £1950 and no reserve. If you'd like to give it a test drive in Norwich, please send me a PM, or call me on 01603 702644.
  4. OK, all is well. Jim has been in touch, and is in rude health... which is more than can be said for his computer!
  5. I rang the auctioneers, and as far as I can tell over the phone, it's a baritone in C/G. I was tempted, but looking at the better pics they sent me, I thought better of it. It looks like the ends have been replaced at some stage (which is quite unusual with raised ends), but I think you'll agree that the fretwork has a crude and clumsy air about it. The bellows also have a lot of patched corners - re-binding might be enough, but if new bellows are required, the stretched hex shape makes it a bit of an A-level project!
  6. I've had a Duet belonging to Jim for a disgracefully long time, but I finally got round to finishing the restoration. Now the trouble is I can't find Jim! I've emailed him a couple of times with no reply, and I'm hoping that he's just having computer problems - or, given his location, maybe he has gone into his winter hibernation! But you know how it is... when I'm dealing with someone even older than me, I can't help worrying. Has anyone out there been in communication with Jim recently?
  7. It's fairly easy to tell when your concertina needs tuning...other musicians start asking if you can play 'Over the Hills and Far Away'...
  8. I recently took this as a trade-in against a 38-key Jeffries, and although it may not be quite in the same league, it's not far behind! It was bought from Greg Jowaisas a couple of years ago, so it is perhaps not surprising that it plays so well. Greg put it in tune with itself, but didn't change it to modern concert pitch. I'm offering it still in its original pitch, because I know some prefer it, but if you would like to play with other people, I will gladly retune it at no extra cost. It's becoming increasingly hard to find a good Bb/F, mainly because so many have been tuned up to C/G, so if you're looking for singer-friendly keys with the versatility of a bigger keyboard, this one deserves a look. My target is a modest £1750, but feel free to make sensible offers. And as always, if you're within reach of Norwich, you're welcome to come and have a squeeze. By the way, thanks to our quaint British habit of granting the vote to people who are barely able to tie their own shoelaces, the plummeting pound now makes this an even better buy for anyone outside the UK!
  9. This is a cracking example of a Praed Street Jeffries - fast, loud, and full of beans, with that famous Jeffries 'honk' in the bass. Having slumbered in a cupboard for half a century or more, it was in fine original condition when it came in, and amazingly, almost playable, with a great set of reeds, even if some of them were arranged in a slightly unusual way! (Now rearranged in more conventional fashion - see attached layout chart.) The leather-bug had, however, been nibbling at the corners of the bellows, so I have made and fitted a new 7-fold set, as well as replacing pads, valves and bushes, French polishing the woodwork, and tuning to modern concert pitch. So many of these Bb/F instruments have been tuned up to C/G that they are now quite hard to find, but I, at least, find that the range is much more singer-friendly. You can find a small sound clip attached, though mercifully without my vocals. I'm looking for a modest £3500 - and as always, if you're within reach of Norwich, you're more than welcome to come and have a squeeze.
  10. A bit of a long shot, but the symptoms you describe (filing the reed sharper but finding it goes flatter) also arise as a result of fatigue cracking. These cracks are invisible until you try to alter the set of the reed by bending it upwards, at which point they bend sharply at the crack, or simply break.
  11. I'm just finishing up a very tasty 38-button Bb/F Jeffries, and there seems to be an important difference in layout between it and my regular squeeze, a C/G. If I transpose the inner row on the left hand to Bb/F, my C/G goes like this: A/C, C/E, F/G, A/Bb, C/D, E/F#. On the Bb/F instrument, the first five 'core' buttons are all shifted one place to the right, and the 'extra' button is moved from extreme right to extreme left, so that it goes: D/G, A/C, C/E, F/G, A/Bb, C/D. It seems to have been made like this, since the 'extra' D and G reeds are too big to fit the slots in the far right position. So the question is, why? Was the sideways shuffle the result of a special order, perhaps? Or has anyone encountered it before? I believe the 'core' reeds could all be shifted one place to the left without too much trouble, but then I'd have to source a pair of reeds to fill the far right spot. E/F# perhaps, or does anyone have a better idea? All comments, reflections and suggestions gratefully received.
  12. Call me a suspicious old curmudgeon, but do I detect the reek of scammer's sweat about this listing? Should we not expect the legitimate owner of a unique and valuable instrument to know a little more about it?
  13. I always put mine in a little net bag and suspend it in the dishwasher. When the cycle is complete, I let them dry, then, using the Dremel, spin them up on a waxed rag. Works a treat!
  14. I'm a big fan of the New Model, but if they have a fault, it is that, in my experience at least, the bellows never seem to open as fully or as freely as you might expect. Has anyone else noticed this, or have I just been unlucky?
  15. A nice example of the better sort of metal-ended Lachenal, newly restored and ready to enjoy. It has new pads, valves, dampers, bushes and straps, the woodwork has been stripped and French polished, the bellows have been re-bound and re-papered, and it has been tuned to modern concert pitch. It comes complete with a hexagonal wooden case - not, I think, the original, but a good fit. The instrument has the novelty cock-crow and whistle keys (not to everyone's taste, I know) and the metal ends are a bit worn, so for both these reasons, I'm offering this one for rather less than the usual price, at just £1750. If you're within reach of Norwich, please feel free to come and have a squeeze. Or if there's anything else I can tell you, just ask.
  16. So an accordion causes people to flee in panic? And this is news?
  17. Cracking playing, Mart - nice to hear one of my restorations being put to such good use!
  18. Being a natural product, no chamois will ever be perfectly consistent across the whole hide - but then you don't always need the heavyweight stuff. (I have once or twice had to re-do the bellows end seals because they were too thick!) I buy whole skins from these people, who are very helpful, and always prepared to find me the thickest one on the shelf.
  19. How am I supposed to look serene and contented when I'm wondering where the buttons are going to pop up next?
  20. I would guess that I see this low F on around 1 in 5 English concertinas that pass through my hands - including the baritone Aeola currently on the bench. In this case, the reeds have been heavily filed at the root and leaded at the tip, and the result is not a happy one. Both reeds are slower to respond and duller in tone than the rest. I'm not saying that it's impossible to successfully tune reeds down by three semitones, but the results do seem variable. Far better in my view to have a couple of new reeds made.
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