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Lachenal Excelsior 48 key Treble English concertina made around 1890


Don Taylor
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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.

I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?

I agree with Dirge. A well-restored Lachenal (as I'd expect from this seller) should hold up well.

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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.

 

I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?

Absolutely right. A properly restored vintage instrument (as anything bought from Chris Algar will be) is as reliable as a newly built one.

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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.

 

I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?

Absolutely right. A properly restored vintage instrument (as anything bought from Chris Algar will be) is as reliable as a newly built one.

 

I happen to own $4000 top of the line Lachenal Edeophone purchased from Chris Algar several years ago and a $400 dollar jackie. The Edeophone has had several (admittedly minor) issues with it including one immediately on arrival and the Jackie has had none. Concertina reeds are more finicky than accordion reeds. Instruments like concertinas with hundreds of small parts are going to have occasional problems. You will encounter more of these problems with a vintage instrument than with a newly made one. You gentlemen are blowing smoke.

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The other thing to consider is that the original poster was considering spending (throwing out a number here) $2000 for that Lachenal vs. approx. the same amount for the Morse. Well, like it or not, these little beasts are investments, and if and when the time comes to sell it or trade it for something better, that Lachenal will almost certainly have held its value or maybe even appreciated a bit. The value of a Morse in 10 or 20 years is far less certain, but I suspect that if we all had to place bets on which would be the better investment over the long haul, we would all bet on the Lachenal.

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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.

 

I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?

Absolutely right. A properly restored vintage instrument (as anything bought from Chris Algar will be) is as reliable as a newly built one.

 

I happen to own $4000 top of the line Lachenal Edeophone purchased from Chris Algar several years ago and a $400 dollar jackie. The Edeophone has had several (admittedly minor) issues with it including one immediately on arrival and the Jackie has had none. Concertina reeds are more finicky than accordion reeds. Instruments like concertinas with hundreds of small parts are going to have occasional problems. You will encounter more of these problems with a vintage instrument than with a newly made one. You gentlemen are blowing smoke.

 

Interesting. I live in a relatively remote small town (village really) in Ontario, Canada and would have to be self-reliant on fixing any problems. Nobody around here even knows what a concertina is, even the local folkies were puzzled.

 

I am pretty handy and have good quality tools, but I would be a bit reluctant to do open heart surgery on a 120 year old instrument. I wonder how many of you folks in the UK rely on being able to take your vintage 'tinas to a restorer/repairman when things go wrong? At least with a Morse I could phone the maker to get advice on problems. I don't think that Mr. Lachenal answers his phone any more.

 

The other issue that somewhat concerns me are the huge climate variations that we have around here. We go from -30C very dry in winter to plus 35C very humid in summer. Obviously, I would not store my concertina outside but you get the picture. A delicate English rose versus a robust New Englander whose climate is not that different from mine.

 

Don.

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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.
I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?
Absolutely right. A properly restored vintage instrument (as anything bought from Chris Algar will be) is as reliable as a newly built one.
I happen to own $4000 top of the line Lachenal Edeophone purchased from Chris Algar several years ago and a $400 dollar jackie. The Edeophone has had several (admittedly minor) issues with it including one immediately on arrival and the Jackie has had none. Concertina reeds are more finicky than accordion reeds. Instruments like concertinas with hundreds of small parts are going to have occasional problems. You will encounter more of these problems with a vintage instrument than with a newly made one. You gentlemen are blowing smoke.

Interesting. I live in a relatively remote small town (village really) in Ontario, Canada and would have to be self-reliant on fixing any problems. Nobody around here even knows what a concertina is, even the local folkies were puzzled.

 

I am pretty handy and have good quality tools, but I would be a bit reluctant to do open heart surgery on a 120 year old instrument. I wonder how many of you folks in the UK rely on being able to take your vintage 'tinas to a restorer/repairman when things go wrong? At least with a Morse I could phone the maker to get advice on problems. I don't think that Mr. Lachenal answers his phone any more.

 

The other issue that somewhat concerns me are the huge climate variations that we have around here. We go from -30C very dry in winter to plus 35C very humid in summer. Obviously, I would not store my concertina outside but you get the picture. A delicate English rose versus a robust New Englander whose climate is not that different from mine..

The most common problem by far is dust occasionally clogging a reed, which is an easy fix on a vintage concertina. The only tools you need are one or two screwdrivers and a stiff piece of paper. Many of us who are not so handy are able to do this and I am sure that you will be able to do it too..

 

The other thing to consider is that the original poster was considering spending (throwing out a number here) $2000 for that Lachenal vs. approx. the same amount for the Morse. Well, like it or not, these little beasts are investments, and if and when the time comes to sell it or trade it for something better, that Lachenal will almost certainly have held its value or maybe even appreciated a bit. The value of a Morse in 10 or 20 years is far less certain, but I suspect that if we all had to place bets on which would be the better investment over the long haul, we would all bet on the Lachenal.

This is regularly said here on c.net, but I don't agree. Prices depend on demand as well as supply and there's no way to know how many people will want to buy our beloved but obscure old intruments decades from now. Even now, prices for top-end Anglo concertinas are not as high as they were a few years ago. English concertina prices are lower, so they don't have as far to fall, but there's no way to know what will happen.

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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This is regularly said here on c.net, but I don't agree. Prices depend on demand as well as supply and there's no way to know how many people will want to buy our beloved but obscure old intruments decades from now. Even now, prices for top-end Anglo concertinas are not as high as they were a few years ago. English concertina prices are lower, so they don't have as far too fall, but there's no way to know what will happen.

 

You're right, no one has a crystal ball, but even if the market collapses the vintage Lachenal will almost certainly still be worth more than the comparable Morse, so it's still a better investment assuming both are selling today at more or less the same price.

 

Better than most stocks or real estate for that matter, at least lately, and when the economy really collapses we can always play for pocket change on the street corner--try that with Barclay's stock!

 

Actually, I think concertinas are where ukuleles were 20 years ago, before Brother Iz played Over the Rainbow in that movie, and suddenly ukuleles were the hottest instrument out there. All it will take is one performer and one song to make concertinas mainstream again. But I digress, and that's probably something for another thread.

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...I suspect that if we all had to place bets on which would be the better investment over the long haul, we would all bet on the Lachenal.

I would not.

I wouldn't bet on either over the other.

 

They are both fine instruments and I would expect both to hold their value equally well unless there's a major change in the makeup of the market for concertinas. Currently it's driven mainly by players, not by persons who buy or "invest in" concertinas based purely on appearance, maker's name, a particular period in time, or other characteristics not directly related to the results when they are played.

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The original poster asked for the comparison. My point is that Morse hybrid concertinas (tenor or treble matters not)are likely to give much less trouble than an old lachenal.

 

I wouldn't agree with that one. Concertinas are tough. A basically sound vintage instrument will give very little trouble unless abused. You surely aren't going to guarantee that new Morses and the like never need adjusting?

Absolutely right. A properly restored vintage instrument (as anything bought from Chris Algar will be) is as reliable as a newly built one.

 

I happen to own $4000 top of the line Lachenal Edeophone purchased from Chris Algar several years ago and a $400 dollar jackie. The Edeophone has had several (admittedly minor) issues with it including one immediately on arrival and the Jackie has had none. Concertina reeds are more finicky than accordion reeds. Instruments like concertinas with hundreds of small parts are going to have occasional problems. You will encounter more of these problems with a vintage instrument than with a newly made one. You gentlemen are blowing smoke.

 

Interesting. I live in a relatively remote small town (village really) in Ontario, Canada and would have to be self-reliant on fixing any problems. Nobody around here even knows what a concertina is, even the local folkies were puzzled.

 

I am pretty handy and have good quality tools, but I would be a bit reluctant to do open heart surgery on a 120 year old instrument. I wonder how many of you folks in the UK rely on being able to take your vintage 'tinas to a restorer/repairman when things go wrong? At least with a Morse I could phone the maker to get advice on problems. I don't think that Mr. Lachenal answers his phone any more.

 

The other issue that somewhat concerns me are the huge climate variations that we have around here. We go from -30C very dry in winter to plus 35C very humid in summer. Obviously, I would not store my concertina outside but you get the picture. A delicate English rose versus a robust New Englander whose climate is not that different from mine.

 

Don.

 

Being able and willing to fix small problems yourself is really a key point. the issues I had with my edeophone were minor only because I was willing and able to open the thing up myself and fix them. If I had to pack it up and send it off to a repair person each time it would have cost me several hundred dollars in shipping and insurance alone not to mention time without the instrument.

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I happen to own $4000 top of the line Lachenal Edeophone purchased from Chris Algar several years ago and a $400 dollar jackie. The Edeophone has had several (admittedly minor) issues with it including one immediately on arrival and the Jackie has had none. Concertina reeds are more finicky than accordion reeds. Instruments like concertinas with hundreds of small parts are going to have occasional problems. You will encounter more of these problems with a vintage instrument than with a newly made one. You gentlemen are blowing smoke.

 

Look 'ere Gov'ner, that there squeezebox is giving you no end of trouble. 'Ow about I slip you a couple of grand to take it orf yer 'ands? Can't give you wot yer paid fer it OF CORSE, because she needs so much work. Ga'an, do yerself a favour. Yer can put the money to a nice noo one. That's wot yer really want innit? Got the loot 'ere in me pocket. Just say the word.

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I am pretty handy and have good quality tools, but I would be a bit reluctant to do open heart surgery on a 120 year old instrument.

I wouldn't expect a properly restored vintage concertina -- even a 120-year-old one -- to need major work within my lifetime if it's properly cared for. Ditto for a quality contemporary instrument. As for minor work, I feel more able to deal personally with the vintage instruments, though that is at least partly because I have more experience with them.

 

I wonder how many of you folks in the UK rely on being able to take your vintage 'tinas to a restorer/repairman when things go wrong?

There's hardly one in every village, and all that I know of have queues. No walk in-walk out service. The rare exception is when a maker or restorer holds a "clinic" at a concertina meeting, but those are only for minor problems, never "major surgery".

 

At least with a Morse I could phone the maker to get advice on problems. I don't think that Mr. Lachenal answers his phone any more.

The folks at the Button Box (among others) can also be quite helpful when it comes to vintage concertinas. After all, they repair, restore, and sell those, too.

 

The other issue that somewhat concerns me are the huge climate variations that we have around here. We go from -30C very dry in winter to plus 35C very humid in summer. Obviously, I would not store my concertina outside but you get the picture. A delicate English rose versus a robust New Englander whose climate is not that different from mine.

Vintage English-made concertinas are far from "delicate". I've played mine in sub-freezing weather (cold enough that the brass section refused to play, for fear that they would get their mouthpieces stuck frozen to their lips) and also in your humid 35 degrees with no ill effects to the instruments (or to myself).

 

A few of my vintage instruments (for reasons unknown, they've all been of larger range and size) have occasionally needed a few reed frames to be reseated due to changes in the temperature and humidity, but that has happened even in Denmark, where the changes are much less extreme. It's also something that's extremely easy to do, with only a single screwdriver (of the right size).

 

And so far I haven't heard of anyone claiming from experience that Morse or other modern instruments as a class are more -- or less -- sturdy or weather tolerant than vintage instruments in good condition.

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Dammit, you guys have convinced me I need both of them!

 

And I must keep my Jack until I can buy a better baritone. Then there is the holy grail of a tenor-treble Aeola or/and an Edeophone. Then, maybe I should try an Anglo because that is all anyone else plays around here. Duets look really interesting too. Melodeons sound great don't they? I really like Mexican music. I have always told my son that he should start a Zydeco band...

 

Oh gawd, I can barely play this thing and I am hopelessly addicted. I am so looking forward to a long Canadian winter so that I have time to practice. Did I say that out loud?

 

Yes dear, coming dear...

 

 

Don.

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Dammit, you guys have convinced me I need both of them!

 

And I must keep my Jack until I can buy a better baritone. Then there is the holy grail of a tenor-treble Aeola or/and an Edeophone. Then, maybe I should try an Anglo because that is all anyone else plays around here. Duets look really interesting too. Melodeons sound great don't they? I really like Mexican music. I have always told my son that he should start a Zydeco band...

 

Oh gawd, I can barely play this thing and I am hopelessly addicted. I am so looking forward to a long Canadian winter so that I have time to practice. Did I say that out loud?

 

Yes dear, coming dear...

 

 

Don.

 

 

 

 

"Oh!No! Another case of C.A.D. Doctor, have we room in Ward 6 ?".....

"Sorry Nurse all full in Ward 6..... I don't know what we'll do untill they build the New Wing".

 

"Well Doctor, I blame it on those nice people over at Concertina.net... Oh, so encouraging they are that more and more Innocent By-Standers are taking up these little squeeze boxes. I don't know what it will lead too, honsetly I don't... what with no more Aeolas or Edeophones to be found anywhere and demand rising like it is. They really ought to start putting people off playing concertinas, I mean there won't be enough left at this rate !!"

 

"Yes nurse, but now that some clever people have invented the Hybrids to relive the pressure , and some clever sort has even come up with a new Duet keyboard which is apparently so much easier to play for the begginner that the current prices of Maccanns and Cranes have been steadily droping these last three years."

 

"Still, I say that 'Concertina-Aquisition-Disorder' is a growing concert, opps I mean concern, and someone should close that bloomin website down before a catastroff occurs."

 

"Yes nurse,point taken.....now back to serrious things... let's try the Whistling Postman from Bar 16 again, I'm not sure we have perfected the diminuendo... maybe I have the thumb straps too tight."

 

"Yes Doctor they are too tight but that's because your playing the Aeola we confiscated from Minnie McTavish... oh the poor thing, she really has it bad... and small hands to boot. Try another one from the pile." :rolleyes:

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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http://www.ebay.com/...=item3a792b3db0

 

Chris has listed this concertina on eBay with a starting bid of 1000 pounds

 

I am tempted by this concertina - if the bidding does not go stratospheric.

 

I would be interested in opinions on this model of concertina and of concertinas this old.

 

In the description of another 1840 concertina that he listed earlier Chris remarked that very early concertinas were not as playable as later models. By later, I am guessing he means early C20? Where do instruments from 1890 fit in to the spectrum between museum piece and good, playable instruments?

 

He does mention that it has a more 'gentle' tone than other concertinas. I am guessing that means that it is not loud - which would be fine by me and the other animals in our house.

 

I was saving up for a Morse Geordie. How would you compare/rate these two concertinas?

 

Thx. Don.

Sold, for £1,131.00. Were you the buyer?

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http://www.ebay.com/...=item3a792b3db0

 

Chris has listed this concertina on eBay with a starting bid of 1000 pounds

 

I am tempted by this concertina - if the bidding does not go stratospheric.

 

I would be interested in opinions on this model of concertina and of concertinas this old.

 

In the description of another 1840 concertina that he listed earlier Chris remarked that very early concertinas were not as playable as later models. By later, I am guessing he means early C20? Where do instruments from 1890 fit in to the spectrum between museum piece and good, playable instruments?

 

He does mention that it has a more 'gentle' tone than other concertinas. I am guessing that means that it is not loud - which would be fine by me and the other animals in our house.

 

I was saving up for a Morse Geordie. How would you compare/rate these two concertinas?

 

Thx. Don.

Sold, for £1,131.00. Were you the buyer?

 

 

Yes, I am her new custodian.

 

 

Do concertinas, like boats, have gender? If so, then I think this one will be female.

 

 

Don.

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