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German 20 Key With Switchable Second Voice


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This is an unusual type of German concertina with two sets of reeds and a switch on each side to choose between single voice and two voice playing. It is in DA with steel reeds on typical German long zinc plates. All the reeds are intact and playing. The bellows are more like English bellows, quite substantially built, and with just some minor scuffing. The ends are in good condition with what appears to be the original finish and nothing broken or missing. The only parts that are obviously replacements are the straps.
It is approximately in tune with itself and close to concert pitch. I don't really know what such an instrument is worth, so please make me an offer I can't refuse!



Edited by Theo
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  • 1 month later...

It is too late to reply but I found some relevent informations.


The first one came up to eBay in February this year. http://www.ebay.com/itm/281600430420 This one had brown bellows and labelled as "Campbell's Improved Concertina". As the seller noted, 1890 Campbell's catalog listed "The Nonpareil" concertina which had thumb stops to change tones.

http://www.concertina.com/eydmann/campbells-catalogue-1890.pdf (please refer page 4)

Though the Theo's box above had no dealer label and had different bellows colour, overall shapes looked very much similar.


The second one was in the last month. http://www.ebay.com/itm/271924549201This one was also missing the dealer label, it had green bellows with gold tooling.


Finally, this old topic. http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=6245 I cannot see the original ebay listing of long ago, but Peter T's description matches the Theo's photo.




Just FYI,



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  • 2 years later...

...or to change keys.


Cajun musician Wayne Toups plays a Falcon accordeon that is set up to play in C or D just by changing the stops. Saw him play it in Breaux Bridge many years ago and it was pretty awesome.


Wouldn't it be cool to figure out how to do this with a concertina?




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I'd love to hear how such a concertina sounds.

https://youtu.be/cwwQ5Rr1lHo and internal view is here https://youtu.be/pL5kqs0OhLg .


Thanks for the link! Though it's not that much of a change as what as I hoped for, it's still noticeable and brings a joyful quality to the piece. It'd sure be nice to be able to get that ability to switch to a more accordion-like sound more frequently on anglos! Too bad these instruments seem to be rare.

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  • 3 years later...
20 hours ago, Peter Smith said:

I have put this concertina up for sale on Ebay. I hope I got the description right and am happy to answer any questions.


Hi Peter,


I have an interest in this model myself. I have a couple of examples with various types of damage including broken reeds or repitched in the past. My ultimate goal is to end up with one really well-playing restored example and also a second one that's completely original, complete, but unrestored as a record of their original build specs. So I'm interested in other examples as parts donors (maybe one will have the reedplates I need, buttons, etc) if priced well, or even if it can be found a really perfect unaltered example that's never been retuned, revalved, etc.  Since yours would require expensive postage and you've already started restoring it, it's not a good fit for my needs.


However, since you ask whether you got the description right, I think you should check whether the two sets of reeds are really as you say (quoting your auction listing):


"This steel-reeded 20-button concertina appears to be in C/G. It has a single set of reeds for each button (20 reeds each side), all of which play both pushing & pulling the bellows. A second set of reeds can be introduced on both sides, using the slider button by the hand rest. This gives two notes one octave apart, for each button both pushing & pulling the bellows (giving a total of 40 reeds each side)."


Every example of this model that I've seen in hand is *not* in octave voicing (LM or MH). Rather they are in MM celeste or tremolo voicing so the two reeds sounded together are not an octave apart. They are in the same octave but tuned slightly apart.


To me your video seems to confirm that your concertina is also voiced MM.


Good luck with the sale. To anyone else with one for sale, I'm interested in parts or unrestored examples, thanks!


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I had one, too, Peter, once upon a while ago.  I would agree ( in the case of mine ) the "extra" reeds were a few cents apart, but in the same octave, a la typical Melodeon sound, which gave that vibrato/tremolo effect when both sets were engaged.    


"Celestial to Organ Tone at the pleasure of the player" - albeit less so in my hands, possibly!


This link may replace the apparently 'broken' one in the thread above, to the original Cambells catalogue. 



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Many thanks for your comments.


I have had a listen to the tuning again & agree with your comments, Paul & Nigel. I think you are right & I am wrong!! The reeds sound as it they are tuned just a few cents apart. I just made an assumption without checking it properly - so its not too 'honky-tonk'!!


The restoration I undertook has been minimal - just to get it playing - hence the buttons. I made springs to match the existing & replaced the chamois leather seal one end. I am pretty sure all reeds are there & are untouched by me.  I was just curious to try it out, especially as you can quieten the bass by playing single reeds. 


Thanks again.



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