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Everything posted by wayman

  1. Here's a photo of the gooseneck mounting system I devised and have used for two ceilidh dances this month. The system seems to work, but I'm not satisfied with the AKG-519s I'd borrowed for these gigs. After interviewing a dozen people, I'm taking Rob Harbron's suggestion and ordering a pair of Supralux PRA-383D XLR mics which I'll have by the next ceilidh I'm playing, in three weeks. I'll review them then, and I suspect my mounting system will get a little smaller and more refined with the new, smaller, mic clips.
  2. Jody, the carol singers squeeze in the pub just fine, all two or three or seven hundred of 'em, and they only squeeze in the pub maybe a dozen times a year for carols. You and I, no trouble -- we concertina players practice squeezing every day (and often in pubs no less)! We'll have no trouble at all, provided we wake up good and early on Sunday.
  3. I don't have the answer about 'sticky paper', but I'm reminded of Brendan Power's use of blu-tack to temporarily retune harmonica reeds: 2. The first use of Blu-Tack as a quick, reversible re-tuning method. I had been using solder to lower reed pitch, but one day around 1980 thought of trying that blue putty used for sticking pictures on the wall: Blu-Tack. I found that it stuck really well, and stayed there for years, decades even! Not only that, it was reversible, so you could stick it on and remove it at will. This was a great way to try new tuning ideas quickly, or have several tunings
  4. I've recently made a Bb/F anglo [1] which is intentionally modular so that in time, I can make alternate fretworks and ends [2] to experiment with the resulting sound and performance. As a busy post-graduate I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to make alternate parts, but in theory as I've already got the files it's just a matter of finding the time and materials. I hope to experiment with ... different kinds of wood different kinds of metal different thickness different open-ness of design whether the material of the end frames contribute meaningfully to sound difference separ
  5. Lawrence, do you know why the B29L was discontinued, and whether there's any compatible product (or likely to be a new version of it at some point)?
  6. Jim, when you switch concertinas mid-set, do your arrangements tend to give you sixteen or thirty-two bars in which to make the switch, or not even that much time? I'm now envisioning a system where, say, two endbolts are used to attach a small plate (like the discount card) to each end of each concertina ... and each plate has a couple of those neodymium magnets glued to it ... and then you've got two more little plates with neodymium magnets glued onto them, to which your gooseneck mics are attached In sixteen bars, you could easily set down the concertina you've been playing, remo
  7. I've just last week been working through this same question (and have been asking rather a few people for their input). My goal is different than Jim's -- I specifically want gooseneck L/R mics -- but I'll go ahead and present what I've learned so far. (A quick look through c.net suggested that while this topic has come up in the past, it's been some years since the last time.) Microvox "as intended" 2x m400 microphones £76.68 for the pair in UK ; $130 for the pair in USA plus Microvox Standard PSU £58.50 ; $105 in USA plus Microvox Jack-XLR 5m cable £14 ; cheap adaptor cables readily
  8. Alex, in theory I'm free that Tuesday afternoon. As a postgrad, one never knows for sure, but the biweekly Tuesday afternoon research seminar skips that week :-) More details in PM to follow...
  9. I was planning on making the next night, but I'd love to meet up, Alex. West Yorkshire is right tricky for me, though (and I'll be coming back from Cornwall that day most likely). Logistics, logistics. If anyone's driving from Pete Coe's to Sheffield after the concert, that would put a finger on the scales....
  10. Is it too late to name your upcoming tour of the UK the "Jody Kruskal: Foreign but Compatible" tour?
  11. I've got an H2N and while it makes great recordings, that's all I've found it's good at. Given that that's exactly why I bought it, I'm extremely satisfied with it! But everything else that it might say it does is not worth doing on there. The interface and screen for doing everything besides recording is similar to that on a mobile phone from the late 1990s.
  12. You can also use Audacity (Mac, PC, Unix) for this, which is free.
  13. I just went through security at Logan airport in Boston with three anglos in my rucksack, and ... absolutely nothing was said. I picked up my bag, put my shoes on, and walked away. This has never happened to me before. I'm not complaining!
  14. I've moved notes around in vintage instruments (Jeffries) partly because I already know that previous owners did so -- the instrument I have is not 'just as it was a century ago' already, it's been changed and changed again to suit many players. There's no reason not to do the same (within reason). 'Within reason' means I'm not going to change any of the woodwork in the reedpan, but I'll happily move reeds around or find substitute reeds (and store the others, with notation of where they had been, in little envelopes in the instrument's case). In a few cases, I dropped the pitch of Jeffries re
  15. I don't know whether what David says -- "The word "concertina" is on the list of items that must be confiscated, because it might mean concertina wire, which may be used as a weapon" -- is technically, legally true, but I can say that in practice I have said 'concertina' dozens of times in the past five years to airport security people in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and nobody has batted an eye.
  16. The Morse G/D Ceili is unchanged. As a 6-1/4 inch instrument with full-scale hybrid reeds, there just isn't any extra room to work with. I don't think the BBox has considered making a G/D as a 7 inch instrument, but it's certainly technically possible to do it with not that much custom designing. It would have to be a custom order and I couldn't say for sure whether they'd go for it. (Anyone who wants to try ordering one, give them a call and ask!) I think by doing this one could certainly get a bit more out of the G/D's lowest notes. The trade-offs of course would be that it's larger, hea
  17. Having TAM reeds is part of the equation, but the real 'special sauce' of the ESB's balance and responsiveness is the size and shape of the chambers for the low reeds. A lot of math and prototyping went into their design, and the improvement in response over the course of several major design revisions and prototypes (before the ESB launched as a production model) was fun and rewarding to experience! :-) All that high school geometry and trigonometry finally got put to great use and I did all the drawings and calculations by hand -- my beloved high school maths teacher Mr. Boe would be so prou
  18. That depends in large part on everyone's personal definition of 'affordable', but as for 'playable' -- balanced tone, responsive even in the lowest octave -- the Morse ESB is pretty good. But as an instrument built to perform well and hopefully to last 'probably forever' (at least as far as the lifespan of a purchaser is concerned...), the ESB is well above the price range of the Rochelle or Jack. I should note that I'm the least unbiased person who could possibly say this (as I was a co-designer and built all of the ESBs from their introduction until a couple months ago). But others on c-
  19. Will, have you seen the Rob Harbron workshop in Lewes, Kent, on 10th September (it's posted on c-net somewhere)? Rob plays English system, but the workshop is open to players of all systems and speaking as an anglo player who has taken a workshop with Rob Harbron before, I can say with some confidence that Rob will present lots of ideas and approaches and technique that you can apply to anglo as well as English. You might well not be the only anglo in the workshop, but even if you are, it's worth a go (if there's still space). (I see Lewes and Maidstone are 42 miles apart; but I would ima
  20. "the first letter was the lower row, and the second was the upper" is correct -- the first letter is lower in pitch. On concertinas -- C/G -- the G row is a fifth higher than the C row. On melodeons -- G/C -- the G row is a fourth lower than the C row.
  21. My repertoire to a large extent coincides with Jody's, so I agree (from a personal standpoint) wholeheartedly with what he wrote, especially "As I have often stated, for tunes and songs (but not Irish pure drop Anglo style, which I don't play) I find the G/D superior for 95% of what I do play... contra dances, sessions, most fiddle based music, dance tunes, and songs. At sessions and gigs I often bring my C/G too, but rarely play it. The G/D is my instrument of choice most of the time. Still, I do find the C/G useful for C tunes, Dm and G modal tunes and some songs where it fits my voice bette
  22. Veering off-topic on a brief tangent... Bob wrote "... a D/G melodeon (as we don't call it on this side of the pond)" and I thought ... really? That's the most common thing I've heard it called on both sides of the pond! The only alternatives I'm aware of are saying "G/D" instead of "D/G" (but in my experience most people do say "D/G" and only a very few say "G/D") and saying "button accordion" interchangably with "melodeon", but it's generally not for anyone's lack of knowing or liking the term "melodeon", just for variety. So I'm curious -- are there pockets of the USA where "D/G me
  23. I started with a G/D (and a repertoire of primarily morris and Manx trad tunes), and self-taught. I attended a few workshops for which a C/G was handy and borrowed my friend Roger's. After I'd been playing for about a year and a half, Roger passed away and passed his C/G on to me, and I switched almost entirely to playing his C/G ... both playing tunes at correct pitch (and thus with new different fingerings) and playing tunes with the same old fingerings (and thus a fourth higher), and generally messing around a lot more with cross-row stuff and improvisation. Here in America, musicians l
  24. Rob, here are several factors each of which may contribute in some way to the prevalence of C/G over G/D anglos... many will surely find quibbles with one or more of these, as many of these are somewhat subjective rather than objective criteria, but this is roughly how I see it. The C/G often has a more balanced sound -- the lowest half-octave on a G/D is just low enough that it often isn't quite as responsive as the rest of the instrument. This varies by maker and by concertina, but it's a tendency. Those low notes just tend to be slower to respond and have less dynamic punch. The C/G
  25. Greg, it looks like the best blades are available at Amazon (and probably elsewhere): 120 blades for $17 The patent for "an improved safety razor blade with a cutting edge on which is an adherent coating comprising a fluorocarbon which improves the shaving effectiveness of the blade edge and to the making of such blades" looks to be interesting reading.
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