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RP3

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  1. I have known Dana since I think 1996 and during that time he was heavily involved in the development of the Morse Ceili. As that was becoming finalized, he branched off to focus on his own, traditional concertina reed, models which have become the Kensington he now sells. I can confirm that he has devoted a lot of time and effort to building an instrument that sounds great and will operate flawlessly for decades. Through his experimentation with traditional reeds, he's developed an instrument with great tone. Admittedly the Dymondwood material may add a bit more to the weight, but this material provides stability that will allow these concertinas to easily last into the next century. And it is quite appealling to look at. As has been pointed out above, Dana also uses a unique palmrest for comfort in playing and easier access to the keys rather than forcing the player to distort his/her fingers to get around the keyboard. As to the loudness discussed above, I think that is merely part of the dynamic capabilities of the instrument. It will play loud if you honk on the bellows or softly if you wish to play an air. I also second the comments about the benefits of having high note reeds that can be heard above the strong bass -- not a lot of instruments can offer that capability. I heartily recommend his instruments as a very attractive alternative to the much higher prices and terminally longer waits for concertinas from the more famous makers across the pond. Ross Schlabach
  2. Hi Ken, No, I thought I had updated my e-mail address but the old one was still on file. I have corrected it now. Anyone trying to reach me please try again at the corrected e-mail address and sorry for the mix-up. And Ken, thanks for the heads up. Ross Schlabach
  3. I have at least one too many concertinas and so one needs to find a new home. This instrument was ordered from Suttner by me and delivered in 2003 if memory serves. It has exquisite solid Ebony ends, wonderful rich tone, and smooth action. It is in virtually new condition because I din't have enough time to give it. I'm asking $4,500 but will consider reasonable offers. If you have questions or would like to see pictures, please contact me by e-mail. Ross Schlabach Western NC
  4. I do not have the technical knowledge to discuss this subject as do Paul and others, but I must agree wholeheartedly with Paul's position about the enjoyment of the harmonies offered by unequal temperment. I have three concertinas: two tuned in equal temperment, and one tuned in unequal temperment. Sessions and similar group playing situations may not offer much opportunity to appreciate the differences between the two types of tuning. However, when I play alone or in quiet group settings, I very much appreciate the sweeter chords offered by the unequal temperment tuning -- and so do the others in the group. It seems that people (musicians included) don't know what they are missing until they have a chance to hear the difference for themselves. So to quote a favorite old TV ad, "Try it, you'll like it!" Ross Schlabach
  5. I just wanted to add my thanks to Michael for purchasing this instrument before the temptation overpowered me to do the same. If memory serves me correctly, I had the delightful opportunity to play that Jeffries at the 2004 Noel Hill class in Kentucky and it is a nice one. Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at the conclusion that it was once a bone-buttoned model? Ross Schlabach
  6. Check out Minidisco.com for details on Sony and other minidisc recorders. Sony makes a couple of models that you can speed up or slow down -- but they are among their more expensive units. Before you buy, make sure that the unit allows a separate mic input. Some don't and those with built-in mics will not provide the best recording quality. Get the mic away from the unit so you don't pick up mechanical noise from the recorder itself. You will be amazed at the sound quality if you get a good mic (Sony makes one for about $100). These recordings can, with the proper software, be transferred to CD with excellent sound. Good luck, Ross
  7. Now, Roy, if you'd gone to class like you were expected to, you would probably already have that coveted #9 by now. And since you are truly a shutterbug, we expect a photo essay when it does arrive. Ross #10 and waiting
  8. Quote from Bill McHale: "Mmm.. Cool. Noel hasn't figured prominently on any CD in more than a decade. With the likes of Tim Collins and Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh producing some stunning CDs, I wonder if Noel is feeling some pressure to maintain his rep as king of Irish Concertina players?" Any musical performer's reputation is built on how he or she plays or sings -- not on how many CDs they put out. And Noel's playing says it all. Having been a regular at Noel's US classes for over 10 years, I am comfortable in saying Noel's CD release has nothing to do with the "pressure" you describe. Noel has been extremely active in playing and teaching both in Ireland and in the US. Take a look at his concert schedule here in the US during his three weeks of teaching classes this summer and you'll see he's a very busy performer. Add to that his responsibilities as a single father to two young children and you will better see that time has been a big limiting factor in his life. Ever since he did some preliminary recording for a new CD back in 1996 at Bucksteep, Noel has kept a new CD project in his mind but never had the time. Then there's the money involved is this process -- which he handled from start to finish. At our 2005 NY NHICS class, Noel told us that he hopes that this CD is like a certain Dublin bus: nothing shows up for a long time, and then there's a string of them. So maybe we'll have a nice series of CDs to look forward to. In the meantime, just enjoy this new CD -- there's some great music on it. Ross
  9. Last year I took my cherished Dipper with me on my return trip to Ireland. I always had it with me - everywhere I went. I had purchased a small back pack and the concertina rode in that backpack everywhere. I wouldn't even leave it alone in our locked room at the B&Bs we stayed in. Inconvenient, yes; but I was always assured that my concertina was safe. The fact that it was disguised by the backpack probably contributed to its safe roundtrip. But in talking about concertina security, I must relay a contrasting observation from an earlier experience. In 1995 I attended my first Northeast Squeeze-In at Bucksteep in Massachussetts. I was delighted to see the wide range of very rare and valuable concertinas casually displayed in the lobby, the Button Box sales room on the front porch of the Lodge -- to be appreciated and played by others. I am a poor sleeper and occassionally rise early. Saturday morning I was up and out for an early morning walk at half six -- when the rest of the free reed world at Bucksteep was sound asleep. Imagine my shock at seeing the very same rare instruments still sitting unattended and unprotected on the porch tables of the lodge. It is still to me an uncommon image of trust among a group of people who share a common love. Unfortunately, the greed of others can destroy that trust in an instant.
  10. Yep, I'm still here. I live in Tryon, NC and work in Spartanburg, SC. But in 7 days I'll be heading out to Noel Hill's NY class. Ross
  11. As the proud holder of reservation #10, I'm happy to see that #7 has emerged from Wally's shop. He's working on both numbers 8 & 9 as we speak, so my own Bb/F isn't all that far away. I haven't had the pleasure of playing one of the Edgley's yet, but I understand they are excellent. Hopefully someone will be beating an electron path to your e-mail in-box soon and the Edgley will be off to charm some new owner. Ross Schlabach Western NC
  12. While I do agree that I see the same "blue hair" trends at many concerts, I can report a more refreshing experience at the Swannanoa Gathering. This is a summer music program that runs over several weeks with each week having a different theme. At Irish Week there is a noticeable presence of young folks taking instrument classes. For instance, violin classes that week have more than doubled in the last two years and the young participants are already showing themselves to be committed, talented, and very energetic. Try keeping up with them on reels and you'll know what I mean. Music, like almost everything else, has fads and fashion, and they change like the weather. There will be a point at which concertinas start to lose some of their charm for certain individuals and the demand for custom made instruments may plateau or even fall. But with websites like Concertina.Net and others, we've spread the word and the music and instrument will endure. As long as we welcome and nurture those "newbies" that want to learn about the instrument and the music, the future will be bright for the music and the instrument we love. Ross Schlabach Western NC
  13. Hi Darcy, You didn't say where you live or what kind of concertina you play. I play anglo and live in Tryon which is about 40 miles South of Asheville. There are a number of players scattered around the state -- but not that many. Let me know what type of concertina you are playing and your location and I'll see if we can't introduce you to someone in your local area. BTW, in early July, Celtic Week is held as part of the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College near Asheville. The spouse of the college president is named Darcy. Not one and the same? If not, you should know that they have a concertina class lined up for this year and a number of concertina players are usually there -- if not for the classes then for the evening sessions. You might want to check it out. Best regards, Ross
  14. It seems that we have once more been invaded by the spammers and worthless merchants of the ether world. It wasn't enough that they had to render eBay almost useless to us for selling our instruments, but now they invade our favorite website too. I hope that Ken or Paul can block "Jonni" and his/her worthless e-mail promotions. Good luck guys and thanks for maintaining a great website. Ross
  15. Bob DeVillis is a resident of the Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and does research and I think also does some teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill. I haven't seen Bob in quite some time, but I did call him last year to see how he was doing. Bob suffered a while back from an extreme case of RSI in both hands and was unable to play any musical instrument for quite some time. I think driving was even quite difficult and painful. His recovery has been slow and he has had to avoid the concertina for some time. Like you Ken, I got a lot from Bob. I first met him at the NESI and we shared tunes during several of the Anglo sessions there. We also participated in several of the concertina classes held at the Swannanoa Gathering. I visited him a couple of times when work took me near to his home each June. Bob hosted wonderful sessions with some fine local musicians and I was thrilled to be allowed to participate in their tune fests. I met some delightful musicians there -- including another fine fiddle and concertina player, Julie Ross. I wish him well and hope he's been able to get back to good playing form. He's a real fine gentleman and a credit to the concertina-playing community.
  16. I have decided to sell my 38 button Ab/Eb Suttner A4 model anglo concertina. This instrument is practically brand new with little use. It was produced for me in 2003 with serial number 178. It has the optional flat ebony ends, Jeffries layout, and the sound is exquisite. At today's exchange rate, this concertina would cost over $5,500 new and you would be looking at a wait of maybe 4 years before you got your hands on it. My asking price for immediate delivery is $5,100 plus actual shipping and insurance (required). I will consider an overseas sale but then payment must be by wire transfer. I don't want to list this on eBay because I don't want the hassle and I'd rather see it go to a serious purchasor who will enjoy it -- even if that means a lower price for me. If you would like a premium flat pitch instrument with no wait, then this may be the instrument for you. Serious inquiries invited.
  17. It's been a while and my memory isn't what it once was but I remember from my last e-mail conversation with Suttner, he told me that his production was about 25 instruments per year. Put another way, that's just a touch over 2 per month. Since the serial number on my new (2003) 38 button Ab/Eb is only #178, and my first concertina from him was serial #48 back in 1995, I don't think Suttner has been at a 25 concertina/year pace for very long. Ross
  18. Bob, I'm delighted to hear that the Southern Highlands Guild now has a fine concertina maker among its members. I don't live in Asheville but about 40 miles south -- just off I-26. If you don't get any Asheville responses and are willing to drive just a few miles, give me a ring - you should have my number from the SE Squeeze-in roster -- and we'll get some folks together for some tunes. Ross Schlabach
  19. I am having a Bb/F Linota model made and want to have the palmrests done up with the upper end of the handstrap anchored at the thumb-end of the handrest with an imitation ivory piece to simulate the style used on a number of the high-end Linotas of the period. On Internet searches I have seen a number of places listing different premade pieces in imitation ivory but found no sellers of small blocks. I will also need to locate a source for the metal strap adjuster pieces that go at the other end of the palmrest. Can anyone help me to quickly narrow my search for these two items? Your help will be greatly appreciated. Ross Schlabach
  20. Based on a message he left me on my office phone, the Dipper was sold and was supposed to be picked up last weekend. I imagine Steve will confirm that on the Forum shortly.
  21. That is a legitimate sale posting and that is Steve's correct e-mail. He ordered that Dipper after trying mine. He may be out of town or otherwise unable to check his e-mail. I will contact him tomorrow by phone (if possible) and let him know people are trying to get in touch. Ross
  22. It was the identical instrument from the last bogus auction. The photos and even the description were the same. It just had another new seller name -- again reportedly from Canada. The bidder names were going to be hidden and the auction was set up for a quick 3 days. Thankfully -- with C.netters' help, eBay is squashing these as fast as they pop up. Ross
  23. There's another USA term: Pennsylvania Dutch. This term is used to describe a group of people who settled in the Pennsylvania area in the early part of our country's history. But actually the proper term should have been Pennsylvania Deutsch because these settlers were German immigrants. Nevertheless, the term Pennsylvania Dutch has stuck to this day and these folks are highly regarded for their farming prowess and wonderful food. One could do worse than be called Pennsylvania Dutch -- I am one!
  24. I thought it was interesting that the listing referred to both Paul Groff and Chris Algar as having evaluated this instrument. While it is possible, they are on the opposite sides of the Atlantic. Also, I remember reading that description somewhere else -- I just can't remember where. Buyer beware!
  25. Ah, the dreaded phenomenon called short-term memory. What an oxymoron. It always fails one as soon as Noel asks you to perform a tune. As I can attest, this horror is re-lived every year. At least it has been for me since 1996! Then there's the associated ailment called rubber fingers! I wouldn't miss it for the world! See you all in August.
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