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Pete Dunk

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Everything posted by Pete Dunk

  1. Hello Christian, I've done a fair bit of audio cleanup work over the years using both SoundForge and WaveLab, feel free to post or PM any queries and I'll do my best to answer them. It might help if I know which software/plugins etc., you are using; and what, if any, outboard hardware. Pete.
  2. Hello Iain, You say the action has been rebuilt, do you know who did the work? What general area do you live in and would it be possible to take a look at it in person? Pete.
  3. So Woody, the first thing you did when you got your new toy was to take it to pieces! Nicely designed layout, and I like the way the bushing board is integral with the action rather than part of the end casing. I was somewhat surprised to see the accordion reeds, I don't know why but I thought Norman concertinas were traditionally made; I've no idea what kind of price range they fall in. Are they comparable with Marcus/Morse then?
  4. Twenty odd years ago I used 1/8th inch (3mm) black and white Delrin rods as the bridge pole pieces on the hammered dulcimers I made. They are still there and if you take one out and look at it you will find that the strings haven't even managed to mark it. Unless you are obsessed with using only traditional materials I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't use Delrin to make concertina buttons. I feel pretty sure the innovative Charles Wheatstone would have done so if it had been around in his day. (edited to add a closeup of the bridge)
  5. I would have been quite surprised if the AKGs outperformed SM58s, they just happen to be packaged in a more suitable way for the purpose. It strikes me that the unidirectional SM57 is more suited to instrument mic-ing. SM58s tend to be a bit 'toppy' and therefore more suited to vocals, AKGs (like the D190) have traditionally been mid to bass weighted giving a very warm vocal sound with the unfortunate side effect of making instruments 'boomy' and prone to feedback. Later AKG designs (like the CS 1000) are much more suited to mic-ing up instruments but I've no idea if most of that is down to the skills of the sound engineer, nor if a mic designed for 'accordion' is suited to faithful concertina sound reproduction.
  6. I keep a number of wooden skewers (the kind you use to make kebabs for the barbecue) in my toolbox; useful as precision glue sticks when padding and valving, as probes to adjust reeds and short pieces are good to wedge levers up while the pad is off and you are fitting lever end beads. A piece of 3mm brass rod with a vee notch filed into the end is a great little tool for releasing and refitting springs I have a tiny pair of end nippers that make the removal of stubborn old lever end beads a simple task; these are also good for accurately trimming the ends of chamber top chamois gaskets. I find a set of smooth jawed snipe nosed pliers are very useful too for a variety of tasks.
  7. In England this tool is known as a wad punch, available in sets or singly.
  8. I've downloaded the software Dana and it looks quite good. Sadly the tiny room with the computers are in isn't suitable for turning into a semi-workshop so I really need something portable so that it can set it up in the kitchen where there's a lot more room. I have other instruments like a hammered dulcimer that my guitar tuner struggles with so a decent tuner wouldn't be wasted in any event, I just wanted to avoid unnecessary expense by going too far over the top. The alternative of course would be to buy a laptop and run the free software on there, but that would cost more than the bench top strobe tuner! Ken, we call them 'hams' here too. I live out in the country so I wouldn't know where to find an amateur radio swap-meet even if we have such things in the UK. Come to think of it I'd be a bit frightened of a roomful of radio geeks...
  9. Once again we are humbled by the generosity of a master craftsman pitching in to share hard won knowledge. What a lovely bunch concertina people are! Thanks to John for starting the thread, this was going to be my next question!
  10. I'm getting to the point where I'm about ready to dip my toe in the muddy waters of concertina tuning. I've just about finished my second refurb which in many ways was much easier than the first. The Wheatstone I'm working on now is a brass reeded 48 key English that is once again in philharmonic tuning but is not as in tune with itself as the Lachenal I repaired previously. One way or another there is a fair bit of tuning to do so it might as well be done to concert pitch. Now comes the hoary question of finding a tuning meter somewhat more accurate than my cheap and cheerful chromatic guitar tuner which struggles to detect the lower notes of a treble concertina and even if it did it only has a +/- 2 cents accuracy on a good day. I've read this thread with great interest but failed to draw any conclusion about the type of tuner I should be looking at. Peterson seem to have developed a greater range of models since this thread came to an end, more compact and seemingly aimed at performing musicians but still claiming a high degree of accuracy. No doubt ease of use has been sacrificed along the way in order to pack in the features but for occasional use (I have no ambitions to be a professional repairman, just a dabbler who wants to bring old instruments back to their former glory for the sheer pleasure of playing them) I can live with a little inconvenience. Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the relative merits of the full blown bench model (digital as opposed to valve/tube) strobe tuner at a (gulp!) mere £450 versus the much more affordable but not exactly cheap virtual strobe that sells for around £160? I will deal with my concerns regarding the mysteries of the universal tuning rig elsewhere....
  11. That's a really lovely 'tina. There are times when I wish I had the funds to become a collector. On other, saner days, I realize that you should only own instruments that you have time to play on a daily basis. I do hope it goes to a good home.
  12. My comment was actually one of bitter disappointment. The Edeophone is perhaps the prettiest concertina ever made, the amboyna ended ones are exquisite. Perhaps I expected too much but I rather think I was treated to a poor example of the type. On this occasion I played several very indifferent Wheatstones, two brand new modern hybrids, one of which impressed greatly and the other much less so, and a variety of Lachenals. My undoubted favourite on the day was was a hexagonal metal ended Lachenal that was a joy to play and had it been realistically priced I would have bought it without doubt. To the best of my knowledge it still sits there in a glass case £100-150 overpriced. Perhaps I encountered a less than perfect Edeophone with greatly inflated expectations. I did once own an Aeola however, maybe that spoiled me forever.
  13. After recently playing an Edeophone for the first time I think the serious suggestion was no.1
  14. When I saw Spiers and Boden (as part of the Ratcatchers, backing Eliza Carthy) a while ago, John Boden had two small mics on goosenecks fixed to his MacCann. John Spiers clearly has the same kind of setup for his anglo on the YouTube video of the Cheshire Waltz. They look suspiciously like AKG Accordion and Melodeon Mics, but a pair would set you back £200 plus another £50 for a battery pack.
  15. There's nothing I like better than rummaging around someone else's toolbox; you can find out so much about a person in this most private of places. You might pull up short though and wonder 'what the devil is that doing in here?' People, you see, bring in tools from many disciplines that they feel comfortable with, that aren't normally associated with the work they are doing but just happen to do a particular job very well. My first offering is an artist's tool called a colour shaper or clay shaper. This is much like a paint brush but the bristles are replaced by tips of silicone rubber in various shapes and degrees of stiffness. This wondrous tool is equally at home as a glue spreader (that the glue can't stick to) or a resilient but gentle tool for working leather repairs into bellows. So what's in your concertina toolbox that we might be surprised by?
  16. For an Aeola the price is modest. It's a shame the original ends were replaced but it's nicely done, shame once again that the serial no. is missing but it's probably stamped inside somewhere. Geoffrey Crabb is a member here and may well have records of the rebuild. If I had the cash I'd buy this, no problem, but sadly I don't have the funds at the moment. I hope this lovely instrument finds a good home.
  17. Yours is older than the one I bought recently (1916) but I'm surprised there is no serial no. because it looks mostly original. Are the reeds steel or brass? If they're brass like mine then I fear the price is a bit high. You say it has a deep tone, perhaps it's a tenor which is quite desirable. Is it lower in pitch than the other concertinas you have?
  18. I understood the description Dana and it sounds like an excellent idea. Although I have a bevel cutter for picture framing it's really not that accurate so I'd be tempted to go to a framing shop and have the matboard cut to order for me which shouldn't be too expensive. It's probably ok to take your own museum board in for cutting too, if that's what you prefer to use.
  19. Yep you're quite right of course, I really mustn't post before my first cup of coffee in the morning! Ben, CNC machines are computer controlled. It may be a lathe, milling machine, woodworking router or any number of other production machines. Sophisticated, high speed and very accurate.
  20. A bit of poor maths there, I think you'll find they're over 21 euros each. Material costs and an hours labour still make the price reasonable though. Even if they're CNC made, the tooling costs make this a realistic amount to pay.
  21. The bellows are really too small with only four folds but I didn't want to lash out on a replacement set straight away, mainly to keep the initial expense down but also to make sure that there was a playable instrument in there somewhere. I hadn't intended to get involved with all of the gussets at first but it became clear that constant flexing of the bellows was causing many of them to crack through and bits were flaking off the outside leaving no surface on the outer part of the leather. When the bellows are replaced for a six fold set the patched up ones will become part of a tuning rig. I was strongly advised not to attempt proper repair by removal of existing components as it's not really a kitchen table job and I would probably end up with a kit of parts. I may become brave at some point in the future but I think I'm more likely to have a stab at the Bob Tedrow method and make a new set.
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