Posts posted by MatthewVanitas
Update: it took more figuring out than I anticipated to identify the right reed in the block, but I gently sproinged it a couple times and whatever little bit of dust was block it came free, and we're back in business.
21 hours ago, Caleb Waldrop said:
I am a beginner looking for a 20-button anglo for my first concertina. Could you post a video or link to a video demonstrating all of the reeds working? I'd like to hear its tone and make sure that there are no major repairs I would need to make before I offer to buy it.
Sure, give me a couple days to find the right time and place to demonstrate it. And note as said it'll need new leather straps (really easy to do, no major skills required), which is why I'm selling it this cheap. Definitely a better deal than $200 for a China-made Hohner or Bonetti.
I'll post in this thread and message you when I have the video up.
Is the Jones 26b refurbished by a reputable maker, or is it just in original condition?
If you have the chance to buy a refurbished antique for the same cost as a new modern hybrid, I think most people would encourage you to take the refurbished antique. I had a 20b Jones from the 1870s, and it was still quite affordable but played great. A new entry-level or even mid-level concertina will be made with modern accordion "hybrid" reeds, but a refurbished antique will have "True" concertina reeds.
I finally fixed my button-wrangling technique and got the Frontalini back together... and promptly found out that one single reed isn't sounding at all. The reeds visually looked fine, I didn't see any damage when I opened the box. Is it likely the reed just has a bit of dust or something? When I draw and push the button, I don't get any feel that air is flowing at all, so it's not a missing or broken reed, it's a reed "frozen" in place somehow.
How do I "unfreeze" one reed while not damaging it or the valve? Do I understand right that a "draw" reed would be one with the valve away from me as I look at the reeds from the bellows-side of the box?
(Posted included the beginner options as tags, but didn't include them in the title; they mean the following:)
- Stagi M5
- Jones 26
I finally figured out that I just wasn't being assertive enough at jimmying buttons into place. I was too much trying to slide missing ones into place, as oppose to depress them further and let them swing back into position and then monkey around with them. It turns out that the long tweezers with a slight crook out of my shaving bag were the optimal tool for this, and I got it right after just a couple minutes of experimenting when I'd spent easily a cumulative 20 minutes prior to this messing with it.
I got all the buttons back in place... and then promptly found that one reed isn't speaking and I need to take it back off again. Do we have a preferred thread here that explains how to unstick reads that I should read before proceeding?
THIS CONCERTINA HAS BEEN SOLD
I bought this Riccordi (re-brand of Stagi) as-is, and gave it a thorough cleaning, but rather than re-sleeve the buttons myself, I'm offering it for sale uber-cheap to anyone needing an affordable starter. The case and part of the bellows had some mildew when I bought it, but I've carefully cleaned it with alcohol and vinegar and it's pretty clean now. The case is kinda beater and I removed the paper inside to clean it, but that's easily replaced with generic shelf-paper.
It's overall well in tune, bellows have great compression and are the older-style Stagi bellows that are surprisingly good quality. The leather straps are in decent shape and adjustable. Despite the humidity damage to the case, I can find no trace of humidity harm on the reeds or any metal or leather parts, all good. This box does need a little low-skill work though, since this is of the common Italian design where the keys are held in place with rubber grommets, and they've dried out and cracked. The buyer will need to put in some low-skill time (a couple hours) to slice silicone tubing to make new grommets, and I have replacement silicone of the right diameter coming in the mail and will include it for free. I could do it myself, but I'm nomadic right now and all my useful gear for this (Xacto knives, cuticle scissors) are in storage. I emphasize this doesn't require concertina-specific skills, just really basic handyman stuff and a few hours of time. If I did it I'd have to increase the cost of the box, but I'd rather just give someone a good deal. Here's a thread with detailed internal photos and discussion of the model:
I'm asking $99 plus actual shipping cost from Philadelphia to you, so here's a chance to get a starter box for Irish or folksinging at a quarter of what a new Concertina Connection box would run you
1 hour ago, maccannic said:
Maybe turn the whole thing over? So the buttons are hanging down rather than (not) standing up?
Oh, I'm already doing this upside-down. Laying down on the couch with the keys dangling downward roughly straight.
Does nobody else find this difficult, just me?
I have a 20b Frontalini that I just took apart to inspect and take photos. And now I'm facing my least-favorite part of the process: getting all 10 buttons to go back into all 10 holes.
Anyone got any tip to make this less a pain? My record right now is getting 9 to line up perfectly but just can't get the 10th. I'm trying this laying down on the couch to make it easier on my neck as I try 20 times in a row, and I'm using the eraser end of a pencil to try to nudge recalcitrant buttons into place, but still not quite doing it. Is there an easy way, or do even experts have to try a couple dozen times until you nail it perfectly?
I am not an Anglo guy, though I play Duet and I also have a little experience with diatonic melodeons, so on the average I sorta understand the Anglo a smidge. I'm looking forward to getting this up and running now, since so far it feels nicer than I expected it to be, though it's a little hard to tell until I get these grommets replaced. Got two different diameters of Du-Bro blue silicone tubing arriving any day now, so can take a whack at it with some razor blades and trim the little bits down to suit.
2 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:
This one is clearly a "rebadged" Bastari/Stagi instrument, made for an importer or dealer (possibly Sears?), and their least-expensive 30-key model.
Got it, thanks! What are the cues that I should watch for to positively identify a Stagi?
Is it notably of worse quality than other Stagis, or is just least-expensive because the stamped metal ends require less labor? Or are bellows, reeds, etc. of cheaper quality?
I picked up this instrument used, and it was listed as "some buttons stick." Exactly as I expected, as soon as I picked it up I heard the tell-tale rattle of bits of decayed rubber grommet linkage shifting around in the box. Opened it up and it's all crusty dried-out rubber, and I've got two different diameters of silicone tubing coming in the mail to try out on it.
I got a partial refund from the seller because the item in its case arrived with some smell of mildew. I'm not seeing any signs of corrosion on any of the metal, and no leather rot on straps or valves, so it seems the case did its job and took the brunt of the hit (all exposed metal on the case is heavily corroded). So I tore out the "shelf paper" in the case as a lost cause, cleaned it up with bathroom scrubber and am leaving it in a window-sill to sterilize. I can't do that with the box itself, but based on online advice about musty accordion bellows I'm going to carefully spritz the leather with a mix of vinegar and rubbing alcohol and wipe it right down.
The box actually has really solid tone, I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out, and I love the Art Deco-ish metal ends. This one I'll also put up for sale on this forum for someone wanting an Irish starter, and will price it competitively in comparison to a Rochelle or Wren and hold it for someone seriously short on cash. I'm not trying to make money flipping these, but I'll take a little profit when I can so I can subsidize other boxes for noobs, or make up for the one in ten that's just a write-off. Hope folks are finding these "dissections" of old Italian hybrids to be interesting!
1 hour ago, John Wild said:
The dragon emblem gives a clue towards Marcus Music in Wales. They have a model named the traveller.
Ah, that's the one I was initially thinking of! I somehow kept thinking Norman (who does build mini-Englishes so partially answers my other question.)
The Marcus Traveller is pretty cute though, 5" across (like a piccolo) but at full-size pitches, 21b with a standard 20b array but an added added C#/Eb so you can reach out into more keys.
There's not anyone making mini/compact Haydens or other Duets in hybrid though, no? I was thinking about those because another poster on this sub is hunting for a 35b Crane. I know Alex Holden built a compact Hayden, his "Brun" model with true concertina reeds, but unless Tedrow or someone got quirky, I don't think there are many hybrid compact Duets. Which is a little odd because the Wheatstone Duett was just that.
I'm having trouble tracking down a model I wanted to recommend a friend take a look at, and just can't figure out what maker I'm thinking. Someone had on their site I want to say a 23-button Anglo that had just the absolutely key third-row notes for Irish sessions or whatnot, and made to be compact and durable. Anyone recall what maker I'm thinking of? I idly want to say they have a dragon as their trademark.
And that aside, who would be the current makers of hybrid/semi-affordable instruments who are making minis? I know some of the pricey folks with long waitlists make fancy minis, but I believe I've seen some pretty affordably-priced (meaning $900k-ish vice $3k-ish) hybrid minis.
Thanks for the little help jogging my memory and catching me up on current offerings on the scene!
Even though they're defunct brands in many cases, would it be useful to list the older Italian badge-names (Riccordi, Renelli, etc), and also maybe note which brand names are now badged onto China-produced instruments (Bonetti, etc.)?
I know the list is mostly for nicer makes, but I think that listing all the Chinese/German/Italian badges of the cheaper starters would be good for SEO, get more novices to come across this forum.
I recently picked up a cool little 30b Anglo (badged as "Riccordi, Made in Italy") and the second I picked it up I knew it was indeed in need of replacing the rubber gaskets with silicone tubing, since I could hear the gritty little bits of dried-out rubber rattling around inside. It's an interesting construction, so I'll post some disassembly photos later. Going to put it up on the Sales forum to give a gonnabe Irish player an affordable starter.
Had a question thought: the semi-hard vinyl case stank of mildew and had some visible. I tore out the "shelf paper" lining it, wiped it all down with bathroom cleaner, and am leaving it (the case, not concertina out in the hot sun to air out. The wood and metal bits of the concertina seem fine, no sign of mildew or rust on the reeds, thankfully. I have the bellows fully detached at the moment, and I'm not detecting mildew between the pleats, but am on the externally visible lip that intersects with the end. Anyone have any advice on wiping down the outsides with something not too harsh (and avoiding getting any on the paper) and then maybe stretching it out to air out? I assume detached bellows can't be safely put out in the sun like the case can because it might weaken the glue? Thanks for any info!
1 hour ago, Daniel Hersh said:
Thanks for posting! The reed pan design looks very German, though with accordion reeds rather than the long-plate aka ganged reeds that you would see on a German concertina from an earlier era.
Does the concertina actually say "made in Italy" somewhere? And can you add an exterior photo of the extended bellows?
It does indeed have "MADE IN ITALY" stamped on it behind one hand-rail.
I can get an exterior of the extended bellows tomorrow, no problem.
Here are some detailed internal photos, for those curious. Turns out the buttons are riveted to the arms, not held by rubber gaskets:
5 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:
I'd say post it in Concertina History, perhaps with another post in Construction/Repair linking to that one.
Posted in History as you suggest:
Picked this up cheap recently, and opened it up to check on the rubber gaskets holding the keys to the levers, but turns out there's no such thing on this model and the butons are riveted to the levers.
It plays pretty well as-is, decently in tune, just needs new straps, so I put it up on the Sales section as-is to be inexpensive for a novice who wants to do sea shanties or whatnot.
26 minutes ago, Jim2010 said:
Thanks Mathew. Good suggestion. What do you play on your Crane 35?
Mainly I just played things like Irish slow airs, and some modern folksongs or pop music.
I haven't played concertina in ages, but when I get back to it as things settle I'll try to post more videos.
SOLD: affordable starter 20-button Anglo concertina, SOLD$135SOLD for this Italian-made Frontalini, runs well but needs new handstraps
in Buy & Sell
Here's the demo of all reeds as requested (and I've added it to the original post too):