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I Inherited A C. Jeffries 30 Key Concertina


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Ken,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to inspect my Jeffries. It was very helpful to sit and talk to somebody that knows what they are doing and actually plays. We very much enjoyed talking to you and witnessing the passion you have for concertinas and music in general.

 

Gary

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Dave,

 

It was almost imposible to tell whether the temperment was equal or not, as I was unable to find a scale.

 

The Eb note that I found seemed to match my piano, so I think it's tuned to A440.

 

When the reeds are moved back to their correct places, my best guess is that it will be a Bb/F tuned to A440.

 

After restoration this one is sure to become somebody's darling!

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Gary brought his Jeffries over to my house tonight.

 

I'm not going to claim to be an expert, but I've played about a dozen Jeffries anglos and this one is the real deal.

 

It seems to be a Bb/F but the reeds are scattered around so that I couldn't find a scale. On each side, some of the high buttons have low notes and some of the low have high notes. A few buttons don't sound. I was unwilling to open it up.

 

The bellows are original and they are fantastic. The soft leather pulls and pushes better than any I've ever played - just amazing quality. And the bellows papers are right too, beautiful detail with some even wear and, well, grime on them.

 

The instrument is quite leaky, but it is probably from multiple places like valves and dried out gaskets.

 

The tone wasn't the Jeffries "honk" I was expecting, but it does sound like steel reeds and brass shoes.

 

The metal buttons are small and the action could be very fast. I was disconcerted by not being able to play a tune on it!

 

The case is smooth dark leather, and seems to be the same age as the instrument.

 

I'd say this is the real thing, and it was a joy to examine it and play it, to the extent that it let me!

 

Gary, I enjoyed meeting you and your wife. Congratulations on your good fortune, there are many folks who would consider this their "grail."

 

Ken

There are pictures of this concertina over on http://theirishconcertina.com/

 

Ken, looking at the fingering chart for C/G Jeffries concertinas http://www.concertina.info/tina.faq/images/finger3.htm

I see there are several Bb buttons, and F as well. What if someone switched the reeds around trying to make some sense out of it but had no idea how it should be? What if someone tried to play it left handed? What if this Jeffries doesn't have the "honk" you'd expect because some of the reeds are not in the right chambers, or don't fit the slots correctly? Just wondering about some possiblilities...

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First of all, I'd like to thank Greg Jowaisas for spending quite a bit of time over the phone guiding me through taking my Jeffries apart to get a better idea of the condition and to solve the key/tuning issue Ken described above. Come to find out, it's tuned to Bb/F and the left side was 180 degrees out of normal alignment which is why Ken had a hard time (impossible time) playing it. Obviously my great grandfather had some work done but never got the chance to play it afterwards. As I've said before, this is all very foreign to me so Greg can correct me if I've mis-stated anything here. Thanks again Greg and Ken for all your help.

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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