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Chris Ghent

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Everything posted by Chris Ghent

  1. Steve, about decibels; I knew that and perhaps expressed it clumsily but I said the level would halve, not the number because I didn’t want to introduce a concept such as a logarithmic scale into a simple discussion. And the level drop, say three inches from the concertina to the watch, so move the watch to six inches away, sound level halves, another foot it halves again so it is a quarter of what it was and your watch is about as far away as your ear.
  2. Loudness to the ear comes in two varieties. There is technical loudness and this conforms to square law. If you double the distance between your watch and the sound source the db level will halve. Your watch is very close and your ears at least twice as far away and perhaps as many as four times meaning it will halve again. The other variety of loudness is perceived loudness. One way this is created is by discord. We hear discord as louder (this is the principle accordions work on). Concertinas with loud higher partials which are naturally out of tune with lower partials will get in your ear and are unpleasant. This explains the experience of seanc above.
  3. If the bushed hole in the end was oval the button still should not be able to fall over. The only thing that will allow that is the pin at the bottom of the button being out of its hole at rest. To check this look along the buttons to see if that button is higher than the rest. If not, check if it is not a replacement button which is slightly shorter. If so bend the lever until the pin is in the hole and look for a better button. If the button is proud of the others it could be because the pad has compressed over time, or the hole in the lever for the rivet is elongated vertically (push down on the lever at the post and see if it moves downwards) or because the post is coming out of the actionboard. If the latter pull the post right out and put it back in with gel superglue and with a sliver of wood. In the old days you would have said with a shaving off a matchstick but who has one of them these days.
  4. It may be because of deterioration in the materials that make up the bellows leading to more and larger than normal detritus floating around inside. You could try vacuuming (carefully)out the inside.
  5. Might be worth avoiding any cloth that sheds fibres and also any cloth made from synthetic materials. Foam will end up becoming either slimy or friable over time.
  6. Thank you David and everyone else, and Malcolm, yes that is the situation.
  7. Thanks for the evaluations everyone. Can I ask a more nuanced question? Has anyone ever seen a Jones concertina that was truly fast and loud. Not talking as good as a Lachenal now, talking much better.
  8. The concertina I asked for help identifying is clearly a Jones. I have a couple of questions I hope someone can answer. 1) Was it common or indeed did it ever happen at all that a Jones 20 key would have bushed buttons? 2) How good were Jones reeds? I know this might be hard to answer without a reference point but perhaps the answer to this question might suffice; how does a Jones 20 key concertina compare to an equivalent Lachenal? Would they be as loud or as fast, or more so? There are reasons for these questions In a few weeks I am giving a short exposition on the subject of a 19th century Australian concertina maker. Deciding what is his work and what is someone else's is tricky..!
  9. Thanks for the help with the ID, I can now see that it is clearly a Jones. I have a couple of follow up questions but I think I might start another thread as the title of this one wouldn't suit.
  10. This concertina has historical significance in Australia. Its provenance is obscure, but I expect it is basically at its core made by one of the big makers but with add-ons. Serial number 15,569 would seem to confirm this but there are unusual things about it. The temptation is to think Lachenal but the riveted action is uncharacteristic and the end design is like no other Lachenal I have seen. The reeds seem wide to me, suggesting Jones? The serial is punched in without ink. There are batch numbers. The button holes in the end are bushed. There are the signs of threaded captive nuts for the straps. Does anyone spot maker clues for any part of this concertina. There was a person a few years ago who charted the different styles of action by maker but I can not find reference to his findings online. Can anyone direct me to his work? Sorry I can't seem to get control over rotation of the images. Whatever I do they come out like this. TIA Chris
  11. As I specified “across the flats” because it led directly to my point rather than reaching for an “arbitrary convention”, any discussion of point to point is unnecessary. As to “arbitrary” convention in using “across the flats”; reference to “point to point” would be mathematically awkward during the planning process as well as confusing in the sales process and I doubt anyone has regularly, if ever, compared the size of concertinas in any way other than across the flats. Having said that, a box maker would likely take note of it and it pays to be careful of it when selecting a blank for making pad boards, ends or reedpans.
  12. I regret my good friend of 20 years Richard Evans died tonight. For 30 plus years Richard repaired near every concertina in Australia. And in that time he made about 30 concertinas of his own. Knowledgeable and generous with it, always good company. Go well Richard…
  13. An important consideration for the number of sides: for any given dimension across the flats the more sides you use the smaller the square area of the end will be. The smaller the square area of the end the less pressure is needed to create a given air pressure/vacuum. In use this will translate as less force needed and quicker response. The bellows will travel further for the same amount of air. Another thing; it is important to be able to hold the concertina in such a way that the ends do not waggle on bellows direction changes. This waggle is induced because the handrests are inevitably not in the centre of the concertina. With a hexagonal concertina the usual method of reducing waggle is to roll the concertina forward onto the point, and the top of the handrest is then close to the centre of the concertina. Any force applied downward with the thumb will bisect the end of the concertina and it will not waggle on that end. The other end is a more complex problem! With a square concertina it will likely be held on the flat and the handrest will be very off centre. Played a Harley once, square of course, lovely concertina.
  14. I wasn’t denigrating the site, I think it is a good resource. Just got caught up in remembering the decisions you had to make when writing the code for a site in the middle 90s and enjoyed this one. Haven’t seen Chris here in a while, hope he is still at it…
  15. Another reason to look at the Concertina FAQ; it is a lovely look back in time. This is what the internet used to look like 25 years ago.
  16. A pronounced twist on the end of a harmonium reed is an attempt to make the stop the reed belongs to sound different to the others. In the concertina context the exaggerated gap between the twisted part of the reed and the frame could be considered a very large leak, making the reed assembly very inefficient.
  17. The Norman looks like stainless steel, a very permanent material though hard to work; my hat is off to anyone cutting it by hand or with a scroll saw. That said, it always has a clinical look. Your Wheatstone will never shine to the same look, or stay shone for a long time. If nickel or nickel plated it will always have a slightly yellow look; a look I find comfortable to the eye. When listening to a musician I would have to notice something dramatic about their instrument to notice it much at all. Willie Nelson’s favourite guitar comes to mind. I would definitely not be thinking “what a lovely shiny instrument”! And when perusing an old instrument I will not be impressed by someone’s idea of how shiny it would have been on day one. If it shows signs of its progress through time, scratches, dents, wear, I am reminded of its history and prompted to imagine stories of its life. So I favour minimum interference. I would recommend cleaning as dirt can contribute to decay. Dust and skin in the bellows folds are best cleaned out, and signs of vertigris on brass or copper based parts are best cleaned off. Buttons with oxidation on the sides which is picking up on the bushes need a polish.
  18. It is an issue with the valves. If it only happens when you leave your finger down when changing direction learn to take your finger off and put it back down again for the new note. This issue usually only affects very low notes, I’m impressed in this case it is on every note on the left. The real remedy is to use this instrument to decide if you are going to be a concertina player and if so, buy a much better one.
  19. The anglo has an attribute that makes it inherently suitable for dance music and Irish music in particular, something the EC does not have, and that is the ability to create massive attack on notes. This is because it is held in the hands rather than the fingers.
  20. Saying the English is easier to play is just an opinion. The anglo would suit Irish music better.
  21. To hear some difficult classical music played on a 32 key Anglo go to youtube and search “Cillian King concertina”.
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