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Bill N

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Everything posted by Bill N

  1. I just ordered pads, springs, valves, bushing felt ,and bellows gaskets and top runs from Concertina Connection. I thought their prices were reasonable, and service was exceptional. From date of order it was about a week to delivery here in Newfoundland. The package was extremely well organized and packed (individual tiny ziplocks for each bunch/size of component). Also Wim and Karen sent me some helpful e-mails. After my frustrating experience with Concertina Spares this was a real breath of fresh air. The pads consist of 3 parts: the laminated leather/card circle, a small dot of leather, and a kind of little knot/knob that the lever arm goes through. You glue the 3 together as you are installing them in place. The seem very well made. I would recommend them whole heartedly. Oh, in an e-mail I asked them if the knew where I could find a small amount of bellows card for an unrelated project, and they stuck some off-cuts in the mail for me with no charge!
  2. Bill N

    Stagi Anglo W-15-ln

    Could you post a pic of the action?
  3. Bill N

    26 buttons oncertina?

    If you go across the river I know of 3 young concertina players in Buenos Aires who are associated with the La Platta Comhaltas branch. awbrown.ar@comhaltas.net I met them a few years ago while I was on an extended stay in Argentina. They were very interested in concertina, but none were available. When I returned to Canada I found some good beginner instruments and sent them to Buenos Aires. They have become very good players- I am amazed at the music they get out of their Rochelles.
  4. Bill N

    Lost Advertisement

    This should take you there: http://bertramlevy.com/concertina-tutor
  5. I'll begin by saying that I find the members of this forum to be remarkably civil and well intentioned when that is certainly not the social media norm. However I did think that the kibitzing that happened on your posting was inconsiderate, and might give a prospective buyer second thoughts. I don't think your asking price or the logic behind it were unreasonable, and in any case the market will decide. I would have been annoyed if it was my posting.
  6. I am working on a 48 button Lachenal that Dowright has dated c. 1860. It has brass reeds (which don't look like they've been bothered very much), glass buttons and a 5 fold bellows. Overall it is in very good shape. I am making new thumb straps, doing some bellows repairs, and replacing pads, springs, valves and bushings. All of the internal and external woodwork and action components are in excellent condition. If it was for my own use I probably wouldn't touch most of the pads, springs and valves, but it will be gifted to a friend who isn't the type to poke around inside of it, so this work is prophylactic. I don't play the English, but some friends who do tried it out and it sounded pleasantly in tune with itself. My initial thought was that I could handle tuning the 2 or 3 "bum" notes that were apparent. Today, just for fun, I printed out a button layout diagram and tried each button against my little tuner, recognizing that this exercise will be more useful with an accurate tuning app, and once the spring, pad, valve and bellows work is done. However, the results have me reconsidering a DIY tuning job, and also wondering what I'm starting with. Here are the initial findings (the tuner is set for equal temperament and A 440): It's sharp across the board - this wasn't too big a surprise- I've read about the evolution of standard tuning. With some "black key" exceptions, notes range from about 15 to 30 cents sharp. push & pull notes on each button are in tune with each other the tuning of a particular note is consistent across the key board e.g. all the Fs are 30 cents sharp, all the As are 18 cents sharp G#s, F#s, C#s all read as in tune for A440- Abs show as 35 cent sharp G#s, D#s are all 10 cents flat, and Ebs show as 30 cent sharp D#s. Having read, but not fully comprehended, some of the recent threads on temperaments I'm wondering if the patterns noted above might give some clues to how this was originally tuned? It will be used by a professional singer for self accompaniment, so maybe something other than EQ at A 440 would be viable? I welcome your thoughts, just remember that I am a by- ear-playing Anglo-phile with no musical theory. Layman's terms appreciated!
  7. Bill N

    Tuning of 1860 Lachenal

    Good idea Wolf. I found a table on line with over 100 temperaments. The closest matches all appear to be in the meantone family.
  8. Bill N

    Tuning of 1860 Lachenal

    The clouds are parting and understanding dawns! I found an old thread on this topic, and Geoff provided "note deviations from EQ in cents". I plugged my results into his chart assuming that the tuning is centred on A (my values are in in Bold) and this is what I got: 1/5 Comma; A= 0, Bb= +10 12, B= -4 -4, C= +6 4, C#= -8 -18, D= +2 2, D#= -12 -28, Eb= +12 12, E= -2 -6, F= +8 12, F#= -6 -18, G= +4 2, G#= -10 -18Ab= +14 17. So except for my sharp notes which are more extreme, it looks pretty close to 1/5 comma meantime centred on A, with A being around 444.5 HZ. Does that sound reasonable? Maybe the approach should be to leave it in the meantone tuning, but bring the whole thing down to modern pitch? I fear my ignorance is showing, but the only way forward is through!
  9. Bill N

    Tuning of 1860 Lachenal

    Thanks Geoff and John, I'm glad I didn't barge ahead. I'm looking at getting a tuning app that allows one to select pitch and temperament. Sounds like the best approach is to do all the other work first, then use the tuning app to deduce what the original tuning was and spot tune to bring it back in tune with itself. I'll talk with my singer friend to see if this will work for her. Cheers Bill
  10. Bill N

    Tuning of 1860 Lachenal

    To add a bit more info for your consideration, here are the ranges in minutes for all occurrences of each note as read by a tuner set for EQ at A -440: G 18-22 sharp G# in tune Ab read as G# 35 sharp A. 18 sharp Bb 30 sharp B. 10-18 sharp C 18-25 sharp C# in tune D 18-22 sharp D#. 10 flat Eb read as 30 sharp F. 30 sharp F# in tune
  11. I received a kit from Concertina Spares today to make new thumb straps for a Lachenal English, but it did not come with the promised "down loadable instructions", and I see that Mark has shut down his e-mail and telephone for a few weeks while he catches up on his backlog of work. The instructions in Dave Elliott's book won't work as his design requires about twice the length of leather supplied in the kit, and there's not enough left of the existing straps to make a pattern from. Having already waited a considerable time for the order to arrive, I am keen to get to work. Can anyone here who has used the kit offer any insight? For each strap I have been provided with a 2 3/4" x 7" rectangle of thin leather, a 6 3/8" length of 1" linen tape, and a 1" x 2 1/2" rectangle of felt.
  12. Bill N

    Thumb Strap Instructions

    It's a 48 button Lachenal English, serial # 6915. Dowright has dated it c. 1860. 48 glass buttons, brass reeds, beautifully figured rosewood ends with brass inlays at the corners, and gold embossed green bellows and thumb-straps. It was found in an attic in British Columbia, Canada by the new owner of an old house, so no ownership history to go with it I'm afraid. It's in remarkably good condition- pads, valves, seals, reeds, pad boards and reed pans all look new, and the ends are in excellent condition. One fold of the bellows is damaged, the thumb-straps need replacing, and the glue holding the action box together has dried out. I'll be doing a careful, minimal restoration for a friend who is currently playing a Stagi .(I'm an Anglo player- can't make heads-nor-tails of an English)
  13. Bill N

    Thumb Strap Instructions

    Thanks again Rod, they turned out pretty well. I don't think I would have figured it out without the instructions.
  14. Bill N

    Thumb Strap Instructions

    Brilliant! Thanks very much Rod. This is a good rainy day project, and we have cool and wet in the forecast for a good long stretch!
  15. Bill N

    445 Hz?

    I haven't met a Duet player yet, but there are quite a few Anglo and English players in the Golden Horseshoe (Hamilton-Brantford-Toronto areas), and I know of one Anglo player(although his main instrument is whistle) in Buffalo who's a regular at the Sat. afternoon session at Nietzsche's in Allantown. Also a couple of players at the Corktown Tavern session in Hamilton on Tuesday nights, and a quite a few in Toronto.
  16. Bill N

    DG Melodeon to GD Anglo?

    If you only play "in the rows" there will be some transferable skills, except that your keyboard will be cut in half and the lower half turned upside down and played with the other hand. If you plan to play "cross row" or have 30 buttons, the melodeon patterns won't help you very much. I tried going the other way, and except for familiarity with "push-pull" and bellows control, and the idea of having notes in more than one spot I didn't feel that there was much in common. However I do know people that play both well, so your experience might be different.
  17. I made this as a double carry-on. Thick leather and lots of padding. I use it as a heavy duty gig-bag, but don't trust it to protect my instruments if it's not on my person.
  18. Bill N

    MIDI concertina project

    I've been lurking on this thread (although do not pretend to understand most of the technical info), as I have always been interested in the possibilities of such an instrument- especially the "silent practice" function, and the ability to change the key one is playing in with the press of a button. I saw a respected player of traditional Newfoundland dance music playing a digital button accordion last summer (a Roland as I recall), and in all respects it seemed like a very successful and fully sorted instrument. I wondered why this technology hasn't made its way to concertinas?
  19. Bill N

    Heh??? What's that???

    Here's what it looks like:
  20. Bill N

    Heh??? What's that???

    I tried to find the "Clean" model, but settled for the AC30. It has a variety of settings including reverb, delay and tremolo effect (which are fun to fool around with in the headphones) but has one setting which seems reasonably "clean" for my intended use. The unit itself works very well with the Microvox gear. I'm at the trial and error stage now with volume/gain, 1 vs. 2 earbuds and left vs. right ear trying to come up with the best combination whereby I can hear both myself and the session. It's working pretty well, but there's room for tweaking I think. I'm using a cheap pair of airline earbuds- I think I'll try to find a better quality, comfortable single bud. I should mention that I normally wear hearing aids, but the din of this session overwhelms them on all settings. Those with unimpaired hearing might experience this differently. Ironically, I got the idea from a a friend who plays an English guitar at a session I go to that regularly features 5 or 6 concertinas and 2 melodeons!
  21. Bill N

    Heh??? What's that???

    I'm dealing with the same problem in a big noisy session, which includes a microphone and amp for singers and tune leaders, in a noisy bar. Although my Kensington is plenty loud for others to hear, I can't hear much, especially in the higher frequencies. I'm experimenting right now with a Vox Amplug. I have a set of Microvox M400 microphones and power supply. The Amplug is a very small unit (The power supply and Amplug clip to my belt) which plugs into the output jack of the Microvox system, and powers earbuds or headphones. It's originally intended for quiet electric guitar practice. I put one earbud in and turn up the volume just enough so that I can hear myself while still hearing everyone else. Still fooling around with volume levels, but seems promising.
  22. I had a Tedrow in Bb/F which had a lovely growl, although I wouldn't call it harsh. To my ear it was more accordion-like than the 2 other accordion reeded instruments I've owned (a G/D Morse and a C/G Edgley) Bob Tedrow would certainly be the fellow to go to for a one-off with customization. Mine was a reproduction of a rectangular Henry Harley c.1870 that I inherited, and Bob worked from measured drawings and photographs that I supplied. He also equipped it with an air lever rather than a button. His price was reasonable, and at the time there wasn't much of a wait.
  23. Bill N

    445 Hz?

    If you can get to Toronto on a Wednesday evening there is a session which regularly has 6 or 7 concertina players of both English and Anglo systems. Several of them play both. Although I've never seen a duet at the session I believe a couple of the players have some experience, and may even own one or two. Definitely not a beginners session, but friendly folk who would be happy to show and tell.
  24. My local hobby shop sells the silicone tubing for $1.60 a foot. I got 2 feet which was more than enough for 20 buttons. A foot probably would have been enough. It was easy to cut and slide in place, had a good spring and flex to it, and a bit of "tackiness" to help keep it positioned on the lever.
  25. There are a few threads here on this topic already. You are on the right track. Folks recommend the silicone tubing used as gas line for model airplanes. https://www.concertina.net/gs_stagirepair.html