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For sale: Dipper County Clare C/G


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While Dippers have always been considered a bit special, it would be extraordinary if they haven't learned from experience over all these years and made some improvements.


I once got to play a fairly early Dipper which was up for sale, but I have to say didn't come up to my expectations - that's not to say it wasn't a very good instrument, but it didn't quite have that "something special". 30 years of being played for morris perhaps had something to do with it. However it led to me acquiring my 'Cotswold', which is indeed a thing of beauty. And the owner of the other instrument got a very good price for it, so everyone's happy.

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Well Azalin, if you're ever over in my part of the world (south west England) come and have a go on my 1984 Dipper. Yertiz with my Wakker A6 - a handsome pair of beasts I hope you will agree...


Beautiful indeed! A few years ago I visited a friend in Exeter, and also visited the Dippers... seems like there's a bunch of you in south west England!

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My Dipper was delivered in 1991 and is serial number 406 (I've forgotten - it's not stamped on the outside), so the number assignments are apparently not a good way to judge Colin's production. I would also note that this instrument sounded "different to my ears" than some of the older Dippers I had played in the past. But that is merely personal opinion. One notable difference is that it seems that many more of Dipper's early Clare models had metal ends and these definitely changed the overall sound of the instrument -- with later wooden ended models like mine having a more mellow character. But they all have that wonderful bite and rich tone. And every one I played had a marvelous action that almost anticipated the notes you were about to play.


As far as the price of Dippers are concerned, I think that Dipper set far too low a price to start with. I expect this has something to do with the size of his backlog. It's wonderful for concertina players around the world that he has done this, but it doesn't benefit him. The beneficiaries are those of us playing these fine instruments and those people who later decide to sell their instruments.


I wish the seller the best success in selling your Dipper -- and don't apologize for your price objective. It's your instrument and you have the right to set the rules!


Ross Schlabach

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My Dipper County Clare is Number 476 completed October 15, 2007. It is 30b rosewood finished end frames with ebony moulded banding, green bellows, and is 5 7/8 across the ends. It is a Model 3 in the County Clare series. Colin used gaskets to match the humidity conditions here in the U.S. It has acclimated beautifully, and I have had no reason to open it for at least the last two years. Colin told me that it is the third version of the County Clare, and that it has become quite popular. He cannot use the County Clare for other tunings such as Bb/F because of the size of the reeds needed for those tunings. I love the tone on mine, particularly in the left hand buttons. To my ear it has continually improved with age (or hopefully it is also me that is improving with age). It is incredibly fast, and has been played and admired by many of the top Irish players during lessons and workshops that I attended. Many of them have ordered a similar model. My appreciation for it continues to increase, as does my thanks for having such an instrument to play. Alan

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Dear ceemonster, you can easily fix it yourself in a few minutes. Unscrew the end bolts with a small, appropriately sized screwdriver (one that will fit snugly into the end-bolt slots), keeping track of the bolts so you can put them back in their original holes. Take off the end being careful not to move the buttons if the action board is exposed. Remove the reed pan. This will help:

Find the offending reed and gently ease it out of the slot. It might take some force. Go slowly. If it is too hard to remove then you can clean it in place. Using a piece of thin paper (I use cigarette rolling paper), gently slide it between the tongue of the reed and the reed frame, in and out, up and down, to remove the offending piece of dust. Try not to touch the steel reed with your fingers. Slide the reed back into the slot, seating it carefully, then put the end back on, taking care not to over-tighten the end bolts. It's not brain surgery. Hopefully you'll find that the concertina plays beautifully again. And you'll have learned something about your instrument.

If this doesn't do the trick then at least you'll have gained some knowledge of your concertina, overcome your fear of working on it, and you'll be no worse off than before. A hands-on, basic do-it-yourself workshop should be offered at every concertina gathering.

Again: don't touch the steel reed, don't over-tighten the end bolts, don't force anything, and take your time. I'm sure other people here will offer further suggestions.

Good luck.

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I find people are worried about overtightening end screws, a reasonable fear. As a way of avoiding this you can train yourself to feel the right tension. To do this; when loosening your end bolts, rather than taking them straight out, back them off 3/4 of a turn then tighten them smoothly back to the same place. This will give you an idea of how much force will be needed to tighten them up afterwards. It does presume they were competently tightened initially but you have to start somewhere. You will probably find one which is much tighter or looser than the others, life is like that...



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Good luck selling your concertina Meg. A couple of years ago, I had offered a wooden ended County Clare for sale on this forum for $8,600 USD and received no offers with the same debate of whether or not the price I listed was appropriate or not. I still have it and for me, that was the best thing. I still play it, not a lot but often enough to keep things fresh and enjoyable for myself.

If you have any children, you may consider keeping it in case he, she or they might be interested in it at a later time. It would also increase in value over the years and would be a great asset in your estate for your kid(s) when that time comes.



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Well, it seems that offer of $7,000 was not so solid after all. The person thought I should pay for shipping as well as conversion of the concertina to a new layout! :blink:


Thus the best offer I've received for my Dipper is US$6,300, which has actually been offered by two people.


My Dipper, by the way, has a Wheatstone layout:





To help refocus this thread, I'll repeat my terms: The buyer will pay for shipping. The concertina is being sold as it is. I would prefer to sell the concertina here rather than on ebay. I will keep this auction-style sale open until (1) I receive an offer of US$10,000 or (2) I decide to sell the concertina for a lower price.


Two people have now tried to coerce me into selling the concertina to them immediately (otherwise, they said, their offers would vanish or drop). I don't appreciate such tactics, and whoever employs them will not have the privilege of buying my Dipper.


Please write me privately if you're interested in purchasing my concertina.

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Meg, I agree with you 100%. Buyer should pay for shipping, and all related expenses. Buyer has to make the US amount available to you, conversion is their problem, not yours.


Quite honnestly, I think you should sell it on eBay. You could have a minimum bid of $6300, and a BUY IT NOW of $10000 (or a bit less if you want to be realistic...). Putting it on Ebay will help you not to have to deal with sneaky people, for one thing.

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I don't know, Azalin. There are a lot of posts here that will support eBay as a clearing house for the unsavoury ... tongue.gif .


I've been lucky thus far, thought.


Well, as a seller, if you *wait* until you get the money to ship the instrument (which is common sense) I don't think there's much risk involved. The worse scenario is that the buyer decides not to honour the purchase, but then, the buyer will get in trouble with eBay.


I think eBay is a bit more risky for a buyer, because you pay for an item you haven't received yet. That's where Paypal can be useful, even if it's a bit of a ripoff...

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