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About MatthewVanitas

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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  • Interests
    Hayden duet concertina, modal and drone music, alternate scales and temperaments
  • Location
    Montreal, Quebec

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  1. Like the title says, looking for the big square Bastaria Hayden. I'm expanding my collection of Hayden/Wicki instruments. I have an Elise, a Beaumont, Stagi hex, searching for the right Wheatstone, and having a certain maker build me more... This purchase is for my music education non-profit, so I'll be loaning the instrument out to musicians who can borrow it for gigs and recordings. I know these aren't the smoothest players, so I figure some of the folks who own them must have them mostly sitting in a closet doing nothing, so if that's you, rest assured I can put it to work getting played regularly and introducing novices to the world of concertinas. I'm based in Montreal, but also have an address in Paris I can have it sent to if you're in Europe, or Bogota if you're down south. Hope we can make a deal to get it out of the closet and playing!
  2. I'm having it sent to Greg Jowaisas shortly, so we can all look forward to his photos of the internals, and his assessment of the quality!
  3. Dang it! But on the bright side, turns out Greg Jowaisas has a very reasonably small Mayfair English, so I got that as my consolation prize.
  4. I recently picked up a 38b German bandoneon, cute little thing, on eBay. It needs some work, though the reeds look reasonably good and the action just needs some tweaking, bellows maybe more so. Can anyone recommend anyone (preferably in Europe or North America) who can do bandoneon repair, and who doesn't cost a huge amount for such an inexpensive instrument as I have?
  5. I'm not doing the work myself, as I am unskilled and lazy, but I got a guy...
  6. I have a re-reeding project in mind, that calls for a donor 40b hybrid-reed box, like any Italian/Germany/Chinese cheapie. I realize a 40b will sell for more than a 30b that sells for more than a 20b, but for my purposes condition is pretty immaterial as long as it has vaguely-working bellows and the body is solid and keywork functional. I'm in Montreal, but am often in the US and have friends in Europe who can courier packages for me, so open to buying from any of those areas, or a good deal globally.
  7. Actually, tell you what, I have a cheap Italian-made English concertina sitting around at a friend's place, and I think he's done playing with it. Email me and I can cut you whatever deal needed to fit your budget. No point getting an Anglo if that's not what you *really* want, also I don't need you bidding against me on cheap Anglos on eBay!
  8. I've mucked around with a number of clunky old Italian cheapies off eBay (US) and maybe I've had good luck but out of dozen+ I only had maybe two that were simply unplayable. A lot of them aren't playable at first because the little rubber linkages rot away over time, but you can replace them with about $2 of the right size of vinyl tubing and 20 minutes of unskilled work. If the reeds are damaged or out of tune, that's a different matter, but I've had good luck. Cheap Italian (or more recently Chinese) used boxes on eBay are 95% likely to be C/G Anglos, but that said I did once buy an English on eBay for $75, and it was huge and clunky but functional buttons and played in tune. Of your options, the best is probably trying out all the various systems at a social event, then renting/borrowing a moderate cheapie (decent modern hybrid, or beater vintage). Alternately, haunt eBay and buy an Italian/German/Chinese cheapie and expect to do a little unskilled work on it. On a dozen occasions I've gotten eBay sellers on the phone so I could hear the buttons played individually and together (to see if the harmony sounded right) to confirm before buying. You assume *some* risk of a dud, but if you hear it played over the phone and it sounds okay, for under $100 I'd say go for it! And just be ready to replace rubber bits, or glue a fallen-off pad, or whatever else, just basic grunt-work. If you want Anglo that's easy, but you'll have to browse a little bit on eBay, Craigslist (or your local equivalent), Hobgoblin's used listings, etc to find a cheap English, and for a Duet there's really no option short of a used Elise for about $300 or so. That said, if you think English is the best fit (and note you can download music apps for your phone that let you try out Anglo and English key layouts on your device), don't compromise on an Anglo just because it's cheap and available, just keep a more vigilant eye out for a cheapie English. So in summary, try and meet some folks so you can try various boxes, then rent or borrow one of the type you like. Or go on eBay but be willing to ask the seller to just press the buttons and squeeze over the phone to verify it sorta-works, then be ready to use your woodworking skills on some basic maintenance and upgrades. Speaking of which, the little melodeon you have can, with a little semi-skilled mockery, be converted to use higher-quality Italian reeds, put on better valves, etc. and it'll be at least three times better than it is now. I've owned several such "toy melodeons" converted by Irish Dancemaster of Florida, and they're simply worlds better than the unmodified instrument.
  9. Long/short, I'm living in Montreal now and looking to start a "musical instrument lending library" where people can pay a deposit slightly exceeding the eBay-able value of an instrument, borrow it for 30 days, and return it for full refund minus a small fee for admin/maintenance. For those purposes, I'm buying cheap-ish instruments that are less likely to be stolen and hocked, *but* I'm willing to put money into improving them and making them more durable, since a $600 Stagi Hayden with $300 or work would still only sell on eBay for $600. So even if it's "not cost effective" I'm interested in upgrading some import boxes for use as rentals. I just bought a Stagi Hayden yesterday on eBay (did I outbid anyone here?), so that'd be a good place to start. Do we have any members in the US or Canada who are able and willing to "hot rod" say my Stagi and my Elise to make them smoother players and tougher, for use as rentals? I'd be happy to compensate you for time and parts, either with money, or if you prefer with a gift card, or buy you some piece of hobby gear you've had your eye on so would enjoy getting guilt-free. Please let me know if interested, and also if anyone has *any* old hybrid concertinas that are playable but could use some work (old Stagis, cheapie pearloid Italians, Scholers, etc) please let me know as I'd be interested in buying them off you and using them as rentals in Montreal, and/or once I register this as a non-profit I may be able to offer tax credit on donations. Very excited to be out popularizing concertinas soon!
  10. Reviving a dead topic; I'll go and search for more audio tracks and YouTube videos. Meanwhile, and of y'all have any other examples to add to the list?
  11. Really cool and different take on the tradition! Have you checked out Tim Edey's YouTube clips or instructional DVD on playing Irish on the unconventional D/G melodeon? http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=2813.0
  12. Hello aust88, just so we can help advise you right, is your intent to learn to play the instrument, or to assess its value for sale, or simple curiosity? It's fine in whatever case, just it'll be easier for us to advise if you give us an idea of your goal. Glad you found the right place!
  13. The Elise is a ton of fun, if you're looking to do song accompaniment or do some keyboard/organ-like vamping above lower bass backing, the Duet is a great instrument! I'm a duet player myself, had an Elise a couple years before I started playing it regularly to accompany a guitarist friend for house-party gigs, and then swiftly upgraded to a More Beaumont (the CC Peacock is a great middle-priced alternative). Playing it a lot more since I got back to the US, just need to find folks in Austin that could use some concertina backing for home recording projects or casual local gigs. If you want to see song accompaniment with Duet, lakeman is a member here and plays the Crane Duet (but same concepts apply), and his channel is really worth a listen: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb0RPKsGLVEEC6OqFjxplwA (I especially like his rendition of the ballad Jim Jones). Good that you mention music theory too; the Hayden system is just brilliant for understanding intervals and chord formations since the same finger motions apply across all keys. Note that the Elise is a pretty simplified Hayden, so great for starters but if you get seriously into it you'll be in the mood for an upgrade before too long, though in the short term it's great particularly if you play mostly folky stuff in limited keys. Excited for you, and kudos to Ken for meeting up to let you try out gear! I've also met with friendly Cnet members in two different states I've lived in to check out their gear to help inform my purchase decisions, really friendly crew here.
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