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Everything posted by RP3

  1. That is not the best way to have bellows redone IMHO. It is better to send the entire instrument to the bellows maker. That way he/she can check the fit and make sure that the bellows fitting doesn't mis-align the end mounting holes by distorting the frames. And, they can Custom fit the chamois and adjust the corner blocks as necessary for an airtight fit of the reed pans. Ross Schlabach
  2. While the focus of this thread may be toward more modest bellows, I'd like to recommend someone who can make top quality bellows -- including papers and embossing. Greg Jowaisas has just finished a high end concertina for me and, included in the full restoration of the rest of the instrument, he made me an outstanding new bellows. People (myself included) have talked up Greg on this forum for quality concertina tuning and repairs, but he also makes some of the finest bellows available. Check out these photos from this Jeffries he just delivered to me at the Midwest NHICS. Ross Schlabach
  3. I think you would be much better off getting a Rochelle than one of these other CSOs (concertina shaped objects)! Any extra expense will pay dividends in playability and reliability. Ross Schlabach
  4. Before you jump, be aware of three things: first is that concertina sizes vary so what may fit one model may not fit another. The second and more important thing is that the old cases were hard on the contents. They sat upright which can cause the valves on one side of the concertina to droop - something not good for the playability of the instrument. These cases also can be hard on the wooden ends and the bellows too since there is no inside padding. Overall, a modern case is much better for your concertina. Ross Schlabach
  5. I'm aware of several D/A tuned 12 sided Wheatstones -- Grey Larson has one. These were custom made by Wheatstone for customers in the Cincinatti, Ohio area. If I remember correctly, at least Grey's came with a second set of reedpans but I don't remember their tuning. If you check back on old threads you can probably determine when these were made because they've been discussed before.. Greg J. will likely remember, but he's currently at Irish Arts week. But, I don't think that many were made in that tuning. Ross Schlabach
  6. When I started checking out the pictures, I began to wonder if there were any of concertina players? But with a touch of patience, I found them. And I must say that in the almost 20 years that I've known Noel Hill, I have never seen him so dressed up and brushed down! A lovely group of photos. Thanks Peter. Ross Schlabach
  7. If I'm not mistaken, Ben was the seller. Ross Schlabach
  8. RP3

    Wm. Kimber

    Wonder if William Kimber was related to the famous founder of the MG Car Company, Cecil Kimber. As a lover of both concertinas and old MGs, that would be a wonderful convergence of interests for me. Ross Schlabach
  9. David, I agree that Tunepal is not all that accurate. Not even sure it hits the mark 50% of the time. I accept that my playing could affect the results but on a couple of occasions I repeatedly played a tune I knew into the Record function, and each time it gave me a different answer. But sometimes it is spot on. I think it is best to try to use it to see if it will point you in the right direction. Since I can read dots and can whistle, I can select the tune it names first and let it pull up the sheet music. With a quick scan of the melody, I can tell if it has identified the tune I was looking for or completely missed the boat. In any case, it can occasionally be a useful tool to help track down elusive tunes and their names. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  10. Among other things, the composition of the reeds will determine their stiffness and flexibility and consequently: 1) how easily the reed will start moving in the air stream; 2) how fast the reed rebounds after its downward movement; 3) how quickly it can repeat the above; 4) what the amplitude of the reed's movements will be; and so on. All these will play a role in how the reed's movements and harmonic characteristics shape the vibrations that become part of that air movement -- or put another way -- the sound we hear. Another analogy is the difference between the tone of a steel string guitar versus a nylon strung classical guitar. As is the case with the reeds, the string's composition and physical characteristics will determine how they shape the vibrations in the air making the pitch and the tone we hear. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  11. Wouldn't surprise me if the bidder withdraws his/her bid before the auction ends! Ross Schlabach
  12. Since Stainless Steel wasn't invented until 1913 -- long after the death of C Jeffries Sr, I think we can safely rule that out. But apparently Jeffries did use very high quality steel in his reeds. The shape and thickness of the reed shoes may also have played a role in their remarkable sound. Ross Schlabach
  13. Oh goodness, and I should have mentioned Greg too since he has made fine cases for me in the past. If you decide to e-mail him, be patient. He may still be out of town a while longer. But he's worth the wait! Ross Schlabach
  14. Another option is to contact Frank Edgley on this side of the pond. He now makes the fine cases previously made by Sean Fallon. It will be made specifically to fit your instrument and is strong enough to withstand rough treatment. Give him a call or send him an e-mail. Ross Schlabach
  15. Folks, mine IS in need of new action boards on both sides with replacement of the action once that's done, replacement of any worn levers/rivets, top quality bellows with all Jeffries tooling and papers, pads, valves, tuning, rebushing of all buttons, button height re-set & button pressure adjustment to my specs, new chamois gaskets, replacement of a couple of non-Jeffries reeds, possible adjustment of corner blocks, etc. So my cost IS quite reasonable. Nuf said! Ross S.
  16. Alex, I have a Jeffries in the process of being restored with an initial repair estimate a bit over $2k. The reedpans on my instrument are pristine as are the reeds. Judging from the photos, this instrument on eBay is in far worse condition, so I think that my $3k estimate is very close! And we haven't even seen photos of the action pans to assess that part of the instrument. Ross Schlabach
  17. I agree with Alex that This does not look like a Jeffries: the ends are not cut like any Jeffries I've ever seen. Also, those ends do not match the ends of a 38 button concertina recently on eBay from Chris Algar. He described his as a Shakespeare. Another normal way to identify Jeffries is that one or both ends are stamped "C. Jeffries Maker". This stamp can be faked but the instrument in question is unstamped. The bellows may not be originial, but if they are, they are not decorated in the normal Jeffries style. I also think that this is not a Crabb either. The condition suggests that this concertina needs serious repair that could add maybe as much as $3k to the final cost. One last matter is the pitch of the instrument. The reeds could be stamped, but there is always a possibility that the instrument has been retuned sometime in its hard life. Regards, Ross Schlabach
  18. Yes, Greg. Those bone buttons make all the difference. It plays like the thoroughbred that it is. Ross Schlabach.
  19. Julie, folks on this forum have been very supportive and VERY gentle in their assessments of this instrument. I understand their efforts to be supportive. But from the photos, the reed pans look to be in the process of disintegrating. Other issues like the broken reed have already been mentioned too. Then there are the extensive cracks running through the holes on the pad board and apparent damage to the action board. Each of these is a serious problem on any concertina, and the repair of each is not always simple. Add them together, and you have what I would suggest is beyond the normal realm of reasonable repairs -- even for a clearly more valuable instrument. If you decide to contact Concertina Connection to see about parts, see if you can discuss the condition of the instrument with the owner and get his opinion too. I think that he will tell you that the amount and cost of work that will be needed on this instrument will greatly exceed the value of the finished instrument. As a concertina repairman friend of mine once pointed out to me, sometimes the best outcome of a concertina search is to walk away. Good luck, Ross Schlabach
  20. Chris, I'm not a muscial expert, but I think your focus on the extra accidentals misses the fact that those keys won't give you all the naturals that for instance you get on a C/G concertina. A 30 button concertina gives you more note choices -- regardless of key combinations -- but then a 38 button concertina gives you even more options. If you are playing alone, it's not a problem, but if you want to play in a session, then you would probably need those naturals to play in G or D but wouldn't need those extra accidentals. For concertina people who want the whole chromatic spectrum, there's the choice of English concertinas or duets. And button accordion folks solve the problem by having the two keys adjacent like B/C or C#/D. Of course, by having the concertina keys a fifth apart, you have great chord capabilities. Sharing my own personal perspective, the key combinations below C/G offer sweeter tone -- if at the expense of sometimes slower reed response. A number of fine concertina players I know would much rather play instruments in these lower pitch combinations than C/G, but at least for Irish music, C/G is the preferred tuning for sessions. Some special sessions will be in C#/G#. Now those are some of the easy answers, now our experts will jump in with the serious musical theory. Ross Schlabach
  21. David, as I am a leftie, tunes residing primarily on the left side of the anglo are of particular interest to me. At my earliest period with the anglo, I was exposed to Noel's playing of Master Crowley's and Maudabon Chapel, and I found the tone, lilt, and rhythm delightful. For many years I have worked to have a performance of Master Crowley's suitable for public consumption -- to no avail -- though I haven't given up. I do also enjoy adding the C# from the outside row whenever convenient to extend the range of some D tunes. Plus one should not forget the other wonderfully rich notes hanging out down there. What is particularly frustrating for me is that when I move to one of my two 28 button Jeffries, I have a different and more aggravating challenge since these instruments have the low A stuffed into the far corner -- one button over from its position on a 30 button Jeffries or Crabb -- and neither of these 28 b. instruments has the low A on the draw on the bottom button on the inner row. Of course, I could have that low draw A added if I could find suitable reeds, but the ergonomics of the outside row are completely destroyed by the shifted note positions on the left side. The result is that I can't fully enjoy the low tunes as much on the 28 button instruments as I can on the 30 button ones. But I haven't quit yet -- I just hold little hope for my aging pinkie! In the meantime, I derive particular enjoyment from the playing of those who have mastered that range of the anglo and enjoy it as I do. Ross Schlabach
  22. I'm a Leftie and a long-time student of Noel Hill's. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, he plays with the left end on his left knee and teaches that positioning to his students. I tried that but found my right hand and arm were unequal to the task. But I was able to easily adapt to a right end on right knee positioning that has worked well for me over the years - Noel's fussing at me nothwithstanding. I am delighted at the dynamics I can get this way. Some can argue that using the left knee allows the lower notes on the anglo to be reinforced somewhat by reflection off the knee. If that is in fact true, then my using the right knee is probably reinforcing the higher notes somewhat. I don't know for sure but I haven't had any complaints. I have always felt that keeping the bellows off the knees would extend the life of the bellows. If one feels the need to use the knee(s), then I think it's mostly a matter of personal preference. But I do think Dave has a point and I think that if you own a fine instrument like a Jeffries, Wheatstone, Dipper or the like - with original bellows - then don't you have some moral obligation to care for and protect that bellows? Of course if you live close to a bellows maker like Greg Jowaisas and you don't feel any need to protect a bellows, then Play On! Ross Schlabach
  23. Don't forget the three weeks of the Noel Hill Irish Concertina School starting in late July! Ross Schlabach
  24. Neill, This is a standard scam trick. Do not go for it. The risk is too great. Ross Schlabach
  25. I agree with Frank. I'm assuming that we're talking about Anglos. My first concertina was an early Suttner (#48) and it was a raised end Linota model -- even though I don't know if there was such a thing when Linotas were new. The height of the palm-rest was too low given the raised center section and I was constantly fighting with it. My fingers had trouble arching back -- especially for the G row which is closer to the palm-rest on Wheatstones than it is on many other brands. The low F# was particularly tough to reach with my big hands. The problems went away when I got my first Jeffries -- a 28 button C/G from Paul Groff. Possibly, a taller palm-rest would have helped, but I always found the ergomonics uncomfortable. If you really think you want a raised end concertina, my advice would be to find someone with a raised end model and try it out first. And confirm the key dimensions with the maker before you commit. Otherwise, flat ends are the way to go. Ross Schlabach
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