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wim wakker

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  1. see our dealers list at http://www.concertinaconnection.com/clover%20dealers.htm Wim
  2. I assume you mean replacing the reeds in a 1st edition rochelle with the cagnoni reeds... It won't work. The dimensions of the Cagnoni reeds are different. You also need to replace the reed blocks. Wim Wakker And does the Rochelle trade in / upgrade program also include an upgrade from a 1st edition to a 2nd edition Rochelle? Upgrading is going to a higher class instrument ( e.g. Clover, Wakker models, etc.), not the same entry level class. Wim Wakker
  3. I assume you mean replacing the reeds in a 1st edition rochelle with the cagnoni reeds... It won’t work. The dimensions of the Cagnoni reeds are different. You also need to replace the reed blocks. Wim Wakker
  4. [quot e name=Ransom' timestamp='1295367397' post='120846] Are similar upgrades planned for your other entry-level instruments? To be honest, I am not sure yet. In general, reed frames with 2 reeds of the same pitch are of better quality than the ones with 2 different pitches (anglo accordion reeds). We felt that the difference with the Cagnoni reeds for the Rochelle was significant enough to justify the change and price increase. The difference between the standard reeds we use in the Jackie/Jack and Elise and Italian made reeds is less obvious. I am not sure yet if it would justify the necessary price increase. Our goal for our entry level instruments is the best possible instrument for the lowest possible price. If we decide to also change the reeds in the Jackie/Jack and Elise, it will take months before they’ll be available. The Rochelle change took almost 6 months. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  5. We just received the first shipment of the new Rochelle. The 2nd edition Rochelle has Italian Cagnoni reeds, which improves both balance and the quality of sound. Because of the higher quality reeds, we did need to increase the price slightly, but we think it is worth it. The new Rochelle should be available from our dealers later this week. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  6. Re the C1 model: the compass will be comparable to the Hayden/Wicki model. My design schedule for 2011 is already full. It probably will be 1-1 ½ years before the C1 will be available. The first design project this year will be the english basses, both single and double action. The technical differences between the Wheatstone double and Chromatiphone keyboard have been pointed out, but no one mentioned the rake difference. The rake and stretch of a keyboard can make the difference between great and unplayable. The largest Chromatiphone keyboard (RH) is only 95 x 36mm (3.75” x 1.41”), which required minimal hand stretching/tension. The rake (stepping) allows for easy cross fingering. Nowadays keyboards are designed according to the Mensendieck or comparable principles to assure the most natural hand position and movement. I also applied the same principles to the hand rail design which we use on large anglos/duets. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  7. This duet has a ‘chromatiphone’ keyboard, patented in the 1920s by Hugo Stark. Just like the keyboard invented by Caspar Wicki, the chromatiphone layout was initially also a bandonion keyboard. Because of the limited space, linear keyboards like the piano keyboard and C/B-system chromatic keyboards would not fit on small free reed instruments. The Chromatiphone layout is closely related to the C-system layout, which is the second most successful keyboard after the piano keyboard. It divides the chromatic scale over 4 rows instead of 3, which shortens the keyboard considerably. The chromatiphone keyboard offers a large compass without the necessity of doubling notes. It is a consistent keyboard (same fingering throughout) and is, just like the piano and C-system keyboards, suitable for polyphonic music. The duet with chromatiphone keyboard was the idea of the customer that placed the order. We frequently build custom instruments, but this was such a good idea that we decided to add the chromatiphone keyboard to our duet models. This particular instrument is our C2 model, comparable to the H-2 (Hayden) and W-2 (Wicki). We will also develop a C1 model with 48(?) notes. C2 Specifications: 12 sided, walnut ends with raised satinwood inserts and ebony borders and ebony/satinwood trim. It has European spruce action boards and a customized reed scaling (23 different frame sizes). For further details and keyboard layout see www.wakker-concertinas.com/C-2.htm Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  8. Wim, I understand that the new hybrid Hayden be in the Wicki layout -- without the Hayden slant. Is that true, and if so are you planning to reconfigure the Elise without the slant? We decided to go with the Kaspar Wicki keyboard because it seems to be more popular than the Hayden variation. The Elise will probably also be changed to the Wicki keyboard in the future, but that will have to wait a little. You have no idea how much work (and cost) a minor keyboard change like that generates... Wim Wakker
  9. I wonder which instrument you mean. There has NEVER been a Wakker hybrid concertina, and I am sure there never will be. All Wakker concertinas have ‘concertina’ reeds. Our hybrid models are produced by the Concertina Connection. There is a big difference between concertina reeds and accordion reeds that cannot be bridged. It has nothing to do with which type of sound you prefer, they are just from different free reed families, like violin strings are different from guitar strings. Both reeds are part of a particular building style. Just like guitar and violin making follows different principles, concertina and accordion principles and techniques also differ. During my years in college, only the accordion technique (Harmonika bau) was taught. I was one of the first who actually included the other principles when I started teaching. Unfortunately, many of my (former) colleagues and manufacturers in the accordion industry still consider the Concertina technique bothersome and primitive…. Concertina principles are closely related to the harmonium, melophone and cecilium. From a technical point of view it doesn’t really matter what shape the instrument has, or which type of keyboard. If you use the concertina principle in an accordion shaped instrument, you’ll end up with an accordion hybrid. With musical instruments the word hybrid indicates that the shape of the instrument and the tone generation do not normally go together. Like a violin with guitar strings, or a trumpet with a flute mouthpiece…. The concertina principle is not better or worse than the accordion, it just is different. It has its own specifications and advantages and disadvantages. From a technical point of view, the word concertina refers to a certain way the reed is activated (thru a so called directed airflow), its amplitude profile, air flow values and pressure range. One of the unique features is the fact that the harmonic spectrum can be adjusted and that it allows for a lot of nuances through reflection and filtering, which makes it unique in the free reed world. The type of wood, dimensions of the chambers, amplitude of the reeds all result in noticeable differences in tone. We’ve built over 120 instruments, and not 2 are the same. A disadvantage is that it is a lot more complex and sensitive to inconsistencies. The sound of a concertina is different because of its underlying principles. NOT because of the reeds alone. They are part of a system. All hybrid concertinas use the same, or at least comparable reeds. Antonelli (Salpa) is by far the most popular. In fact, they are one of a few (3 as far as I know) that are willing to go through the trouble of making such small batches.. It is very labor intensive with a small profit margin. As for classification, Antonelli makes good reeds, but is certainly not considered top quality. The ‘top’ reed manufacturers have no interest in our little world.. Maybe if you order 5000+ sets a year they might consider it. The accordion principles of sound production are also found in Bayans, melodeons and hybrid bandoneons. Quality difference in accordion reeds refers to the minimum airflow required to maintain sound (reed coasting) and the consistency of the harmonic spectrum. ALL accordion reeds, maybe with the exception of the “export” quality, suffice in a concertina. Nuances between ‘typo a mano’ and ‘a mano’ are noticeable for insiders in an accordion or other large instrument with a low air pressure, but are not noticeable in a concertina. I do this professionally and base my conclusions on measurable facts. If you measure the harmonic spectrum, minimum air flow, maximum amplitude and ‘ live’ part of the reed, you’ll see that the difference between the available reeds for anglo concertinas is so small, that no one can hear any difference. Measured with the appropriate software, the difference is only a few percent. The minimum airflow in a concertina is a at least 5 times the amount necessary to notice even the smallest nuances. It is like comparing 2 cars driving at 50 miles, one with a 300Hp and the other with a 350Hp engine. Accordion reeds produce a lot of strong harmonics, which are almost impossible to change. The effect of filtering/reflection is very limited. The only real alteration is through cassotto (amplifonic) placing. That’s why hybrid concertinas have a bright sound and are ‘fast’. It is almost impossible to make a bad performing hybrid. It is like that 300Hp car doing 50… there is no way that it won’t make it to that speed unless something is really wrong. All hybrid concertinas play loud and fast, but they show serious limitations when it comes to expression (rigid spectrum), dynamics, harmonies (too many clashing harmonics) and air consumption. Accordion reeds are designed to do the opposite of what concertina reeds do: their performance is consistent and is not affected by airflow fluctuations (expression, dynamics) or filtering. I think they are great entry/intermediate level instruments and from a players point of view will be more than sufficient for the majority of players. I also think hybrids saved the concertina from extinction because of their availability and price. However, from a musical point of view, they are not and never will be traditional concertinas. They don’t come close to the nuance in sound and flexibility of the harmonic spectrum. If you play concertina because of its unique sound, a hybrid will not do. If you’re more interested in the keyboard layout, types of music played on the instrument and like the accordion type sound, a hybrid would be a great choice. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  10. Ed: Thanks for the information. I can appreciate the facts as you list them, but based on my experience and the overall quality of the instruments I have worked on (leather quality of the bellows, cheap gold plating, standard construction and reeds, etc.), I don’t think the majority of the instruments have ‘real’, or at least high quality tortoise shell ends. I don’t think the price difference between a standard and tortoise shell concertina covered the expense of the material and complexity of working with it. The premium for a little jewelry box with tortoise shell would be at last a hundred percent. I agree, they are both keratin. However, you can smell the difference between glues made out of cow and pig hide/bones... you can also smell the difference between keratin from different animals. I learned about the ‘smell’ test from an auctioneer specialized in antique furniture who assured me that this was the easiest way to check for authenticity. In fact, to my knowledge the test is also used by customs. You’ll be surprised how many substances in our field are identified by nose (wood, French polishes, oils, etc.). Your right, in real tortoise shell the darker sections seem to ‘float’. The material normally is buffed to a shine which allows you to ‘look into’ the tortoise shell. However, I have never seen the quality tortoise shell you’ll find on fine antiques on a concertina. Just like the ivory on forte pianos which also was seldom first choice. Many imitation tortoise shell concertinas have been finished with a lacquer or French polished to provide the ‘shine’ of real tortoise. The underside of the material (not the top) is dyed to mimic the depth of real tortoise. Over time the finish gets damaged and dirty which makes it impossible to ‘look into’ the material. A reason older instruments get darker (less red, more brownish) is because of the oxidation of the red pigment used to stain the wooden base. Lamination shows in the fretwork of the instrument. Just scrape the side of the material with a small knife and you’ll be able to determine if it consists of one or more layers. I wonder if the knowledge and skill was available in the Wheatstone/Lachenal concertina shop to perform complicated and time consuming work like laminating an instrument with raised ends with multiple layers of tortoise shell: The tortoise shell would have to be heated to a temperature higher than the setting temperature of the glue holding the first layer down on the wooden base. Certainly in those days (early 1900s) fish glue would have been the best available glue, but it cannot be heated after it has set. To my knowledge, cellulose nitrate has a quite pungent smell, easily distinguishable from a more subdued ‘natural’ smell. I have heard of casein, but never seen it. I always thought it was out of use by the time they started to produce tortoise shell concertinas. Wim
  11. My experience based on 30+ tortoise shell concertinas we’ve restored over the last 20 years: Most of them were Wheatstone Aeolas with (poor quality) gold plated hardware. I have seen a few Lachenal edeophones of the same quality. The ‘shell’ material is always veneer, with a thickness of 0.6-0.8mm. The base, usually pear wood or ebony, is invariably stained red, which explains the typical color of these instruments. The early ones are a brownish red, and the ones from the ‘50s are often bright red. There are several tests to determine if the material really is tortoise shell. One of the fastest and easiest is touching the shell with something hot (e.g. soldering iron, heated screw driver, etc.). I usually test under the thumb strap or finger rest. Real tortoise shell will smell like ‘the ocean’ or sea weed. It has that particular salty smell associated with the sea. When it smells like burnt hair, the material is ‘pealed’ horn. Other materials used are celluloid and an early form of plastic, which both smell like plastic. A Typical problem with non wood veneers is keeping it glued to the base. They used hide and fish glue on earlier instruments, and a PVA based glue on later ones. Over time the glue will let go and causes cracks in the veneer or curled up ends, especially on the frames. Unfortunately, of all the instruments we’ve worked on, only a few were real tortoise shell. All of these were very early instruments. Most of the pre 1930 instruments were horn, and the 1950s aeolas (especially the ones for the USA) were celluloid/plastic. We have ‘won’ many import/export cases based on this test, both in Europe and the USA. The veneer material does not have any effect on the sound of the instrument. The reed/reed pan/action board/frame, etc. of a shell finished instrument is identical to a standard ebony or ebonized pear wood aeola/edeophone. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  12. Hi David, Regarding the Clover and Clover kit, we used to have a small ‘K’ in the kit fretwork, but discontinued this after the first few kits. All clovers are numbered and documented. If you want to know if a particular instrument started life as a kit, just give us call. I understand your wish for a G/D or Bb/F, but at this moment we just don’t have the time to offer different tunings. We’re still working on improving the logistics and production of C/G model and keep our lead time as short as possible. We probably will first complete our hybrid model range (english and duet) before offering different tunings for the Clover. Wim
  13. We hope to be able to add the Peacock english sometime after July 2010 and a Wicki or Hayden model in 2011. I would like to offer both models as finished and kit instruments. Making a kit version turned out to be a lot more complicated than we initially thought. The challenge was to make it so that it would be difficult to make mistakes. The problem is that when you glue something wrong, you cannot undo it unless you used hide glue. We used every trick we could come up with to prevent assembly mistakes, such as non symmetrical guide pins, simple alignment of parts, double checks for every step, etc.. We’re curious to see if it is as easy as we think. It takes me about 2-1/2 hour to complete the kit... Because both the english and duet will be slightly more complicated (action), we first want to have some feedback from the clover before going ahead with the other models. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas. P.S. We have changed our trade in policy with regard to the kit. We will accept a Jackie/jack/Rochelle/elise as a trade in for the kit, but we cannot automatically accept the kit as a trade in for a higher class instrument, due to the ‘variable’ quality. When the time comes we’ll have to decide the trade-in value of a kit clover on an individual basis.
  14. No. Channeling happens underneath the reed. With an accordion reed there is only the thickness of the frame. In a concertina, there is a channel of 6-8mm long through the reedpan. Depending on air flow direction, the air in the chamber has to either enter or escape through this channel. This is the actual airflow that activates the reed. The valve has nothing to do with this. It is either blown away if the reed is activated, or it closes off the air flow to the opposite reed. That is not the same. There is no round hole in a concertina reed or top of the slot. What you're talking about is a completely different subject. The round tone example I gave was in a concertina construction, where the reed determines most of the harmonic profile. The high harmonic count and specific profile in accordion type construction has nothing to do with voicing. The only way to alter the harmonic profile in this type of construction is by reflection and filtering (e.g. amplifonic reed position in cassotto, etc.). I think part of the problem is that you don’t realize how different concertina and accordion reeds are. It is not just the construction and performance, the whole principle is different. You can install accordion reeds in a concertina, but that does not make it sound, perform or react like a traditional concertina. You cannot make an accordion reed sound like a concertina reed or vice versa. It goes way to far to explain the differences, but they are as different as an electric versus gasoline engine. For the record, I am not saying that one sounds better than the other. Classification of sound quality at this level is very personal. Wim Wakker Concertina Connecton Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  15. Both accordion and concertina reeds produce sound by cutting the air flow into small ‘bits’. Every time the reed passes through the slot (frame) it cuts the air flow. The better the fit of the reed in the slot, the cleaner the cut and the less energy is lost. Reeds do not just swing from base to tip (fundamental pitch), but also within the reed. These smaller movements produce the harmonics (5th, octave). Reeds do NOT produce sound by ‘vibrating’… This principle of cutting air should also explain why the material of the reed frame is of no importance, as long as the reed fits and the frame fits snugly in the reed pan and doesn’t counteract the swing movement of the reed. In general, heavier materials for the frames have proven to counteract this energy loss much better (= stronger tone). Voicing reeds is ‘fiddling’ with the harmonics by weakening certain parts of the reed (1/2 = octave, 1/3 = fifth) to allow more movement at that spot to amplify that harmonic. The requirement is that the air flow has to be focused and strong. This requires channeling the air flow to the upper part of the reed. The actual part of the reed the air flow hits is determined by reed resistance and surface, but should be about 1/3 of the length of the reed. If you look at the back of concertina reeds, you’ll see that it is either rounded or tapered. This narrows the airflow coming through the reed pan channel which makes it stronger. In our own reeds we are able to adjust this part of the frame to the size and resistance of the reed. The focused airflow keeps the reed going which allows tampering with its swing profile. If the reed is thick or stiff (e.g. brass reeds), the inner movements are very weak and not audible. The result is a very ‘round’ or warm tone. Reducing the reed thickness in the middle allows the reed to bend more and at that spot and amplifies the octave. The same goes with the fifth, which can be found about 1/3 from the base or top depending or reed configuration. Other harmonics are too weak to hear. Because accordion reeds do not have a channeled airflow, the air hits the reed over the full length, weakening the reed at the harmonic spots interferes with the swing motion and will sometimes even stop it all together. Accordion reeds need more air pressure (P1 pressure) and have to deal with more resistance because the air hits the full length. To put it another way, air pressure is higher and more economical when channeled, which allows for altered swing profiles. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  16. The clover will only be available as a 30 key (+air) in C/G. the problem with different tuning or additional keys is that most of the instrument will have to be changed; reed pan chamber depth, bellows frames, action boards (air holes), etc.. You basically have to design a completely different instrument. I think the kit should not be too difficult to assemble. Every part of the instrument is finished, and only needs to be assembled. I designed it in a way that it is almost impossible to misalign the individual parts… every part has guide holes that need to line up before gluing. Fine tuning accordion reeds is not that difficult if you’re willing to learn a little about it and download one of the free tuning programs. Because you don’t need (actually cannot) voice accordion reeds, you just have to correct the pitch and maybe set the gap. The reeds will be within 10 cents of the correct pitch. If you’re not interested/willing/able to tune the instrument, I am sure you can ask a concertina/accordion shop to do it for you. The names peacock and clover have no special meaning. Because the instruments are sold worldwide, we had to come up with simple names that have no negative or strange meaning in another language or is offending in certain cultures. In hindsight, Rose for the english version might have been better… Eventually we will add a Hayden/Wicki version, but first I want to get the Clover and Peacock up and running. Our Wakker 46 and 65 key Hayden and Wicki duets are doing very well. I think a hybrid duet would make upgrading a lot easier…. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  17. After 2+ years of trying to get the production organized, we’re finally able to include the Clover anglo in our hybrid concertina line. Production has started, and we should be able to start delivery in a couple of weeks, provided the suppliers deliver on time. Part of the instrument is outsourced to a maker in Europe rather than China, which was our initial plan. The production of key parts and the assembly is done here in the USA and supervised by me. NOTE: The Clover is NOT a Wakker concertina. We will start with the production of the Peacock, which is the English version, later this year. We have decided to also offer this instrument as a kit. The last years I’ve received almost weekly inquiries from people wanting to build their own concertina. Given the relative simplicity of a hybrid concertina, I think the kit version should be fairly easy to complete for the average player. A positive side effect of the kit is that it enables us to offer a quality instrument at a low price. As soon as our production is under control, both the Clover and Clover kit will also be available through our dealers. See our site: concertinaconnection.com for details. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  18. I found a photo of the instrument...
  19. I just checked with the owner, it is still available.
  20. We have been asked to sell under consignment, a Wakker Hayden 46 key (H-1) in quilted maple, made in 2007, for a customer in Europe who recently received his custom made Wakker H-2. Although I have not personally seen the instrument recently, it is said to be in perfect condition. As with all our instruments, it comes with a life time warranty on parts and construction. In case there are any issues, we’ll take care of them. Asking price is $5875. A donation will be made to C.net when sold through this forum. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  21. We’ve had many requests for a photo of the A6 model this year. Instead of emailing them to each individual person, I thought posting it here would be a lot easier. The instrument in the photo is a W-A6, F-C 40 key Wheatstone in amboyna with ebony trim/maple stringing and 18 carat gold inserts. This is the metal ended version. It is of course also available with flat or raised wooden ends. Additional photos on our site (wakker-concertinas.com) Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  22. Let me explain how our order process works and why we charge a non refundable deposit…. First of all, there is a lot of difference between someone offering 1 model with a very limited customization option, and our production. We build 12 different concertina models with traditional concertina reeds, which all can be customized. A few examples of customizing: Other makers make about 14 different reed sizes with one reed profile per size. We make over 30 different sizes, with 2-3 different reed profiles per size. For instance, we offer 4 different frame sizes and reed profiles just for the note A1. All together, we make 68 different reed frame/reed profile combinations, not including the different materials for the reeds. This gives a lot of room for customizing equilibrium and reed performance. In addition, we offer 6 different types of wood for sound reflection, and 4 types for construction. Any combination is possible. We even offer different types of glue. Other options are: different reed pan designs and construction, chamber depths, trim, stringing, ends (raised, flat, any type of metal), button height, button travel and pressure, hand rails, straps, bellows models, number of folds, material, etc.. This only covers the customization of our 12 concertina models. In addition, it is also possible to order a truly custom made instrument, either designed by the customer or me. As you can read on our site, our ordering process consists of 2 parts. The first part includes the $200 deposit. This money is used to cover part of the consulting costs. Since most of our customers want a customized or custom made instrument, we invite them to discuss their objectives during the 2-3 year waiting period. In my experience, most customers will either fine tune their specifications or change them all together based on our correspondence. In theory I ‘reserve’ 10 hours of consulting per customer. Some need a lot more, others a lot less. This comes to $20 per hour. Given the fact that I spent 11 years in college for this, and have 5 Graduate degrees in free reeds, I think that my ‘fee’ is reasonable…. By the time we actually start building your instrument, you’ve spent your deposit. If someone during this first part of our ordering process cancels without using his deposit, I think he/she should have the option to sell it to someone else, preferably without a mark up. This does not affect any other customers on our waiting list. If you’re no 45, and slot no. 20 changes hands, you will not be affected. You’re still no. 45. The only thing that changed was the name on slot 20. We do not offer this option if the customer has used his deposit, or when he has moved to the 2nd part of the waiting list. (see our site for details). Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  23. it's purely aesthetic. it has an unintended consequence of reducing button height, but you can make the buttons longer to compensate for that, or make buttons that short anyways. it does not sound like a big deal, but they are very slick... for some reason they make a concertina look that much fancier. probably not worth the money, though. try and find a concertina like that, and see if you like it. This is a very common misunderstanding. The name raised ends is somewhat misleading. They appear to be raised, but actually the rims of the instrument are lowered. The height of the end around the buttons is exactly the same as with flat ends. It doesn’t affect the button height. Lowering the rim reduces the acoustic effect of the space between the action board and top on the sound. Especially with open fretwork, the sound becomes more ‘direct’. If you want to know how your instrument would sound with raised ends (=lowered rims), take the top off your instrument and put the end back on the bellows. You might want to use blocks to compensate for the top. A more technical explanation: Lower rims affect (reduces) the primary sound reflection, which is created by the 90 degree angle between the frames and top. Actually, it (almost) eliminates these reflections if the fretwork is open and continues to the frames. In an instrument with raised ends the harmonic count is determined by the reed and chamber, without interference of the acoustic cavity. It is the most ‘pure reed sound' obtainable in a concertina. On the other hand, if the top is closed around the rim of the instrument, the effect will be very limited, because there will be primary reflection. The opposite effect of raised ends are instruments with a (wooden) baffle or ‘comma dot’ fretwork. Raised ends are more expensive because they are very complicated to make. The curve is carved out of a solid piece of wood, just like a violin top. The thickness of the top (at least in our instruments) varies at different locations. To my knowledge, there are only a few makers of traditional concertinas that offer raised wooden ends. The sound effect is clearly visible when you use a sound analyzer. People with (musically) ‘trained ears’ also have no problem hearing the difference. If your hearing is untrained, and you barely hear the difference between a metal and wooden ended instrument, don’t worry about it. You probably won’t hear the difference. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  24. Everyone seems to think that all high priced vintage instruments are of high quality. The point I wanted to make is that this is not true. When a Jeffries or Wheatstone comes on the market and has a high asking price, no one seems to think of asking for prove of quality (e.g. restoration report/history or reed performance evaluation), which is common with many other musical instruments. Because of the lack of instrument documentation, a fair number of instruments that are part of this high priced anglo pool, I am inclined to say that 20%, maybe even more depending on what you consider ‘good’, are of average or slightly better quality. Because concertinas are mechanical instruments, they are subject to wear and material deterioration. There is no material quality difference between an 80+ year old Wheatstone, Lachenal or Jeffries. Not to mention the shock of extreme humidity changes instruments have to suffer when shipped to a different climate. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  25. Just my 2 cents… I’ve been involved several times in the past as an ‘expert’ in insurance settlements concerning concertinas. In my experience there is quite a gap between reality and the ‘wishful’ pricing within our community. As everyone knows, insuring an instrument for a given amount is easy. However, when you need to collect on your insurance you’ll find out that the price you paid for the instrument has very little value. Depending on the insurer or courier, you’ll find out very fast that assumed values based on undocumented and unmotivated exorbitant purchase prices are not accepted. Comparing vintage concertinas to other musical instruments is very difficult. For instance, you cannot compare concertina prices with new high end wind or string instruments sold through music retailers. A $10.000 instrument sold through a retailer includes sales tax (up to 20% in Europe), a standard 48-50% retail mark up, shipping (manufacturer to retailer), insurance and advertising costs. In general, PRODUCTION cost of a 10.000 instrument is between 20-30% (2000-3000). Vintage instruments are a lot harder to value than new ones. The quality and availability determines part of the value. If the demand is greater than the supply the value will go up. This has been the case with concertinas during the last 30+ years, however, with several new makers producing traditional concertinas (with ‘real’ concertina reeds), the balance is moving again. At this moment the combined output is 150+ instruments per year. This availability of new instruments will affect the ‘availability part’ of the vintage value. History shows that when the number of new instruments increases, the value of vintage instruments will decrease. Besides, all mechanical instruments are subject to wear and material deterioration. Concertinas are not violins. When you look at the ‘quality part’ of the value of a vintage instrument, you’ll notice that a lot is based on myths and misunderstandings, which are accepted as facts and affect values. For example, the steel used for concertina reeds is the only 48-50 Rockwell, and comparable to the steel used in accordion reeds of that period. However, you still find people paying a premium for the ‘special’ reeds….. The Wheatstone linota is made with the same materials and has the same reeds/reed scaling as the hexagonal english and duet models of that time. However, 60 of these reeds in an anglo are worth (?) $12000, and 92 of the same reeds in a 46 key duet only a few hundred…. I am sure Stephen Chambers can elaborate on the models and prices. Keep in mind that Wheatstone considered their Aeola english and duet models as superior in both design and materials. If someone is willing to pay amount X for a concertina without any motivation and/or documentation of the asking price, amount X becomes the value of the instrument in our concertina community. No one seems to question how realistic this price is. If I sell a used car for twice the blue book value because the buyer believes my sales pitch, is the car than actually worth that price, or did I fool the buyer... If you look at other instrument groups, pricing is done much more conservatively and requires extensive documentation and prove of value. For example, most of the buyers and sellers of high end string instruments are professionally trained players, restorers, builders, traders etc. They have a solid knowledge of the instrument. They require extensive documentation and prove of value before buying an instrument. My old (Dutch) neighbor trades in violins starting at 100.000 euros ($145000) and up. He has a team of specialists researching and documenting every instrument he buys or sells. Price fluctuations are minimal and extensively motivated. I was once asked to value a Linota. Based on the quality of the instrument I came to a value of $2500-3000 (because of the relative poor condition of the reeds). Later I found out that the seller fooled (?) a buyer by claiming Linotas have super quality reeds made out of ‘special’ steel, and managed to sell it for $8000+. The instrument has been sold at least once more for even a higher price, because the seller (former buyer) simply repeats the sales pitch and no one seems to think of having it appraised before buying it. Unfortunately, I know of several ‘high priced’ instruments that I have seen or worked on, that pop up once in a while on the market and have ‘gained’ another few thousand $$. The new owners pay 3 or more times the actual value without knowing it. I can imagine that it sounds great when you see an instrument comparable to your own being sold for 2-3 times the price you paid for it. On the other hand several (free reed) restorers are starting to worry about this. It is becoming this big bubble waiting to pop. Especially because there is nothing to back up these exorbitant prices (quality, exclusivity, etc.). Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
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