Jump to content

H.Boyd


scoopet
 Share

Recommended Posts

can someone please give me a history lesson about this concertina dealer?

Boyd & Co. advertised on page 11 of John Hill Maccann's The Concertinist's Guide [1888] as "Wholesale and Retail Dealers in every description of Musical Instruments" at 20, New Bridge Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne, "LESSONS given by Mr. H. BOYD, Professor and Teacher of the English and Duet Concertinas. Mr. H. BOYD is also at liberty as a Soloist for Concerts etc." "English & Duet Concertinas, Specially Made & Tuned, Prices from £2 12s. 6d. to 30 Guineas."

 

They were still listed at the same address in my copy of the 1903 Music Trade Directory, but by 1910 they had moved to 16 Pilgrim St. and seem to have still been in business in 1915, judging by the ledger entry for Wheatstone # 26866.

 

were the concertinas made for him by lachenal/wheatstone? special?

Yes, they are typically high quality 56-key extended treble English-system concertinas, with bowing valves and metal ends that have his name worked into the fretwork.

 

do any members here have one or have first hand experience of playing one?

They're very loud and very fast, and I believe several contributors here have them. The most famous player of one is Alistair Anderson, who bought his for £5.00 many, many years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, they are typically high quality 56-key extended treble English-system concertinas, with bowing valves and metal ends that have his name worked into the fretwork.

 

There also 48 key models like this one, though these are much less common. This is Lachenal no 40350. If you look at the full size version of the image you cam see 'H Boyd' in the fretwork below the buttons.

post-510-12590521253692_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you very much for that stephen.Now, where can I find one!!!

 

They are quite rare but also not overly popular because of the particular sound, they are very demanding instruments. The reeds speak exceptionally quickly and the sound is characterized by a lot of attack - they are very bright. The down side is that if you play slower stuff or try to play softly, you need much more control. They don't speak much at low pressure and tend to cut in rather than the soft start that is available on other top end instruments. They're easy to play too loud but in my experience there is a sweet spot where they sing. This is quite frankly the best EC instrument to play dance music on but isn't much cop for songs or classical (not that I do much of either)

 

I once taught a group where everyone was on Aeolas and Edeophones (majority wooden ended). My instrument sounded completely different - all of the things I do to bring music to life were much harder work for the students and I struggled with getting them to reproduce my lift.

 

I have two (Lachenals) both picked up from Chris Algar over a period of 15 years - the second one is an insurance policy and is identical to the first. I find it very hard to switch between a Boyd and non-Boyd (I sold by metal ended Wheatstone when I get the second because it was too disimilar). Wheatstone Boyd's are much much harder to find - I've only ever seen two (one of those being Alistair's). As for cost they are maybe 2/3 of the cost of an Aeola or Edeophone because they are harder to play and aren't as useful for the majority of stuff that EC players concentrate on.

 

You do occasionally find a Boyd without the fretwork design (labels in box or on reed pans) - need to play it to find out tho'. Your best route to a Boyd is by contacting Chris and asking him to look out for them. In terms of location, they do tend to show up more in the NE of England rather than anywhere else - on which basis contact Theo Gibb and ask him to look for you (but I'm at the head of any queue for a Wheatstone Boyd ... I'll be selling one of current ones if that ever turns up. :)

 

Hope this helps

 

Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know Wim Wakker has a Wheatstone Boyd and Dick Abrams (USA) as well.

Mine is a metal ended extended (56 buttons) treble Boyd Lachenal new model. Series number 41487 (ca. 1905?). A few improvements were made on this concertina. It has now completely new riveted action, and a new 6 fold bellows (instead of the original somewhat rigid 5 fold bellows). There are two (one on either side) air ''buttons''.

It has a very clear, crisp and strong sound, with very good dynamic range (from quite soft to as loud as an Wheatstone Aeola). A good response and action (riveted). The reeds are of great quality as they respond even better as the metal ended Aeola Wheatstone I have (contrary to the statement in the previous post also when played with little presure). But concertinas made for H. Boyd were always of the highest quality. Wim Wakker preferred this instrument over another Wheatstone Boyd he had in repair.

I am disposing of this instrument because compared to other concertinas the buttons are not as high elevated and seem to be a fraction closer to each other, which should enable faster playing (new model layout), but not that well suited for my fingers who are too thick?. Also I find the higher notes somewhat too sharp/crisp for the music I make (ITM mostly).

It will sell for euro 2200. I know this is not the place, but now we are at it. Probably I will put an add in the buy and sell section later (but I am not in a hurry - as I still play it from time to time).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

are there any significant "performance" differences between a wheatstone boyd and a lachenal boyd?and as seems to be typical of lachenals is there a huge variation betwwen one lachenal boyd and another?

how do your 2 lachenal boyds compare with each other Rob?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

are there any significant "performance" differences between a wheatstone boyd and a lachenal boyd?and as seems to be typical of lachenals is there a huge variation betwwen one lachenal boyd and another?

how do your 2 lachenal boyds compare with each other Rob?

 

Wheatstone actions I've seen were riveted (quieter / smoother) - My lachenals are quite 'clacky', fine in live performance / dance situation but recording with them is quite tricky. Wheatstone is also lighter (based on a very small sample) I think it might make quite a difference tho' since you need to move the box about to get note articulation. My two Lachenals are very similar in tone and feel. Main difference is service intervals - a newly reset box is different to one that's been worked hard for 5 years.

 

Weight and action are the principal reasons I would swap. My expectation is that the reeds would be as good with the possibility of them being better.

 

R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I bought my 56-key Wheatstone Boyd for 110 Sterling some 35 years ago in Sunderland shortly after I had heard Alistair play his. The fast action and the sharp sound make it a great box for Irish music. The five-fold bellows were exceptionally thin and subtle, so I kept patching them until they finally gave in last year. David Leese made me a new set of 7-fold bellows with very soft leather. They are incredible, but take getting used to, especially when standing up!

 

As my taste of music has changed over the years I now prefer my ebony-ended Aeola ( but I would never part with that Boyd! ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 12 years later...

Hi I have just bought an English concertina for my son on gumtree . Its an unusual box with part ebony and nickel finger plate ends which I've not seen before . It has two air release valves , one on each side and it came with a leather case with the Boyd label on the inside. The buttons  are beautifully delicate with a remarkable smooth action . It obviously hadn't been played for a while , but is still very playable (old pitch) It just needs recommissioning and new thumb straps. It has a very bright sound compared to my ebony Aeola 56 Baritone and wheatstone Inimitable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...