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Anglo systems


Jefferies or Wheatstone?  

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Over 30 keys, and the differences get much more 'interesting'. As to which I prefer, it depends. I've ticked the system with which I feel more comfortable. Started with a Lachenal 30 key, then moved to a Wheatstone 36 key. Much later, a Jeffries 38 key arrived.

 

Must dig out a concertina, in case my preference has changed .....

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Just voted "Other".

It's Jeffries in that I have C# push and pull on the 1st 2 right hand accidentals, but they are reversed in direction so the 1st button is C# push like a Lachenal.

Mick Bramich shows it this way in his tutor, "The Irish Concertina".

 

It would be interesting if those who vote "other" explained in more detail the differences.

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Ticked two: Jeffries G/D for sessions and morris, Dipper C/G baritone in Wheatstone layout for song accompaniment. Historical accident that I ended up that way but I'm not changing now.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson
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Like Frank (though possibly not for the same reasons), I find the G/A top row button on the Wheatstone indispensible to the way I play. It's all to do with increasing the chording options on the left hand by having that convenient double duplicate, and it mirrors button 4 on the LHS top row - which seems logical.

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hello all

I have a g/d jeffries 39b,and a wheatstone c/g 40b I tend to keep certain tunes for the wheatstone some seem to fall into place on this concertina

would be nice to have two concertinas with the same layout in the keys above,but at todays prices!!!!

cplayer

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I hit a wrong button and now i cannot vote any more... You may count + 1 for wheatstone/ lachenal.

Actually, all my instruments have a slight customization compared to standart wheatsone. The customisations are :

Lh, 3rd row, third button, pull : E instead of Eb ., Rh, 3rd row, pull, d' instead of eb' ., and (one one of my instruments) duplicated c# on Rh, 3rd row, 1stbutton.

The customizations were done for chordal purpose.

Apart from that I agree with Franck ( and with Bertram Levy) that the reversed a/g is a great advantage of the wheatstone system.

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I hit a wrong button and now i cannot vote any more... You may count + 1 for wheatstone/ lachenal.

Actually, all my instruments have a slight customization compared to standart wheatsone. The customisations are :

Lh, 3rd row, third button, pull : E instead of Eb ., Rh, 3rd row, pull, d' instead of eb' ., and (one one of my instruments) duplicated c# on Rh, 3rd row, 1stbutton.

The customizations were done for chordal purpose.

Apart from that I agree with Franck ( and with Bertram Levy) that the reversed a/g is a great advantage of the wheatstone system.

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If I might be so bold as to spring to the defence of the Jeffries system :) I personally find two drawbacks with the Wheatstone layout: the lack of a draw high d (you have it of course in the push direction on the g row, but then having no push f#, there is no full D chord possibility) and secondly there is often no LH thumb button (admittedly this is sometimes present, but seems to be more often included in the Jeffries system?), which in my case is tuned C/F to give some important chord reverses. I can see that in exchange, you do gain a bit of range at the very top, but do many Wheatstone system players use those notes above the high g limit of the Jeffries system? I’ve never had problems with the reverse g and a being on different RH buttons - I guess like most, I started with one system, got used to it and have stayed there. (Although I did move to 38 buttons)

 

Adrian

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As additional information to your survey, I receive orders to make concertinas using the Wheatstone system at an approximate rate of three to one for the Wheatstone over the Jeffries.

Hi Frank,

 

Here is what Doug at the button box has to say on the matter which seems to suggest the exact opposite from your experience:

 

Hi Jody,

 

One of the things that influences the system people play is price. The least expensive concertinas - Bastari, Stagi, Concertina Connection "Rochelle", other Chinese brands like "Trinity College", etc. - all use the Wheatstone/Lachenal system. Since 1998, when we started keeping track of these things in a separate database, we've sold roughly 900 new and used 30-key anglos of the brands I mentioned. If/when it comes time to upgrade to a better instrument, these players often prefer to keep the system they're used to.

 

As for our Céilí anglos, if you allow for some minor customization, people prefer Jeffries over Wheatstone/Lachenal in a 65/35 split. (A few concertinas we've made have so many notes altered that they're no longer a standard layout.) Most of our anglos are made in C/G and go to Irish-style players, who seem to prefer the Jeffries layout.

 

Personally, I have Wheatstone/Lachenal on my anglos. I like the way the accidentals follow the octave pattern from left side to right side, and I have used the high E on the accidental row of my G/D on a few tunes.

 

-- Doug

 

So Doug seems to indicate an approximate rate of three to one for the Jeffries over the Wheatstone, just the opposite from what you report. I wonder what might account for this blatant discrepancy?

 

(oops, Doug points out that 65/35 is more like 2 to 1, not 3 to 1.)

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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Yes, the differences in survey result with Doug's experience seem strange. Who knows the reason? On another point, yes, the cheaper brands all seem to use the Wheatstone/Lachenal system. This is probably for another good reason. The vast majority of anglo concertinas made by vintage English makers in the 19th and early 20th centuries were also Wheatstone/Lachenal. Lachenal alone made many more anglos than Jeffries, and, of course, Wheatstone used the Wheatstone/Lachenal system. I can't say about the other smaller makers, but I seem to remember the Jones instruments I have repaired, years ago, were Wheatstone/Lachenal system, although I could be wrong on that.....it's been a while. I had assumed that the Jeffries system would be more common in Ireland, because several of the top players, like Noel Hill, and Michael O'R use this system. However, even the concertinas that I have made for Irish players show a slight preference for Wheatstone. Patty Furlong, in NY, plays a Wheatstone, as do her students.

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Jody, you haven't told us which you play.

 

I put in a "null" vote, since I don't play anglo.

I play Jefferies because that is what I happened to get by chance and learned on long ago when I got my first good instrument, a 38 button G/D. Of course I can play Wheatstone too for most tunes, because the important main notes/buttons are the same. The few times I tried to do more complicated stuff on a Wheatstone though, I was stymied by unusual positions for notes I wanted. All of my instruments are Jefferies, so I really have no opinion about which is better or better for certain kinds of music. When it comes to playing, I really only know what I know, and that's the Jefferies system.

 

My poll question was inspired by the act of notating tunes for my students. I have to add footnotes or button numbers in parentheses to show the Wheatstone fingerings for a few common buttons that are different than the ones I play on the Jefferies. Since, as this poll shows, the Jefferies system seems to be in the slight minority, perhaps I should use the Wheatstone buttons as the main fingerings and put the Jefferies as the alternatives. Trying to figure this notation plan out with respect to an interesting new tablature scheme I'm using is my reason for asking the question.

 

Very helpful to hear from all of you. Keep those responses coming please. The more that respond the more accurate the results are.

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I started with the Wheatstone layout, then went to Jeffries for a few years. After that I spent about three years with two concertinas in different keys (one in each layout) and thought I preferred Jeffries until I started working with non-Irish material and eventually settled on all Wheatstone layout instruments. I've come to see an advantage in that outer row G/A that is missing on the Jeffries system and I don't consider the lack of a double C# as a handicap. I also have a 31- button Dipper in modified Wheatstone that has a double C# on the first button of the right side and the D# has been placed on the extra button (extra F# on the reverse). I never use the reverse direction C# or F# but do use the D# quite a bit.

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