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About Lofty

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    English, MacCann
  • Location
    County Durham, England

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  1. Definitely try before you buy if you can, based on my experience. I have owned English system Edeophones and never really liked them. I wasn't happy with the tone, volume, responsiveness. I used them as “reserves”, but sold them eventually. Against my experience (and my advice above!) I bought a small (46 button) MacCann Edeophone without trying it. I think it’s a great instrument: fast, responsive, loud, great tone etc. It was meant as a smaller, lighter, alternative to my large (69 button) MacCann Aeola but I prefer playing it, despite its limited range. I wish I had a large Edeophone which was as good as the small one as well! Steve
  2. If you take your finger off the button momentarily when you change directions, you should avoid this problem. It will also make your playing a bit “crisper”. Steve
  3. Lofty

    Heh??? What's that???

    I agree with what Geoff said earlier. If you can, try a Wheatstone Model 22 or 24. I find Aeolas to be quite “polite” tonally, on the whole. Model 22s or 24s can sound significantly more “pushy”. Steve
  4. Lofty

    Tuning stability

    Colin Dipper tuned my Wheatstone Model 24 in 1994. It has been played a lot since then and its tuning is still excellent. I recently looked at the set of a few reeds which needed a bit more pressure than others to start sounding and that is much better now. I think it’s probably not the reeds: more likely to be valves or reed shoes being a bit loose. Perhaps modern homes with low humidity are to blame. Others who have more experience of maintenance and tuning may have different opinions. Steve
  5. The ledger for this serial number is available online and you can see the relevant page at http://www.horniman.info/DKNSARC/SD01/PAGES/D1P0270L.HTM The ledger entry shows that it was made in 1912. Enjoy your concertina! Steve
  6. For a moment I thought you were going to say you would practise in the river..... Steve
  7. Lofty

    Lachenal MacCann dates

    Thanks for that, Dowright. Steve
  8. I have a 46 button MacCann Edeophone, serial number 2097, which I thought dates from about 1910. The large Lachenal MacCann discussed in the Buy and Sell forum is claimed to date from 1891 and has the serial number 2093. As as there are no ledgers, 1891 seems over precise and I imagine that Lachenal produced more MacCanns than those dates and serial numbers suggest. Does anybody have any information which would clarify the date of mine, please? Steve
  9. Rod. When your quote refers to the size of the bellows, it means the cross sectional area, not the number of folds which the bellows has. This is a different issue from what McDouglas was asking about. Steve
  10. Lofty

    Hexagonal wood box

    People tend to advise against using these boxes. If the concertina is kept in one, and the box is stood on its base, the valves hang down and will tend to form a permanent curl. It is better to store a concertina on its side for this reason. Of course, you could keep the box on its side. In addition, if the concertina fits too tightly inside the box, it can be hard to remove it. This can result in damage to the instrument. If you still really want one, Chris Algar from Barleycorn Concertinas often has them. I expect most other dealers and repairers will come across them quite often. Steve
  11. If it’s in such a bad state, you don’t have a lot to lose. Why not not buy the book I mentioned earlier and use your duet to learn about concertina repair, tuning and maintenance? These are skills which will be useful in the future as most instruments are likely to need a bit of tweaking now and then. Steve
  12. Removing the reeds should be simple: just push the shoes out. Tuning them is another matter. It isn’t just a matter of where to file. Unsuitable filing will destroy the reeds and they are probably the most important part of the instrument. It is best done by somebody who has built up the necessary skills. I suggest you buy a copy of the Concertina Maintenance Manual by David Elliot. It is full of helpful information on maintenance, tuning, etc. Steve
  13. How did you resolve it? Others who have a similar problem might like to know..... It is potentially useful to have a recording of a problem, then a solution. Steve
  14. Steve Dickinson still makes English concertinas under the Wheatstone name. See http://www.wheatstone.co.uk/wheatstone/ I imagine his waiting times are long too. Steve
  15. I have played English for a very long time. I have played treble and bass instruments, depending on what was required of me by other musicians. I could be a much better concertina player, but I have also been required to play, at various times, guitar, bass guitar, melodeon and border bagpipes. Recently, I felt a desire to add some accompaniment to melodies. The cost of a good tenor treble put me off that: I also wasn’t sure that my brain could cope with the concept of a finger playing a melody note, followed by an accompaniment note. I did feel, however, that I might be able to cope with my left and right hands working separately. i thought about Anglo, but again the cost of a really good one is very high. I tried a Crane duet and thought it was a possibility, but it seems that high quality Cranes are very rare, which put me off. i then was lent a large (67 button) MacCann and I found it feasible to play a melody with my right hand and add some notes on the left. MacCanns seem much more widely available and I now have a very large, but beautiful, 69 button ebonised ended MacCann Aeola. I have also indulged in a 46 button Edeophone so that I can have a smaller, lighter instrument, even if it is a bit limited in its capabilities. An important skill which is transferable between English and Duets is bellows control. In my opinion, this is almost as important as pressing the buttons in the correct sequence! Thus, even if I am only picking out a melody with my right hand, I can inject some life into it. When I go back to playing English, it’s still there. The only disadvantage, as others have said, is that time spent on the duet could have been spent developing my English playing. My opinion is to give it a go. Steve