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Everything posted by RP3

  1. For those who are considering NHICS this year, the last time I conversed with Linda, she said that NY was overbooked. So that class is really full and I expect the West Coast class is too -- it has been for several years just like NY. This means that the only possible vacancies may be at the Mid West class and I expect that's filling fast. I can remember back to 1996 (the second year of the school) when total attendance was 11! But it was a blast -- and every year since has been too. I just really miss Bucksteep cause it was IMHO the best site and mid September was a perfect time for NHICS. The week was capped off with the NE Squeeze-In that concluding weekend. But Noel has two growing children and it seems the switch to summer made all the difference as class sizes have exploded. It's to Noel's credit that he hung in with the same modest attendance for several years to get the class established, and now it's paying off! If you're reading this, thanks Noel! Looking forward to meeting new players and sharing tunes in Erlanger! Have Dipper, will travel!
  2. Hi Bob, That's a neat little creature. When we first saw Noel's little Jeffries miniature years ago, someone asked him what it would be when it grew up? He answered "Piano accordion!" Now I wonder if yours has the same hopes and dreams?? I note that you said you might change the button pattern on your next one. I doublechecked the image of Noel's on Big Nick's Concertina Guide and saw that the Jeffries was laid out in what appeared to be two rows -- allowing the playing of all notes with only two fingers on each hand. With five buttons in an arch on yours, am I right in guessing that both playing it and holding it at the same time are the issue? Keep up the good work.
  3. I have both a Jeffries 28 button anglo and a wooden-ended Dipper of 2002 production. The Dipper is clearly louder than the Jeffries which is quite bright itself. I have also played several other Dippers -- including a 2003 raised wooden-ended model. My personal experience is that the metal ended Dippers are generally older ones. This may be just happenstance or it may reflect a conscious shift by Colin to wooden-ended instruments in search of a certain sound. The metal-ended Dippers I played were a bit harsh for my ear -- even though having had a number of years to mellow. All the wooden-ended ones I have heard sound very nice. The raised-end one was brand-spanking new and had a sweet tone. Both I and its owner expect its tone will richen as it breaks in. FWIW, my recommendation would be to get a wooden-ended model unless heavy commercial use would dictate that you get the metal-ended model instead. Ross
  4. I've been attending the NHICS for a number of years and play a Dipper and a Jeffries myself. There and at other events I have had the chance to try the Herrington, the Tedrow and the Morse -- but not an Edgley yet. I second Ken's recommendation that nothing beats trying them out in person. But since you have asked us, here's my two cents worth. I have been very impressed with the Morse Ceili in all aspects but one -- weight. It is so light, it doesn't want to stay put. For someone who plays standing up such as in Morris groups, this may be no problem. For me sitting down, I'd like a bit more heft to keep it in place so that I don't have to hold it in place with one arm -- that's a bit tiring. The lightness of the production models is really surprising, because the pre-production prototypes brought to NHICS and the NE Squeeze-In over several years were more along the weight of a traditional concertina or slightly heavier. Tone on the Morse is fine and the action is nice and light. It's design and construction are very much in the traditional concertina vein with the accordion reeds being the only non-standard item -- but all four choices in this thread have had to make that same compromise for price's sake. As others have echoed, I find the Herrington very heavy -- and the action is too. Note that my test drive of the Herrington is several years old and he may have made major improvements there. But based on my direct experience, not a top choice for me. Bob Tedrow has been very prolific in producing concertinas and has made wonderful strides. I'm very impressed with the rich sound - especially when playing chords -- of his latest models (March 2004). He has done a very good job of getting concertina sound out of accordion reeds. The bellows design is a bit soft for me, but others may not be put off by that -- it's again just a matter of what you are used to. As to action, his newer models with bushed buttons are very nice and are preferrable. The older, unbushed models handle much like an unbushed Lachenal and are not as enjoyable to play. One real plus with Bob is that he is always willing to work with a buyer to produce what they want. You might want to give him a call. So the current Tedrow would be my first recomendation to you with the Morse a very close second. Good luck -- whatever you choose.
  5. RP3


    I too really appreciate the information shared on this thread. I had previously read the short Jeffries history written by Joel Cowan and published long ago in the second issue of what was to become Concertina & Squeezebox. The information discussed in this thread corrects some of the errors in his story and puts a more accurate date range on my own 28 button, C/G metal-ended C. Jeffries anglo. I'd previously been told by a couple of highly respected experts that this concertina was made in the 1860's , but the information discussed here shows that it was probably made no earlier than sometime in the 1870's and more likely even later than that. Mine has very finely done filigree work on the ends -- much better than the work I've seen on Crabb's and Ball Beavon's from around the turn of the century, so I suspect that the ends may have been done by Charles or someone working for him and not done by Crabb. Thanks again for all your hard research work.
  6. Stephen, I saw my first concertina while playing a gig at a local pub. I was playing a 40+ pound hammer dulcimer at the time, and the thought of a small 3 pound instrument that didn't have to be tuned was, well --- irresistable. Not too long after, I asked the same concertina-owning gentleman where to find one of those neat contraptions? He put me in touch with Mo Turcotte in north Georgia. Mo happened to be an early dealer for Suttner and a couple of weeks later I was the proud owner of a Suttner Linota model anglo. The inital cash commitment was heavy, but I have never regretted it. The only down side to this story is that the dulcimer now spends too much time in its case -- unplayed.
  7. Michael, you've asked some good questions. I have been going to Noel's class since its second year (1996) up at Bucksteep, and I believe that the class is very beneficial. Let me take your questions one at a time. 1. I almost exclusively use Noel's system and only stray from it when some of the fingering for a specific tune is hampered by using the NH system. Even Noel recognizes this fact and has you substitute different fingering when his normal pattern doesn't suit the tune. I was only into my 14th month of anglo playing when I first attended, so my habits weren't firmly in place and no backsliding resulted. I know others who with more experience did undergo a more difficult transition -- but they still seemed to regain speed, confidence and comfort with this system by the end of the first week of class. All said, Noel teaches a good system that takes advantage of your strongest fingers and this helps one get going and achieve results fairly quickly. 2. NHICS has been crucial to the development of my understanding and appreciation of traditional Irish music. Through both the classes, his concerts, and sharing with other students, we have been exposed to tunes we might have otherwise never heard, and Noel shares history about other famous traditional musicians that adds enjoyment and understanding to the class experience. Some tunes that are very common seem to have been homogenized by the "Irish super groups" that play them, so it is quite refreshing to hear these same tunes played in a sometimes totally different setting by an master traditional Irish musician. 3. Every year I really look forward to attending the class. Not only have I made great friends, but Noel's class really recharges my music batteries. While virtually every student will struggle to greater or lessor degree with an unfamiliar tune (2 per day), and we all seem to choke more or less when having to perform the assigned tune in front of Noel and the rest of the class, still the challenge is energizing. Each year I have left more inspired and with lots of new (to me) music on tape to attempt to learn over the winter. As is true in most endeavors, you get out of something what you put into it. So, in my view, an open and willing mind will get you a great learning experience that is far more valuable than its actual cost. After many years in the Mass./NY class, I'll be at the Midwest class this time around and will be looking forward to new music and making new acquaintances! Hope to see you there sometime. To quote an old TV ad: "Try it, you'll like it!"
  8. I've participated in the the NY/Mass class since 1996, but this year my work schedule has required that I switch to the Midwest class. So in addition to the challenges Noel gives us, I'm also looking forward to meeting some new squeezers and sharing some tunes. BTW, anybody know much about the site, Maryknoll? Have Dipper, will travel!
  9. Dave does that concertina count include that huge box of concertinas from Bob Tedrow? The reason I ask is because Elaine and I brought 5 concertinas betwwen the two of us!
  10. I think that everyone had a great time. The Cottage Inn was an ideal site for this event -- small though it was this time--and based on discussions we had Sunday morning, we'll be coming back next year. My wife was the unofficial cameraperson so I'll burn Ken a CD for posting purposes. (Ken if you read this let me know the mailing address I need to use!) Bob Tedrow brought a double handful of his intruments and I got to try them all. I must say I was very impressed with their tone and playability. Keep up the good work Bob. His wife Klari and he played a couple of duets of hymns and the music sounded wonderful -- just like it was coming from a small pipe organ. Alex, their daughter soloed beautifully on several tunes and showed us some nice step-dancing too. To those of you who couldn't come, you really missed it! But there will be a next time in 2005. My best to all that participated in the music and the comraderie.
  11. You know, it's a real shame that I've been playing concertina since the mid 1990's and provided some of the initial contributions to this website at its formation, and yet this forum "system" has the audacity to call me a "New Member". How humiliating!
  12. I have two other high quality concertinas with which I am very comfortable and enjoy playing (one 28 buttons and the other 30 buttons), but the spacing of 38 buttons is just not comfortable for me. When I ordered this, I probably should have picked the 30 button model instead. So I'll just sell this one to somebody who can really enjoy it and I'll look for something else. But thanks for the thought Jim.
  13. This is a virtually new Suttner 38 button model A4, Ab/Eb concertina that I ordered new from Suttner and received about 6 months ago. It has solid, flat, ebony ends (which was an extra cost option), 7 fold bellows, and is truly beautiful in both appearance and full sound. The only reason I am selling it is because my hands are too big for the button spacing. It plays like a dream with rich bass. If not sold beforehand, it will be available for inspection and test drives at the Southeast Squeeze-in this weekend in Cashiers, NC. Buy this one and save yourself a four year wait! Price not negotiable and domestic shipping/insurance to be paid by purchaser.
  14. Three members of Paddywhack + one non-musician spouse will be coming.
  15. I have a 28 button Jeffries and on the basis of that plus playing and observing other like models I would like to add a couple of comments. As far as I can tell, the 26 and 28 button vintage concertinas preceded the development of the 30 button models. You shouldn't always assume that a 26 or 28 button concertina is in some way inferior to the more buttoned models - at least not for a Jeffries. Mine is top quality and I'm familiar with similar quality 26 button models owned by others. Make no mistake, there are some drawbacks and accidental row note position is one place were a number of changes are evident. For instance, on my 28 button Jeffries, the low press A is on the last (or bottom) button on the outside row and other note combinations are similarly shifted over one place by the absence of that 5th button on the outside row. This does change fingering a bit. The right side is less affected since in the Jeffries note layout the first and second buttons on the outside row are just inversions of each other. So the note assignments of the other button notes in that row are unaffected. Overall, I am very pleased with this instrument. By virtue of the fewer buttons, it is lighter than 30 button models. One last and important difference is that these models (less than 30 buttons) are frequently less in demand and may be acquired for more attractive prices. So, to paraphrase an old TV ad, "Try it. You'll like it!"
  16. Hi Dave, In the last year or so there have been two or three (memory is going) miniature Wheatstone Englishes on eBay. The first went for the most money and I think the final price was around $1,500. The others did not bid up as much with the prices stalling around $900-$1,000. It used to be that miniatures brought as much as full size 48 button models, but I don't think the market rewards them as much these days. And good 48 button English Wheatstones prices are moving up into the same territory as their anglos $2.8k to $3k+. This is supported by recent advertised prices on the Button Box site. Ross
  17. Congrats Dave, As a long-time student at the NHIS, I have really missed the Northeast Squeeze-In since we moved the date and location of the class. Your initiating the Southeast Squeeze-In less than 75 miles from my home in Tryon is a Godsend! I will be making my reservations ASAP. Looking forward to some serious free-reed overload and meeting some new folks. See ya there! Update: Just made my reservation in the Box Bend cottage. Since it has a little living area and a couple of fireplaces, I hope to host an anglo slow jam and maybe a class for slow airs on the anglo concertina. English concertinas and button boxes will be welcome to join in too! Ross
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