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Geoff Wooff

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About Geoff Wooff

  • Birthday 04/24/1950

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    playing music on English concertina, uilleann pipes and hurdy gurdy (among others). Making instruments, keeping healthy in my old age, chatting with friends. Now learning to play MacCann Duet.Latest project is Learning the Hayden Duet.
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  1. Al, should this not read '32 bars long' ? For the effect of good Timing to come across to the listener or dancer the musician needs to add Emphasis and Phrasing . Adding these factors to the tunes we hum or whistle whilst taking a walk can be beneficial.
  2. I often find that one of my concertinas has this 'stuck-on ends' syndrome but it is just that the ends fit so well to the bellows frames and reedpan gaskets that they appear stuck. It is almost like static friction. A nudge or lifting firmly will break the seal... I hope this is the case with yours.
  3. Hi Shay, whilst it will be interesting to see what thoughts come up on this topic I tend to think that all those extra reeds must have a dampening effect on the reedpans which could result in diminished output volume. A direct comparison between a radial Pan 30k Wheatstone and a rectangular Pan 30k Jeffries has to be of interest... though each instrument may be different and a constantly played model will show vitality of tone over another that sits on the shelf.
  4. Hi Chris, interesting group of Aeolas but, how can the miniature concertina be One and one Eighth inches across ? Any price indications ?
  5. If it is just the notes on one button that are considerably louder than others it is possible to effect a cure by adjusting the height that the pad lifts off the vent hole. This can be done by bending the lever or adding a felt washer or two under the button to reduce its travel.
  6. I would not advise tuning up half a semitone. Many ( most ?) vintage concertinas now in A440hz have been tuned down from A452hz. This involves slightly thinning the reed tongue towards the clamped end to reduce its stiffness. Tuning up requires thining the free end to lighten the tongue and needs great care. Of course Jeffries reeds with Lead weighted tips can be easily raised but they don't all have this feature.
  7. Seven folds is an option these day when ordering a new bellows but old 'original' bellows were usually either five or six folds , depending on the period of manufacture. Probably 6 folds was normal when yours was made. I would say your 7 fold bellows is either a special order or a later replacement. Can you estimate how far away from A440 the tuning is ? I could imagine it being a little high, maybe A442 like a lot of Bandoneons, or the higher pitch of A452, common in England before World War 2.
  8. Well worth getting restored properly. I have had several Model 22's and played a few others. Having it fixed is one thing, as seanc says, but then to have it fine adjusted by a good player is quite another . They are like race horses and need carefull handling. My current model 22 is a very early one , probably 1898, good dynamic range and it sings!
  9. I certainly do not agree it is easier to play repeated notes using alternating fingers on buttons that arrive flush with the end plates, in fact quite the opposite. The repeated three note ornament that purports to be an Irish 'Roll' is something I prefer to use very sparingly, if at all however, there is one tune I have been trying to play which has several four note reiterations ( La Bourrasque) and I have had more success achieving these, with my old worn out fingers, on buttons that are higher and do not decend all the way down. We are all different I suppose.
  10. My 1898 Wheatstone ( prototype model 22) has buttons that are almost flush with the metal ends when fully depressed but that is because I have removed all but one of the felt washers on the button location pins. This allows maximum Pad lift, giving full voice to the instrument. I have often thought of making button extensions ,or just longer buttons, because I am used to at least 2mm minimum height. What you have done Fred v, I imagine, is to limit the dynamic range. You may feel you have enough volume for playing at home but for a session ? The sound from a concertina travels out horizontally at a good distance from the player's ears and in a session the power is absorbled by the body of the player's on either side and this can make it difficult to oneself . The English concertina usually does not produce as much volume as an Anglo. I feel strongly that those cheap starter instruments, which were never avaliable when many of us began playing concertinas, can lead one astray and , rather than encourage the beginner to commence learning, deter good advancement.
  11. It is possible that the friction pressure of the felt bushings on the buttons is causing a cumulative 'grip' which makes the seperation of the two sections harder than you imagine it should be.
  12. Make sure to mark the removed reeds , for push and pull, as their exact pitch and fit may differ. I use the 'press many buttons to close' method on my LOUD band/session EC, but some would argue that one's bellows work should allow for finishing a piece with the bellows shut though I doubt many of us do that. My 120 bass Chromatic Button Accordéon does not have an air button either !
  13. A new concertina bellows should not leak. The drop time on my 15 year old Wakker bellows is something close to two minutes and that bellows is joined to 125 year old ends that still have their original pads and springs. Better you talk to McNeela about this.
  14. Happy to know this... congratulations.
  15. Yes, but I have forgotten. I have the name written down somewhere so, when I find it I will let you know.
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