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Wanted: MacCann Duet 57 Keys


Stefan
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Hello everybody,

 

I´m looking for a 57 keys MacCann duet or a 55 keys where the right hand side goes down to C. If that exists.

 

It should be a good player, possibly an Edeophone or an Aeola.

 

I´m also interested in a Baritone, though I know they are very hard to find.

 

Thank you very much

Stefan

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a 57 keys MacCann duet or a 55 keys where the right hand side goes down to C. If that exists.

The standard 55-key Maccann doesn't go down to C, so it would be a rare special one that did, or a very rare Baritone. Some early 57-keys don't go down to C either, so you do have to check. 57-keys only come up for sale occasionally. I decided I wanted one, and it took me a year to find one. 62-keys seem to be more common.

 

As it happens, someone in Australia is trying to sell a very rare 55-key Baritone Maccann Aeola at the moment. There's a recent post about it here, but you'll have to register to read the full post. http://maccann-mccann.ning.com/ I presume it is the same as the one that failed to sell on ebay with a US$5000 starting bid back in July. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wheatstone-55Key-Baritone-McCann-Aeola-Concertina-/260820183356

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Thank you Ivan for the valuable information.

 

Do you know if 62 keys concertinas are much bigger than the 57 ones? I play standing up most of the time and want to keep the instrument light. Right now I have a Wheatstone 46 keys.

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Do you know if 62 keys concertinas are much bigger than the 57 ones? I play standing up most of the time and want to keep the instrument light. Right now I have a Wheatstone 46 keys.

The 62-key is materially larger and heavier than a 57-key because it goes down to A in the left hand, so you have 3 extra large reeds to fit in to the space. You can see the standard layouts here:

http://www.concertin...or-FourthEd.pdf The 67 key takes you down to G.

But although these standard layouts show the 62 and 67 as going down to C in the RH, it is not uncommon to find Maccanns in this size range with two or three extra low notes in the RH too. Personalised adjustments to the layout seem to become more common once you get into this top end of the market. There was also a Maccann in this size range on the market a couple of years ago that had had 3 extra low reeds retrofitted in the LH, I think right down to F, though at the cost of some accidentals.

 

62 key and 67 key seem to be the most desirable Maccanns in the market. These are the ones most often found built to the highest quality of build. Old pros used to play standing up, so they didn't consider instruments of this size too large for that. Some people have fitted neck-straps to make it easier. Instruments in the 60s are the sizes David Cornell, for example, feels are the essence of the instrument. By the time you get to the 81 key, that often tends to sell at a discount to smaller sizes as few people want one that big. They are huge.

 

I think 57-keys are hard to source precisely because they are seen as the smallest one that gives you what most players feel they "need", though I do not recall seeing many 57-keys built as Aeolas, etc, (obviously they exist, Geoff above has one) whereas this seems to be much more common with instruments with keys numbers in the 60s.

Edited by Ivan Viehoff
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I did some "weight-training" recently with a 72key MacCann which was at least 1 kilo heavier than my 57. The 57 felt like a toy afterwards and I could see myself being able to play it standing up.

 

Interesting information Ivan ! I noticed that the 72 key had much longer scale reeds in its bottom end than

my Baritone English Aeola from the exact same period... could this be due to the available space or was it for shear sonority for the pro- musicians ??

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Thanks again for the information.

I weighed my 46 keys metal ended one, it has a little over 1400 grams.

I guess I have to be patient to find a 57 keys.

 

The baritone from austalia has been sold.

Has anyone of you ever played or heard about another baritone? I guess they are extremely rare.

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I notice that "Hobgoblin" in England have a 57key Aeola for sale. It looks very nice too.

 

Hobgoblin is a franchised business, so it all depends on which outlet as to who owns and sets the prices for second hand goods.

Edited by tony
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I called them and someone of the staff checked, if it had a low-c on the right side. It didn´t. Still the price seems ok.

 

But to me it doesn´t make much sense. I´m quite happy with my 46 keys, I played it for two and a half years now and it served me well. still I´d like to have these extra notes. I fancy, that with a good 57 keys, I don´t need another one. But well... two and a half years ago, I could not possibly imagine that I would be willing to pay so much money for a concertina...

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But to me it doesn´t make much sense. I´m quite happy with my 46 keys, I played it for two and a half years now and it served me well. still I´d like to have these extra notes. I fancy, that with a good 57 keys, I don´t need another one. But well... two and a half years ago, I could not possibly imagine that I would be willing to pay so much money for a concertina...

Good. It's a thin market. Those who want to sell often fail to get an immediate buyer at the price they hoped for, and vice versa. You are in a good position to sit there and wait for the right one to come along at the right price.

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Regarding the possible availability of the different sized models of MacCann Duet I did a trawl through the Wheatstone Ledgers last night and this is what I found;

 

I looked at the sizes of 56keys and larger, the smaller models are too numerous to count quickly.

 

So, during the period 1910-1923 wheatstones made

 

55-56key = 55 instruments

 

58key = 91

 

62key = 54

 

67key = 96

 

72key = 33

 

81key = 48

 

In the next book 1923-1937

 

56key = 14

 

58key = 79

 

62key = 37

 

67key = 62

 

72key = 41

 

81key = 43

 

Total = 653

 

I would not guess at the attrition rates of old Concertinas but it could be suggested that half of these have perished and even more are still in Grandma's attic. How many were produced by Lachenal ? Possibly more than Wheatstones if serial numbers for the two companies are compared.

It is interesting to see from these ledgers that the Duet enjoyed its biggest popularity during the 1920's and that by the beginning of the 1930's the Accordion was making the MacCann less popular and Wheatstones were producing more and more Anglos.

 

The figures include all the 'specials' of 60,63,64,68,69,70 and 83 key models and maybe some of the Baritones too although some might be 'Crane' keyboards (before they designated different type numbers to these.

 

In the middle to late 1920's there are some very fancy instruments with Gold fittings, Amboyna and Tortoise shell ends and some with different metal ends noted as 'White metal' or 'Brittania metal' and sometimes 'Silver plated'.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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It is interesting to see from these ledgers that the Duet enjoyed its biggest popularity during the 1920's and that by the beginning of the 1930's the Accordion was making the MacCann less popular and Wheatstones were producing more and more Anglos.

 

In the middle to late 1920's there are some very fancy instruments with Gold fittings, Amboyna and Tortoise shell ends and some with different metal ends noted as 'White metal' or 'Brittania metal' and sometimes 'Silver plated'.

 

 

That's been my empirically observed impression; if you are offered a duet it is usually 'from the best period' or close. Of course they didn't start making them until, what, 1889? It makes buying a good Maccan very simple, there are no early instruments to be wary of and the numbers dropped right off in the 30's and on; only the small ones are down to a price. (Middle sized Cranes can be 'down to a price' of course if part of a Sally Army bulk buy).

 

My 71 has dural ends and reed frames and is listed accordingly in the ledgers. It's extremely light for what it is but I suspect it of being more delicate than a normal one; reeds seem to start to buzz and stall on very little provocation.

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