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Everything posted by RP3

  1. Judging from the man's reply to the request for more pictures of the concertina, his reply is so rambling and incoherent that it appears he isn't playing with a full deck! I would avoid him at all costs and certainly stay away from his auctions. Ross Schlabach
  2. I'm envious. Those are great players and I think you will have a great time. Ross Schlabach
  3. I'd like to add my two cents worth here since there has been some questioning of sales motives. I have developed over the years a great fondness for Jeffries concertinas. I find the button spacing and air button placement is ideal for someone like me with large hands. I'd love to be able to own and play a Linota but they just don't seem to fit my hands. I expect that the Wheatstone concertina layouts were greatly influenced by the patrician customers they had at the time, and I expect that Jeffries concertinas were designed to fit the hands of their predominant clientelle which I imagine were working men. So I echo Paul's comments and those of the seller, Sean, that the Jeffries concertinas can just be right when no other concertina will seem to do. Whether it's layout or tone or some other intangible; for me at least and maybe some others: it's real. Best regards, Ross Schlabach
  4. Many years ago at the NESI, one of the participants showed up with what I remember as a Wheatstone (English I think) that he had embellished with bellows papers made from fine cigar labels. I can't envision puffing on that many cigars, or even one for that matter. But I find Ken's way of doing it sublime. Slainte! Ross Schlabach
  5. RP3

    Carroll Concertina

    The Carroll has been sold and will shortly be heading to its new home. Ross Schlabach
  6. Phil, it might not affect the playability, it could affect the sound; but it would definitely affect the value. I'm surprised our forum's experts haven't stepped up with some useful information. They may come through for you yet. Ross Schlabach
  7. Phil, I would not get too concerned about the quiet on this auction since most action occurs in the last few minutes/seconds. What would concern me are the ends. Admitedly, I am no expert on Lachenal concertinas but those metal ends look questionable and may be replacements or might have been media blasted or otherwise altered. Do we have any experts on these Edeophones who can shed some light on this instrument? If these ends are genuine, then my suggestion would be to limit one's maximum bid to what you feel the instrument is worth to you. Then you can't get burned unless there are some hidden problems with the instrument -- which would be the case regardless of what you paid. Ross Schlabach
  8. Steve, I think there are a number of factors playing into these recent low prices. Generally speaking, the economic situation is undoubtedly having an impact with monetary crises in Greece, Spain, Italy and the like. Of course the US isn't much better if at all. Then there's the instruments themselves and the sales venues. Judging from the pictures, the Baritone? edeophone did not look well cared for and the dirt and such on the bellows would suggest possible problems there too. Consider also that there has been a larger than usual volume of English concertinas on eBay recently and there's a possibility that the English concertina market might be temporarily overloaded with excess supply -- depressing prices. Of course, Baritones are less sought after than trebles. Then there's the venues. These private auction galleries are somewhat obscure and local in nature and don't or won't do the necessary marketing to raise awareness on upcoming auctions. If any/some/or all of these factors in play, then the prices realized will be depressed. As to John Nixon's concertina, it would only bring a better price if the provenance is worth something to buyers. IMHO, collectors are the only potential buyers to whom provenance is of much interest and collectors are not a big part of our concertina world except maybe when it comes to certain Jeffries, Wheatstone anglos and other rare models. Provenance is far less important to a playing musician than the playing quality and tone of the instrument itself. Since even on eBay the prices English models have been bringing of late are lower, it's my suggestion that the world & especially European economic situation is having some effect on the market and possibly the demand for English models is reduced. And anglo prices have even shown some signs of softness with the Irish economic crisis undoubtedly playing a part on this segment of the market. It will be interesting to see if prices for English models regain their footing or not. I've thought that over the past couple of years some anglo prices have gone up outrageously and outpaced the ability of most players to afford them. That could result in more fine concertinas either lounging in dealers' inventory or ending up exclusively in collections instead of the hands of players -- a shame indeed. Ross Schlabach
  9. Congrats on the nice Jeffries. Since you asked for a manufacturer without a long waiting list, it's interesting that you mentioned the current Wheatstone. I doubt you could find a company with a longer and slower waiting list. Actually though, just about every concertina builder worth considering already have long waiting lists. But you wanted a traditionally built 40 button instrument, so you might want to consider an original Wheatstone. The 40 button models are generally less sought after than 30 & 38 button models. It may be hard to find a G/D model with all the traditional features but it will probably be preferrable to getting on someone's waiting list. In fact I'm not aware of any of the well known builders who routinely build a 40 button model. Do be aware that a lot of the 40 button Wheatstones available and ocassionally seen on eBay are later models that may not have all the older traditional construction methods, so check them out carefully. And while you're shopping, you probably want to give Chris Algar a call since he has the best chance of having what you want. Good luck on your hunt. Ross Schlabach
  10. Karen, you may be extremely lucky and find a good samaritan who offers you a mini concertina at a cheap price. But I hope you understand that mini concertinas were made in extremely small numbers almost 100 years ago and are considered highly desirable both as playing instruments and collectors items. For this reason, these concertinas normally have prices that can easily exceed $1,000. In fact there's an English mini concertina on eBay right now with a starting price of $2,350. This is probably too high but you get the point. I just thought you should know the problem you face. But good luck just the same. Ross Schlabach
  11. I find that as I gain in years, I spend less time with each of my 4 anglo concertinas than they deserve. So I have reluctantly decided to downsize and sell my rosewood-ended Carroll concertina. This is a lovely playing and sounding instrument (#10) that was originally made for me as a Bb/F. Later, I asked Wally to build me a C/G reedpan set to go in it, and I got Greg J. to make a nice custom case for it that even has a little compartment that can hold a digital recorder and mini tripod. I think this concertina sounds great in both pitch combinations. For those who care, this concertina has never been subjected to cigarette smoke or the risks associated with sessions in pubs! There's a picture of the ends on the Carroll website;I've included 2 photos with this listing; and I can take additional photos on request. I live in Tryon, North Carolina -- about an hour south of Asheville, and if you would like to try before you buy, I would welcome a visit and test drive. The asking price is $8,000 which is just a bit less than it would cost to order a new Carroll in this twin reed pan set configuration with the custom case. I'm not asking any premium for saving you the 3+ year wait for a new one, so my price is firm. You can reach me via this forum's message system or direct e-mail. I can take PayPal if necessary. Shipping and insurance will be extra and payable by the buyer. Like everybody else, I would like to sell it through the forum and avoid eBay and a donation to Paul for the website is a given. I must unfortunately limit this to US sales on account of hassles with overseas transactions. So this is a great chance for somebody to move up to a top anglo concertina with the special extra of a second reedpan set. Ross Schlabach rpsqueezer<nospam>@gmail.com
  12. Do note that this instrument -- though apparently made at 23 Praed Street -- is a Jeffries Bros instrument and not a C Jeffries concertina. Ross Schlabach
  13. I was at Swananoa some years back and Father Charlie was teaching our concertina class. He was having problems with multiple notes sounding on one side of his concertina. I didn't have my full tool kit, so I drove to the nearest CVS and picked up some Mole Skin and a pack of razor blades. We met that afternoon and I was able to use the mole skin to seal a couple of offending chambers. Once it was back together and working, I got to share a wonderful private session with him. Ross Schlabach
  14. Since Edeophones were English models (discounting the very rare 12 sided Lachenal/Wheatstones like that of Grey Larson that weren't true Edeophones), might these two levers be bowing valves? Ross Schlabach
  15. RP3

    maybe worth a look

    Oops! You're right on both counts Jim. Ross Schlabach
  16. RP3

    maybe worth a look

    David, If you like the characteristics of the tone of your B/F#, then retuning is always risky. You can never be guaranteed that the character will remain as you like it. But if you don't have a suitable C/G, then retuning the B/F# up might make sense to make it your primary session instrument. Otherwise, keeping the current tuning or dropping it to Bb/F will keep it in a range that really sounds good on Anglos. I'm familiar with Greg's retuned B/F# and before it was retuned to Bb/F, it wasn't tuned to modern standards and since its tuning was closer to Bb/F (half step) than it was to C/G (full step), going to Bb involved less reed filing. IMHO, the retuning improved the tone of the concertina and made it's pitch more distinct from C/Gs. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  17. RP3

    maybe worth a look

    I can attest to Greg's comments about his 28 button Jeffries. I got some time to try it and I was impressed with both the tone and the action. All in all, a tasty Jeffries! Ross Schlabach
  18. RP3

    maybe worth a look

    Geoff, Do you know what the original tuning was? Thanks for your help and comments, Ross Schlabach
  19. I'm another leftie and believe that all the assumptions about the instrument favoring the righties are bunk! I play ITM on my Anglo with lots of years teaching from Noel Hill and I think the Anglo let's me do just fine. I admit I do prefer tunes with more bass emphasis, but many of the popular tunes are of that construction. I agree that much of the right hand notes are too high and not terribly usefu or enjoyablel. Many of the tunes are centered around the first two+ columns of notes both left and right giving both lecture and righties equal enjoyment on the Anglo. I also play hammer dulcimer and find it's layout similarl satisfying. So if one is a lefty, feel no shame or worry. Jump right in to the Anglo and have a ball. Ross Schlabach
  20. This concertina looks like a Lachenal. You can see a similar one for sale on the Button Box website at the page for Instruments in Stock and see the price they are asking. The value of yours could be more or less depending on the tuning, condition of the bellows/reeds and other key parts. Good luck, Ross Schlabach
  21. Honora, First, are you sure that your air button is on the left side? All Anglos I've ever been exposed to have the air button on the right. If there is that same extra button on the left, it is normally a drone button. But back to the issue of awkward distance to the air button. You didn't mention the concertina brand you are dealing with. Some do have more uncomfortable hand rest positions than others. The hand rest is not that hard to move and can be shifted somewhat without destroying the playability of the instrument but increments need to be small. Your description of the problem as being 1cm too far does not seem correct. Air buttons can be awkward to access but not by that much. If you could post a picture to help, maybe we can offer useful suggestions and knowing the brand of Anglo would help too. You are putting your hand all the way into the straps aren't you? I know that sounds condescending, but it is meant honestly and without malice. A little more info like the above would help. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  22. Hi Stephen. Greg Jowaisas is a very reputable tuner and concertina repairman, and he lives just outside Cincinnati. He'll be with us in Noel Hill's Midwest class next week but you can probably catch him with a PM on this site. He did great tuning and touch-up jobs on my Dipper and Carroll concertinas in the past 12 months. Highly recommended! Ross Schlabach
  23. There is some value to what you both are saying. Yes, there are more people making concertinas -- but if you look just at the output of one maker, you'll see that there is no flood of instruments coming. Wally Carroll produces less than 30 concertinas a year, and I expect that Dana Johnson makes fewer than that, and Jeff Thomas an even smaller number. Dipper or Suttner? Who knows? So one shouldn't make too much about the number of new instruments coming into the market. And yes, many of the Dippers, Suttner and Carrolls are going to existing players rather than new ones. As to market prices, I can see value to the argument that the market is overinflated and due for a correction. I've been told that Chris Algar has an accumulation of nice concertinas and that his sales are down. It may be true, but equally true is the fact that he frequently is the high bidder on eBay when a decent concertina shows up on the market. Is he trying to keep prices up, or does he see a bargain -- or is he completely out of touch with the condition of the market? One would certainly doubt the latter given his experience. He could be trying to keep market prices up, but that is usually a fool's errand -- one doesn't have enough money to corner the market. Ask the Hunt brothers about their attempts to corner the silver market and they had very deep pockets -- at one time. And, as people sometimes remember to quote, the fair market price is the price that some buyer is actually willing to pay! There is no doubt that the Irish market is probably much softer, but the demand may still be there. Families may instead spring for a second-hand Carroll instead of a higher-priced Linota. This might mean a few more vintage instruments go elsewhere but if prices are affected at all, I think it will be in a longer plateau before they start rising again -- rather than a fall, much as I would appreciate the latter too! The number of Jeffries, fine Wheatstones, and such will never grow! That always, for better or worse, makes for a sellers' market. I didn't mention the lower-priced makers before because I think they are filling a different market niche: one for people who want to take up the instrument but are either unwilling or unable to pay the higher prices commanded for vintage instruments or by some of the better makers. And just because someone is willing to buy one of the lower-priced concertinas doesn't mean he or she will ultimately acquire a Dipper or Jeffries down the road. Some may be quite happy with one of the hybrids and not see a need to move up. Job uncertainty may put paid to others' hope for a better concertina. So I think that, as always has been the case, the concertina market continues to serve two distinct groups of buyers: those seeking the highest quality (for whatever reason) and those seeking the greatest economy. The names of the makers change and hopefully the quality of instruments improves as certain older ones just fall apart. The combined market (demand) may be larger but so is the overall supply -- if only minimally. And, aside from the impact of the current world economic malaise on all consumer purchases (which may or may not be permanent), I don't see any reason to hope for a downturn in concertina prices. One can put one's money aside and hope for that downturn to materialize, but during that time, good playing time has slipped by and lost forever. Everyone has to decide for him or herself how much value to place on having a nice concertina. For the reasons I've just outlined, I, for one, just don't see that there is any real opportunity to be gained by sitting back waiting for a hoped for drop in concertina prices. Ross Schlabach
  24. It's now down to 20 days. I've been going for the last 15 years and each year I still get all pumped up as NHICS class time rolls around. It's always a blast to relax in the lounge and welcome other returning and new class members. And the chance to try out each others' concertinas is a special experience. Tis a magic moment to watch a newcomer's face light up as they try out a Dipper, Wheatstone or Jeffries for the first time; and virtually everyone reserves a special pride for their own concertina and a tune they worked so hard over the winter to master. And all this happens on Sunday -- before class even begins! Then on Monday at half nine, the challenge begins. We all try to absorb as much music and concertina culture as the hours and our "little gray cells" will permit. Noel can make magic with every concertina he picks up, and the new tunes -- both in and out of class -- are far more than just daily assignments. They are individual challenges to make your fingers do things they haven't done before and make music you hadn't thought possible just a few days ago. If you've shared this journey, you know what I mean. If not, then maybe you ought to join us too and experience it for yourself. I hope this doesn't come off sounding like a crass marketing promotion; I'm just trying to share my enthusiasm. At age 65, my fingers may be (are) slowing down but not my enjoyment of the annual experience and the music. I hope to still be doing this at 70! 75? Ross Schlabach
  25. Sadly, I probably won't be able to make Miltown next year what with Noel's class coming so close behind (and that's my annual big concertina week). But I do plan to be back at the SE Tionol in 2012 in Atlanta if the concertina class returns. IMHO, Flo has been an excellent teacher and brings lovely tunes with her. Ross Schlabach
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