Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Daddy Long Les

5-Fold Bellows On An Anglo

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I'm in the market for a decent 30 button+ Anglo.

 

Should I be avoiding instruments with 5-fold bellows?

 

I guess it's ok if the box in question is leak-free and a CG. I suppose it's more of an issue with a GD but am not experienced enough to say.

 

I'd be glad of your opinions on this matter.

 

Many Thanks

 

Les

Edited by Daddy Long Les

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say that you should avoid 5-fold bellows if you can. I've got a pretty good G/D Lachenal Anglo with 5-fold bellows and I often find myself running out of air faster than I'd like.

 

Hi,

 

I'm in the market for a decent 30 button+ Anglo.

 

Should I be avoiding instruments with 5-fold bellows?

 

I guess it's ok if the box in question is leak-free and a CG. I suppose it's more of an issue with a GD but am not experienced enough to say.

 

I'd be glad of your opinions on this matter.

 

Many Thanks

 

Les

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the quality of the instrument and your style of playing.

 

On my 30 and 37 button instruments, I have a bad habit of playing with the bellows extended quite a long way but I don't get into t a problem with running out of bellows - a lot of the time I would have enough air supply if the bellows were 3 fold!. On my 20 button Lachenal which is lesser quality all round and only has 5 fold bellows, I sometimes have to work hard to manage the air supply. I play mainly Morris tunes in the harmonic style, so lots of in and out and several buttons held down for much of the time. If I played lots of single note melodies with long runs in one bellows direction or the other, I might give a different answer.

 

7 fold bellows will always be more versatile and give a nicer feel, but the fact that thousands of instruments were made with 5 fold bellows shows that 5 will do for most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you bought a good 5-fold instrument and after playing it for a while you decided the air supply was too limiting, you could always have a restorer fit a larger set of bellows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is instruments with better quality reeds tend to have 6 fold and upwards anyway, with anglos only the cheaper ones seem to have 5 folds. Personally I would always avoid 5 folds unless you want to have some new ones put in which might be about 300 quid.

 

Play style has a big part to play also, if you put loads of chords in while playing quite an "English style" then I would recommend 7. Playing single melody lines its less of an issue but I would still recommend at least 6, its just nicer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les, I think I read on another thread that you were looking to play Irish music -- is that right? If so you might find 5-fold bellows just about OK-ish but as the others say I'd personally look for 6 as a minimum. If you then diversified and wanted to play a more "English" style as well, with fistfuls of chords, a 5-fold bellows would have the potential to be an ongoing source of frustration.

 

My G/D has 7 which I think offers a good balance between lung capacity and ease of handling -- really big bellows (8+) can feel a bit unwieldy on anglos in my experience. The C/G I sold recently had 6 and I used to have to plan bellows reversals quite carefully during songs/tunes in F, for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Changing air direction works much more efficiently with an almost closed Bellows. The elastic effect of a fairly open Bellows tends to slow the change slightly. So for single note melody work five folds might be ok but will usually come with a lower quality instrument.

 

My advice is to buy the best box you can get and joy will be had, and they hold their value too. A win/win situation.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - I don't think it's just the number of folds, but also the suppleness of the bellows: my Jeffries 6-fold extends to 12 inches, whilst my Lachenal 6-fold only extends to 10 inches. Meanwhile, my Marcus 7-fold extends to 14 inches. If you divide these by the number of folds (actually, the channels - so a 6-fold has 7 channels),then the Marcus is best at 1.75 inches per fold, and the Lachenal worst at 1.43 inches.

Each of these boxes is fully played in.

.... but a very experienced mate of mine makes a valuable point - that learning to play with limited air is a very good discipline: you don't just waste air on bass chords, but you choose your harmonies carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les, check out Chris Sherburn.When I saw him a few years back he was playing good irish music and only had four folds on his Wheatstone anglo if memory serves me correctly.David.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 7-fold Marcus Traveller is more 'difficult' to play than my 5-fold Lachenals. I guess this

is because the volume of air in the 'semi-miniature' Marcus bellows is less than that in the

bellows of the 5-fold Lachenals?

 

Stuart Estell wrote:

 

...really big bellows (8+)...

 

So, I guess 8-fold (and above?) Anglos exist? I'm sure I've seen a photograph of one somewhere

but simply can't remember where. How common are they? As it happens, I have been wondering

about this for the last few days.

 

Thank you.

 

Roger

Edited by lachenal74693

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I've only met a couple of anglos with 8 folds and a couple with 10. Not something I'd want myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the inevitable occasions when my six-fold Anglo bellows run out of air, I can wish that they were seven or even eight-fold , but I would expect to experience a corresponding loss of stability in the handling of the instrument and I prefer to look for alternative solutions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I've only met a couple of anglos with 8 folds and a couple with 10. Not something I'd want myself.

What about 8-fold bellows on an EC or a duet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So, I guess 8-fold (and above?) Anglos exist?

I own one, a 1953 Wheatstone. You can see it in some of the YouTube videos I've made (e.g.):

 

http://youtu.be/z3-uN-c7Z8k

 

It was presumably made for the South African market, and it's certainly optimized for playing rich harmonies (it's great for vocal accompaniment). But I've played Irish music on it for many years, and I've never felt the longer bellows to be a disadvantage in that style. It's a very air-efficient instrument, and I use only as much of the bellows as I need for a particular piece.

 

I alternate between the Wheatstone and my six-fold Lachenal without worrying much about air capacity either way. Both are adequate; neither is excessive. You make little adjustments.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

Edited by Bob Michel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Personally, I've only met a couple of anglos with 8 folds and a couple with 10. Not something I'd want myself.

What about 8-fold bellows on an EC or a duet?

 

 

My big Maccann duet has 8 folds -- and needs them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Les,

 

I have made 5, 6, 7 and 8 fold bellows for 3 row anglos. My Jones has 8 fold and it developed a rather open bellows playing style, hands apart, which I have to be aware of if i am playing on lesser fold instruments. The Jeffries has 7 fold, and they seem just right for my straight along the row style, with an attempt to walk the bass (I am not a particularly good player). The Lachenal has 6, and sometimes I find myself just about to run out of air, especially if I play the bass, another Lachenal with 5 folds, the first set of bellows I ever built, does run out of air, especially if I touch the bass, and is a real menace.

 

My advice, especially if you play in the set keys straight along the rows (not across in the Irish style) is no less than 6 folds. (I have sat is sessions with some pretty nifty Irish players who barely seem to move the bellows, while I am pumping like an air gulping guppy ... it all in the style, and if you are an old accordion player who 'omph cha's' the bass a lot of air is used)

 

David Hornett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×