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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. Does adding material at the base of the reed raise the pitch.

     

    To be honest I have never tried that, but I would imagine that although it may raise the pitch it is likely to make the reed not perform very well. The reed needs to flex, you are unlikely to get that flex when you are adding solder or anything else that is not spring steel to the base of the reeds, especially on a bass reed where most of the flexing is happening near the clamp end, higher pitched reeds flex most a bit higher up but its going to be the same problem. Its not such a problem adding solder to the tip as the very tip is not really flexing at all on a bass reed which is the context in which it is usually used.

     

    What I have said here is a guess buts its based on experiences of making reeds by hand.  

    • Like 1
  2. Hello Fanie 

     

    It may be possible to fix this instrument but you may find that it is probably easier and or cheaper to buy a new one which is similar. 

     

    I believe there are a couple of people making and repairing concertinas in south Africa who may be able to supply you a new one or repair the existing, I am not sure. Here is the closest thing I can provide to a contact detail:

    Gys Mans Konsertinas: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057035876378 I have actually spoken to this guy in facebook.

     

    Wifra [Willie van Wyk] - I can't find or provide any contact details but I met a fellow once who if I remember correctly had a concertina by this maker. His profile is here on this website: https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/profile/853-zak-vdv/ perhaps you could message him and ask if he knows if Wilfra is still active.

     

    Best of luck

    Jake

  3. hmm, I am surprised that those two were different on your other concertina, did you get it 2nd hand? Maybe the previous owner had swapped the reeds round themselves or even asked Frank to make it that way. There are differences in what Jeffries accidentals actually were, but normally the one that has the most variation is the highest note on the accidental row, I have seen that tuned to all sorts of things. I always just make sure to show people the layout before making an instrument to be absolutely sure that is what they want. 

     

    Then with 38 or 40 key instruments it gets very very different, with loads of different layouts, but that is another subject.

  4. Hybrid does indeed mean a concertina made with accordion reeds.

     

    Tipo a Mano is a sort of accordion reed. It means it is a machine made hand finished reed. Morse concertinas are indeed what would be called a hybrid instrument. Anything advertised with tipo a mano is a hybrid concertina.

     

    There are a number of people still making concertinas with traditional concertina reeds, you can see a list of them in this permanent thread here: 

     Whatever you go with, enjoy the music!

    • Like 1
  5. 18 hours ago, RP3 said:

    Many years ago I was looking for a better CG Anglo and Paul Groff sold me one he had been playing for some time. It looked very much like a Jeffries (end plates, bellows stamping, bellows papers) but was in fact a Crabb with the oval cartouche left blank. But that was not all. It bore a hand engraved brass plate on the right side frame and the plate read “Rushworth & Draeper, Islington”. AND if you looked very carefully at the wooden side frames, you could see the remains of a stamping “& Co, London”. So this instrument very likely was intended for Ball Beavon & Co. but before it was delivered, the ends were redone and it was ultimately sold by Rushworth & Draeper. This is my conclusion. It was in fact an excellent playing instrument with good tone and nice action. It was let down only by a couple of lower notes that didn’t have the fullness of the rest of the instrument. That concertina helped my playing advance a good bit during my early years with the instrument.

     

    Ross Schlabach 

     

    Ah the low notes, were they by any chance the E/F and B/A, the lowest buttons on the left hand side accidental row and left hand side G row? If I remember those ones are usually scaled down (shorter than they should be for their pitch) due to the way the reedpan is designed and the size of the instrument there is not enough space for them to be full size reeds. Its the downside of that design.

  6. 21 hours ago, Theo said:

    I think it means that if you want to buy the best Jeffries or Crabb concertina you should pal more attention to how it plays, and less to the name it bears. 

     

    I could not agree more. I had the pleasure of restoring a 1905 (or thereabouts) Crabb anglo a year or two ago and found it to be great. A force to be reckoned with volume wise and very responsive.

     

    Both firms seemed to go through various and sometimes slightly subtle differences to their designs and materials over the years as well, and the results of that can be a bit subjective. I suppose you have to just play it and decide what you think. 

     

    Thanks Pgidley for uploading the photos, the one I worked on was very similar to what you had there, same buttons and same variation on the fretwork pattern (I think). Though the one I was working on was stamped crabb on the ends and ball beavon on the side of the action box.

  7. 27 minutes ago, Clive Thorne said:

     

    Jake,

     

    Thanks for the heads up. I'm an english style player rather than irish, so i'll probably skip the Swan & Helmet sessions (I've been to a few rockier gigs in that pub though).

    Is the Amtphill session a general folk session, or concertina specific? - my first instrument is really a melodeon. Also how open minded is it?. Would it object to a saxophone (my wife's instrument).

     

    PS I am having lessons with John Kirkpatrick at the moment and he was very complimentary about your concertinas.

     

     

    The session in Ampthill is not instrument specific, just sticking to traditional English, Northumbrian and Scottish. A few melodeon players are there. Basically any instrument would be fine non amplified.

     

    Good to Hear John is giving lessons.

     

    Best wishes

    Jake

  8. By the way, I see you are in Northamptonshire - when sessions start up again I can really recommend the Albion in Ampthill. Once a month, English, Northumbrian and Scottish music, really good! I hope the pub has not gone under by the time restrictions are lifted...

     

    Also if you play Irish music my wife runs an Irish session in Northampton 2nd Friday every month starting again August 13th. In the "swan and helmet". Here is a facebook page for it: https://www.facebook.com/events/1865493413614222

     

    There is some good Sliabh Luachra style Irish music, which I had not encountered until I met Patrick Curtin an old Kerry man at this session, great fiddle player!

     

     

  9. There seem to be a number of theories on this subject and it sort of depends who you ask unfortunately. Many believe that in the early days Jeffries simply stamped his name on the end of an instrument made at Crabb's and he later learned to make the instruments himself.

     

    Here is a paper on the subject where Geoff Crabb talks about his family's business and there is some mention of interactions with Jeffries, quite an interesting read in my opinion, I like the part about making the press tools by hand:

     

    http://www.concertina.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PICA07-2010.pdf

     

    Enjoy!

    • Like 1
  10. Oh that is just lovely. I can't really justify it at the moment but if I could I would keep that in my workshop as inspiration! I hope you find someone who values such work - hand engraved onto a beautiful and quite rare pattern design. Really great to see, its this sort of practice that has almost disappeared nowadays - though that's not to say it was even that common in the 19th century on a concertina.

    • Like 1
  11. 19 minutes ago, SteveS said:

    I was also advised to take pictures to prove ownership prior to departure, and to even ask for some sort of certificate from authorities at the port of departure (Calais for me).  I guess a date stamp on the pictures would be important.

     

    A good idea is to take a picture on the day of departure of each instrument with the newspaper of the day to show they originated in EU.  So I'll stop at a French service station on the way to the port, buy a newspaper, and take my pictures.  I'll make sure I include serial numbers too.

     

    That sounds smart, I suppose if there is any debate about your ownership of luggage that was somehow misplaced you can prove it without any shadow of a doubt that way. Thanks for posting what HMRC advised by the way.

  12. I hope I have not missed any details in my research of post Brexit movement of musical instruments but - to my knowledge I cant think of a reason why there would be any problems with travelling with a concertina between EU and UK provided it did not contain any protected or endangered materials and it was declared as luggage. Normally airline tickets allow 1 item of hold luggage and 1 of hand luggage. A concertina would easily fall under hand luggage. 

     

    Sometimes people have a small screwdriver or other such things in the case - best not to when flying, airlines would tend to confiscate such things in my experience.

     

    Don't take me as a definitive source on this but to my knowledge what I have said is true.

  13. have you tried a Suttner concertina? They are rather popular in Ireland but made in Germany, you could probably go and try one when lockdown measures are lifted (I am not entirely sure of the rules regarding that in Germany at the moment), I believe Jurgen Suttner keeps display models. 

     

    Sorry I have not tried the Vintage from the Irish concertina company though.

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