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About RP3

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Concertina, hammered dulcimer, and live steam locomotives.
  • Location
    Western North Carolina

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  1. Over the years, it has been common for sellers of modern made instruments to market their instruments with a premium for not having to wait a certain number of years for delivery of a new concertina. BUT, that was when the Irish Tiger was roaring, demand was very high and the supply low. However, circumstances have changed dramatically. Today there are several builders filling the void for quality concertinas, builder backlogs are much shorter, and the demand has lessened significantly. Carroll Concertinas are now down to a backlog of just 12 months or a bit more. Just try to sell a quality vintage instrument for $6,500 or more in today’s market and you will see clear evidence of lower demand or higher supply or both. The last factor in trying to earn a premium price is rarity or desireability. Demand has always been highest in anglos for C/G instruments while flat pitch or other tunings bring less money because of less demand. (Dipper instruments are probably an exception to all that I've outlined above but the relative rarity of his concertinas, his age, and his tremendous backlog mean that you can't order one realistically and expect to see it before he retires.) So for all the reasons I've mentioned, I think Doug is right. It is highly unlikely that the seller will get his premium price although I wish him well with the sale. Ross Schlabach
  2. I have a wonderful Sean Fallon two concertina case. He has retired but Frank Edgely took over Sean's concertina case business. Back in 2011 Frank said he initially was only going to make the single cases, but he may have changed his mind since then. You could check with him to see if he has expanded his offerings to once again offer two concertina cases. Ross Schlabach
  3. RP3

    Hohner Presswood D/G Melodeon - Bandoneon Tuning

    Yep, best to cover all your bases. Ross Schlabach
  4. RP3

    Hohner Presswood D/G Melodeon - Bandoneon Tuning

    You will likely have better success trying to sell this instrument over on Melodeon.net. But good luck in any case. Ross Schlabach
  5. RP3

    Secondary Key: Ab/Eb vs Bb/F

    One thing to consider that no one has mentioned so far is responsiveness. Even with the better quality instruments, the lower in pitch you go, the more air it takes to move the now longer and heavier reeds. So you can not expect to play as fast on a G/D or an Ab/Eb as you can play on a C/G. The difference between a C/G and a Bb/F will be much smaller. Of course, if you are Cormac Begley, it hardly matters! Put another way, if you hope to play this new instrument in lively sessions, then a Bb/F might be the better choice than one of the lower pitched instruments. It's just something else to consider. Ross Schlabach
  6. RP3

    Kensignton On Order

    Dan, I have known Dana since my first year In NHICS way back in 1996. Not only is he a wonderful person to deal with, but I consider him a modern day Ben Franklin with curiosity, interest and knowledge in a myriad of disciplines. And it is this curiosity and unending desire to learn that makes him a highly talented concertina maker. I know you will be delighted with your Kensington when it arrives. See you next year back in Cincy! Ross Schlabach
  7. Well, Wunks I have another possible alternative, but first you have to answer a question. If all the other musicians have tunable instruments like guitar, fiddle and such, then it should not be great burden to ask them to tune to you. That way, you never have to risk losing that wonderful honk. Just sayin.... Ross Schlabach
  8. Oh yes, thanks for the memory. I now remember that you were able to give us a geology lesson along the way! That was my second class. Seems so long ago that it was another lifetime! Over the intervening years, I have missed two classes. But to me the total count is far less important than the fact that I haven't given up. Of course, now my class experience is more about renewing friendships and getting my musical batteries recharged than it is about trying to become the next concertina virtuoso. The added benefit is that each year I discover a new special tune or two which will become part of my repertoire. Ross Schlabach
  9. I'm in my 21st or 22nd year at NHICS - I'm getting too old to remember which - and the vast majority have been at the Midwest Class. So I will be looking forward to seeing both of you there starting on Sunday. We don't have the monster contingent that both the East Coast and the West Coast classes generate but that's much the better for us for one-on-one Class time with Noel. I always get my musical batteries recharged at NHICS. I'm just not looking forward to the drive. It is only about 7-1/2 hours but much of it is in a straight line up Interstate 75 to Cincinnati, and both RSI and arthritis tend to crop up when hanging on to the steering wheel for that long at my age. Nevertheless, there’s Tylenol to help me recover so by half 9 on Monday I'll be raring to go. For any Anglo player who would like to learn as much as possible in just 5 days and have a great experience while doing it should consider attending one of the NHICS classes. The cost is exceptionally reasonable - especially when compared to some of the workshops offered in other disciplines. I've seen a significant number of weekend painting classes that cost more and give you so much less. To quote an old TV ad: “Try it, you’ll like it!” Ross Schlabach
  10. RP3

    NHICS 2018 in Cincinatti in July

    Dan, I should have mentioned earlier to be sure to bring a good recording device with lots of memory cards, and batteries or a recharger as appropriate. There will be lots to record. If you like having munchies around, you might want to bring some. There are not any stores in walking distance. As for the guitar, suit yourself. We usually have a session or two, and folks have brought guitars to it. More than a guitar or two will likely raise eyebrows. Besides, you're there to learn concertina. Ross
  11. RP3


    As an aside, I think the language normally associated with tango as it comes from Argentina is Portuguese and not Spanish. And if you think that the Bandoneon for tango is where you might want to go, search on the internet for “The Last Bandoneon” which is a film about the Bandoneon and tango. Wonderful film and fabulous music! Ross Schlabach
  12. In another hobby which will remain nameless, I have made lots of cases for carrying these heavy items. The material I find best is Baltic birch plywood. It has many layers, even in thinner sizes, is well laid up and glued, and cuts cleanly. While I am aware that our concertinas are very small and light, I wouldn't in good conscience ever recommend Luann plywood. That the material is light is about its only redeeming feature other than maybe its mahogany color. Luann plywood is made cheaply, and is frequently only three layers with poor quality wood at its core - making it prone to warpage. Voids are common and because it is soft and light, it can be difficult to cut cleanly. Laser cutting can solve the clean cut issue, but I would be concerned about warpage and general weakness of the material. My recommendation would be to search out a plywood supplier, like Wurth here in the Southeast US, and see the wide range of better quality materials available. As for Masonite, don't get me started! All the same, good luck with your project. Ross Schlabach
  13. RP3

    Amusing Carpentry Capers

    The Small Dipper Cotswold that I ordered new from Colin and received around 2000 had, as Dana suspected, a Cuban Mahogany action pan and raised action board. Even this pan had opposing double tapered dovetail joints of sycamore or similar material for additional stability and they were finished on their outer surface with some kind of lacquer or varnish. The Reed pans appeared to be sycamore or a very similar looking wood. The whole thing was very stable throughout the year to humidity changes. The only time there was any observable change was one of the years when the Noel Hill August class was held at Pete Gibbons' home and we were forced by lack of space to practice outside in the very humid New York heat, and my reed pans swelled up - choking a couple of reeds. But with a return the following week to more hospitable conditions in western North Carolina, the Dipper returned to its happy self. In a similar case of re-claimed materials, I purchased from Jürgen Suttner an Ab/Eb with ends and sides made from ebony salvaged, so I was told, from the door of an old church in Germany. While CITIES would not be friendly to such a move these days, it was quite special to receive that instrument back in the day. Nevertheless, I think folks like Jake and Jürgen are to be applauded for keeping rare stocks of wood from going to waste - even it if it means the resulting instruments can never leave home. Ross Schlabach
  14. RP3

    Wanted: Old Leather Concertina Case

    Dear Magpie, just a note of caution. The old original leather concertina cases when upright placed the instruments on one end, and this could result in all the valves on the other end sagging. And the cases were frequently so tight that they would rub on the bellows and wooden ends. So if you intend to have one for regular use with a Concertina (not advisable), you should make sure the case has plenty of clearance for your instrument and make a reliable and safe modification to the case so that the case and concertina will instead sit on its side. Good luck with your hunt. Ross Schlabach
  15. RP3

    Dipper Anglo

    Judging Dippers and their prices by that one eBay listing is very misleading. That instrument was a real “one off” and may have been considered one his early Shantyman creations which were things of beauty as well as great concertinas. It was originally priced at a ridiculous level, but finally sold at a more reasonable price. About 3 years ago I sold a small Dipper Cotswold for near the same money (suggesting the market is still there for Dippers). It was a great little players instrument which played and looked beautiful. The market is somewhat softer for most concertinas than it was around 2007 before the crash. But even considering that, Dippers are rare instruments that hold their value well, play as good as they look, and they don't sit around long. Do not expect to find much of a bargain where Dippers are concerned, and as is true with any concertina, playing before buying is always highly recommended. Good luck in your search. Ross Schlabach