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Jewish Leprechaun

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  1. Richard, this is a great post and shoot I've been thinking the same thing. So here's my take on my new "AMG Mercedes" vs my antique "Rolls Royce"; a C/G Suttner A1 (30 buttons, 5.75" across the flats, 2lbs 6oz) and a C/G Jeffries (38 buttons, 6.0625" across the flats, 3lbs 3oz). So jumping right into this, I'll point out the obvious. The Suttner is much lighter than the Jeffries. The Suttner is a bit smaller, so the air pressure on the reeds should be greater greater. That being said, I have come to the same conclusion as your comparison between your Dipper and your Jeffries. My Suttner is just a mechanical marvel, smooth lightning fast, the reeds speak with minimal effort. It is my go to session instrument. BUT my Jeffries has that something special with how the reeds sound; they can also be played louder than the Suttner. Now no one misconstrue what I'm saying. The Jeffries can be played just as quickly as the Suttner. However, Like you're saying Richard, the reeds on the Jeffries take a bit more effort to get them speaking which results in more bellows movement. And while it's only a little over a quarter of an inch across the flats difference, the 6 fold bellows of the Jeffries have a lot more air capacity, so I still end up using the air key about the same amount. My question remains, what is causing the difference in how quickly the reeds speak. Is it a function of the difference in weights between the two instruments? Or perhaps it's the variation of internal pressures on the reeds derived from the difference in the size of the instruments across the flats? Or is it something to do with the hardness of the steel of the reeds? I haven't figured it out yet. But both instruments are a delight to play, just in different ways and in different environments. I explain to non-concertina people that it's similar to driving a new luxury automatic sports car versus a 1960s manual sports car. Both are fun to take out and drive, but you drive them in different ways and to different places, and certainly the old manual is more effort, but it's totally worth it.
  2. Actually, it is the same one you sold me back in 2010! I sold it on commission through button box in 2015. Before I acquired the concertina, it had been through a full "hot rodding" by Paul Groff that included a riveted action (you can see the riveted action through the ends if you zoom in) and a set of 6-fold Dipper Bellows (if you open it up Rosalie left her makers mark on the bellows). I replaced a white plastic air button with the brass one that I lathed by hand that's on it (also if you open it up you'll see my initials in cursive scrolled in it, I guess button box did keep the spare button with the instrument). I upgraded the case (not original which I still have, an old record case) with the pelican case and blocked and lined it in the red velvet. It was a great player, you won't find many like it in that price range with the upgrades it got. I'd describe it as a modified Wheatstone layout because of the C#/C# on the first button right hand outer row which is a huge plus in my books! Hope the details help in it's sale! -Lep
  3. I'd had a long debate about leather handle versus the brass. I couldn't quite find the right brass hardware for fixing the leather to the box and didn't want to get the brass stock to fabricate it, so I abandoned the idea... but I agree it would me more comfortable for carrying.
  4. Yeah the four latches might be a little overkill... the problem I was wrestling with is because I was using thin stock lumber, I really couldn't use long screws. The majority of screws are #5 3/8" long and a few where I could use them (like the handle) are #5 5/8" long. So with the latches I was afraid that with just two latches being held in by 3/8" long screws they might just rip out, figured 4 latches might better distribute the strain per screw. And the added bonus of a little security was nice, you can forget to latch one latch and maybe even two, but I dare you to forget latching 4 latches As far as the blocks go, yeah that's bad shadows and pixilation. The blocks are 3/4" thick so they "bite" onto enough of the "corner meat" to hold the bellows nice and even.
  5. So when I got my Jeffries, all it had was the original leather jug case in a rather poor condition. After 100+ years of the jug case, the bellows were a bit lop sided when closed and needed some re-training. I know I needed to move it into something new so in came the Pelican case, which I really like, but the Jeffries just seemed to need something that matched its personality... which set me off on a rather expensive and lengthy journey to build the "perfect" case. Next came a bunch of measurements and the search for wood, which immediately led me to mahogany, but it needed something extra which brought me to aromatic cedar. Brass parts were more difficult to find as I wanted something solid, not stamped sheet metal. Eventually, I found a company that hand cast brass parts. I didn't want a lot of padding on the inside, so I landed on 1/8" thick 100% merino wool felt. Well the all in total came to a whopping $400 in parts and then many hours of work in my shop, but I am pretty pleased with the end results. Needless to say it's quite heavy. The top and bottoms are 1/2" thick and the sides are 1/4" thick mahogany and additionally it all has an extra layer of 1/8" aromatic cedar on the interior not to mention all the solid brass parts. Enjoy and if anyone wants any more details on the build, I'm happy to share!
  6. Ugh, well shoot, my bad, a repost... thanks Takayuki for attaching the original thread!
  7. Had to share this one I stumbled across on Ebay. Get a load of those extended sides! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/325259378720?hash=item4bbaf84020:g:A~4AAOSwxGlixx66&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoGABn%2Buy1fuK96NWBSD%2BbTa7nEnjMGptcRkSltIA1NJsg%2BJeoaKurnIv%2FUPa13E1%2Bv201ymSUTYUbVbDuCXWkHfN%2BaavDpYadnzCCsetMvtI%2BiOGHkcteDz9sLFPULiBtz%2FCryiNSHZmHaYEUYLEQD0duULcz5Gktrn5dw8Ti5W6Kh825jVwRld5KUEKHWuYH%2FQzkhjh8dI6%2FL7CcPCy2%2F4%3D|tkp%3ABk9SR9D-9bL8YA
  8. Bone buttons and green bellows... oof the temptation is real!
  9. Wow, Bruce, that burl is beautiful!
  10. Listen to Reeves, he gave me the same advice when he let me try his Bb/F in 2009, I think it was. I placed my order and almost 5 years later got my Suttner. No regrets! And used Suttners really don't pop up that often... Just don't forget to budget for customs/import fees 😅
  11. Hmm, have you reached out to Geoff Crabb, perhaps he might have a recommendation or two and/or a spare C# reed. I ran into a situation recently where I had to have some reeds swapped around on a Jeffries that had a Wheatstone layout. I typically play Jeffries layout, but in an effort to minimize modifications to both reed and reed plan, the changes made were subtle. I swapped the C#/D# (push/pull) to D#/C# fortunately the reed frames were the same size. And then I took a C reed from elsewhere (it's a 38 button, so I had reeds to spare) and tuned up to C#. Caveat: I didn't do any of this work, but had it done by David Robertson in the UK. I think the reed frame was bigger so the reed pan did have to be modified to accept the new C# on the push for the second button. In the end I have a mostly Wheatstone layout, but with the C# in the right places for the Jeffries layout. On a separate note, I had a great Lachenal at one point that had been modified and had a C#/C# on the first button, depending on how much you use your D# that's an option too that shouldn't require the reedpan to be modified.
  12. I was at a session and the fiddle player looked at me oddly when I kept cocking my ear down towards my concertina. I shrugged and told him I just couldn't hear myself playing. Well, he looked at me a bit incredulously before assuring me everyone else could hear me just fine 😁
  13. As far as I've found, the stamps on the reeds match what I'm finding with the Wheatstone layout. So it doesn't look like the reeds have been tampered with. There are some oddball keys that don't really aline with either the Jeffries or Wheatstone layouts like the last button on the left hand side inner row is a B/D instead of a more standard B/A for either system. Which I suppose supports the case of someone asking Jeffries to do a one off custom layout. I'm probably going to steal the C pull from the first button on the middle row of the right hand side, tune it up to C# and swap it with the A on the second button of the outer row and then reverse the C#/Eb of the first button outer row. It'll still have it's eccentricities of course, but that'll give me my two C#s in the right places. If I'd make those changes it looks like, I'd be at about a 86% match to your 38k Jeffries layout on your website, Jake. Still not ideal, but it'll be much closer while retaining all the original reeds and doing minimal tampering.
  14. Well, I got an unrefurbished 38k Jeffries on an online auction. I waited in anxious anticipation for its arrival. I eagerly opened the box, the bellows were rough, but still held air ok, all the keys and levers moved pretty well, 95% of the reeds sounded ok and then I realized the unique quality it possessed... it's a Wheatstone layout!!! I opened it up and everything seems original. I bought it from a gentleman who bought it from a gentleman who's Grandfather bought it when he 13 years old and then immigrated from Norway to California 125 years ago. So I know I've seen one or two Jeffries with Wheatstone layouts before. Were these most likely custom orders by Jeffries?
  15. I started out the same way on a Rochelle with a Wheatstone layout, but eventually made my way to a Jeffries layout. At the end of the day, it really only changed up the way I play my C# as I don't use the other notes much that the layout change affects. So it was not all that terrible to switch up the C# push from my right index to my right middle finger; even my B C# D triplets weren't all that affected by the shift. In addition it's nice to have that extra C# on the pull now too with the Jeffries layout. BUT I think if the right concertina crossed my path I wouldn't mind switching back to Wheatstone. A Wheatstone layout could handle any tune I threw at it, but so can a Jeffries layout. At this point I do prefer the Jeffries layout, but I'm also not trying to play much outside of the trad tunes, so if you're trying to do the classical music, that'll be a different animal. As far as button numbers go, well, there are numerous discussions out there on that. Personally, I don't use all the buttons on my 30 so I can't really advocate for more.
  16. You could reach out to David Robertson (up in Norwich), he does a great job with restorations https://www.concertina-restoration.co.uk
  17. I'll second what Theo said, went down this road years ago with a Lachenal I had... the soft case started some extra wear and tear on the bellows corners. Nothing terrible, but definitely unnecessary. Ditched the soft case and never looked back; hard cases are the way to go.
  18. Well done on the review, I actually stumbled across your video on youtube a few days ago. David Robertson certainly does a wonderful job in his restoration process. I purchased an old shakespeare from him a few years ago, very lovely concertina, and Dave's work was impeccable! -Lep
  19. Very true LJ, most likely it is 5.25 inches, but 5 inches with 30 buttons or 5.25 inches with 34 buttons, either way there's some serious engineering going on inside these pint-sized 'tinas.
  20. I know the Dippers somehow managed a 5inch C/G with 34 buttons... an impressive feat!
  21. If this is what you're referencing, it looks like Bob managed to save it on his website! http://hmi.homewood.net/bnick/anglo.htm
  22. You're reading my thoughts right there, Alex! Surely there are some drawbacks squeezing it all in to a package that small (air volume aside). Much appreciated Stephen this is some great information, quite rare beasts!
  23. So I'm curious to see a picture of one of these 5-inch 30 button Jeffries. I saw them mentioned here in section "(b) the instruments": https://www.concertinajournal.org/articles/charles-jeffries-and-his-sons/ Has anyone ever seen one of these?? Does anyone have any pictures or any experience playing one? I'm curious how they sound and play compared to full-sized Jeffries (small concertinas always have fascinated me).
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