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Duet Concertina On Ebay - Have You Seen It Before?


kartrait
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Hello,

I've found this ad on eBay: the title "Lachenal English Concertina" but the picture and the description refer to it as a duet...

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

Price so far looks very good, but could any of you experts on the c.net give me some info on whether this instrument might be good enough to risk a bid?

So far I know that it hasn't been restored but all notes play... Would you recommend any particular questions I should ask of the seller?

If it needs just basic restoration, what sort of expense would I potentially be looking at?

All information and suggestions will be very much appreciated.

Thanks!

 

Voi

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From the pictures it undoubdtedly is a MacCann duet as described, and it looks quite pretty in the photos. Beyond that I'm not prepared to go...

 

Chris

 

Edited to add PS - I'm not a duet player, one such might stick their neck out further.

Edited by Chris Timson
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If you are looking for a really good 46 key Mccann duet there is a very nice wheatstone example in the Violin Shop in Hexham. I did some work on it recently for the shop. It has steel reeds, is in concert pitch (both things you could ask the ebay seller about) and has a superb tone and response as you would expect from a Wheatstone. It has wooden ends, metal buttons, and was built in the mid 1920s as far as I recall. If you want any further info I can look up the serial number for you. The Hexham Violin Shop has a website where you can find contact details. Please mention my name if you talk to them!

 

Theo

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I always assume that unless they say the right things to me about it being overhauled (like they know what they're talking about), then it needs to be restored. Even if in great original condition it will need valves, tuning and some action work, possibly pads as well. The photos show that the bellows are in pretty rough shape, plus you'd probably want new handstraps. Having all that work done to it will set you back several hundreds of dollars.

 

A question for you: Do you want this system and range? The 46-key Maccann Lachenals that have come through our shop have all been pretty plebeian instruments. Softish toned and only okay action. Very slow sellers with probably the main reason for being so: is that they start on the G above middle C on the right hand side. That makes for a lot of across-the-ends playing, which may be okay for Irish style which is primarily bareish melody, but if you do much harmony, chords or counterpart work, you'll find it tough going.

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Hello - and thanks for your responses!

 

Well, I've just started playing on English (Morse Albion - beautiful black piece!) concertina and I love it! It's great for melody line, but having recently listened to a few examples of duet being used for song accompaniment (for example, Stormalong John version of "According to the Act" sea song) I don't think I could get to this level of richness with English.

However, thanks to Richards response, I think I'll stick to what I have for now and will possibly look at duet in a year or so (maybe on the next NE Squeeze-In... :)).

BTW, as soon as I convert the tune that I mentioned above to MP3, I'll post it on the "tunes" forum with a challenge: I really would love to find one of you masters out there who could "translate" that song into an accompaniment for English concertina.... Who knows, maybe someone would be willing to spend a few hours to do just that.... Of course, the chances are slim but one never knows...

:)

 

Anyway, thanks very much for your responses!

 

Voi

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Well, I've just started playing on English (Morse Albion - beautiful black piece!) concertina and I love it! It's great for melody line, but having recently listened to a few examples of duet being used for song accompaniment (for example, Stormalong John version of "According to the Act" sea song) I don't think I could get to this level of richness with English.

I don't think you could get to that level of "richness" with a 46-button Maccann, either. If I recall correctly, the fellow in Stormalong John plays a 67-button (66+air) Æola. Those extra 22 buttons can make a big difference in richness.

 

On the other hand, one can do a lot more than just melody on English. Have you listened to many examples of accompaniment on English?

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I don't think you could get to that level of "richness" with a 46-button Maccann, either. If I recall correctly, the fellow in Stormalong John plays a 67-button (66+air) Æola. Those extra 22 buttons can make a big difference in richness.

 

Good point Jim!

And no, I haven't heard a lot of song accompaniment with English... would you have some shanty/sea song records to recommend?

 

Thanks,

 

Voi

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And no, I haven't heard a lot of song accompaniment with English... would you have some shanty/sea song records to recommend?

there is a CD called 'Nautical but Nice' by the Anchormen. the Anchormen have since gone there separate ways, but consisted of Ian Smith and Keith Kendrick. Keith plays both Anglo and English.

 

- John Wild

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And no, I haven't heard a lot of song accompaniment with English... would you have some shanty/sea song records to recommend?

The Button Box carries a lot of concertina recordings including a separate section for "Sea Songs". Note the A,E,D after each item to let you know what type of concertina they play.

 

I'm most familiar with Louis Killen and John Roberts (of the English players) and recommend them highly!

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I'm most familiar with Louis Killen and John Roberts (of the English players) and recommend them highly!

Jeff Warner, David Jones, Jerry Epstein, Riggy Rackin, among others. And why limit yourself to listening to sea songs? Do you think that they can't be accompanied in the same way as other songs?

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Thanks very much for your responses! I will definitely seek the recordings of players you mentioned. And just to explain why I'd like to concentrate on shanties and sea songs? Well, although I realise that concertinas (especially English and Duets) were not really instruments of choice aboard sailing ships, I like the way concertinas sound in accompaniment of these songs. And this is also a kind of singing (and, yes, music) that I really like. So, sea songs for me!

 

Voi

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