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CjD

4 Bellows Vs. 5 Or 6...

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General question about concertinas. I'm considering for purchase a vintage Cramer English 48 button (of unknown age). The instrument has 4 bellows. I don't play yet, but plan to learn. My question to experienced players--- is there a difference (or significant difference) for a new player between 4 and 5 bellows. The more the better? Would this concertina have likely (originally) had 4 bellows and what might this have indicated for its age or real maker. Especially, as I understand Cramer was probably a reseller. Thanks, Chris

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Chris,

 

The only Cramer concertina I have seen (they are pretty rare) was built by Wheatstone's, during the Edward Chidley "rivetted reed" period, so probably 1870's/80's. If it is one of these, then four-fold bellows are normal and probably quite adequate, but most people would prefer five or six-fold.

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The instrument has 4 bellows.  ...  My question to experienced players--- is there a difference (or significant difference) for a new player between 4 and 5 bellows.

So much depends on the condition of the instrument.

If the instrument is tight, a 4-fold bellows should be adequate.

If it leaks (I include internal leakage), then even 6 folds might not be enough.

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