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Made in May 1892. Original price with Mahogany case £2-15-0d.

 

One of only three 31 Button Rosewoods made between 1890-1895. Between those dates, Rosewoods were mainly 20 Button (46 made) or 26 button. (22 made). All the rest (some 300 instruments) apart from one 20B Mahogany were metal topped.

 

The figures quoted should not be used to establish a yearly output. This varied widely depending on what 'other' work was undertaken. Geoff

Edited by Geoffrey Crabb

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Geoff,

 

Do you know what the original tuning was? Thanks for your help and comments,

 

Ross Schlabach

Edited by RP3

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Geoff,

 

Do you know what the original tuning was? Thanks for your help and comments,

 

Ross Schlabach

 

Ross,

 

No indication in record but probably B/F#, the most common tuning at the time, anything different e.g. Bb/F, C/G, G/D etc. seems to have been noted in other entries.

 

Geoff.

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Geoff,

 

Do you know what the original tuning was? Thanks for your help and comments,

 

Ross Schlabach

 

Ross,

 

No indication in record but probably B/F#, the most common tuning at the time, anything different e.g. Bb/F, C/G, G/D etc. seems to have been noted in other entries.

 

Geoff.

 

Geoff,

Can you elucidate as to why B/F# was the most popular tuning at the time?

 

As always, many thanks.

 

Greg

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Geoff,

Can you elucidate as to why B/F# was the most popular tuning at the time?

 

As always, many thanks.

 

Greg

 

Greg,

perhaps I should have said "seemed to be the most common 'keys' for Crabb Anglo instruments at the time". Whether that is an indication of popularity I have no idea.

 

I can only suppose customer preference for B/F# based on a 'Pitch' current at the time could have been a reason. I must confess not to be an expert on the subject of Pitch or the history of variation but maybe those Keys were more suitable for the circumstances for which the instruments were to be used. Exploration of use may provide a further explanation but I would have to leave that and discussion on pitch to others.

 

When compared with later and Modern Concert pitch, untouched B/F# instruments of this age can cause confusion in establishing the actual 'key's' i.e. are they Bb/F High pitch or C/G Low pitch?

 

Geoff

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Hi Geoff,

I asked about the B/F# tuning for two reasons. First, because a musical reason such as compatibility with brass instruments was not immediately apparent to me.

 

Second, because I have a lovely 28b Jeffries that came to me via Chris Algar with reed shoes that were stamped consistent with the B/F# tuning. Chris had mentioned that the instrument might have some Salvationist provenance.

 

The B/F# tuning was 50 cents low of standard. After several years of comtemplation I decided to carefully lower the instrument to Bb/F. I'm happy to report it made the trip to Bb/F in great style and is now in standard with strong volume and a bright, clear, Jeffries sound.

BTW To anyone interested, it is for sale.

 

Greg

 

 

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No indication in record but probably B/F#, the most common tuning at the time, anything different e.g. Bb/F, C/G, G/D etc. seems to have been noted in other entries.

Geoff.

 

This seems a bit odd does it not? Neither B, nor F# are expected to be frequently used keys in the folk music segment and not in the Salvation Army music either. The later has been mainly related to common keys for brass instruments and a great part of SA Anglos consequently have been tuned in Ab/Eb for that reason BUT also in Old Philharmonic Pitch meaning a=452,5 since this was used in brass ensambles for a long period after New Philharmonic Pitch was established

 

A Bb-instrument tuned to a=452,5 is 50 cent high compared to one in a=440 which would make it equal to a B-instrument in a=440 50 cent low.These "B/F#" instruments thus may have been Bb/F instruments in Old Philharmonic Pitch. But were they actually specified and sold as "B/F#" ? Can this possibly just have been a practical routine differing them from Bb/F instruments in some more modern pitch?

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I can attest to Greg's comments about his 28 button Jeffries. I got some time to try it and I was impressed with both the tone and the action. All in all, a tasty Jeffries!

 

Ross Schlabach

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A Bb-instrument tuned to a=452,5 is 50 cent high compared to one in a=440 which would make it equal to a B-instrument in a=440 50 cent low.These "B/F#" instruments thus may have been Bb/F instruments in Old Philharmonic Pitch. But were they actually specified and sold as "B/F#" ? Can this possibly just have been a practical routine differing them from Bb/F instruments in some more modern pitch?

 

I persuaded the auctioneers to play me a couple of notes down the phone, and I can report that the tuning sounds pretty close to C/G (while making allowances for the intervening 240 miles of copper cable, or fibre optics, or whatever it is they use these days). Of course, this may just mean that it has been retuned, or that it really is in B/F# and still in Old Philharmonic pitch, which, as has been pointed out, is already halfway to C/G in modern pitch. Whatever the real situation, I think we can say with some confidence that a certain amount of reedwork will be required of the buyer (or one of his toiling minions).

David Robertson

Edited by david robertson

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A Bb-instrument tuned to a=452,5 is 50 cent high compared to one in a=440 which would make it equal to a B-instrument in a=440 50 cent low.These "B/F#" instruments thus may have been Bb/F instruments in Old Philharmonic Pitch...

 

... this may just mean that it has been retuned, or that it really is in B/F# and still in Old Philharmonic pitch, which, as has been pointed out, is already halfway to C/G in modern pitch....

 

Makes it even more mysterious as I see it.Retuning often causes confusion. My thought was that an anglo marketed,sold or intended for playing in B/F# would be strange anyhow. Who does preferrably use these keys at all?? So - if reeds are stamped B/F# etc the initial "true" tuning and musical intention likely has been Bb/F ( but in Old Philharmonic Pitch) or C/G

If it presently is closer to C/G this may be the result of later repitching or that the maker for whatever reason just used a set of reeds with a non conventional stamping. It may have been sold/intended to be either a Bb/F or C/G instrument then but I would doubt B/F# .

Geoff - have you come to some other conclusions? Are there possibly some Crabb firm documents shedding light on the matter?

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Hi Greg,That is a nice looking concertina.I have a similar early jeffries(30 key)which is B/F#,old pitch the reeds like yours are stamped and original.I have toyed with the idea of having it retuned.But I was thinking of going up to C/G is there any particular reason you went down? Mine does needs some tuning as it has a few notes which have drifted a bit to far and grate rather.So far I haven't been able to bring myself to interfere with its originality.It does have a particular trumpety sound to it which I like and would not like to lose. David.

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I have a similar early jeffries(30 key)which is B/F#,old pitch the reeds like yours are stamped and original.I have toyed with the idea of having it retuned.But I was thinking of going up to C/G is there any particular reason you went down? Mine does needs some tuning as it has a few notes which have drifted a bit to far and grate rather.So far I haven't been able to bring myself to interfere with its originality.It does have a particular trumpety sound to it which I like and would not like to lose.

David, with your feelings about its originality, have you considered the possibility (quite likely, I think) that it's not in equal-tempered tuning and that you might want to keep that, even if you do retune it?

 

Note that I don't think that's at all the reason why you feel that some notes currently "grate".

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Yes Jim it is unequal and gives some nice sounds.The problem is a few of the reeds had some minor surface rust near their tips and once cleaned it has (to my ear)left some too far out of tune.it also needs a couple of reeds resetting so although not a huge job it will need a very sympathetic tuner.This is the only reason I was even considering the possibility of a retune and pushing it up to C/G.But funds dictate it will happen no time soon,if ever.David.

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David, If you like the characteristics of the tone of your B/F#, then retuning is always risky. You can never be guaranteed that the character will remain as you like it. But if you don't have a suitable C/G, then retuning the B/F# up might make sense to make it your primary session instrument. Otherwise, keeping the current tuning or dropping it to Bb/F will keep it in a range that really sounds good on Anglos.

 

I'm familiar with Greg's retuned B/F# and before it was retuned to Bb/F, it wasn't tuned to modern standards and since its tuning was closer to Bb/F (half step) than it was to C/G (full step), going to Bb involved less reed filing. IMHO, the retuning improved the tone of the concertina and made it's pitch more distinct from C/Gs.

 

Regards,

 

Ross Schlabach

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I'm familiar with Greg's retuned B/F# and before it was retuned to Bb/F, it wasn't tuned to modern standards and since its tuning was closer to Bb/F (half step) than it was to C/G (full step)....

Huh?

Assuming the same pitch standard, B is equally far from Bb and C. If a different pitch standard puts it closer to one than the other, the total distance between Bb and C is still only one full step, not 1½ steps.

 

I suspect you meant that relative to an A440 standard, it was somewhat less than a half step to Bb and somewhat more than a half step to C. But each of those two fractions would still be less than one, and they would have to add to one.

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Oops! You're right on both counts Jim.

 

Ross Schlabach

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I'm familiar with Greg's retuned B/F# and before it was retuned to Bb/F, it wasn't tuned to modern standards and since its tuning was closer to Bb/F (half step) than it was to C/G (full step)....

Huh?

Assuming the same pitch standard, B is equally far from Bb and C. If a different pitch standard puts it closer to one than the other, the total distance between Bb and C is still only one full step, not 1½ steps.

 

I suspect you meant that relative to an A440 standard, it was somewhat less than a half step to Bb and somewhat more than a half step to C. But each of those two fractions would still be less than one, and they would have to add to one.

 

The concertina in question was 50 cents flat of standard B/F#(a quarter step low). So it required carefully lowing the pitch 50 cents to Bb/F standard.

 

To take the pitch to C/G standard would have required bringing the reeds up 150 cents (3/4 of a step).

 

Bb/F is a wonderful range for concertinas.

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

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