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Wheatstone Model 21 Versus Aeola


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Hi, all,

 

I have an opportunity to pick up a treble English Model 21 from 1923 and I'd like to learn more about this model. For those with experience with both these and Aeolas, would anyone be able to give me their thoughts about how they compare with each other, specifically in this time period? I'm familiar with the sound and feel of a metal-ended Aeola, but all I can seem to find about the 21 is references to its being "amazingly loud." I would love to hear how their tone, quality of construction, action, dynamic range, response, etc. compare.

 

Thanks so much!

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The model 21 is somewhat similar to the 22... but period changes, and wood choices can make for variations in the final resulting sound dynamics,tone etc.

 

So you may find more information about model 22's. I do not have time today to go into great detail of the various models I have played, sorry, but each instrument needs to be assessed on its own merits... as well as what 90+ years have done.

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are you thinking of the one at BB? i always eyeball 21s kind of wistfully, since i suspect the "flat reed pan sound" might be optimal for my purposes, but i really want tenor notes (and i also want metal-ended). and to get tenor notes and metal-ended for all practical purposes probly is going to mean, a TT, since "tenor 48s" are so rare. and TT availability for all practical purposes, is probly going to be, aeola. unless one can find a crabb or Lach New Model, or unless one goes Edeo (but then you have to deal with the hook action). i wonder if the 5-fold bellows original to most 21s are annoying. i note that many times they are replaced with 6-ers.

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Yes, it's the Button Box one I'm looking at. I'm glad to hear that you've heard that the volume thing may be overstated; I don't mind the volume, anyway, so long as it can play quietly as well. I'm waiting to hear back from them about this and a couple other questions.

 

The 5-fold bellows is a question for sure. I guess I figure, if the Victorians could handle that complex chordal repertoire with 4-fold instruments, I ought to be able to manage with 5, and maybe it's an opportunity to improve my bellows technique. I'm working hard on the rationalizations! :)

 

If anyone has experience with this model, I'd still love to hear your thoughts...

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I have a Model 21 (from Greg Jowaisis's 2013 Christmas offerings). It has a modern 6-fold bellows. The action is very quiet and fast. Mine was made in 1915. I believe the 1920s are viewed as a higher stage in Wheatstone evolution.

 

That said, I'm not sure that the Lachenal type action is inherently noisier. I think a lot depends on how one plays the instrument.

 

There seem to be a fair number of Model 21s around. They seem to be real workhorses. I've only played two of them, but they were (and are) both great playing experiences. One of the best concertina players in the Baltimore area plays one, and she gets marvelous sounds out of it.

Edited by Mike Franch
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I think you have to have a go on it....there seems so much variation in various concertinas that its hard to say how it will play. I think as a general rule they're loud and 'squeaky'(my wife's description....), but how well it'll play quietly is any ones guess.

 

Andrew Norman has said to me that model 21s tend to be louder than model 22s....however I sold a model 22 a couple of years ago to Geoff wooff that was exceptionally loud (ear bleeding)

 

I also have a model 22 at the moment that isn't anywhere near as loud as Geoff's but it plays exceptionally well quietly.

 

5 fold bellows might be an issue , but it might not!!! it depends how little air the reeds use / whether there's any leaks etc.

 

Good luck ...I hope its a cracker!!

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The ButtonBox will give you a full refund if you return the Model 21 within two weeks of receipt. However, you will have to pay the shipping costs. Only your ears can judge the sound so actually playing it is the only way you will know for sure. Another fact to add to your rationalization support.

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The 5-fold bellows is a question for sure. I guess I figure, if the Victorians could handle that complex chordal repertoire with 4-fold instruments, I ought to be able to manage with 5, and maybe it's an opportunity to improve my bellows technique. I'm working hard on the rationalizations! :)

 

 

I'm not sure that the Victorians used much 'complex choral' work on their concertinas... prefering to have the piano accompanist cover that area, perhaps?

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  • 7 years later...

I have the opportunity to buy a Wheatstone model 21 that is in the production books...made Dec 1927...nickel plated 6 fold bellows.  All notes play beautiful and it is in fine condition in original case. They want $1600 for it.  Good price? What problems might arise?

 

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On 6/17/2021 at 7:44 PM, Everett said:

I have the opportunity to buy a Wheatstone model 21 that is in the production books...made Dec 1927...nickel plated 6 fold bellows.  All notes play beautiful and it is in fine condition in original case. They want $1600 for it.  Good price? What problems might arise?

 

After examining it, pretty sure the original 5 fold bellows have been replaced by 6 fold. The production book does show #31734 to be a 21 with polished nickel ends. 1927 model 21s had 5 fold bellows. Regardless, it plays beautifully. 

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Everett, that rice sounds very reasonable and maybe even a bit low. If it plays beautifully and sounds good, the only thing you might want to do is open it p t check the condition of the wood and the reeds: looking for rust on reeds or brass reeds substituted for steel reeds, and make sure all wood appears sound with no cracks or loose pieces. If available, having an experienced concertina repairman doing that inspection would be best. But, the fact that it sounds and plays well is a good indication of a nice find.

 

Ross SCHLABACH

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  • 1 month later...

I did buy it for $1500.   Also, earlier in this thread is a discussion saying model 21s have wooden grills...mine is nickel plate (nice and shiny). Is that a change made with model 21s later in the 20's? Mine also has a 6 fold bellows. It does need to be tuned to modern pitch and I have a good man lined up to do that.

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