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Posts posted by trickcyclist

  1. I'd like to wade in at this late stage with an entirely heretical suggestion :lol:


    The important thing is not the system of duet (and not really even the system in terms of anglo v english v duet). As wise people have pointed out, good players learn to play whatever they like on their instruments, and conversely people not prepared to put in the practice hours (which is what turns you into a good player - about 10000 solid hours separate the beginners from the highly accomplished musicians of the world) do not become good players even if they play 'easy' systems.


    What is important is the reeds, the wood and the metal of the instrument and how these are put together, or what they can be restored to. You need an instrument that sounds good, responds well to your touch and (and this is very important) satisfies your sense of aesthetics. It's really the aesthetics that determine why, for instance, ITM 'has' to be played on a 3-row anglo. This doesn't make logical sense. After all, ITM players jump through remarkable hoops to smooth out the natural bounce of the instrument when they could just as easily be playing an english where this wouldn't be a problem. But the aesthetics are important. And, incidentally, good ITM players make a system that, while on the face of things, isn't smooth produce music that fits a flowing and lyrical reel with a subtle backpulse that really lifts it.


    So, I would say that you should get the best instrument available to you, regardless of system. It should sound good, even when someone who can't play it makes noises on it. It's difficult to tell if an instrument you can't play has a good feel and action, so ideally you should get someone who can play it to have a crack at it and give you some feedback. Otherwise, you'll just have to wing it based on your experience of anglos. And you should love it, it should fit your sense of what is 'right' for your music, whether this makes rational sense or not. If it doesn't make sense initially, enough practice will sort that out (just ask Noel Hill...). It's probably worth having an eye to the future and bearing the potential availability of a larger instrument in mind for a few years down the road, but I'd keep this very much as a secondary or tertiary factor. (Where there's a will there's a way - even large Cranes exist!). If you get a good instrument, whichever it is, it will be a joy to play which will lead to you playing it enough to become good at it.


    <steps off soapbox>


    Do let us know what you plump for.



  2. Thanks for the offer, but I'm not sure the ends would fit. This one seems to be a little larger than the standard 72, possibly because it's early. Plus, they are very light :)

    I agree with you about 72 being a good choice though. He had an ebony ended, non Aeola 81 button there as well. Fabulous action, but it weighed the same as a small car. Tellingly, it was priced up marginally cheaper than the 72. Mr A knows his market...

  3. Dear All


    I have just acquired this octagonal 72 key wheatstone maccann from the chap in Stoke. (And thanks for the trade-in!) It has a couple of oddities which someone may be able to cast light on.

    The first is the serial number 24797. From my reckoning of the ledgers this would place it's date of manufacture somewhere near the end of 1909, a year before the first octagonal wheatstone duets were reputed to be produced.

    The second are the ends. They are thin, relatively coarsely machined metal (and, to be honest, not terribly aesthetically pleasing). Mr Algar thought it possible that the original ends were wooden and had been damaged, with these replacements being added post war. They are not a perfect fit, with some small gaps around the edge which adds credibility to this theory. Interestingly, the tone of the instrument lies somewhere between the 'standard' sounds of a wooden and metal ended wheatstone (although it is certainly in the 'metal' half of the spectrum) and is , to my ear, extremely pleasant. I imagine the light metal has something to do with this?





    Edited to correct those inevitable post-swaledale typos...

  4. With regards to the Bluebell Polka, there is a chap at our folk club who plays precisely in that style on quite a large McCann Duet. The left hand vamping is identical. It's impressive when you see him do it.

    Anyone that I know?





    I don't know. Do you know a Martin somebody who plays McCann, Northumbrian Smallpipes, Bowlback Mandolin and various early music instruments who also goes to folk clubs in Leicestershire (and I think to quite a few Breton music meets as well)?

  5. Everything I've read says that lubrication will attract dirt.

    Is this really true? Meaning, is it something that people have tried and experienced, or a myth that is perpetuated because it's written down somewhere then oft repeated?

    My absolute first instinct would be to lubricate something that was sticking, albeit using a very cautious amount of lubricant. Why are concertinas an exception to this rule?

    By the way, I don't intend to come across as challenging or arsey, I'm just curious about this.

  6. I have a 40GB hard-drive iRiver, which I swear by. I've never had to swear *at* it yet, either :)

    I've got a little Sony recording mike for it as well.


    Please could you post details - like what mike you use (I assume the iRiver is the H340?)? I've been on the brink of buying one a few times, but was never confident that an external mike would work without a seperate pre-amp, given that it is described as having a line input, not a mic input (and I emailed iRiver but they were non-commital about what would work). Thanks


    The iRiver is an iHP-140, which is the model that was succeeded by the H340. As far as I know the line-in is the same.

    The mike is a Sony ECM-MS907, which is their bottom-of-the-range pro mike, which cost about £90 a couple of years ago. I was going to go for one of the little T shaped mikes that plug into the MD players, but this was only £30 more and I've never once regretted buying it. It's only 10cm long, has a stand and the lead is actually very useful (I can put the mike a little distance away and have the iRiver right at my feet when I record myself).

    For these purposes, and recording session tunes, it suits me fine.

  7. I have a 40GB hard-drive iRiver, which I swear by. I've never had to swear *at* it yet, either :)

    I use its record feature a lot for practicing. It makes a huge difference for me to hear what I've just played so I can adjust things straight away. Its own mike isn't up to the job, mind, so I've got a little Sony recording mike for it as well.

    If I was buying now though, I think I probably would get an iPod. The weakest part of the iRiver is its database logging of new tracks you put on. iTunes does a better job.

    The advice about an external hard drive for back up is gold dust. If you have any sort of significant collection you must do this. USB hard drives are pretty cheap, much more so than the time you'd need to replace all those tunes.

    Finally, if you're getting an mp3 player I think emusic.com is worth a look. They're very cheap (in the 20 cents a track range) and they specialise in back catalogues so they've got a ton of old folk releases and archival recordings. I signed up for emusic and napster when I got broadband and mp3, and the only one of those I'm still in is emusic.

  8. Thanks everybody. Corrections (pedantic or not) are always gratefully accepted. I had tried searching for rivetted reeds, but I had neglected to put quotes around the phrase so that search tip is helpful as well.


    And yes, I like this instrument a lot. It sounds lovely and it's also quiet enough for me to take to work and slot in a bit of practice over lunch, although I can still get a reasonable volume out of it if I try.


    Cheers again, Jon

  9. After dallying with anglos I've finally realised that the EC system was simply made for me (or at least, I was made for the EC system). I've acquired a Wheatstone 56key ex-treble with ebony ends. The serial number is 20572, which in the ledgers gives it a sell date of July 19 1886. The other notations in the ledger are No8 Black Solid and there is (22) penciled in the margin after the number.


    When I opened it up to have a look I noticed the reeds were attached to the pans by small, single rivets, as opposed to the normal clamp with screws system. Does anyone know the significance of this? Does it affect the sound? And will it be a bugger to repair if one of the reeds snaps?


    Cheers, Jon

  10. Banish Misfortune using Csharp sounds good to me. Quite Swedish to my ear. The C part is particuarly interesting using Csharp along with the high Fnatural.

    My guess is if you listened to some old (as opposed to young and taught with precise intonation) trad fiddlers they would be using intermediate notes on some of those Cs and Fs.

  11. To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition.
    To me that sounds like very high prices for unrestored instruments in poor condition.

    I assumed that the phrase "and not the instruments you are describing here" was pretty heavily implied. Still, assumptions are generally a mistake, so my bad.

  12. To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition. Chris Algar recently sold a Lachenal Edeophone EC on ebay for about £1500, which is a little over $2100 and is probably slightly higher spec than the models you are describing. However, I suppose you need to factor in supply and demand in your particular neck of the woods.

  13. Hi Meg,


    I was in just the same position as you a couple of months ago. I thought I fancied an anglo because I harboured a delusion that I might be able to sound a bit like Peter Bellamy, accompanying myself singing. Obviously this wasn't going to happen, but you've got to dream, eh :D

    Anyway, I had a 20b lachenal C/G to try out. A month was enough for me to realise that it wasn't what I wanted. I traded it back in and I now have a baritone wheatstone english. I still can't sing to save my life, but the concertina is great. So I guess the advice is to try and buy something you'll be able to trade in if you can't rent or borrow first. You can't really tell what you're going to click with from reading about it. I think I was certainly influenced by a bit of kit fever as well. You know the thing, where the stuff everybody else seems to want is definitely what you want? Anglos seemed to be a bit cooler and more desirable because of that. But I'd never have been able to afford an anglo half as nice as the english I've got.

    So, getting round to your current question, a 20b was enough for me to know I didn't want that system. Hope there's something helpful for you in that lot and have fun finding something you like.

  14. The traditional rememdy for ganglions was to give them a hefty bash with the family Bible :o This would burst the cyst and resolve it pretty quickly, as long as you didn't accidentally break your wrist at the same time. However, if you don't remove the point of origin of the cyst capsule there's a chance of it recurring.

  15. The scammer has emailed back asking for my name and address saying I'll then get an email from ebay. Presumably this would ask for credit-card details or paypal passwords. His emails do look very convincing though.

  16. Hello all, and my first post on the forum is about nearly being scammed. Just looking down the listings this seems to be a familiar topic...

    I responded briefly to the email address in the 'italian jefferies' scam mentioned below. I kind of twigged it wasn't genuine and reported it anyway. (I'm a little ebay naive, but not stupid, you know?)

    Then I bid on a G/D Lachenal anglo, which Chris Algar won.

    The following day i received an absolutely genuine looking 'second chance bid' email saying that the buyer had dropped out and I could now buy the anglo for my maximum bid. All the links went to genuine ebay sites. This was a really tempting offer, so I replied asking for more info.

    Today I received another similar 'second chance' email, which didn't look quite as genuine.

    The seller and ebay both confirmed them as spoofs, and the seller suggested I post on here. The only give away was the send address wasn't from ebay, which the mail tried to explain away as the message coming from the seller.

    I think they got my email address from my reply to the jefferies scam, which in retrospect was foolish. Now I assume they're watching the listings and monitoring the bidding that's going on to look for likely targets. Fortunately, they don't seem to have a foolproof system, as the second email was a bit of a give away.

    I think I'm going to open a back up email account for ebay only, which will make it clear that any ebay stuff going to my main address is spoof.


    So, anyone got a nice anglo to sell....?

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