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When (And Why) Did You Get A 2Nd Concertina?


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I'm mostly curious as to what prompted the purchase of a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) concertina for those of you lucky enough to be in that position?

 

To get a specific sound? To pick up a bargain? Problem with your first concertina?

 

I'm also wondering how long you'd been playing before adding to your collection?

 

This post was mostly prompted by me seeing some discussions on buying new concertinas from makers with a 3-6 year waiting list. It occurred to me that such a thing requires a fair amount of planning ahead, so I was wondering what prompted that decision.

 

As a beginner, I can't even being to imagine what I'd be wanting in a concertina in 6 years time for example, but maybe someone who's been playing for a decade knows their requirements won't change much during that time.

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My collection contains three: a brass-rivet-reeded Wheatstone treble, a Morse Albion baritone, and a Lachenal New Model 35-button tenor. The idea was to cover all the available ranges and reed types. Unfortunately, the Lachenal came to me in suboptimal condition, and it's currently with Greg Jowaisas for repairs. Looking forward to getting it back soon to see what I can do with it!

 

ETA: To answer the other part of the question - I got my second concertina (a Jack baritone) about three months after my first (a Stagi 18-button miniature), because I was eager to try out the baritone range. Both have since been sold - the Stagi was replaced by the Wheatstone and the Jack was replaced by the Morse.

Edited by Johanna
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The first was a bargain that got my wife and I into concertinas. A Wheatstone Aeloa in a thrift shop (since sold).

 

The second was one for "general purpose" that could accompany us Rv'ing etc.

 

The third was a low price "tutor" to learn repair techniques on.

 

The fourth was for a quiet mellow tone (an early Lachenal brass reed with wood baffles)

 

The fifth was because of addiction...and so it goes...some bought, some sold, and always the fun of "how does this one sound etc.)

 

The last is a bargain picked up for next winter's "project" (a 30K anglo - I play english). And so it continues...as I doubt that will be the "last".

 

And just as I have found with boats and "two-footitis" - there is no end in sight.

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My second came about as the result of a holiday in Italy. I'd been learning for about six months on a Concertina Connection Jackie, and was perfectly happy with it, until we spent a week in Italy with friends. I'd not taken the Jackie with me, and borrowed a friend's Wheatstone for a few plays whilst we were there.

 

Coming back home the Jackie just wasn't the same .. so I bought a Wheatstone very like Sue's later that same year :)

 

After that I managed to stay singly attached on the Wheatstone, although I really started to fancy getting a baritone for those lower notes. When Morse brought out the Geordie baritone range, I promised myself that once I'd paid off the cost of moving house, one would be mine - and ooh look now I've got one!

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I started with a cheap Scarlatti Enlish 30 key, planning to buy something better if I could get anywhere with it, having failed to master an Anglo some years before. So once I had confirmed to myself that my brain is clearly organised on the English rather than the Anglo system, I bought (or rather arranged to buy on behalf of Father Christmas) a restored 1855 Wheatstone brass reeded treble from a localish seller on Ebay, a bargain I think at £350. I've kept the Scarlatti in case I want to use it for carol singing or whatever. I expect there will be other concertinas in my future - when I get to the point of actually wanting other people to hear my playing I will probably go for a steel reeded or accordian reeded instrument, as my current one is sweet but quiet.

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I started with a nice Lachenal anglo, and began practicing regularly for at least 30 minutes every day.

 

After a year or so, I thought it might be nice to have a cheaper "beater" around, so I bought a Rochelle for $300.00.

 

I continued my practice routine on the Rochelle when it arrived. After about a week, I developed chest pain. Within a couple of days I realized it was not cardiac in nature, but it was from the strain of playing the stiffer concertina!

I had a scheduled physical exam and I had decided not to mention it to my physician. When he put his stethoscope to my sternum, I winced and he gave me a deep, questioning look. So I told him the story and he agreed that it was just costochondritis, and recommended Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Lachenal!!!

Edited by sidesqueeze
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I'm mostly curious as to what prompted the purchase of a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) concertina for those of you lucky enough to be in that position?

 

To get a specific sound? To pick up a bargain? Problem with your first concertina?

 

I'm also wondering how long you'd been playing before adding to your collection?

 

This post was mostly prompted by me seeing some discussions on buying new concertinas from makers with a 3-6 year waiting list. It occurred to me that such a thing requires a fair amount of planning ahead, so I was wondering what prompted that decision.

 

As a beginner, I can't even being to imagine what I'd be wanting in a concertina in 6 years time for example, but maybe someone who's been playing for a decade knows their requirements won't change much during that time.

 

For Anglo players, often the need for different keys requires multiple instruments. I play both a C/G and G/D for contra and ceilidh dances and Morris. While I could play most tunes in all the common keys on either, having instruments in different keys facilitates full harmonic playing.

 

I prefer the sound of vintage instruments with traditional reeds, but I play Morris, which means playing often in bad weather, and that has led me to keep lightweight, much less expensive hybrid instruments for those occasions. Truth be told, more and more I use the hybrids at most MOrris events because the dancers can't tell the difference and I don't worry about getting rained on or ripped off.

 

Finally, for gigging musicians, it's always smart to have backup instruments. Once I had the rivet in the air button of my best instrument snap in the middle of a dance - a paid gig. Fortunately I had a backup I could grab without missing a beat (well, a few beats).

Edited by Jim Besser
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Ummm... well..

 

1. Was a hot-rodded stagi. It can mostly be considered a gateway drug. It let me try concertina out, but made me want a better instrument.

 

2. Was a Marcus. It was quite nice and I made quite a bit of progress on that little box, but I was wondering if some of the other hybrid instruments might be better which lead to.

 

3. An Edgley. This was, for quite a few years, my goto instrument. Very responsive and a nice tone (if not quite a traditional instrument).

 

4. After I ordered the Edgley but before I received it, I found out about Kensington Concertinas. Dana lives about 5 miles from my house, so I had to order one from him... its just being neighborly :). It is also quite responsive, and a more authentic tone than than the Edgley.

 

5. A couple of years later, a friend convinced me to go in with him on two Suttners. I figured it would be my 40th birthday present to myself. Sure enough it arrived that year. It is a magnificent instrument and my goto instrument 90% of the time now. The Edgley is my choice if I think my 2 and 4 year old will want to press buttons while I am trying to play.

 

The Stagi was given to another musician who wanted to try concerntinas. I told them when they were done with it to pass it on to someone else. The Marcus is currently on loan to an Irish Box player. I expect I will get it back this year some time.

 

Ideally I would like to get down to two instruments. The second instrument will serve as a backup instrument and will also cover the need if one of my kids becomes interested in concertina one day (Though right now they seem more interested in the button accordion... perhaps because they like to see the action which you can't really do on a concertina).

 

BTW, in case you are wondering... why did he stop at 5? Simple, I got married. Its a lot harder to justify such purchases to a wife who likes your playing but can barely tell the difference between the instruments. :).

 

--

Bill

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Bill, we followed almost the same route.

 

1 a 20b Lachenal , a ebay buy....I often think of the handstraps as handcuffs.....just can't(don't want to) get out!

2 a 30b Marcus....nice box for the $$...started me on this wonderful journey.

3 an Edgley....this is the box that really let me move ahead

4 a Suttner...waited 4+ years for this instrument...very happy with it

AND

Just bought a lovely Jeffries that Greg Jowaisas has been working on/restoring for me...can't wait to play it and keep this 120 year old instrument alive and kicking..

Doug

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Started with a Bastari (better I think than the Stagi's that I believe came later), and saved for a "good one." I got an Edeophone, metal ended tenor-treble then (sold the Bastari) and that was the main squeeze for some years. A few years back I got concerned about playing the Edeo outside at festivals and decided to get a good but somewhat less expensive instrument. I got a Wheatstone Model 21 (22?) from Geoff Wooff tuned 1/5 comma mean. I really like it best, and despite being too good an instrument for all the outside festivals it is the one that goes. I like the tuning so well I'm thinking of asking Greg Jowaisis to tune my Edeo that way... Did I need a good "beater" instrument? Yes. Did I get one? No. The Wheatstone is really too good for what I'm using it for. So I really have two fine instruments. Now if I can just avoid a baritone, or a good cheap beater, or ... I have AMIS (Acquired Music Instrument Syndrome). You don't want to know about the other instruments....

Edited by cboody
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My first was a Lachenal, it looked much like Blue Eyed Sailor's if you follow the link to his photos. Mine was in quite poor condition and at the time, long ago, I didn't appreciate what I might have had. I eventually swaped it for a banjo!

 

My second was aquired while travelling In NY, 1974. Still had the Lachenal at home but I saw an advertisment from Boris Matusewitch and bought one from him. I think he was having them made in Italy but not sure. Others would know more about these instruments. So the circumstance of aquirement was opportune. On this concer I started to work out how to play the EC. Sold it after I got the third.

 

My third and present concer was also aquired opportunistically during a later trip,1979, this time to the UK. It's a Wheatstone metal ended, number 21 model from 1930. At the time there was no thought about what I wanted except a reasonably good concer.

 

cboody...what is 1/5 comma mean tuning?

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Started with a Morse anglo, which I still use when I am travelling. It's light and robust, so I can just toss it into my carry-on luggage, and it's fairly quiet, so I can play in hotel rooms without inducing irate guests and hotel personnel to hammer on the door to get me to stop.

 

After three years on the waiting list, I got my Wakker A-4 anglo, which is my primary instrument now. A delight to play, extremely well-made, excellent sound.

 

Michael O'Raghallaigh plays some of his tunes at a lower pitch (3½ to 4 semitones below standard pitch, using standard fingering on an Ab/Eb Jeffries), and I really like the sound of it. So a while back I bought a nice Bb/F Jeffries for playing Irish tunes that sound great when they're played at a lower pitch, especially with the nice growl that you get with Jeffries reeds. Although as Jim Lucas pointed out, you don't make friends at sessions when you show up and start playing tunes two semitones below standard pitch.

 

Jim was evil enough to loan me a Wheatstone English concertina to play around with, and I'm getting hooked. I'm going to have to start saving up money so I can buy an English at some point. Concertinas can be as addictive as nicotine.

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Do you mean "second" as in "upgrade" or as in "as well"?

 

I bought a Rochelle as a way of dipping my toes in the water, decided I liked it and then invested in a Marcus within a few months. That was simply a desire for a better concertina at a reasonable price - and Marcus has only a short waiting list. Part of my thinking was that the Rochelle was in C/G and I needed G/D to fit in with the Morris musicians around me, but once the Marcus arrived I never played the Rochelle again and quickly traded it in for a melodeon that I never play either.

 

A year or two later, I had an opportunity to buy a beautifully restored B flat F Jeffries. It was sooner than I intended but too good to miss. Without this opportunity, I might still have only the Marcus.

 

Having got used to a nice instrument, it was a year or two after that, when an investment matured that I spoiled myself by buying my third box (the fourth one I've owned) which is the Dipper- a thing of beauty indeed.

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First was a brass reeded amboyna Joseph Scates.

Second was a steel reed Lachenal Inimitable - for a brighter sound.

Third was a brass reeded Wheatstone Baritone - for....'Cos I wanted it!!!!

I can, sort of, justify my purchases. My problem is justifying 3 recurve bows

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Some great stories about journeys through concertina ownership. This has also given me a bit of insight into some of the concertina makes out there, interesting to see the models everyone switches from/to and why :)

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