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Ivan Viehoff

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Posts posted by Ivan Viehoff


  1. Mccann players are thin on the ground, maybe only one preson is in the market to buy at present and they got the other one! You should be patient, it may take some time to find the right buyer for your concertina.

    At least four distinct bidders bid on Algar's concertina. At least three of them bid at or above £730. None of them put a bid on OP's rather similar concertina.


  2. So Algar got £821 for his, having put a start bid of £600 on it, and yours didn't get a single bid from its £600 start bid. That was frankly was roughly my guess as to what would happen, but I didn't wish to prejudice your auction by saying so in advance. He got a first bid at his starting bid level very early, which always helps give confidence to other bidders. Clearly Algar's, newly restored, with metal buttons, and a good reputation for the quality of his restorations, was a bit more marketable than yours, even if the underlying concertina as originally built was probably not much different in quality. Which boils down to saying I think you misjudged the starting bid level on yours. Algar would have made a loss at £600, and is hardly rolling in large profits at £821, but he knows that you do have to leave enough space below a final achieved price for an auction to develop.


  3. But this sort of an experience does make one wonder ....and I will leave it at that. No more said.

    I have also suffered from the incompetence of auctioneers, though fortunately in the case where I "bought" something that turned out to be only half the size described in the catalogue, my bid was not enforced on me. I've seen irregular activities often enough, even though I am a very infrequent patron of auctioneers - though something of a student of them - and of such a nature that mostly I suspect cock-up rather than consipiracy.

     

    In the present case, it is the seller who has suffered from the auctioneer's incompetence. I wonder if he has a case against them for compensation, or whether the auctioneer has worded his contract well enough to escape.


  4. Is it better to sell it in as-is condition now, or have the refurbishment done first, then sell for a better price?

    There are pros and cons.

     

    The main advantage is to remove uncertainty over what a buyer is buying. Uncertainty over condition depresses the price, or at least should do so. Though confusingly the market (ie ebay) has certainly been known to overpay for unrestored concertinas from time to time. Though if you know it the condition is about as bad as it looks it might be, then probably it makes little difference. It is the situation where it isn't as bad as it might be that you may have difficulty communicating that convincingly to the market. In restoring it yourself, it is important to be able to quote the name of the reputable restorer who did it, and be able to convincingly demonstrate it has been fully restored to modern playing condition. Because some sharp operators partially restore concertinas hoping to be able to sell it as "restored" when in fact the job hasn't been fully done. The other advantage is that it gives a potential purchaser an immediately usable concertina, without the annoyance of having to commission their own restoration.

     

    The disadvantages are a bit more subtle. What is your ability to commission a suitable restoration and get it at a fair price (because the more you pay the less profit you make). Are there significant choices to be made in the restoration, and can you judge what choices would best maximise the value of the concertina (compared to the cost of restoration)? How certain are you that when the restorer starts restoring he won't discover hidden defects which add to the cost of the restoration?

     

    Certainly a competent dealer would commission a restoration before sale, because he will be experienced in commissioning them, get it done for less than most of us, and will no doubt trust his own judgment on what options will maximise the value of the concertina.


  5. Plus, as also pointed out, antique concertinas on ebay are VERY closely being observed by a good number of professional and semi professional restores and resellers; I find it very unlikely that a little treasure goes under value under all this scrutiny.

    A dealer wants to make his turn on reselling the instrument. So there is a gap between what the dealer will pay, and what the instrument can be resold for. So whilst we can be reasonably sure that a concertina won't go on ebay for £1000 less than its resale value (except in rare cases where hardly anyone can tell what they are looking at except one expert who spots it), we can be reasonably sure that if a dealer buys it, it is going for at least £100 less than its resale value (for concertinas valued as at least several hundred pounds that is). Dealers can probably also commission the restoration of a concertina more cheaply than you or me, because they supply a goodly stream of work to the restorer, know exactly what needs doing, and probably do some of the lower skilled tasks themselves.


  6. Kilve is on the A39 Bridgewater-Minehead main road. Bus Number 14 from Bridgewater to Minehead runs through Kilve about every 2 hours, and takes about 35 mins from Bridgewater bus station. But it doesn't run on Sundays. Timetables here, but there are several no 14 buses in the region, you have to find the correct one. http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/journey_planning/timetables/index.php?operator=3&page=1&redirect=no

     

    There are a few direct trains from London Paddington to Bridgewater, but often the journey involves a change, usually at Taunton, in such cases taking around 2h20. There is also a once daily non-stop bus from London to Bridgewater, but it sets off from somewhere like Hammersmith.

     

    It is a little walk from the railway station to the bus station in Bridgewater, 10 or 15 mins or so.


  7. But to me it doesn´t make much sense. I´m quite happy with my 46 keys, I played it for two and a half years now and it served me well. still I´d like to have these extra notes. I fancy, that with a good 57 keys, I don´t need another one. But well... two and a half years ago, I could not possibly imagine that I would be willing to pay so much money for a concertina...

    Good. It's a thin market. Those who want to sell often fail to get an immediate buyer at the price they hoped for, and vice versa. You are in a good position to sit there and wait for the right one to come along at the right price.


  8. Do you know if 62 keys concertinas are much bigger than the 57 ones? I play standing up most of the time and want to keep the instrument light. Right now I have a Wheatstone 46 keys.

    The 62-key is materially larger and heavier than a 57-key because it goes down to A in the left hand, so you have 3 extra large reeds to fit in to the space. You can see the standard layouts here:

    http://www.concertin...or-FourthEd.pdf The 67 key takes you down to G.

    But although these standard layouts show the 62 and 67 as going down to C in the RH, it is not uncommon to find Maccanns in this size range with two or three extra low notes in the RH too. Personalised adjustments to the layout seem to become more common once you get into this top end of the market. There was also a Maccann in this size range on the market a couple of years ago that had had 3 extra low reeds retrofitted in the LH, I think right down to F, though at the cost of some accidentals.

     

    62 key and 67 key seem to be the most desirable Maccanns in the market. These are the ones most often found built to the highest quality of build. Old pros used to play standing up, so they didn't consider instruments of this size too large for that. Some people have fitted neck-straps to make it easier. Instruments in the 60s are the sizes David Cornell, for example, feels are the essence of the instrument. By the time you get to the 81 key, that often tends to sell at a discount to smaller sizes as few people want one that big. They are huge.

     

    I think 57-keys are hard to source precisely because they are seen as the smallest one that gives you what most players feel they "need", though I do not recall seeing many 57-keys built as Aeolas, etc, (obviously they exist, Geoff above has one) whereas this seems to be much more common with instruments with keys numbers in the 60s.


  9. a 57 keys MacCann duet or a 55 keys where the right hand side goes down to C. If that exists.

    The standard 55-key Maccann doesn't go down to C, so it would be a rare special one that did, or a very rare Baritone. Some early 57-keys don't go down to C either, so you do have to check. 57-keys only come up for sale occasionally. I decided I wanted one, and it took me a year to find one. 62-keys seem to be more common.

     

    As it happens, someone in Australia is trying to sell a very rare 55-key Baritone Maccann Aeola at the moment. There's a recent post about it here, but you'll have to register to read the full post. http://maccann-mccann.ning.com/ I presume it is the same as the one that failed to sell on ebay with a US$5000 starting bid back in July. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wheatstone-55Key-Baritone-McCann-Aeola-Concertina-/260820183356


  10. no interest at all?

    Have I priced it too highly do you think? I don't know much about the prices of used duets, I suspect it varies. but this is a NICE one!

    Should I eBay it?

    Musical instruments are a highly optional purchase, and the market is currently rather weak in the current economic circumstances. Some rather big bargains have been obtained at auction recently.

     

    Concertinas aren't a commodity, 100 can come along and barely two the same. In such cases, the price you can get depends upon your ability to communicate with the market for that concertina, and the level of confidence you can give your purchasers as to the quality of the item being sold. I can imagine that you might have paid a price not unadjacent to the £800 you quote for this from Mr Barleycorn. He's a top dealer with a reputation for selling top quality items, and a prominence in the market that implies a level of marketing few others can achieve. He also holds a large stock and waits for the customer to come along and buy it. He makes a living from it and needs to take a profit, so he has made a turn on what he was able to buy it for (and he regularly buys on ebay) and the cost of restoration. So if a dealer can buy on ebay, fix it up (sometimes not even), and turn it back to the market, you have learned something about ebay prices and dealer prices. Of course, sometimes ebay prices are higher than the dealers will pay, they need their turn.

     

    Looking back at ebay prices before the recent financial crash, when I was keeping an eye on them, then we can say that apart from the rare Aeola which can make over £1000, 46-key Maccanns very rarely go for above £700 on Ebay - maybe a top condition Wheatstone metal-ended one might have gone for a little more once in a while. Good condition Lachenal wooden ended ones have rarely made much more than about £600, and have, on occasion, gone for a lot less. The difficulty of selling any Maccann on ebay is that quite often the rather small market for them just isn't looking that week. Quite often even a top condition 62-key with a very realistic reserve will completely fail to sell.


  11. If stamped "B" that would be inconclusive because in Germany and possibly other European countries "B" is used to denote what we call Bflat. "H" is used to denote what we would call "B".

    From Hungary, I would be confident that B meant what we call B-flat. The B/H system was used in the Austro-Hungarian empire, and persists in that region. So, for example, that is what my Czech wife knows.


  12. Although you pointed him to the correct date, he doesn't seem to have picked up on the idea that this is a Maccann duet, not a bandoneon.

     

    The seller's claim that the price new today would be £5,000 is curious. How can he possibly know this?


  13. Not very tempting really. They are typical 46-key Maccans of typical Wheatstone quality, which means better than the basic Lachenals, but not special quality. They don't fetch special prices because 46-key Maccans are in over supply.

     

    The wooden ended one sold for over $810. We were not told if it is in concert pitch, or when it was last revalved and repadded, so assuming the worst on all that, then that is it is a fair price, not a bargain. Of course if it turns out that it needs no work, then it was a bargain. Personally I'd prefer to know than to gamble.

     

    The same is true of the metal ended one, and since he has put an absurd minimum bid of $2000 on it, it will remain unsold. The only 46-key Maccann that makes such a price is a rare Aeola.


  14. They seem to have an agreed duet range between them all through, surprisingly. Why wouldn't Lachenal or Wheatstone come up with their own choices of size and range I wonder?

    One guess is that MacCann patented his system and they were producing them under licence to his patent, so were not free to make revisions to the keyboard, at least not publicly.

     

    Another guess is convenience/cost of production. Someone did spot a gap in the market for a relatively small duet with a more convenient set of keys. It's called a 48 key Crane. Unfortunately, the larger average size of the reeds in the 48-key Crane means that it is necessarily physically rather larger than a 46-key MacCann. The 46-key Maccann is the same size as a 48-key English, which means it can share some common parts, whereas you'd need more custom parts for a 48 Crane. I think also all the reeds for a 46-key Maccann are produced for basic models of English and Anglo, but you need some extras for the 48-key Crane (low accidentals). So the 46-key Maccann remained a common instrument because it was relatively cheap to produce with fewer custom parts.


  15. So there are no forum members who love the Hayden system ?

    ...

    Last but not least, the main reason why I am leaning towards a duet concertina it's because I'd like to have the option to play it with

    melody and accompaniment at the same time, a bit like an accordion (I do not play in a band, I play solo, only for my own pleasure).

    If this is possible with an English concertina, maybe I should buy an English instead ? Thanks again for all your advice.

    There are forum members who love the Hayden, but because there are so few Haydens in existence, you don't run into a Hayden player very often.

     

    Let's just stand back and look at concertina types more carefully.

     

    A duet is designed for flexibility in tune + accompaniment work

    An english is designed for efficient melody work.

    An anglo is designed for simple tune + accompaniment in a narrow range of keys and simple I/IV/V7 style

     

    If you stick to what an English does easily/well, and what an Anglo does easily/well, then they are easier to do that than to do the same thing on a Duet.

    You can also try to play fully chromatic tune+accompaniment on English and Anglo, but when you do it quickly becomes more difficult than doing it on a duet. Can also be range issues with English/Anglos unless you get rare/large instruments.

     

    So in summary, a duet is a more flexible instrument, but achieving the basics on it is harder than on English and Anglo.

     

    And let us summarise the situation with the types of duet concertina.

     

    Hayden - cheap Elise model, good sound, narrow range, not even fully chromatic, so very seriously limited in what you can do on it. 46-button chromatic Stagi rather poor quality instrument, with non-standard button spacing. Proper instruments rare and expensive.

    Maccann - 46 button widely available at a cost similar to a vintage learner English concertina (or 46-button Stagi Hayden), (available from about UKP700+ in good restored condition, occasionally a lot less on ebay if you can distinguish the quality you are looking at - if it needs a full service that will set you back UKP300). But its note selection and range is a bit annoying. 57+ buttons excellent quality instruments (at least two full octaves in each hand) available from about UKP1200+ (though you have to wait to find the one you want), much cheaper than equivalent English/Anglo instrument quality.

    Crane - Cost more per button than a Maccann, but have the advantage that a 48 button Crane is a lot more playable than a 46-button Maccann. 48-button set you back about UKP1000, occasionally less, but trade thin so can wait a few months to get one. 42-button probably a fair learner, but actually a rather rare instrument, especially in playable condition.

    Jeffries - don't even think about it unless you inherit one or have a streak of perversity.


  16. I've seen a couple of ads on Ebay where the seller has professed complete ignorance of concertinas, then provided detailed information on new pads or other recent work. Or shown pictures of a fully dismantled box with key elements on display. I wouldn't have thought it likely that someone with an item about which they know nothing, but wish to sell, would merrily start stripping it down or would know what they'd found when they found it.

    It would take very long to find out that is roughly how you sell a concertina, and the service history might have come with it.

     

    I notice the overvalued concertina has been withdrawn by the seller.


  17. But the seller got a much better price than he would have under the Ebay system, and everyone knows where they stand; there's no jiggery-pokery involved.

    It is not immediately clear that this is the case. People know the rules of auctions and bid differently according to the rules of those auctions. So, knowing that an auction does get time extensions, they likely keep something in reserve. Knowing that time is cut off, they likely bid full value sooner.

     

    Certainly there are advantages to the NZ 2 minute rule. Well-informed bidders would like to keep their participation in an auction low visibility, because other bidders' valuations are affected by seeing the activity of well-informed bidders in an auction. Billion-dollar auctions, such as for mobile telephone frequencies, commonly have "activity rules" to force serious bidders to participate in the early stage of the auction, or lose the right to be able to bid later, for precisely the reason that an effective market is one where information is brought together, not concealed. An advantage of the NZ 2 minute rule is that it means that you can't limit your participation to a last second snipe, but must always have your participation visible at a time when the auction closes.

     

    But is there also an advantage to the ebay fixed deadline auction? You don't have to be there to participate to the full in such an auction. You aren't missing much by failing to be present at the deadline. So probably more bidders can participate to the full in such an auction.

     

    If I could guarantee that the serious bidders would be there and have my attention at the deadline, the NZ auction would be clearly better for the seller. In the real world, with many demands on our time, I'm not so convinced.

     

    It does seem a little odd that a player would be outbid by a dealer and then buy it off that dealer, presumably at a profit to the dealer. Why didn't the player outbid the dealer in the first place? There is some logic to the situation. The amount that a player is willing to pay is influenced by resale value. Seeing that a well-informed dealer pays a certain amount, expecting a profit, the player obtains confidence that the valuation is higher than he first thought.


  18. It is actually a tricky decision whether to restore or not before sale. In principle, restoring a concertina only increases its value by at most the cost of the restoration, because anyone else can buy that restoration too. But, exactly as you say, if you restore it in a way that happens not to be exactly what the purchaser wants, then some of your restoration expenditure may be nugatory.

     

    But on the other hand, the difficulty of selling a concertina unrestored is how effectively you can communicate exactly what its condition is to people who may not be able to hold it in their hands. People might fear that it is in a worse condition than it appears, and so fear the expense of restoring it might be much worse than it really is. At the very least, you need to be able to take the ends off to photograph the reed pans and actions so people can judge its condition. But by getting it restored yourself, you (apparently) remove that risk. On the other hand, there have been cases of "restored" concertinas that have been botched. If you do get it restored to sell, it is essential to go to a reputable restorer who you can then name so purchasers obtain reassurance it has been done properly.


  19. I just hope that Dan Brown isn't going to inflict another boring novel about this on us all.

    Why does it bother you? One of the great things about the book publishing industry is that it caters for an enormous diversity of taste, so most of us don't like most of what is available. If they didn't publish a book you (and I) don't want to read by Dan Brown, they'd probably publish a similar book you (and I) didn't want to read by someone else in its place, because they still want to make money out of the kind of people who want to read books of the type Dan Brown writes. You (and I, and many others) are still here wanting to buy a different kind of book. So I suspect another Dan Brown (or Jeffrey Archer or whatever) will make very little difference to the availability of the books you (and I) want to read. The main problem I have is that there are so many books I want to read and so little time to read them.


  20. Looks a decent but not special instrument; rather a minority interest in the concertina world so might take a little while to sell; should be worth hundreds rather than thousands of ££, exactly how much will depend on condition. So worth cashing in, but not for Anglo levels of reward!

    But 48-key Cranes are pretty desirable and not very common, so there are often people hanging around waiting for one to turn up. Mr Algar does not always have one when someone wants one. So you might have to wait a little while for a purchaser, but I doubt very long. But, yes, a lot less valuable than an Anglo of the same quality.

     

    About 5 years ago, I saw a near identical instrument, in newly restored condition, for sale by Mr Algar at £900. (Time has passed, so maybe he would ask a bit more these days.) He had a metal ended Wheatstone adjacent to it for rather more, and if I had been in the market for a Crane (I was thinking about it at the time) I would have taken the Lachenal: the action was very sensitive and smooth (much better than on my own Lachenal 42-key Maccann), and I preferred the sound.

     

    Unless your instrument is in newly restored condition, it will be worth a few hundred less than these sorts of values, because of the cost of restoration. Whether it is in concert pitch or not will also be worth a hundred or so, as there are 96 reeds to tune. People will tend to assume the worst, so if you can demonstrate the worst is not to be assumed, that will help the price.


  21. Rather like most Anglo players wanting 30 keys, or not far short, most duet players want 57 keys on their Maccann (and 55 usually isn't near equivalent). 48 will do in Crane, or just 46 in Hayden, but the specific design of 46-key Maccanns makes then rather less useful than these boxes. A 48-key Crane or 57-key Maccann in that condition would have fetched a lot more. And I think the only Haydens which have ever come up have been Stagis, which we all know isn't quite the same thing.

     

    For the price of a duet of useful size (to most people), you can probably get a modern 30-key Anglo of hybrid construction. So if you are happy with one of those, you won't save any money by taking up duet.

     

    On ebay I've only seen a handful of 46-key Maccanns go for £600+, and with the exception of an Aeola that came up, when they do it's usually Algar stock. We don't even know if it is in concert pitch, though given the apparent quality of the refurbishment on this one I would guess it probably is. Bog standard 46-keys on ebay, needing a revalving etc and of uncertain pitch level, can go for half that price.

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