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Azalin

Seeking advice on taking concertina on a long "trip"...

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Well, this week I told my boss I was leaving my job, and I'm slowly getting ready for leaving Montreal and go spend a few months in Vietnam. It's somewhat exciting, a bit of adventure, to break my routine and live new things.

 

The problem is that I'm thinking of taking my beloved Dipper concertina with me. The weather in Vietnam is crazy, very humid (80% sometimes) and hot. I would probably keep the instrument inside most of the time, with air conditioned, but sometimes I will need to take it out.

 

Any of you had similar experiences and some advices on how to deal with humid and warm weather? I had to deal with dry weather in Montreal during winter time when heating my condo, but never with the other way around.

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No idea, but I think my first port of call would be to send Colin an email and ask his advice. Have a great time!

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I would be more concerned when it goes into a dry environment. The wood can only absorb a certain amount of moisture, but the drying out can cause shrinkage, cracks etc. Not all woods react at the same rate, and veneers are usually not affected. If you come back to Canada during a warm season and it gradually dries out, instead of deep winter with heat running it is probably ok.

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Mine is outside in Florida mid 90 degree topped-out humidity all the time with no ill effects. Don't leave it in a hot car, and be ready for unexpected rain.

 

Or better yet, buy a Rochell for the trip.

 

NNY

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Thanks folks!

 

Mine is outside in Florida mid 90 degree topped-out humidity all the time with no ill effects. Don't leave it in a hot car, and be ready for unexpected rain.

 

There's almost no cars in Vietnam, mostly motorbikes!

 

Or better yet, buy a Rochell for the trip.

 

After driving a Porsche, it must be nearly impossible to go back to a Ford Fiesta ;-)

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I too would be very worried about taking the Dipper on that kind of trip. In addition to the risk of theft, the issue of low humidity is very worrisome. Wood can lose moisture several times faster than it can absorb moisture, so exposure to low humidity conditions for any extended period for an instrument made in a high humidity environment would be risky.

 

If you want to take a concertina with you to the Far East, I would recommend that you take a less valuable instrument instead -- something you could afford to lose. Several years ago, I took my Dipper just to Ireland, and knowing that nice concertinas had been stolen there, mine went with me virtually everywhere I went. It was nerve-wracking. In Asia I would go crazy over trying to protect it. I know you probably love our Dipper like I love mine, but I'd leave it home in the care of a very trusted relative or friend rather than taking it to exotic environments. Just my two cents......

 

Ross Schlabach

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I too would be very worried about taking the Dipper on that kind of trip. In addition to the risk of theft, the issue of low humidity is very worrisome. Wood can lose moisture several times faster than it can absorb moisture, so exposure to low humidity conditions for any extended period for an instrument made in a high humidity environment would be risky.

 

If you want to take a concertina with you to the Far East, I would recommend that you take a less valuable instrument instead -- something you could afford to lose. Several years ago, I took my Dipper just to Ireland, and knowing that nice concertinas had been stolen there, mine went with me virtually everywhere I went. It was nerve-wracking. In Asia I would go crazy over trying to protect it. I know you probably love our Dipper like I love mine, but I'd leave it home in the care of a very trusted relative or friend rather than taking it to exotic environments. Just my two cents......

 

Ross Schlabach

 

Thanks Ross, it's great advice, but I'm not sure why you're speaking of low humidity? Vietnam is actually very humid. Theft is of course a big danger and definitely worrisome... if I had a spare Edgley I would definitely bring it instead because it plays almost as well as my Dipper, and is about a third of the price... but I don't have the money for a spare Edgley, and I can't imagine playing a Rochelle, I will end up not playing at all... Ahhhh the decision won't be an easy one!

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Did you get rid of your Edgley then?

 

Er... Yeah, because I was broke and thought having a second concertina in the same key was materialistic and superficial... but I'm not so convinced I did the right thing anymore :huh:

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Did you get rid of your Edgley then?

 

Er... Yeah, because I was broke and thought having a second concertina in the same key was materialistic and superficial... but I'm not so convinced I did the right thing anymore :huh:

 

yeah, i am broke but kept my edgley, just in case. i'd lend it to you for your trip, but right now it is on loan to another friend of mine in california. might i suggest contacting the buttonbox, to see if they have any rental concertinas? if you have instrument insurance (which you should), you could contact them to see if your insurance would cover a rental.

 

the thought of taking your dipper makes me nervous. i would never take an irreplaceable instrument overseas on a non-music-related trip (i consider 6 year waiting list basically irreplaceable), which to me is much more important than replacement cost (which my insurance would cover). if you were going to vietnam for some gigs, i'd say go for it, but if you're just going for fun, and you'd bring it for leisure, i'd say it's not worth the stress.

 

are you going to feel ok leaving it behind at the hotel/house you're staying at? i know a thai girl who was in thailand, on her grandmother's porch. she had just purchased on iphone in the states before leaving, and was talking on the phone. a guy on the street saw her, opened the gate, walked up the long path to the porch, pulled a knife out, and made her give him the phone, all during the middle of the day. this is what i think of when i consider your situation. things happen, and i get that, but there are a lot of uncontrollable situations that can arise when you are in a country that is foreign to you. you can spend an awfully long time convincing yourself you need to bring your concertina, but no amount of convincing will get it back if something happens. that's my opinion, anyways.

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Hi

talking to Colin seems to be the best advice. He gave a talk at 'Concertinas at Witney' and talked at some length about humidity and its effects on concertinas- so do talk to him.

chris

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David, this is great advice. I am struggling now. You are right, if I lose it, I think I'd wanna kill myself! But I can't stop playing a decent concertina for three months. Argh. I would not borrow an instrument to go there, I'd buy it instead because I don't want to add the pressure of risking someone else's instrument in the process. I'm not afraid of someone coming up with a knife, communist Vietnam is surprisingly safe in that regard, but people can steal from you when you're not there, and I heard of bags being snatched by thieves on motorbikes while you're walking the street.

 

Yes Chris thanks, I will contact him, but right now I first need to sort out if I want to take the risk "robbery-wise".

 

Argh!

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David, this is great advice. I am struggling now. You are right, if I lose it, I think I'd wanna kill myself! But I can't stop playing a decent concertina for three months. Argh. I would not borrow an instrument to go there, I'd buy it instead because I don't want to add the pressure of risking someone else's instrument in the process. I'm not afraid of someone coming up with a knife, communist Vietnam is surprisingly safe in that regard, but people can steal from you when you're not there, and I heard of bags being snatched by thieves on motorbikes while you're walking the street.

 

Yes Chris thanks, I will contact him, but right now I first need to sort out if I want to take the risk "robbery-wise".

 

Argh!

 

 

Bonjour G,

 

I have a "Ford Fiesta" you're welcome to borrow. You certainly wouldn't need to feel any pressure if something happened to it. No Dipper, but think how much easier it will seem to play your Dipper when you get back!

 

Bill

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David, this is great advice. I am struggling now. You are right, if I lose it, I think I'd wanna kill myself! But I can't stop playing a decent concertina for three months. Argh. I would not borrow an instrument to go there, I'd buy it instead because I don't want to add the pressure of risking someone else's instrument in the process. I'm not afraid of someone coming up with a knife, communist Vietnam is surprisingly safe in that regard, but people can steal from you when you're not there, and I heard of bags being snatched by thieves on motorbikes while you're walking the street.

 

Yes Chris thanks, I will contact him, but right now I first need to sort out if I want to take the risk "robbery-wise".

 

Argh!

 

well... there's always buying a fireproof safe and bolting it to the floor... ;)

 

haha, and yeah, i know. no one is going to want to come near enough to you while you're playing it to want to knife you! :P in all seriousness, the story was just illustrative of how things happen that you would not expect.

Edited by david_boveri

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May I suggest that lost proficiency is far more easily recovered than would be such a (insert your superlative adjective of choice here) treasure.

Leave it with your most trusted friend.

If you must play on your trip - find a back-seater that will allow you to enjoy your travel - perhaps even more than your playing.

And cherish the thought that you have both your beloved friend and concertina awaiting your safe return.

Be Well,

Dan

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How about taking a tin whistle on the trip to play when you are lonesome for your tina?

It would still be a challenging instrument to learn, very mobile, not expensive and not as impactful if stolen.

 

Yvonne

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Az already plays a tin whistle, and very well. But that's not where his musical soul lies.

Az, why not buy a Morse? You could sell it for somewhat less than what you paid for it when you come back, but not at a huge loss. Certainly less painful than losing or risking a Dipper! They are very light and very playable. There are also any number of used Lachenals for sale. I know of a 30 B C/G, with the more detailed filigree ends, for $1,800. It has a nice bright sound, sound bellows, good condition. You may lose some money when you sell it back on the market but you can think of that as rental for a playable instrument that would do you for a couple of months and that you wouldn't worry so much about.

I worry when I take my concertina anywhere, even down to the pub. I can't imagine going to a 3rd. World country with something like that. Even a relatively safe country like Viet Nam.

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Yes, a Morse would definitely be a good option, but I'll be tight on money for this trip... but I still have a few weeks left to try to make some extra, so who knows.

 

The other thing is that it's actually more than a trip, I'm planning on being there from 3 to 6 months, but didn't set any official limit.

 

It won't be an easy choice, one way or the other...

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