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RP3

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  1. Hi Lawrence, This is very good news. For those who are not aware, Florence taught concertina at the Southeast Tionol held in the Atlanta, Ga. area this spring, and her class was very well attended. Florence is a lovely player and came to class very well prepared with copies of all the tunes she was teaching -- even though she was doing the actual class sessions by ear. Even though classes only ran for about a day and a half, she covered a lot of tunes with us -- many being ones I had not been exposed to elsewhere. I am already committed to attending and I am even more delighted knowing that Florence will be our tutor! Ross Schlabach
  2. David, I agree with Paul. I too have a 28 button Jeffries and the fretwork was identical. The ends on my Jeffries are the same outline and the same color - stained wood, not black. The strap adjusting knobs looked the same too. We couldn't determine the key -- other reeds were sounding. That could have meant a stuck button or a warped reed pan or whatever. Can you explain why you thought it didn't look like a Jeffries -- other than the obvious of no stamped name?? Ross Schlabach
  3. Hi Paul, I was thinking along the same lines, but I had the seller look all over the outside of the instrument and there was no stamping anywhere. I did compare the filigreed ends with my 28 button Jeffries and they matched perfectly and the filigree work was much finer than any I had seen on similar vintage Crabbs or Ball Beavon concertinas. When I spoke with the seller and she tried playing different buttons, multiple notes sounded and made it almost impossible to evaluate the instrument -- soundwise or pitchwise. Without looking at the reeds, it would have been very hard to come to any conclusion and even there it would have been at best an educated guess. The instrument had apparently had the pads redone at some time cause they looked too new to be original. And, of course the bellows had the same papers and stamping as on Jeffries, Crabb and Ball Beavon so no help there. Any other reasons you suspected it to be an unstamped Jeffries? Ross
  4. Today an auction finished and there was no one talking about it on this forum -- normally people here are quick to draw attention to it: http://cgi.ebay.com/30-Button-Anglo-Concertina-w-CASE-SUPER-VINTAGE-/280569471412?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41533e61b4#ht_5158wt_1141 The concertina was not in very good shape and I tried to work with the seller to determine the pitch but was unsuccessful. I'd be interested to learn what others have concluded about this concertina and whether they think the buyer (not me - my bid was too low) got a good deal or not. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  5. I plan on making the trip too. I had a great time at the one this year in Atlanta. We had lots and lots of concertina students, so hopefully we can fill the enrollment requirements again. Ross Schlabach
  6. Carl, Ben is not "jerking you around" with regards to the potential value of your instrument. There are some Wheatstone models that have held their value quite well over the years and there are others that temporarily shot up during periods of concertina shortages. But in the last few years there has been the combination of a Worldwide economic downturn and an increase in new sources for concertinas plus an increased supply of older instruments coming from your part of the world. These factors have had a downward effect on those concertinas that were only OK to Fair but were below the top quality tier of instruments. If you can look at recent eBay auction results here in the US, you may see that even Wheaststone Aeola model anglos -- among the most expensive models that Wheatstone sold -- have gone without buyers at prices below $4,000. If you are able to open and photograph the inside of your instrument (showing the button levers and the reedpans) and post those photos, it may be possible to better assess the value of your concertina. Wheatstone made a number of concertinas with aluminum reedframes and hook type actions, and models with those features are generally much less desirable to your potential buyers. Most of the folks on this forum will try to give you an accurate assessment and not be trying to defraud you. Should someone post any unfairly negative info with the intent to force your prices down, I'm sure others on the forum will be quick to de-bunk any misleading statements. So let us try to help you, and I feel sure you'll get reasonable information. Also keep in mind that you need to be realistic in evaluating the value of your concertina. Just because a friend said it was worth thousands doesn't make it so. But listen to what forum members say after reviewing pictures of the interior of your concertina, and then I think you'll get a better indication of what your concertina is worth on the market. Then you can choose to keep or sell it at your whim. Ross Schlabach
  7. Michael, in addition to the possibility of the concertina getting stuck in the case, there's a more important issue of valves. When sitting upended in a jug case, one set of valves lies nice and flat while the other set is being tugged on by gravity and may ultimately develop a set that keeps them from resting snugly against the reedpan. So storing a concertina on its sides instead is a better -- if still not perfect -- option. But yes, the case does look neat. Ross Schlabach
  8. David, you're forgetting that I'm a Leftie, so putting the concertina above my left knee would mean managing the movement of the instrument with my weaker right hand. Hence the right knee placement. I tried it the way Noel prefers, but I have never been successful. Noel has criticized me about it before -- but after 15 years in his class, he has learned to tolerate my deviation. One negative of my positioning, is that the placement on one knee or the other allows that knee to reflect the sound from that side of the instrument. With Noel using and recommending the left knee, his placement reinforces the lower notes from the left side of the concertina. Since I am using the other knee, my placement results in emphasis of the higher notes. So Noel suggests that I actually let my concertina rest above both knees for a more even sound. When I can do that, I do notice the improvement and I imagine folks sitting in front of me could too. Squeeze on, Ross Schlabach
  9. David, from that one photo it does look like a Lachenal. Im surprised the number is not much higher -- like over 100000 -- but I'm no expert on English models. Welcome back to the free reed fold and hope you enjoy your new squeeze. Ross Schlabach
  10. David, we had a couple of tunes by Finbarr Dwyer, "Noel Hill's Fancy" by Jerry Holland and "Splendid Isolation" by Brendan McGlinchey as well as several others I can't quote off the top of my head. This last one, Splendid Isolation, is really an excellent tune and one that is giving my fingers fits. After years of teaching us the fingerings that he favors for G and D tunes (and related minors), this year Noel threw us a real curve with some C row based tunes. It was like Star Trek: my fingers were going where they had never been before! Once again no year goes by at Noel's school without you having an opportunity to learn something new. Noel challenged us with these tunes, and we now have plenty of work for the winter. On a related note, for those of you who considered coming to one of Noel's classes but didn't, we had room easily for 5-7 more students at the Mid West venue and you ought to think about joining us there next year. Happy squeezing, Ross Schlabach
  11. The photos are really nice. It looks like the new site is a big improvement over past years at the East Durham location. Hope everybody had a good time. It also looks like Noel is getting more like the rest of us with some "snow on the roof"!! I'm looking forward to heading out to my class tomorrow. Ross
  12. I too would be very worried about taking the Dipper on that kind of trip. In addition to the risk of theft, the issue of low humidity is very worrisome. Wood can lose moisture several times faster than it can absorb moisture, so exposure to low humidity conditions for any extended period for an instrument made in a high humidity environment would be risky. If you want to take a concertina with you to the Far East, I would recommend that you take a less valuable instrument instead -- something you could afford to lose. Several years ago, I took my Dipper just to Ireland, and knowing that nice concertinas had been stolen there, mine went with me virtually everywhere I went. It was nerve-wracking. In Asia I would go crazy over trying to protect it. I know you probably love our Dipper like I love mine, but I'd leave it home in the care of a very trusted relative or friend rather than taking it to exotic environments. Just my two cents...... Ross Schlabach
  13. Certainly not David. It would be an upgrade! Ross
  14. About this time each year, I'm getting antsy waiting for the annual NHICS classes to start. And this year is no different. On account of the much shorter drive (350 miles versus over 800 one way), I have been attending the Mid West class. I truly miss a bunch of old friends of the East Coast class but have made a nice batch of new ones in Erlanger. Dana, I for one would be delighted to see you and Becky and your little girl (bet she's grown a lot since last I saw her) if the spirit moves. What with Wally and the Carroll Concertina shop doings and Greg's incessant CAD and repairs, plus Randall's seemingly bottomless collection of miniatures and such, we have a great time and a delightful assortment of concertinas to view, play and listen to. Now if we could just get the folks to take up the carpet in the "class room" so we'd have a bit more lively acoustics, then it would be grand. So, yes I'll be there. You couldn't keep me away! Ross Schlabach
  15. My Dipper was delivered in 1991 and is serial number 406 (I've forgotten - it's not stamped on the outside), so the number assignments are apparently not a good way to judge Colin's production. I would also note that this instrument sounded "different to my ears" than some of the older Dippers I had played in the past. But that is merely personal opinion. One notable difference is that it seems that many more of Dipper's early Clare models had metal ends and these definitely changed the overall sound of the instrument -- with later wooden ended models like mine having a more mellow character. But they all have that wonderful bite and rich tone. And every one I played had a marvelous action that almost anticipated the notes you were about to play. As far as the price of Dippers are concerned, I think that Dipper set far too low a price to start with. I expect this has something to do with the size of his backlog. It's wonderful for concertina players around the world that he has done this, but it doesn't benefit him. The beneficiaries are those of us playing these fine instruments and those people who later decide to sell their instruments. I wish the seller the best success in selling your Dipper -- and don't apologize for your price objective. It's your instrument and you have the right to set the rules! Ross Schlabach
  16. I know this is a concertina website, but our members are interested in all things free reed, so here goes. I am selling a Castagnari Dinn III with what I thing is Swing tuning with LMM reeds. This is a custom model with stops for both the low reeds on the keyboard and a stop to remove the thirds from the bass notes. It also has a special "cutaway" feature on the bass side that makes the bass notes easier to reach. My being left-handed is inhibiting my my progress on this instrument -- but it is my old hands and not the instrument at fault. The accordion comes with both soft and hard cases and is in excellent, almost unused condition. Asking $2,300. Contact Ross Schlabach at rpsqueezer(no spam)@gmail.com or 828no894spam5504. http://picasaweb.google.com/delaney.ed/CastagnariDinnIII?feat=directlink
  17. As a very long-time student at Noel's classes and advocate for his program, I have made my opinion known here previously and won't bore you with it again. But you should know that some years ago, Noel was working on just the book that many of you seem to favor. One year he took that manuscript with him to Willie Week and someone stole it. Since that time, he has -- with fits and starts -- been working to recreate the project again, but it is slow going and often has to take a back seat to the daily grind of earning a living and raising a family as a single parent. There are also supposed to be people in Ireland helping him with the computer work to transcribe the appropriate tunes. Hopefully he will be able to bring this project to publication soon and we can put this recurring issue behind us. In the meantime, I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in learning anglo concertina from a master, to sign up for Noel's course. I've been doing them every year since 1996 -- save one -- and each year is a new treat for me. Best regards to all, Ross Schlabach
  18. I have known Greg for a number of years from the Noel Hill school and highly regard his skills with concertina repairs and tuning. It was great to see him again and participate in his repair clinic. We hardy had enough time to scratch the surface, but the session was very informative. He also seems to have a real knack for finding and fixing up worthy instruments which he then offers for sale. Larry wasn't the only one drooling!! The concertina workshops at the Tionol were an enjoyable experience and I hope they will be repeated again next year at Orlando. I know I want to attend again. Ross Schlabach
  19. The SE Tionol was well organized, had great instructors and performers, was a very good value for the money and lots of fun. It was my first but won't be my last. Hat's off to Gary White and team for a great weekend. And Florence was a very well prepared and delightful teacher - plus an excellent player with very nice tunes. I hope they invite her back again next year. Can you tell I enjoyed myself?? Try it, you'll like it! Ross Schlabach
  20. I'm signed up too!! See ya there. Glad Wally is going to have you bring the new compact model "Carroll". Can't wait to compare it to my Dipper. Ross Schlabach
  21. Hi Laurence. My tinas and I will be heading to the Tionol at the end of this month and hope to see you there. If you have any recommendation as to which hotel most attendees are heading for, I'd appreciate it. Ross Schlabach
  22. Normally "high-pitch" is a way of telling the reader that the instrument has not been retuned to the modern standard of A=440. So a Bb/F instrument that is described as high pitch will probably have A=446 or something close to that. If I remember correctly, the modern tuning was not adopted until somewhere around 1921. So instruments made before that date will likely be "high pitch" unless they have been retuned after the musical world accepted A=440 as the standard concert pitch. Ross Schlabach
  23. Ian, you might want to consider putting your foreign exchange concerns into perspective when considering your concertina plans. Yes, the pound is down from an abnormally high exchange rate of about $2.00 to the pound, but the British pound is still up more than 15% against the dollar over the last 13 years. Make no mistake, the dollar is still seriously down against virtually all the major world currencies with little hope of major recovery. Your cost of buying a Morse are probably as good now as they'll ever be -- current situation considered. Good luck and good squeezing. Ross Schlabach
  24. Michael, I have a 28 button Jeffries and faced the same dilemma some time back. I would recommend that you find a top repairman to find, tune and install a second C# on that button. As for the proper place for that Eb; I would recommend in a drawer -- safely stored and labeled in case you ever want it back. But in the 10 or so years since I made the change, I've never questioned my decision. Good luck -- and you'll enjoy having that second C#. Of course it kinda makes your anglo into a partial English with the same note in both directions, but I won't tell if you don't! Ross Schlabach
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