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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Lofty

    Wanted: small MacCann

    I’m no longer looking as I have just bought a very nice 46 button Edeophone. Steve
  5. Lofty

    Why Give Up

    I expect this is true. In my case, however, I don’t think any amount of practise would enable me to achieve the professional’s goal. I take some comfort from Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton saying that he has never driven a perfect lap😀 Steve
  6. Lofty

    Wanted: small MacCann

    Still looking. Steve
  7. Lofty

    Crossover Levers

    I have just looked inside my 56 button single acting bass to see if there are any crossed levers. There is a beauty on one side (a less spectacular one on the other): picture attached of the better one. 3 levers seem to be frozen in some kind of a dance, all twisted together. Given the number and the size of the reeds, it seems pretty clear that this was a necessary design feature. They all work really well! Steve
  8. Lofty

    My concertina family

    Mine is a flat ended Wheatstone. Here's a picture of one of the reed pans:very clean and neat. I'm amazed by the attention to detail: some of the reed chambers have been shortened by tiny amounts using extra chamber walls. I should have said previously that our very own Theo did some work on this for me. He retuned it and I think replaced the valves and a few pads. Steve Steve
  9. Lofty

    Large valves

    It seems more likely to me that they have been deliberately broken or cut off. I don’t suppose they would move enough for metal fatigue to have set in. Perhaps whoever replaced some of the valves did it: you can see that some of the replacements are shorter at their fixed ends. Maybe the person who did it didn’t know what they were or found it difficult to fit new valves under them. Steve
  10. Lofty

    My concertina family

    Thanks, Ken. I think that’s a good decision. I will try to post correctly in future! Steve
  11. Lofty

    My concertina family

    I might be interested if it’s for sale? Steve
  12. Lofty

    What our concertinas look like?

    On the right end (the one with the large rectangular pad for the wind key), there are two crossings. The one on the left, which snakes through some obstacles before it crosses over, is the A4. It crosses over the G#3. This makes some sense as there isn’t space for it higher up. The other crossing on this side is A3, crossing over the D#3. On the left end, A2 crosses over D#2 and D2. Steve
  13. Lofty

    My concertina family

    It’s 10 inches across the flats. I don’t know exactly what size a smaller MacCann would be, but I think a 46 button would be about 7 inches. Perhaps someone who has one could comment. Steve
  14. Lofty

    Reed gone flat

    Has it started to crack? I once had a B sound as a Bb on a bass when playing for a dance. It took me a while to work out who was playing the ‘wrong’ note, but when the dance finished and I could hear properly, I realised it was me. When I played a long note, the pitch dropped gradually and then the reed snapped with a “ping”. Colin Dipper made me a replacement and I had it by return of post. Don’t worry too much, though: it might be something else. Steve
  15. Lofty

    What our concertinas look like?

    I’m sure it’s the same one. David Robertson seems to have made a mistake in its range, however. As he said, the left side range is F2 to C5. On the right, it’s G3 to G6, not C3 to C6. I particularly wanted the right side to start from G3, rather than the more common middle C. This is partly because that is what the one I have on loan has. It’s also because I don’t ever intend to pay the highest, squeakiest notes and I would rather have lower ones instead. Steve