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What I Like About My Albion (english)


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This (Morse Albion] is really a fantastic concertina. Some of the things I like about it are:

 

It is light enough that [at least for me] the ergonomic problems of playing an English have essentially disappeared. Just played two hours straight with no cramping or hand discomfort. That was not the case with my old Lachneal. Half an hour a day was about tops-- more that that was an invitation to carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

I can play along with B Uilleann Pipes... And D pipes... And B Flat... And E Flat whistles... :P

 

(playing along with Kitty Lie Over (Mick O'Brien and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh) is a hoot. The whole CD is in B.

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Bienvenue fellow Albionist! What number is it?

 

I too love my Tina, #209 and yes she is light compaired to my old Aeola 64 note (me wrists hurt just thinkin' on it).

 

This summer I played the Edeophone 56 note the Button Box had and was shocked by it lightness (was as suprised by the sluggishness of the action in compairison with Wheatsone and yes the Wheatstone-like response of the Morse). So your Lachneal was heavy?

 

I also like playing along with my favorite CD. Try checking out the Recorded links page. I've been squeezin' along with our fellow C.Neters. Spent a pleasurable hour yesterday joining in with some of Henks offerings. EC and AC on Irish does work! B)

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Hi Mark. It's number 269.

 

My lachneal is a real dog-- one of the four bellows (so-called) 'tutor' models with the bone buttons. I've restored it to decent playing condition, but there is just no comparison, in terms of weight and action. It's just heavy.

 

The one really good thing about that Lachneal is it's brass reeds. They sound just wonderful, very quiet, but wholly like a concertina should. They are all a bit out of tune with modern pitch, but I hope to reuse them soon in a project, since the action, frame and bellows themselves are pretty much worn out.

 

It's interesting what Concertina Connection is doing in this regard with the Pheonix concertinas. I would hate to destroy a good old intrument, but if the box is unrepairable, but still has good reeds, hooking it up with Modern technology, like Guens Wakker of Morse design sounds like a way to get the best of both worlds.

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Ah, tutor model. Have never encountered one in the flesh. Would be very interested to play a good brass reed instrument for song accompanyment though.

 

As I'm sure you've learned our dear Albion comes on strong and if not careful can overwhelm the voice in a quiet passage. There's that sticky business of the amount of air pressure it takes for an accordion reed to speak making song accompanyment a bit like Russian Roulette. I get better at it but can still suprise myself. Still, my Tina is a peach and could now never do without her (forgive me Tina, I didn't mean for you ta hear that bit about the voice) :rolleyes: .

 

The bellows are now breaking in very nicely, and she can ever lovin' f-l-y!

Edited by Mark Evans
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My Albion is #077. The bellows are completely broken in and are not at all resistant anymore on the push when almost fully closed.

 

I love everything about mine too. I can play it for hours without any hand or wrist discomfort.

 

I'm finally warming up more to my New Model. I still much prefer the Albion for "Dancing With Ma Baby" stuff, but the Lachenal is what I'm starting to pick up to play Irish tunes. I think part of the problem is that I had to break the Lachenal in after getting it rebuilt. Wim told me it would take a few months and I think he was right. Amazing that you have to break in a 90 plus year old concertina after major work.

 

bruce boysen

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Well, you have been busy with the Albion to have the bellows worked in to that extent.

 

Questions about the New Model: The action, how is it in contrast to the Albion? In my discription of the Edeophone I played the word sluggish was used and I think that's not really what I was feeling. The action was very different and didn't "feel" as connected. However, I was able to maintain the same tempi on the jigs I trotted out.

 

Why did it take you some time to warm up to the New Model?

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Well, you have been busy with the Albion to have the bellows worked in to that extent.

 

Questions about the New Model:  The action, how is it in contrast to the Albion?  In my discription of the Edeophone I played the word sluggish was used and I think that's not really what I was feeling.  The action was very different and didn't "feel" as connected.  However, I was able to maintain the same tempi on the jigs I trotted out.

 

Why did it take you some time to warm up to the New Model?

 

 

Mark,

 

My New Model has a brand new Concertina Connection riveted action, so it's very smooth and fast. The Albion action feels very light and fast to me while the CC action feels heavier and more solid. They are both great. I'd say the reeds are more responsive in the Lachenal and ornaments sound a bit crisper than they do on the Albion. The reeds were what I liked right away with the NM. They are really bright, pure and very fast. The NM was almost too bright and strident when I traded for it. Also, it was impossible to play quietly, the reeds felt like they were on or off. Wim said it was the way they were set. That was the biggest improvement for me, after it was rebuilt it was much easier to control the volume and play a little more softly. Whatever he did, it sounds much better now, much sweeter when I play softly, yet it really sings out when pushed harder.

 

Hmmm, why did it take me a while to warm up to it? Firstly, it felt tight when I got it back, as though the airflow through the reeds was slightly restricted. Maybe the new valves had to loosen up a bit? I'm amazed how much it's opened up, even though Wim told me this would be the case.

Another reason why it took a while is because I really love my Albion. For me, it's light weight is a clear advantage. The light feel of the action is really nice too. I really like playing stuff like the tunes in Dancing With Ma Baby (do you have this?) and I still prefer how they sound on the Albion. Also, the NM has a 5 fold bellows and this stuff is easier for me with the 6 fold Albion. (I think five folds actually would be enough, it's just that I'm used to 6 folds when playing lots of notes at once)

 

bruce boysen

Edited by BruceB
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No Bruce, I don't have this Dancing with Ma Baby. I'll do something about that.

 

Now you write "heavy" as regards the action. I know this refers to the NM post Mr. Wakkers magic, but it resonated as a better descriptive word for my response to the Edeophone action. Springs perhaps? Any road sounds as if you have a lovely reborn instrument. Two concertinas...envy, get thee behind me!

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No Bruce, I don't have this Dancing with Ma Baby.  I'll do something about that.

 

Now you write "heavy" as regards the action.  I know this refers to the NM post  Mr. Wakkers magic, but it resonated as a better descriptive word for my response to the Edeophone action.  Springs perhaps?  Any road sounds as if you have a lovely reborn instrument.  Two concertinas...envy, get thee behind me!

 

 

Only a heavier feel compared to the Albion. I think it is mostly because the action is physically heavier. The CC action is pretty substantial. There is an excellent picture of it at the CC site. Maybe the springs too. Both are great.

 

I'm not sure I need two treble english concertinas. One would do nicely.

 

bruce boysen

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Yes, I must agree that the Morse Albion is a fantastic Concertina. I've had the treble for a few months now, number 217 and just recieved the Morse baritone number 250. Wow, what a nice deep growl on those lower buttons.

Wedding next month for Tina and Barry. Someday hope to have little squeeze boxes running around the house.

 

Cheers

Brad

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      I'm not sure I need two treble english concertinas. One would do nicely.

 

Bruce, I wish I had your self-control with musical instruments :rolleyes:

 

To keep this post on-topic, I've only had experience of two Morse instruments - a Ceili Anglo that wasn't broken in at all, and a well-played-in Albion, but I must say that they had the lightest action of any concertinas I've had the pleasure of meeting. I don't play English so can't make an informed judgment of the Albion as a whole, but the anglo was wonderful, and astonishingly responsive for such a new instrument.

 

I'm interested by what you say, Bruce, about the ornaments being crisper on your Lachenal than on your Morse - I actually felt (admittedly having only spent an hour or two playing it) that the Ceili was particularly good at clean execution of very fast ornaments. There were things in my playing that it articulated much more clearly than my Norman C/G (although that instrument has received a complete battering in the last year or so - probably time for a service!)

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Hey Stuart,

I have really enjoyed your submission to the Recorded Links page. Great playing and very enjoyable voice.

 

Don't know what Bruce will say on the ornament issue, but for me it has to do with the accordion reeds and the amount of pressure it takes for them to speak. I switch off and play a friends old Wheatstone EC at our weekly seisun from time to time. It is a bit easier to pull off ornaments at low bellows pressure with those concertina reeds.

 

I've just had to adjust my use of the bellows to keep a goodly amount of pressure, then that spritely Morse action can ornament crisply and fast.

 

When I first brought Tina (Albion) home, I would actually have a reed not speak during a gentle ornamental passage because I was so careful with the new bellows and used to my old Stone's response. Tina is a saucey creature and wants to be pushed. ;)

Edited by Mark Evans
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Hey Stuart,

I have really enjoyed your submission to the Recorded Links page.  Great playing and very enjoyable voice. 

 

Why thank you :)

 

I switch off and play a friends old Wheatstone EC at our weekly seisun from time to time. It is a bit easier to pull of ornaments at low bellows pressure with those concertina reeds.

 

Ah, fair enough, that makes sense - as I said, I didn't spend a great deal of time with the Morse Ceili, and certainly didn't play it particularly quietly. :)

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      I'm not sure I need two treble english concertinas. One would do nicely.

 

Bruce, I wish I had your self-control with musical instruments :rolleyes:

 

To keep this post on-topic, I've only had experience of two Morse instruments - a Ceili Anglo that wasn't broken in at all, and a well-played-in Albion, but I must say that they had the lightest action of any concertinas I've had the pleasure of meeting. I don't play English so can't make an informed judgment of the Albion as a whole, but the anglo was wonderful, and astonishingly responsive for such a new instrument.

 

I'm interested by what you say, Bruce, about the ornaments being crisper on your Lachenal than on your Morse - I actually felt (admittedly having only spent an hour or two playing it) that the Ceili was particularly good at clean execution of very fast ornaments. There were things in my playing that it articulated much more clearly than my Norman C/G (although that instrument has received a complete battering in the last year or so - probably time for a service!)

 

Stuart,

 

They just sound like there is slightly more separation between the notes. I think the reeds do speak a little more quickly on the Lachenal. When I traded my crane back to Barleycorn for this one Chris said it would be excellent for Irish Trad-sessions as it was loud and had very fast, responsive reeds, so even among good vintages this one is probably fast.

 

bruce boysen

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I called the Button Box today to ask about the Albions.. couple things

 

They added 2 more people to their staff to speed up the delivery times.. current batch 4 weeks after that it depends on the arrival of outsourced wood work (seems to me that has been an ongoing problem)

 

Also that the Hayden is a priority

 

I specifically asked that if the can maje the treble and a baritione.. is it not possible to make a tenor...which seems to me the best of both worlds...

"not tooled up for it".. ok

 

On another note , who was the author and the publisher of Dancing With Ma Baby

and why is this out of print?.. ANother MAllinson affair ??

 

Are there no copies available

 

Thanks

 

Jeff

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I called the Button Box today to ask about the Albions.. couple things

 

They added 2 more people to their staff to speed up the delivery times.. current batch 4 weeks after that it depends on the arrival of outsourced wood work (seems to me that has been an ongoing problem)

 

Also that the Hayden is a priority

 

I specifically asked that if the can maje the treble and a baritione.. is it not possible to make a tenor...which seems to me the best of both worlds...

"not tooled up for it".. ok

 

On another note , who was the author and the publisher of Dancing With Ma Baby

and why is this out of print?.. ANother MAllinson affair ??

 

Are there no copies available

 

Thanks

Jeff

 

 

Dancing With Ma Baby is edited by Phil Hopkinson. I don't know why it's out of print but it's excellent.

 

The tenor does have some advantages but I actually prefer a treble. I would like to get a baritone someday. I don't think it would be a good idea for the Button Box to take their current 37 button design and make a tenor out of it. It's vital for me that the upper range of my concertina goes up as high as the Albion does and a few times I even could have used the next note higher. A 37 button tenor wouldn't go high enough, and adding more buttons would mean a redesign. Rich has said something about a *possible* 48 button tenor english using concertina reeds after the Hayden hits the market.

 

Was there any news about the Hayden?

 

bruce boysen

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Brad, if Tina and Barry have progeny, I'd be more than happy to adopt one!

 

 

Mark, I'll do up some adoption papers in advance.

Bari has a few things to learn yet as Tina is a bit more experianced and broken in. But things are looking good. Keep ya posted!

 

Brad

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