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Jim Cush

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  1. Before you open the Anglo for a look try rotating the button outwardly within the hole compressing the bushing. Jim
  2. One must have application is "the Amazing Slow Downer". It will take a recording and slow it down without altering the pitch. Great if you are learning a song by ear. You can also speed it up.
  3. I currently have a Morse Baritone English and had a Rose. The quality of both is very good although the ends on the Rose are not as smoothly finished which may lead to a negative perception. There is a difference in feel that is attributable to the different types of reeds rather than quality. The plastic like buttons on the Morse also have a different feel than the more traditional metal buttons on the Rose. These differences, again, are not quality related. As Ken Coles noted earlier you really need to get your hands on both and see which is most enjoyable for you. You will not have buyers remorse in either case. You should also decide if you hope to upgrade to a more expensive concertina in the future. The upgrade programs are significant. Enjoy your choice. Jim
  4. Steve, Very well done! It sounds like you have your Parnassus well played in. Did you carve the marionette? Jim
  5. Steve, Very well done. It's easy to tell you feel the wait for the Parnassus was well worth the waiting. It's a beauty. Your selection of woods was spot on. Oh, your performances were spot on as well. I wish you many years of pleasure with it, Jim
  6. Steve, I agree that the Edeophone does not seem great on air economy when compared with other concertina models.. However, I suspect variables such as its bellows specifications can account for some of the difference. I ran the test you asked for. This is by no means a scientific test but a reasonable approximation for discussion purposes. I am defining, for purpose of this test, moderate pressure as the amount of pressure needed to create a sound that can be readily heard by a person with "average" hearing across a 20 ft by 20 ft room while holding down the "C" chord one octave above Middle C and extending the bellows directly horizontally to its fullest extent. All reeds on this Edeophone speak immediately. On both Push and Pull it produced the full chord sound, on average, for between 7 and 8 seconds. Out of curiousity, I performed what I belive to be a typical bellows tightness test I.e. holding one end while the other end fell free, vertically to full extension. On average it was 20 seconds. I hope our bellows work as well if we ever live to be about 120 years old. On the compensory side, it has a sweet sound and it will instill in me a better bellows awareness.
  7. I of course ment Concertina World rather than Computer World, a trade paper from my working days.
  8. As the delighted new owner of this Edeophone, I'd like to add some thoughts. First; I examined the aluminum reed shoes and they look as good as when they were installed about 120 years ago so the problem noted about deterioration doesnt effect all aluminum shoes, I would also like to complement the restoration job done by David Robertson. As revealed to me prior to purchasing, the Edeophone appears to have rolled from a height sufficient to break off an arc from 9 to 12 o'clock, to a width of well over an inch, on the left hand side. As you can see from the photo above, you would be hard pressed to spot the repairs. By the way it plays beautifully.
  9. I found the special addition of Computer World very useful. It is a valuable supplement to David Elliott's Maintenance Manual, a must have for every concertina owners book shelf. The Special Edition and the content of this discussion thread also make for some good advertising for subscribing to Computer World.
  10. The topic was addresses under a general Concertinas in July 2012 in a post I started. Attached below is a response from Wim Wakker which gave the history. Button basics The keyboard dimensions for concertinas are more or less standard. You cannot change the spacing of the buttons without affecting playability. The diameter of a concertina button is primarily determined by the space available in the action. Anglo concertinas have fewer keys per sq. inch than english and duet and because of that can have a relative simple action and larger buttons. Button size and action material were determined by production cost/method, not ‘playing comfort’. Low end vintage instruments had bone buttons and wire action levers. The standard wire was ca.2mm in diameter and needed a lever hole in the button of 3+mm (room for the bushing). The walls needed to be c. 2mm to provide the necessary strength around the hole. Because of this, anglo buttons on instruments with wire levers were c.7mm in diameter. This was possible because of the low button count per sq. inch. The end plates are not bushed in these instruments. Low end english and duet models also came with bone buttons, but because of the limited space in the action, they only came with the standard button diameter (c. 4.8mm). This required the much more expensive brass sheet levers rather than the crude wire levers. They used the same buttons and action in the ‘next step up the quality ladder’ anglos. Better quality instruments came with metal capped/wooden core buttons (Wheatstone) or solid metal buttons (lachenal, etc.), sometimes with a silver tip. Early instruments had ivory buttons. Deluxe models could have glass, silver or gold plated buttons. The quality of these instruments was the same as their standard counterparts. The exclusive button material just added a considerable premium to the price…. Early instruments (english) had flat ivory buttons. They were flat because of the production method they used. These flat tops allowed players (e.g. Regondi) to develop advanced techniques such as changing fingers on a (pushed down) button, playing fifths with one finger, etc. These techniques also show up in the concert repertoire of the day. Around the 1880s Wheatstone started with domed metal caps. These are much easier to produce than flat tops and keyboards are much easier to regulate. Flat top keys have a larger surface and allow for more advanced playing techniques. To illustrate, try this: play a button with your index finger (index finger= 1, middle finger2, etc.) on your concertina. Replace your index finger (1) with your middle finger ( 2) while you keep the button pushed down. You can also try replacing finger 1 with 3, 1 -4 (pinky), 1-2-3-4-3-2-1, etc.. If your repertoire/playing skills don’t require flat tops, domed ones work just as well. The extra surface of flat tops can be nice on duets or englishes, but don’t expect them to improve your playing skills… If you play anglo, don’t worry about button shapes… Button shapes don’t have anything to do with ‘speed’. Keyboard responsiveness is determined by key travel, airflow and key pressure. All our Wakker models are available with flat or domed keys. A concertina action should never hurt your fingers…Key pressure on a concertina should be around 70-80 grams. The key pressure needs to be around 200-300 gr. Before it will hurt your fingers. The problem is that some players keep pushing the button. It is the same principle as writer’s cramp. Try this: push a button just hard enough for it to go down. Hold it in the down position and reduce pressure as much as possible without letting the button come up. You’ll notice that you hardly need any force to keep the button down. Wim Wakker Concertina Connection Inc. Wakker Concertinas
  11. The ButtonBox will give you a full refund if you return the Model 21 within two weeks of receipt. However, you will have to pay the shipping costs. Only your ears can judge the sound so actually playing it is the only way you will know for sure. Another fact to add to your rationalization support.
  12. It appears from the layout to be a Chromatiphone Duet.
  13. I recommend you increase your planned expenditure to $415 and purchase either a Concertina Connection treble (Jackie) or baritone (Jack). The concertina comes with a decent instruction manual to get you started. An important benefit is the full price trade in allowance if you upgrade to an intermediate level concertina made by Concertina Connection or a Morse made by the Buttonbox. Whatever you do, do not buy one of the super cheap, brand X concertinas sold through Ebay. They are of poor playing quality,weigh a ton and have no resale or trade in value.
  14. Pauline de Snoo has a series of free lessons dedicated to learning to play by ear on her web site, www.concertina-academy, under the heading Tuition. The text is applicable to both English and Anglo instruments with separate videos for each system.
  15. I live in West Central New Jersey, near Clinton, and you are the first person I've come across in NJ who knows what an English Concertina is. I've been at it 7 months using Pauline De Snoo's course (concertina academy). Video instructions were a big help in making sure I was holding and fingering properly. At some point, I may see an accordion teacher - one in Flemington- for bellows control and phrasing help. Jim
  16. I have been using Pauline De Snoo's English Concertina Course from concertina-academy.com. She produces one for the English and the Anglo concertina's. It is the best I've found by a considerable margin.. The Frank Butler tutor is considered a classic but I find the other suits my needs best. You might look at the postings under Teaching and Learning on C'net for more thoughts.
  17. I am also a student of Pauline DeSnoo's and like playing with a neck strap. I purchased one from the Concertina Connection but find the cord put more pressure on my neck than I would like. I initially put a towel under the cord, which works, but then took a broad neck strap, non-elastic, from a 35mm camera and hooked it to the Concertina Connection loop attached beneath the thumb screws . I used two key ring loops to make the attachment . Works great!
  18. I too finally started on the English Concertina part of my bucket list now that I am retired. I came upon a paperback book titled "Learn to Read Music" by Howard Shanet, I think through Amazon.com. It is the only one I found that doesn't assume you are playing an instrument while you are reading. I will take exception to some to the recommendations for Frank Butler's tutor on the English Concertina. It is, indeed, an excellent approach to learning it. However, as I said in another posting,in this forum the song examples he gives were of no use to me. Living in the U S. I never heard of the songs he used in the examples. I much prefer Pauline De Snoo's English Concertina Course from concertina academy.com. It provides sound files that demonstrate exactly how the music sounds when played on a concertina. The preference of learning method is kind of like religion, they are all supposed to get you to the same place but your choice is always better than someone else's. Enjoy the concertina, it will provide endless enjoyment in your retirement.
  19. I wanted to relate my experience with "The English Concertina Course Vol's 1 & 2" from Pauline De Snoo's Concertina Academy (www.concertina-academy.com), based in Netherlands. The cost was 22,75€ payable through PayPal. At this point, I have completed Volume One which consists of a manual and a DVD containing a variety of multi-media training files such as: video files demonstrating how to hold the concertina, fingering techniques, bellows control, etc.; .pdf files with supplementary exercises and mp3 sound files. A very unique approach to teaching you how to play the English Concertina. Prior to coming across the Pauline De Snoo course, I think I must have acquired every tutor available but couldn't find any I liked. Most provide any where from just a few pages of instruction with the rest of the book filled with songs I never heard before to more instruction but the same type of songs. I had no idea if I was playing an exercise or song correctly. I could find some of the songs on the Internet but it was impossible for me to compare the notes I played with the highly embellished versions being played on YouTube. The De Snoo course provides sound file examples of even the simplest lessons, played note by note on a concertina permitting me to compare and then mimic the notes and tempo she played. In later examples, the sound files not only provides her example of what it should sound like but supplements it with matching piano accompaniment of the song so you can play along. I think this a great idea. It permitted me to move quickly through the lessons without frustration while providing me the ability early on to play real music, which is why I wanted to learn in the first place. There is an optional 16,75€ "Play Along" book and CD containing sheet music for songs composed specifically for the concertina yet tied to level of the lesson material. Again, the sound files containing the music being played on the concertina, unembellished, with the piano accompaniment. The sound files, although playable on the PC, I download to a portable mp3 device so they can be played anywhere. I found these files to be a huge boost to learning speed, my self-confidence and overall enjoyment. A wide variety of chords were introduced a step at a time, in an un-intimidating way. You start by playing thirds almost at the beginning, followed by triads about halfway through and the next thing I knew I was playing actual chords in a song. By the end of Volume One, I was able to play music in the Keys of C, G, F, B flat,A, and E flat with chords to enhance the presentation of the music. Minor chords and scales were also introduced. The second volume is contained on a DVD which again contains video, .pdf and sound files, there is no manual. The exercises provided sequentially bring you to a level where you are capable of approaching even the most complex music with confidence. It is at this point, the lessons of Volume One come together initially in tunes played in thirds, then simple chords. Simple melodies are then played with what is essentially a single note note melodies with underlying drones. At this point, tunes using a melody with more complex chord structures are introduced. Finally, it all comes together in the form of segments composed by Donizette and Molique for the concertina. My original objective was to be able to play simple melodies because I thought anything else was too far beyond my reach. Now, who knows, I may be be able to play with a richness of sound and content beyond all earlier hopes. The course is as close as you can come to live music lessons with someone who specializes in the concertina. Pauline DeSnoo answered any questions I had very promptly via email and is very supportive. I understand that lessons using Skype are available from her but my Internet provider is so poor I can't rely on access being available throughout an entire lesson. I obviously recommend this course. I should also mention that the Concertina Academy also offers a similar course for the Anglo Concertina but I have no direct experience or knowledge about it.
  20. Sorry the original posting had a typo. The serial number is not #36424 but rather #35424.
  21. This post, although similar to an earlier posting, looks at the purchase of UK owned concertina from a U.S. buyers perspective. I hope it is informative since I had no idea of what was involved when I decided to purchase a Wheatstone Aeola Tenor-Treble made around 1908. I made an early decision that I would only purchase an instrument from a dealer in the UK. I made that decision because dealers have a vested interest in their ongoing reputation, dealers have expertise in international purchases and shipping, no parent would ever admit to a homely child and you have no opportunity, except with a big airfare and stay over cost, of assessing the instrument directly. I was truly fortunate to make the purchase through Theo Gibb who owns The Box Place at www.theboxplace.co.uk . Theo is an absolute delight to work with and, as you will see, was able to use his expertise to deal with the odd issues that popped up in the process. Theo also answered my endless questions & requests about the Aeola. Even though he must faithfully act as agent for the seller, it was a consignment sale, I felt that he would honestly answer my questions during the transaction. A dealer relies on the repeat business attracted by a reputation for honesty. A private seller does not count on repeat business. I found going through a dealer significantly increased my comfort level in such a long distance purchase. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to include the name of Chris Algar of Barleycorn Concertinas who I had dealt with earlier when looking at another Aeola. The first step was going to my banker, Bank of America, to determine what was needed to wire transfer the money in British Pounds. Sellers do not want to incur the cost of using PayPal considering the high cost of vintage instruments nor do they want to incur the wire transfer and conversion rate charges of an international sale. I was told there was a flat fee of$45 and was given the specific UK bank information needed to complete the transfer. I relayed the bank information needs to Theo and promptly returned to the bank, information in hand, to execute the transfer. FIRST SURPRISE! I was told the flat fee was actually only $35 to send the money in foreign currency. The $45 fee applied if I wired US currency, Alarm bells went off. I asked what exchange rate they were using. It was 5% more than that reported on the Internet for that day. Your options here are very limited. Choices are do it with your bank where you can actually grab a person or hope you can find somewhere else on the faceless Internet to save a fraction of a percent. The wire transfer was sent on Friday morning July 9th. SECOND SURPRISE! By Monday morning the 12th the money still had not arrived. A follow up by my bank revealed that on the transfer form where asked to supply either of two pieces of information: the bank name and address, recipients name and account number as well as SWIFT code OR the ISBN and SORT CODE, the UK bank wanted both . Failure to provide it in 24 hours would have resulted in the wire transfer being negated. Theo had the additional info emailed to me in minutes, I passed it on and next day the money was in Theo's account. Theo already had the concertina packed, very well I must add, and it was picked up by the courier for UPS. It is now Friday the 13th. The UPS delivery was set for Monday, the 16th. Monday came, there was no concertina delivery. I emailed Theo who said he just had a call from UPS asking for a further clarification of Theo's VAT status which he provided immediately. UPS reset the delivery date to the next morning when it was delivered at last. It appears these types of delays are common. Now for the last part. US Customs. To determine what the potential duty might be, Theo ran the information through a web site www.customscalculator.com which computed the duty as 5.4%. The mystery entries are: Description "accordion" (yes I know) and the category and code are "Keyboards - Hand-held (9207100060)". In typical government contradiction, according in help.cbp.gov a U.S. Customs web site it states, "Antique instruments over 100 years old are exempt from duty". I decided I like the "... exempt from duty" answer since the Aeola is over a hundred Younger instruments will, it appears, have to pay the 5.4% duty. Recommendations: use a dealer, be prepared for an inflated exchange rate, expect bureaucratic delays, consider an older concertina or be prepared to pay a 5.4% duty. I apologize for the length but I didn't want to leave anything of importance to you out
  22. A Wheatstone 56 key Tenor/Treble, Model 7. Serial# 35424 (Aug. 20, 1957). Hexagonal raised ebony ends, metal buttons, steel reeds in aluminum frames, 6-fold leather bellows, with a fitted hard case. $4,500 USD firm. Purchased from the Button Box in April of this year. I've just replaced it with an Aeola T-T. Bellows are tight, reeds in tune, plays and sounds very nice. Hate to give it up but can't justify having two even to myself. The box shows wear on handle, locking strap and edges but otherwise in good order. There is no key for the lock but it works fine. Contact jimcush@comcast.net.
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