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Everything posted by RP3

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. RP3

    lachenal 26keys fs

    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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Well David, you've got to tell us which one the parents sprung for: the Linota or the Carroll? Inquiring minds want to know! Best regards and hope Miltown was a blast, Ross Schlabach
  7. RP3

    Another one on Ebay...

    This Lachenal is probably priced more than twice what it is likely worth in it's current condition. There are always the questions of bellows condition, structure, reeds, and the other internal components that can raise repair costs. Even without bellows replacement, this instrument might need over $1,000 in work and still not be worth more than say $2,700. Look at the Button Box site and you'll see some similar models not selling at this price, showing that the seller's expectations are unreasonable. Ross Schlabach
  8. I have to agree that this is a re-badged something: Crabb or otherwise. My reasoning is that the label shows this instrument as coming from the 23 Praed Street location. They did not move to this location until 1891 which is some 21 years after their first recorded location at White Lion Passage. I don't think anyone knows for sure when Jeffries started making their own instruments, but it is reasonable to assume that after at least 21 years, they were probably doing their own building. Of course, if Geoff or someone else has contrary information, I'd love to hear it. Of course, a way to see if this 'tina is in any way a Jeffries is to open it up and look at the reeds. Ross Schlabach
  9. Randy, I'm shocked! You were brought low by a little olde appendix? I wouldn't have thought your devotion to photocopying would have allowed you to miss class -- even for an appendix! Glad you'll be there -- minus appendix! I second Randy's assessment of the facilities. Marydale has been the MidWest NHICS home for number of years and is a delightful and relaxing place to learn concertina. Each participant has a nice quiet room to sleep in and a separate one to practice in. It works out great. The grounds are pleasant for those who need some walking exercise or prefer to practice outside. (Beware, Noel sets a wicked walking pace!!) And there is a large, comfortable lounge for tunes, conversation, and beverages. The airport is not even 5 miles away so getting to and from flights is no problem. It's nicely air conditioned too! Hope we'll see You there. Ross Schlabach
  10. There are considerable numbers of tunes that are not very bellows friendly but are intimate members of the IT repertoire. A perfect example is ironically The Concertina Reel! And there are others that do fit the "no air button" pattern. But more than a few times I've encountered IT tunes that are commonly played on fiddle but are very difficult on Anglo. When you consider that many tunes are made to fit the no air pattern by careful selection among the fingering options available on an Anglo, I think the basic assumption is interesting but incorrect. Ross Schlabach
  11. I'm coming back for my annual thrashing! Wish I'd taken up the anglo before I turned 49! This makes #16 for me. Looking forward to seeing new and old faces as well as trying out some different 'Tinas! Ross Schlabach
  12. Get in line and make sure your checkbook is well padded! Ross Schlabach
  13. I'd hate to see this thread turn into a subtle bashing of an unnamed player/teacher. But rather then pick on the teacher, let's remember that each student needs to do more than just learn the rules -- they also need to become proficient enough to know when the rules need to be disregarded or just don't fit the tune. One way to develop this skill is to take classes from multiple instructors and get exposed to different styles and fingering. I recently attended classes taught by Florence Fahy. The wonderful tunes she taught us come from northern Clare and are played along the rows, and my training thus far had been primarily across the rows -- so I did have a fingering challenge. But rather than criticize any teacher, this showed me that I could benefit from more time spent learning the alternate fingerings and when each is more appropriate. And I didn't have too difficult a time adapting in class. With regard to Frank's comment about the B, C, C# triplet, this "nameless teacher" is not locked into draw B and Cs and does advocate switching to press combinations for situations like this if it is more comfortable for the tune. Possibly some students are misinterpreting the focus on certain fingerings as some kind of law never to be broken, but I've attended these classes long enough to know better. Ross Schlabach
  14. Greg did post a picture of this concertina in his Christmas concertina pyramid. Look back to his December postings and you'll see a picture of this concertina. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  15. While I won't go quite so far as David Levine in endorsing Noel's class, I can say that I have been participating in the NHICS since 1996 and believe it to be an outstanding learning experience. And at the same time I have attended classes in other venues with other instructors -- including attending the Swannanoa Gathering on multiple occasions. Out of these different teaching venues, I would rate Noel's class as being the best for learning concertina. Some people -- mostly people who have never attended his class -- seem to think he is some kind of a tyrant in his teaching methods. This is far from being the truth. But I would caution any new NHICS student that Noel will expect you to learn his fingering methods first and progress to tunes next. Some find this off-putting but once you have his method down, you will find it greatly eases your further progress. Should you be concerned that this will limit the number of tunes you get exposed to, relax. Noel teaches two tunes a day and provides a whole winter's worth in the Friday wrap-up session. You will get your money's worth and more. Some people want to take a class but are looking as much or more for the total festival experience. If this is your goal, then Noel's class may be too focused for you. If you decide to take Noel's class, I think you will be very pleased with the experience. As with most things, you will get more out of it, if you put more into it -- meaning practice, practice, practice. Hope to meet you in Kentucky with the rest of the faithful! Ross Schlabach
  16. Flanna, I can understand your wanting to avoid the risks associated with eBay, but you might want to re-think your refusal to use PayPal. Your potential purchasers have your same worries about scammers, and PayPal provides them with some of the same protections you want yourself. Now, if your purchasers can all make their purchases in person and therefore pay in cash and take possession as they pay, then my suggestions have no value. But if you must deal with them by e-mail, letters, etc. then my comments should be taken into account. One other way that you can protect yourself and offer some protection to long-distance buyers is to work through a recognized business that can act as an agent for both you and your customer. Another way is to use this forum. This forum tries to be very open and supportive to sellers who themselves are open and cooperative, so you might find some benefit to trying to sell your concertinas through this forum board. Members can frequently suggest ways to arrange for ways to have instruments checked out/verified, point out issues or special features of instruments posted or even means of making delivery. So good luck and hope we can help. Ross Schlabach
  17. Alan, when you spoke to the auction expert, did you by any chance broach the issue of the wrong font on the Jeffries stamping or the possibly of a forgery? Maybe I'm all wet, but the possibility that an instrument got sold as a Jeffries and brought a Jeffries price when it might not have been seems to me a real issue here and the fact that the auction gallery had photos taken of the instrument with it improperly put together doesn't exactly give me much confidence in their "expert"!! I'd be very interested to hear your views. Ross Schlabach
  18. The audio file worked fine on iTunes. Ross Schlabach
  19. Stephen, That's a huge change in reed tuning that would take a lot of metal off the reeds. How did it sound? I also wonder if the larger chamber sizes resulting from the larger overall instrument size was having much effect on the tome?? Ross Schlabach
  20. Hi Lawrence, I just got my Bb/F Carroll back from Greg earlier this week and I will definitely bring it. Had a great time at last year's event, and I'm eagerly looking forward to a repeat good time. Ross Schlabach
  21. Paul, I think you are right about this seller. I haven't done an archive search on our forum, but I do remember that seller being discussed previously in the manner you mentioned. I find any seller's reluctance to list serial numbers very disturbing and off-puting. His unwillingness to give out the serial number could be related to an effort to disguise its vintage, past ownership or any other number of unsavory reasons. But I can't think of any valid reason not to give it since a potential buyer might then be able to search the on-line ledgers and learn more about the instrument. Even without the serial number, the appearance suggests a 1950s or early 60s model, don't you think? Now, continuing in the eBay vein, what should we think about the very sad ?Jeffries? that has also recently come onto eBay? http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-C-JEFFRIES-CONCERTINA-CIRCA-1880-1900-NR-/320649954403?pt=UK_MusicalInstr_Keyboard_RL&hash=item4aa83a0463#ht_712wt_1132 Now there's a real fixer-upper. Ross Schlabach
  22. Hi David, Florence Fahy has moved to the Boston area and is an excellent anglo teacher from North Clare. Here is a website link that can help you get more information about her: http://www.learningmusician.com/flo_fahy She taught at the Southeast Tionol in Atlanta last year and did a great job. Based on that, she also has a nice bunch of tunes! Ross Schlabach
  23. Paul, you have every right to post a response to Greg's posting, but I think it's in poor taste to hijack Greg's thread to basically post an ad of your own. Don't you think you should have posted your ad in a separate thread? Ross Schlabach
  24. Wes, I don't mean to create any friction but I'm not sure I would consider anybody lucky to buy an instrument with worm holes -- without some careful prior investigation and careful fumigation -- two things eBay make nearly impossible! Most folks I know on this side of the pond are seriously scared away by woodworm. Is the English attitude any different? I would also like to pose another question which is related to Ball Beavons in general. What are other peoples' opinion of the BBs. I've had (temporarily) two different BBs and found those two to be inferior in tone to similar vintage labeled Crabbs even though they look virtually identical -- except of course for the Ball Beavon stamping on the wooden sides -- and have similar actions. Thanks for the comments to come and Happy Holidays to all our forum members. Ross Schlabach
  25. Having spent many an hour at the foot of a Hegner scroll saw, I can vouch for the effort that goes into this process. Your work so far looks really nice -- especially now with the finish and the fittings back on. You should be really proud of your hard work. Next time put bigger pictures up so we can really appreciate your craftsmanship. Ross Schlabach
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