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About Ken_Coles

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    I need to paste in my comments from the old part of Concertina.net! Short version: I've played anglo since 1992, English since 2001. Mostly Italian boxes, Lachenals, a Morse, and a Kensington. One of the people behind the curtain at Concertina.net.
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    western Pennsylvania and northern Indiana, U.S.A.

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  1. My opinion is that in this price range it is important to get your hands on any model you are considering. I would never buy or order a top-rank instrument without trying it (or a comparable example) first. It isn't just timbre or feel that varies (most makers will do any note layout you want). Other details vary (button height, button throw, rake of button rows, how the handles fit your hands) that matter to some players and not to others. Even if if they are all great instruments (and generally they are), things like this mean one may suit you better personally than another. And only a few folks here have played all the leading brands and can give you a comparison (folks who know just the model they own and recommend it, while reassuring, is not quite answering your question). Underrated makes? Generally, once a make is proven as being good it will be priced as such - the market works pretty well, though sometimes you can save some money if you are willing to wait several years. I know that is not a satisfying answer, but this being C.net others will chime in soon with different answers! For me it was a long hunt to find my everyday player(s), and that may be a common experience. Ken PS: I merged the duplicate threads here; I was responding to your first post
  2. I own and play both and like both. (Actually the Clover I got for my wife, but she lets me use it!) Best is to try them both for yourself; somebody in the northwest US must have examples. Like choosing between EC/AC/duet, it is very much down to individual preference, how your hands and arms work, etc., and you can't (in my opinion; others who disagree will no doubt chime in) intellectually choose one or the other unseen. If you can't try both and want to buy something, try one and buy it if you like it. If you can't try either before committing yourself, I guess you can just take a leap - both hold most (but not all) of their new value if you decide to sell. It can be like choosing which car to buy. Or come visit Pennsylvania and we'll have a nice musical visit and I'll let you try them! Ken
  3. I have a Clover from the brief time a decade ago when Wim Wakker offered it as a kit. After a whole summer putting it together, the design is clearly the equal of the other hybrid instruments and plays very well. I have no experience yet with the Minstrel, which is a more recent model. Ken
  4. Years ago registered mail caused me a problem - it slows things down a _lot_. My envelope took three weeks to go from New York to Utah (which made it two weeks overdue, it was a paper for a professional conference). The Post office folks told me registered mail was originally meant for things like diamonds, and (at least back then) went from one locked box to another (yes, signed for) and was thus very slow. Certified mail (or nowadays, a tracking number, this was 1983) was what I needed. If you're not in a hurry maybe registered mail is the answer, but my simple envelope took 21 days instead of 2. A postal story: The only box I ever had break open and lose contents, 40 years ago, was insured and I was paid for the lost books. In all fairness to the post office, I was young and naive and the box was much too big and heavy (over 45 lb/20kg). A month or two I later found several of my books at the Barnes and Noble technical book store on Fifth Avenue in NYC and, astonished, bought them back for a bit less than the claimed value (they were used by then, after all)! I guess you could say the post office paid me a few dollars to rent them for a couple of months. I still have them. I don't know how many times I've shipped instruments by USPS but they've all been fine. Do pack thoroughly and do insure them. When I do both, I've had 100% success. I too have been having things show up ahead of schedule via USPS during the lockdown. Someone doesn't have enough to do, maybe? Ken
  5. Added to Lost/Stolen thread. Keep us posted, Jim. Ken
  6. Posted by Jim Lucas Of course, we want everyone everywhere to be alert for anyone trying to sell something which fits the description, even though the likelihood of them being simply tranported out of Sweden during the current restrictions is remote. I gather these are anglo system instruments. If we get other details (number of buttons, appearance/finish) I'll add the info here.
  7. Lost... hopefully not stolen, but...


    From my friend Rickard, in Stockholm:

    Something horrible happend last saturday, I lost my bag with my two
    favorite concertinas on Underground Stockholm.
    My Whetstone G/D 30735 and my Crabb made Ball and Beavon C/G.
    I have reported this to police and to the Underground section for lost
    things, havn't heard anything yet.


    Of course, we want everyone everywhere to be alert for anyone trying to sell something which fits the description, even though the likelihood of them being simply tranported out of Sweden during the current restrictions is remote.


    And we hope that we'll soon be able to remove this notice, but it's already been most of a week with no luck.




  8. He's not a member here, but if you ever encounter Ken Sweeney there in Connecticut, take a listen. He's great at Irish on English. Keh
  9. The pygidium. I added the word "tail", though incorrect, for the sake of those here who don't hang around with trilobites. Sorry, I'll stick to concertinas. Ken
  10. I guess that never occurred to me because there is no pygidium/tail. Ken (works across the hall from a trilobite paleontologist!)
  11. I'm guessing there's a whole big world of alternate notation systems out there. I am, after years on many instruments, thoroughly indoctrinated to the traditional system, but that doesn't mean there aren't good alternatives to consider out there (he said, typing on a QWERTY keyboard, another system folks have tried to reform/replace for over a century). It would interesting to see a piece side by side in traditional notation and the system you are exploring. Ken
  12. Try some other leather - scraps are not hard to come by if you try craft stores, etc. You can cut it, punch holes in it, and so on as needed. After having my first "real" concertina provoke carpal tunnel inflammation, I have little patience with discomfort caused by instruments and alter whatever I have to to fix it. Don't hesitate to experiment, good luck. Ken
  13. Everyone does, or did. Somewhere (not in Geo Salley's article, I just checked) someone described taking a piece of thin plywood and drilling the button hole pattern in it and using it to line up the buttons before putting the end on, like racking up balls for a game of pool/snooker whatever it is called where you are. Maybe it was in one of the 22,000 archived threads here! Ken
  14. Yes, it is amazing how the outside looks the same as later W-15s but the inside is completely different. That old article of mine was part of the newbies like me (I was one once!) rediscovering what the long-timers knew or remembered. Did the demand for this better design just not justify the expense of manufacture, leading to the internal design we saw in later years (and still see), I wonder? Ken
  15. He is also supportive in other ways. Once I was visiting a fellow concertinist in Chicago. Tom took me to an Irish session and lent me one of his instruments. He had also taken lessons from John Williams and told me Williams would likely be there. He did appear, and seeing two of us already playing concertina, tactfully played button accordion. I suspect he was trying not to show us up. When work schedules required us both to pack and leave we saw he was getting out his concertina so we waited near the doorway of the venue for a tune or two before departing so we could hear some playing much better than ours! Ken
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