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Lyle Aubry

Which anglo 30 Keys concertina I should buy between Eirú, Vintage concertina or Lachenal

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Hello, 

since 2006, I’ve been playing on an Anglo Edgley concertina (Frank Edgley from Ontario, Canada; made with accordion reeds). I plan to go to Dublin in May 2020 and I would like to buy an anglo (30 Keys, Wheatstone layout chart) with the typical Irish sound. What is your opinion about an Eirú or Vintage concertina (Irish company) or Lachenal's concertinas (McNeela Music store) for example? Which kind of concertina should I choose between them? I'll buy one, the most interesting according to your experience (fluid and rapid bellows response, for example, "real Irish reeds"...)? Thank you.

Edited by Lyle Aubry

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Since you live in Canada and already have an Edgley, have you tired one of Frank's concertina reeded Heritage models? 

 

Maybe take  a trip to Windsor, ON before the trip to Ireland.

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Eh! Thank you for this information! You got my curiosity! I didn't know about this new model (Héritage). Well, did you heard about it? Is the "Edgley sound" concertina close to the Irish/Anglo concertinas? I'll be in Dublin anyway in May. But, if you or others concertina's musicians tell me that Edgley is better OR plays as well, with fluidity in the bellows, beautiful sound; maybe I'll think about it ... Thank you Don! PS: do you have an Edgley one?

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2 hours ago, Lyle Aubry said:

Don! PS: do you have an Edgley one

I used to own an Edgley Professional but I have since switched from Anglo to a Hayden duet.  I thought that the Edgley was very well designed and constructed.  I suspect that a Kensington concertina made by Dana Johnson would be at least the equal of an Edgley Heritage.  Both have concertina reeds.

 

They are both made in North America for a North American climate - which is very different from that of Ireland or the UK: hot, very humid summers and cold, very dry winters which can play havoc with wooden instruments unless they are properly stored.

 

You should also consider how much import duty in addition to GST and QST you might have to pay when you import an instrument from the EU.

 

If you want to go the vintage route then you might contact Greg Jowaisas who is a respected member of this group. Greg is an expert restorer who usually has a stock of fully restored instruments for sale.  He lives near Cincinnati.

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I have an older Edgley Heritage concertina which sounds quite lovely and plays with that fluidity you describe.  Mine is an older one made with Rosewood and I find it a bit too heavy for my ancient wrists so I will be moving it on sometime soon.   I do think his later models are lighter.   You could ask him.   I also have a Dipper that I play most of the time and find the action on both instruments is very nice. 

 

He has been a great communicator and could answer any question you may have.   

 

I hope you post regarding the trials of the Irish Concertina Company instruments after your trip.    I'd love to hear more about them as well.

 

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Thank you!  

I'm so looking forward to having in my hands the Heritage concertina that Frank Edgley is making right now, especially for me. He is a magician. He builds real little jewels! I have no doubt of the happiness that I will have to hold it between my fingers! And, of course, it will be a pleasure to give you my opinion when I'll spend a pm, in the spring, in Dublin, trying the typically Irish concertinas!

 

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Not wishing to be provocative, however I am intrigued by what is meant by the 'Irish Sound' in concertina terms??

 

Dave

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6 minutes ago, d.elliott said:

Not wishing to be provocative, however I am intrigued by what is meant by the 'Irish Sound' in concertina terms??

 

Dave

 

I can sort of form an image with that, between the Wheatstones, Jeffries and Dippers used by a lot of players  players,  but "real Irish reeds" once again baffles me.

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I think that we are probably touching on the differences between the sounds generated by the established concertina reed as designed and developed by the original manufacturers and that  generated by the accordion reeds in their double blocks. Possibly compounded by the use of MDF and other current materials that some of the reproduction concertinas utilise. 

 

After that its all down to the skill of the player, their interpretation of the genre and bellows control. I know that Jeffries are supposed to be the 'gold' standard, in my experience they have stronger reeds, metal ends and heavier bellows, presumably for power brightness and the 'Jeffries Honk'  However Jones, and Crabb ( metal ended) plus the Wheatstone and Lachenal  are all up there too. After all the first Jeffries were Crabb and the Jeffries design owes a lot to Crabb. 

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9 minutes ago, Lyle Aubry said:

not "accordion" sound; typical concertina reeds sound

 

So you mean the bounce of the Anglo the brightness of the metal end  and the power of the steel reed in the original design of reed frame. This would be the specification for virtually any dance musician,  playing for English Morris, Scots or any other traditional dance etc. 

 

The reason I belabour this is that you might reduce your range of choices (and end up paying more as a consequence) by seeking the 'Irish Sound' when you are looking for a traditionally built  Anglo, steel reeds, metal ends and strong bellows, irrespective of it's period of manufacture..

 

I hope that this helps you. 

 

Dave

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Thank you, Dave for your opinions! As you tell here, I decide to not turning to a Lachenal (as I wanted first) because of what you say and also because I don't want (I couldn't do it by myself) open each years (or seasons) and, finally,  prefer to buy a new one, but good one! 

Without having an exceptional play on the concertina, I have been training since 2006 on an Edgley Celtic Lion concertina that I love very much! However, I had the opportunity to play on the concertina of a friend who have a Lachenal and the sound was …"something else". I decide to turn again with an Edgley; this time the Heritage model; I had the opportunity to hear musicians play it on video and the sound seems to me to correspond perfectly to my expectations. Edgley is in Ontario near Québec. It's a good point, here, if I need to make repairs on it!

Personally, I did not excel in the technical details of concertina “building”  however, on Frank’s website, the details of the technique he developed to manufacture his latest models (Heritage) are very well explained; he created his own technique: see on his website: “…these concertinas are made in the traditional way, with separate hardwood reedpans. The reeds are top quality traditional concertina reeds with steel tongues and brass reed shoes and are very similar to the reeds used by Wheatstone in the late 1800s and early 1900s ---the Golden Age of Concertinas. These reeds are dovetailed into the reedpans in the traditional method. Each reedpan is laid out and cut by hand, with the reed chambers laid out in a radial pattern, a method known to produce a strong but mellow tone”. 

All those who have a Heritage concertina made "Frank Edgley" are unanimous: it is an exceptional concertina that has nothing to envy to the Lachenal, Jeffries of this world.

 

Well, now, I’m waiting… until spring. But I’m sure that the wait is worth it!

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