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Lyle Aubry

Vintage concertina; does anyone know where it can be repaired (Qc, Canada)

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Hello,

I need this information before choosing between a new one or a vintage concertina: when you buy a vintage anglo concertina (e.g. Lachenal), is there usually a guarantee? Does anyone know where it can be repaired or restored when you live in Quebec, Montreal, Canada? Thank you!

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Lyle Aubry said:

I need this information before choosing between a new one or a vintage concertina: when you buy a vintage anglo concertina (e.g. Lachenal), is there usually a guarantee? Does anyone know where it can be repaired or restored when you live in Quebec, Montreal, Canada? Thank you!

If you enter 'montreal session' in the URL box of your browser, you should see a list of links which

include links to sessions in Montreal (I think I saw three). If you go along to one of those sessions,

or contact them, they might be able to point you towards a fettler in your area?

 

This fellow has a concertina in the picture at the top of his page, so maybe he does concertinas as

well? Also, try 'montreal concertina repair' in the URL box...

Edited by lachenal74693

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Thank you for your feedback! I know several musicians here in Montreal, as well as the music sessions around them, but it is rare to see an Anglo concertina musician! Of course, there is the option of turning to a friend musician/almost a real accordion maker (there are several here). Thank you!

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I have sent concertinas for repair from Canada to Greg Jowaisas in Cincinnati. 

 

Just make sure that the customs declaration in both directions is clearly marked 'for repair'.  Greg knows about this requirement. Postage would be about $50 in each direction.

 

 

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In my experience, if you buy a vintage concertina from a reputable dealer  it may have a limited warranty covering defects for any restoration work done, but of course they can't guarantee the original construction which might be a century old or more.  And anyone who has an old concertina, especially a Lachenal from the cheaper end of the model line, and lives in the parts of Canada where we have cold, dry winters, and hot, humid summers needs to get pretty good at opening up the concertina and doing minor repairs and adjustments on their own.  I had a really nice 20 button rosewood Lachenal that played and sounded great, but every time the seasons changed things shrank or swelled up, got loose or tight, and I would have to tinker with it.

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Following up on Bill's point about being able to do at least some of the maintenance yourself, this book:

'The Concertina Maintenance Maintenance Manual' by David Elliot is a must have.  The Button Box carry it for a reasonable price - don't even look at the listing on Amazon!  Or you can pick it up from Custy's when you are in Ireland.

 

Oh and by the way, an accordion repairer in Montreal is unlikely to have the right tools, supplies or knowledge to work on a vintage concertina.

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I won't do that (my own maintenance). But I know such great musicians here, in Mtl who can do that. But, they are accordion's player. Except a friend  who was working at the Button Box in the pass, in USA... Anyway, when I read your comments (Bill, you), I'm not sure about purchase a Lachenal or others kind of vintage concertina. I don't want to open or repair it, each year. I have an Edgley here. I really like it. But, it was built with accordion reeds. And I'm looking now for one with the concertina reeds. With the "traditional sound", if I can say that. I send Frank an e-mail. He has now this model Heritage made with concertina's reeds. It's a little bit expensive but, I'll think about that. He's in Ontario, not so far Mtl, in case I need some repairs. I never had to do it for the one I have from him! Great construction and beautiful design.  I'll see!

Quote

 

 

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If you are not confidant about doing your own maintenance on a vintage concertina then I think that an Edgley Heritage or a Kensington concertina from Dana Johnson would be your best choice.

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A Kensington is certainly worth a look.  Really well made, very stable in the Canadian climate, and real concertina reeds and a proper traditional sound.  And still a bargain at $3500.  

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Yes! I just took a look! Kensington: really really nice. But 3500$ US, for me (CAD) around 5000$...  a little bit less than an Edgley but, his from Ontario, Canada...no customs to pass.

Thank you for trying to help me in my research, Bill!

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35 minutes ago, Lyle Aubry said:

no customs to pass

My experience with buying from the US is that, if you bring it over the border yourself, then Canada Customs will charge you GST+QST  and not charge you  import duty.  I think those are the NAFTA rules - and it is still NAFTA at the moment.  I use a US mailbox address (run by Kinek,  they have two outlets in Champlain, NY) and drive over to pick up my stuff. 

 

If you use US Mail + Canada Post then, again, GST+QST and no duties but Canada Post charge a handling fee.  However,  it can get delayed while they figure out what to do.

 

If you use a courier to bring it over the border then they seem to make up stuff to maximize their take and it takes forever.  I do not trust any courier companies.

 

I can certainly understand why you might want to avoid customs altogether.

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6 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

...'The Concertina Maintenance Maintenance Manual' by David Elliot is a must have. 

The Button Box carry it for a reasonable price - don't even look at the listing on Amazon!...

 

Seconded. Even if (as you say in a later post) you don't intend to do your own maintenance, 

the book is a great read - tells you everything you will ever need to know about how the damn

things work. 

 

Amazon - right on Don! Their prices are a (bad) joke, and increasingly, I can't find what I want

on Amazon in any case...

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I'd suggest avoiding shipping any concertina to the U.S. Paul Read, based in Toronto, has done tremendous maintenance work on my Dipper concertina over the years. He's my definite choice while in Montreal, but if you ever go at a festival in the U.S. you might have someone around who can do some basic work.

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Posted (edited)

Hello Lyle, 

 

Welcome to C.Net!  I would just like to point out, that if you were to buy a vintage concertina, Greg Jowaisas, in Covington Kentucky, Is NORTH AMERICAS foremost Concertina repair man, bar none!  He has done repairs on every type of vintage concertina, Jones, Lachenal, Wheatstone, Jeffries, Crabb,etc..., from re-tuning to full restoration, including bellows building, from scratch.  He can even do the gold embossing(if you were to have a fancy one that had that!).  And, he is honest, as well as reasonably priced.  He is a member of this site, under his actual name.  You cannot/will not, go wrong.  Good luck in your search, and take care, 

 

Don Smith

Edited by hielandman

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