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Everything posted by RP3

  1. Jay Jay, Based on my opportunity to play the Traveler Anglo from Wakker when it was making the rounds, I think you probably already have a concertina that is at least the equal of what you are looking to acquire. The biggest issue I discovered with the 38 button Suttner when I acquired it new was that the reeds were not properly balanced -- that is they didn't all sound under the same pressure and required reed reset to get them speaking reliably. If that is your reason for wanting to change, a little work by your local tuner should bring it back into your good graces. In any case, good luck. Ross Schlabach
  2. Now, are we going to have to guess the details (pitch, cost, etc) or are you planning on sharing?! Ross
  3. Doug, I haven't had any first hand experience with them, but in case you hadn't had time to research them, the Irish Concertina Co. is something started up or heavily associated with Sean Garvey of AllAboutAccordions -- his shop in Dublin. The Irish Concertina Co has a website that discusses this Vintage model but they do not provide any photos of the reeds used in this model. In one part of the website they refer to brass plated (their spelling, not mine) reeds and in another they say brass plates.... steel tongues. Without photos I would be cautious about giving too much credit to the text. But I did listen to one of the associated videos, and the instrument sounded good. Internet audio is always suspect, so -- as you already know-- an in-hand examination is best. The price is €3,300 which is $3,465 but there may be 22% VAT in the Euro cost, so further investigation is warranted here too. Since this model is a relatively new product and their prior efforts have been accordion reeded models only, expectations shouldn't be too high. But again, it sounded good on the video. So, who's going to be first to take a chance or fly over to Dublin to try one out? Ross Schlabach
  4. The presence of Jeffries style bellows (as evidenced by their embossing and bellows papers) should not be regarded as implying any family history. The hook action does immediately brings Lachenal to mind. One way to see if there are any Jeffries reeds hiding in those reed pans is to measure the thickness of the brass shoes. I don't remember the dimension normally associated with Jeffries reeds but they are substantially thicker than those made by Lachenal and Wheatstone. Hopefully some more knowledgeable member of our little band will step forward with that information. More than likely though is that this is a Lachenal possibly mated with a cast off Jeffries bellows (you didn't provide a bellows picture) or just one made up to look like a Jeffries bellows. Ross Schlabach
  5. The fretwork is very open and in that regard it looks very much like the similarly very open fretwork on the metal ended Suttner models. Ross Schlabach
  6. Hi Darticus, You haven't mentioned what kind of music you like to play or what keys you would like to play in. The switch to a 30 button concertina will open up additional keys like D and A. Keep in mind that the 20 button concertina represent the lower two rows of a three row (30 button) concertina. So with a 30 button concertina, you can still play the tunes you know and grow into the wider capabilities of the 30 button concertina. About tightness, going from a 20 to 30 button is not that dramatic a switch. But saying that, do recognize that different brands of concertinas do have different ergonomics. Personally, I find that the Wheatstone and Lachenal concertinas generally have a slightly tighter overall pattern than Crabb and Jeffries anglos. If you have big hands like me, you might be more comfortable with one of these latter two concertinas. And what this shows is the importance of trying a concertina before buying which is what I advise you to do. Since you are new to the Anglo concertina, I would not recommend trying to learn two or more different concertinas at the same time. A few have accomplished this, but trying to do so merely makes the learning process more difficult. Ross Schlabach
  7. Dan, I think you got those from me, and if so, I would ask that you pass them on to Greg Jowaisas. Thanks, Ross
  8. RP3

    Jeffries C/g Anglo

    It is interesting that this concertina has a seven fold bellows with a C/G tuning. Hopefully the reeds have not been re-tuned upward from a lower tuning which is more commonly seen with seven fold bellows. Checking the reed pitch stamping should help to confirm or reject this suspicion. Good luck with the sale. Ross Schlabach
  9. While Jim has recommended the best source for info regarding your concertina, to me what you have described is the sound of a noisy valve. Valves are generally made from some kind of leather -- frequently goat though some makers even use Mylar -- and if the valve curls up a bit, when air pressure hits it, the valve can make a light flap sound as it seals the opening -- just as the note starts to speak. This condition would be unlikely but not impossible on a brand new instrument. If this is the cause and the concertina in question is one of Frank's higher end models with traditional concertina reeds, it would be a shame for you to have to send it back for a valve adjustment or even replacement that would take five minutes or less for someone with the skills to fix it. But if you have one of his hybrids which use Italian accordion reeds, they may have Mylar valves which are not commonly stocked by most concertina repairmen. Hopefully Frank can do a remote diagnosis and help you through a quick self repair. Best of luck and let us know how it works out. Ross Schlabach
  10. I'd say they have the description wrong. Instead of "Cosmetic wear from age and use" but I think it should read "Serious wear from neglect and abuse"! Ross Schlabach
  11. RP3

    Wheatsone Linota

    Thanks Bill for the correction. But Laitch, the auctioneer's estimates are frequently a mere fraction of the amount actually realized. More likely, the final bid will be two or more times the pre-auction estimate especially considering the vintage of the concertina. Just sayin...... Ross Schlabach
  12. RP3

    Wheatsone Linota

    The Wheatstone ledgers at the Horniman Museum confirm that this concertina was sold in April 1930 but did not specify pitch. There was a term "Hoc" in the description which I do not know how to decipher. But I agree with Jim that it is likely a flat pitch instrument and as such is likely Ab/Eb or lower. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  13. Well, it was working this morning when I posted to your thread, but like you, I can't get into this part of his website. Sure seems like a website problem. Ross Schlabach
  14. Hi Drew, The home page does seem to be inaccessible, but you can still go to some of the other parts of his site like this: http://hmi.homewood.net/concertinas/ And you can try sending him an e-mail. Ross Schlabach
  15. Adam, I agree with the others who are suggesting that the 20 button models you mentioned are not worth the "upgrade". With either of these instruments, you will be looking to upgrade again shortly if you stick with the Anglo. If you hope to truly play across the rows, you will at sometime in the near future be wanting a 30 button Anglo to explore the keys of D and A (assuming that you are interested in the C/G concertina). I could recommend that you wait until you can save up enough money, but if your better half is opposed then even that idea may not fly. But at the very least you need to try and find a 26 button Anglo which can give you the extra notes for the keys of D & A. In short, a 20 button Anglo as you described might give you a better experience but I am afraid that your satisfaction will be short-lived. Finding a decent Lachenal of maybe a Jones with 30 buttons could meet your needs without breaking the bank but will be beyond your target range. I wouldn't suggest a Mayfair Anglo but if can you play one and are satisfied, far be it for me to deter you. Good luck, Ross Schlabach
  16. G.O. has taught at the Swannanoa Gathering and in my opinion is a very good, if somewhat professorial instructor. He also taught a good range of tunes -- including delightful rare tunes from important but obscure players from Ireland. And our class he shared very interesting stories about those players he has recorded and interviewed during his research. In all, his class was well worth taking. Or if you have a choice, Father Charlie is an even better choice. His tunes are generally more simple in construction, but his selections are fun to play and wonderful additions to your repertoire. Ross Schlabach
  17. Stuart, Before you proceed too far, you need to be aware of a very important issue. Different notes do not necessarily have the same size reed shoe. So while it might be easy to swap two reeds that have same size reed shoes (I've been able to do it with C# and D#), moving other notes that are further apart on the scale may mean different size shoes that can't easily be swapped. Retuning offending reeds is not advisable in most cases since the acoustics can be upset or there may not be enough metal left for the reed to work properly if it's pitch is moved too far. A professional concertina repairman would be needed to do a proper job of resizing the different double dovetailed slots or retuning reeds, but even then the swaps you might be considering could be too extreme in terms of the sizes of the reed shoes involved and the different sized chambers -- which themselves can change the acoustics and most definitely will upset the reed tuning. In short, please consult a Highly Skilled concertina repair person before you try to make any serious changes to your new Jeffries or you could have a real mess on your hands. Best of luck, Ross Schlabach
  18. Mike, Have you talked to Greg Jowaisas? Not only does he have the instruments you've already seen on his "Panoply" etc, but he may have others worth your consideration plus he's in the USA just outside of Cincinnati. Ross Schlabach
  19. With the addition of the "Plethora" in another post, it looks like Greg is building his annual concertina Christmas sales tree one layer at a time. But it is especially nice to see a really diverse collection of Anglos in this season's offerings. If I hadn't already contributed repeatedly to Anna's college fund through my past purchases, I might have been negotiating to acquire one of these jewels myself. Warmest holiday greetings to all, Ross Schlabach
  20. Judging from your attached photos, I'm going to make the sometimes dangerous conclusion that you are somewhere near my 69 years. If so or if I'm close, then you may be facing the same problem I'm experiencing. When this pain starting cropping up for me, I addressed the issue with my GP. She felt around my hand carefully and then pressed one place -- giving me an exquisite pain. After I recovered from that, she announced that I was now enjoying the benefits of arthritis! She gave me a prescription that I have yet to fill since so far I have been able to tolerate the pain. And a wet, warm towel provides modest relief. But the more I play, the more I ache. Hope you are not in my shoes! Ross Schlabach
  21. You have accidentally touched on a common complaint with concertinas -- but not always in a drone context. Frequently low notes on a concertina (English, Anglo, Duet) will tend to drown out higher pitched notes. Finding an instrument with good balance between high and low can be a challenge. Also certain notes are sometimes more resonant than their neighbors which can drown out the higher melody notes. Anglos can have a separate button or buttons tuned specifically for drone usage, and I believe these can be "adjusted" to not drown out melody notes through adjustment to chamber size or switching out valves types, but doing so reliably is more an art than a science. Your English is a different matter all together since you have to use one of the regular buttons as your "drone". Trying to change the volume of that one note can mess up its balance with the rest of the low notes which you would not want. Put another way, you may have to find an instrument with better balance to achieve your goal -- unless the G is too loud for its neighbors and needs to be "softened up" anyhow. Good luck, Ross Schlabach
  22. With the new class location, NHICS is endeavoring to eliminate some of the shortcomings experienced at former MidWest class sites. The new location, Todd Hall, is farther into the mid-section of the U.S. than Cincinnati, but it does look like it will be a delightful location with private bathrooms (yah!) and plenty of room for all. As Greg has suggested, Noel can challenge you and he works hard to make sure that every student (no matter what their performance level) gets the most out of their week in class. We each get at least two new tunes a day and, as Noel points out, "the Winter is long" and you will have plenty of music to keep you busy and challenged for long after class is over. There is also the special benefit of the Friday final group session where he encourages students to make special tune requests for him to play and dissect so that anyone can have a chance to explore a specific tune of interest to him or her. BTW, that's where I've been introduced to many new and tempting tunes. And we usually get an evening concert during the week. I've been going to NHICS since 1996 and keep coming back. It's been worth it every time. I expect to be back again next year too when I'll be 70 years young! If you have questions about the class, don't hesitate to post them here and we'll be glad to answer them to the best of our ability. Hope you can join us. Ross Schlabach
  23. Stephen, as you have pointed out above, the early Jeffries concertinas appear to have been made by John Crabb. But my question to you is this: did Crabb also make the metal ends and reeds for these or just the casing and bellows? The reason I ask is that I have several early Jeffries (both 28 and 30 button models) and I find the fretwork much finer than on any early Crabbs I've seen and I detect a difference also in the sound -- especially in the lower ranges. I don't think there has been any general consensus on these points and I'd like to hear your views. Ross Schlabach PS: Sorry if I've appeared to hijack the thread. Didn't mean to.
  24. I had an early Suttner raised end Anglo and did not find the ergonomics that good. I don't attribute that to Suttner's construction but instead don't think the raised end feature goes well with Anglos. If the palm rests aren't taller than on a flat ended instrument, then your fingers have to be held back more to get them in position to actually play the instrument -- a very unnatural position. IMHO the original reason for the raised ends was to provide more room under the ends for the action. With English models, having the raised portion in the middle of each end did maximize the space for the action since the buttons are in the center of each end. Anglos on the other hand have their buttons offset and thus the raised end feature is of less utility. Given the choice, I would pass on a raised end Anglo in favor of a well designed flat ended one. I doubt that English players would have the same criticisms, but I have no experience playing an English, so they can voice their own opinions. Ross Schlabach
  25. Jim and Don, Maybe I should have said "poteen"?! Ross
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