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R Burgess

Wanted: wooden-ended English tenor/treble

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I'm looking for a quieter alternative (for song accompaniment) to the tenor-treble Wheatstone Aeola I already have. Something like an wooden-ended Aeola, or maybe an Edeophone, with the range down to a C. Ebony or amboyna, rare or not - my main concern is that it should play well, be fully restored and in concert pitch. (A tenor is also a possibility, although there don't seem to be many about.) 

 

I'm based in Norway, but I'm in the UK fairly frequently, so I'm prepared to travel to get the right instrument.

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I happen to own a nice best period tortoiseshell-ended TT Aeola with alloy reed-frames, which is not only one of the most beautiful instruments I have seen, but it has a wunderfull mellow sound...

Might be for sale, based in Germany 

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Posted (edited)

Hi! Thanks for posting this. This sounds interesting. I've never actually seen a tortoiseshell-ended TT in  real life. Only in dreams... Questions: What number does it have? Is it a good player as well as being beautiful? Any sound files? What sort of price are you looking for? Where in Germany are you?

 

My email is: burgvin@online.no 

 

Regards

 

Richard Burgess

Edited by R Burgess

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Posted (edited)

You say you're looking for a comparatively quiet instrument and mention you'd like a wooden-ended Aeola or Edeophone.  There's another characteristic you might want to look for.  I have an a few Aeolas (not for sale), and one of them plays noticeably softer than the others.  The fretwork in the softer one has holes that cover a much smaller area of the end than the others, and the holes themselves are smaller too.  I don't know how common it was for Wheatstone to do this, but apparently they did make some with custom fretwork in order to soften the sound.  See the attached photos for a comparison of the different fretwork patterns.

TenorTrebleSmallFretwork.jpg

TenorTrebleNormalSizeFretwork.jpg

Edited by Mark Rosenthal

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the openness (and as well placing) of the fretwork varied a lot (both with metal and wooden ended instruments) - so you might generally rather be looking for a specimen with more closed fretwork - as opposed to myself 😎

 

best wishes - 🐺

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Posted (edited)

I had never liked the tone quality of my metal-end Lachenal. I like to play chords, and complex harmonies, and they always had a nasty clash of harmonics. About three months ago I discovered that many old concertinas originally came with baffles. So I opened mine, and cut thin (maybe 1mm, from the craft store in the kids' department) black foam to fit. I left about 1.5mm space around the outside edge, and cut a bit casually around the buttons, to allow for air passage, then stuck it to the inside of the metal with three or four tiny bits of double-stick foam (again, about 1.5mm thick)--easy enough to remove. The result is a quieter, sweeter sound, and chords sound unbelievably better! I love the sound now, and it's loud enough, not irritating. Many people since have commented on how nice it sounds. The change was remarkable.I had been sizing up various wood-end choices, thinking of getting one, but that interest is gone now.

 

I teach a summer violin making workshop. People there were so impressed by the sound that one bought an EC from Craigslist on the spot (found one near his home and sent his brother, an accordion player, out to test it and buy it), and three others started looking, themselves. Next year maybe we will have our own concertina orchestra. 🙂

 

I notice that Barleycorn has an Aeola for sale identified as a "pinhole" model that might relate to Mark's suggestion above, but it's a 48-button.

Edited by mdarnton

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7 minutes ago, mdarnton said:

The result is a quieter, sweeter sound, and chords sound unbelievably better! I love the sound now, and it's loud enough, not irritating. Many people since have commented on how nice it sounds. The change was remarkable.

 

Glad that you've been able to achieve your goal, and it's working for you so well!

 

As to myself I'm playing two metal-ended Wheatstone instruments, both with rather (or very) open fretwork. Funny thing is, the sound, albeit being loud in both cases, differs enormously: the TT Aeola's clean, clear, crisp and balanced - the Model 24's even louder, fat, nasal, present...

 

I really love switching between them (which I usually do after having played the TT for a while and then enjoying the lighter and smaller treble anyway)!

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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Thanks for interesting perspectives on openness of fretwork (my aeola is certain open...) and baffles. Maybe I'll try the latter. Although of course there are times when the extra volume is desirable. (I play in a trio with hurdy-gurdy player and an energetic fiddler...Enough said.) I have a lovely amboyna-ended Lachenal with a very mellow tone, but it's a ET not a TT and I rather miss the lower register for song accompaniment. Some people are never satisfied!

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Richard, I'll be back to you soon. I'm just very busy these days...

By the way: I own three Amboyna ended tenor Aeolas: 48, 56 and 64 keys;-) They are normally loud, though...

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