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Concertina Choice

What concertina would you choose if you could have only one and it would be presented free to you?  

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Oh Bill, Tina was a gift from my French Canadian wife who has no use in this world for my musical addictions. Tina (my Albion) was her gift to me (and a damned fine gift it is!) and against what she considers her better judgement. She would be highly offended that I could contemplate allowing Jim...I mean the Concertina Farie to abscond with Tina as if she (Tina) were disposable. I'm well aware of where this thought process would lead (I unfortunately refer to Tina as if she were a person and a female person at that...). My suspicion is that Concertina Farie has no dust sufficiently magical to overcome the swift and fatal (for me) outcome.


I wisely shall pass (secretly envious of all who accepted the devil's bargin from Concertina Farie). I will stay married (outrageously in love) and continue to inhabit a very warm and homey cottage thank you!

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2. Mark, you say you couldn't justify a vintage instrument, and I am sure that is true of almost everyone who has only hybrids; the question is, if money was no object, lets say the Concertina Farie (whom I think must be Jim; he is going around giving concertinas to all the good little musicians who practiced their scales... that explains why he hasn't been posting :)) were to come to your house and say you could either keep your Morse or you could have a brand new, perfect condition 48 button English by Wheatstone or Suttner (Does Dipper make Englishes?) without any cost to you.. would your answer still be the same?





Dipper most certainly has made english concertinas. I was one who voted to keep my hybrid, but if someone offered me a Dipper english in exchange I'd take it in a second. Quite a few years ago George Flink had a new amboyna Dipper english at the Squeeze-in and I thought it was wondeful. He was selling it for about 3000 USD and I wish I had bought it. It was loud, powerful & smooth, but a little stiff as it was so new. I thought it was the most beautiful concertina I'd ever seen. I loved everything about it.


I wonder though if I wouldn't start thinking about buying another Albion after making the trade. I still think the Albion is easier to play than any vintage concertina, at least for me. After a few years of playing an Albion I like the sound it makes at least as much as any vintage, and I've also found that most of the people I've played for prefer the Albion's sound over the vintage I had at the time (A nice Aeola & my current even nicer New Model)


I've been playing my New Model a lot more lately and actively comparing it to the Albion. The NM's reeds are more responsive, they sound at a lower volume and also seem slightly quicker. They have a purer tone too. This NM has just been completely rebuilt by the Concertina Connection, including a new CC action & all the reeds reset, so it's pretty amazing how responsive it is. It had excellent reeds when I bought it and was in really nice shape and still the transformation that occured when Wim rebuilt it was impressive. After this experience I think quite a few of the vintage concertinas out there that people are playing could really benefit from a complete rebuild. Most of the vintage concertinas I've played (with a number of very notable exceptions) seem less than perfect and frankly, I don't think play nearly as well as my Albion. I KNOW several I played at the last Squeeze-In didn't play nearly as well as my Albion.


bruce boysen

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Lots of reasons for me - I know exactly who made my concertina, I know he cares deeply about his work, I know he'll charge "fairly" for servicing.  He answers the phone!  I can look around his workshop and see what else is in progress. I know he is constantly seeking to improve the quality of his instruments and is careful over which suppliers he uses. He only lives 30 minutes drive away. He is a real gentleman. He makes me a cup of tea when I see him, and a ten minute visit usually turns into an hours conversation, with other concertina players also dropping in to chat!  I can get a good quality, air efficient concertina for just over £1000.

Tht sounds exactly like me and my Dipper (except for the thousand quid bit, of course ...).


Incidentally, the Dippers will, of course make Englishes.



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