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Geoff Wooff

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About Geoff Wooff

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • 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. Following Stephen Chambers' comment regarding concertina reeds having tapered tongues, on the recent Lachenal reed shoe thread, which made me think ' do all concertina reeds have tapered tongues /slots ? My memory is that this is not always the case. At the moment I have only two concertinas, but a tin of old/ spare reeds by various makers proved all to have tapered tongues, however , of my two instruments one has parallel tongued reeds. Both are Wheatstones , the parallel reed model, a raised metal ended treble English, dates from about 1898, it has a lovely full tone , of bell like quality. The other is a 1927 Aeola with tapered reeds , very well balanced throughout its 4 octave range and a good strong tone with wooden ends. To my ear the tone of these two concertinas differ considerably, although they are not at all the same model but, I have encountered several very similar to the 1898, but dating from 20+ years later, that do not have that same tone quality. Condition is a big factor but just how much difference could be attributable to this one detail ? Measuring the tapered reeds: the smaller ones appear to be .005" (.127mm) narrower at the tips, the mid sizes perhaps .008"(.2mm) and the biggest taper by as much as .011"(.28mm). Not a great amount of taper but fairly constant throughout the range. An old accordion reed bank I inspected this morning shows parallel tongued reeds on the lower notes and tapered tongues for the higher notes, so I see the possiblility of using width to help achieve pitch . Any thoughts ? Do modern makers use tapered or straight reeds ?
  2. Yes indeed Stephen.... I was thinking the same, too much thread drift.
  3. Stephen , your comment regarding concertina reeds having tapered tongues got me thinking. As I had a reason to open my 1927 Aeola today I measured the tapers. Yes shallow tapered reeds alright but, I recall that one of the reasons I came up with as to why the sound of my other Wheatstone (1898 flat reed pan prototype Model 22) could be so different was that the reeds have parallel tongues....so I opened that one too and yes the tongues are parallel. Exactly what difference this has on the tone quality I could not quantify in words but I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts.
  4. In your situation and interest focus I would suggest the Wheatstone model 21. I use a Model 22 for session and dance band playing but for many years, whilst living in Ireland I used a Model No.5, which is the same as a 21 except it has Rosewood ends. I prefered it to an Aeola for session playing and it was only when I needed maximum volume for the current dance band I'm in did I search for a metal ended type. The technical differences between the 21 and the 22 are probably not as important to us as is availability and price. Good luck.
  5. Depends what you wish to use it for Seanc. The Wheatstone model 21 will be bright , quick and cheerfull. Good for melody playing, sessions etc. Generally the cheapest of the metal ended Wheatstones they are fine instruments. The Holmwood , will be a Tennor Treble made by Hamish Bayne. You can find much information on-line about his creations. I'd imagine that this would be better for song accompaniment, much bigger and heavier... unless you feel you need the extra range.....? I've never tried one but hopefully someone will come along who has.
  6. I think this may depend on the shape of your hands, length of fingers etc., as much as the keyboard type. I never used my pinkies for stabilising either hand position or the instrument on Hayden or McCann duets. When I think that coming to Duets as an EC player it might have felt natural to brace my grip with the pinkies placed on the ends.
  7. I enjoy playing a few JS Bach pieces and listening to others trying this music on the concertina.
  8. Jim, I did count all the Baritone Trebles in the ledgers some years ago , and I have the figures noted somewhere, the numbers for each of the models 14,15 and 16 were not high... in the teens only as I recall. There is a thread on Cnet (probably 10 years ago) with my findings at the time when i first came into ownership of mine. Other people here have suggested that they have a B/Treble that is not listed as such so perhaps there are a few more about. Lachenal Baritone /Trebles? I could find a place for a New Model version!
  9. Nice! I have something similar from Lowepro, one concertina on top of the other and padded partition in between.
  10. What instruments do you already play ? From you suggestion ' the rising of the Moon' one might think you are into songs and might choose an instrument for song accompaniment.
  11. Published by Dragonfly Music . 10 Gibson St. Newbiggin-on-sea Northumberland Ne 64 6PE.
  12. Learning new tunes is far more annoying to those around us than playing those pieces we know well. Of course Jim, you know this ... so I'm just saying for the benefit of those who may not realise the disturbance inflicted on others.
  13. Total Isolation. Sounds like a great chance to practice - learn some new tunes.... hmmmm! Shame, I work at home ! Well then , a great chance to get on with my work without disturbance.
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