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50-key Jeffries Anglo on eBay US

Daniel Hersh

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Perhaps a converted Jeffries Duet (almost identical button layout to my 50-button JD), or perhaps originally an Anglo from about that same time period. There has been some discussion about Jeffries using the same end plates for both.


Looks like his "in/out" is reversed - or else it's some strange backwards Anglo!


Edited by gcoover
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The possible reversal of the in/out isn't the only strange thing.  There seems to be a dearth of accidentals and a strange layout overall, such as two adjacent  D/G buttons on the bottom row on the left side.  I'll admit I haven't seen or played that many anglos, but I've never seen anything like this. 

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It looks to me as if the pitches of many of the buttons have been misinterpreted. If you compare the layout with a Bb/F instrument and add sharps or flats in some places it starts to make sense. Maybe it’s in old tuning and simply comparing each note to a piano and taking the nearest interpretation leads to the layout given. 


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That makes sense, Howard. I've written to the seller, asking how he figured out what the notes were.  I'll post the answer here (if I hear from him) in case others are interested. 


BTW, I played a 38 button a couple years ago that had two adjacent buttons on the lower left side that were identical, but an octave apart. The owner had never played anything else, so he thought it was normal.

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I heard from the seller, who says:


"I figured out the notes with a piano & picked the notes closest to the sound of the concertina.
The D/G buttons on the left side (bottom row) are indeed matches, but they are an octave apart."


So it seems that you guessed right, Mitch, it's probably an old tuning.  And here again we have adjacent buttons with identical notes an octave apart, so what do I know!

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  • 1 month later...

It has arrived yesterday, it was quite a journey (read down the post if you like). Here are some informations as few were interested. It is Bb/F old pitch as some of you have guessed. Both notes which should be A (on Bb/F, so would be Bs on C/G) sound A=453Hz, so I guess, as it is a bit out of tune, it was probably 452Hz when new which was common those days. Some touch tuning is needed, but is actually not that bad and playable. Two of the reeds are little rusty, but the rest is nice and clean. Some of the springs will need replacing as some of the buttons won't return (quickly) when released. It works, but I plan to replace pads as well, as even though there are no ghosts notes, it is not 100% air-tight.


I have attached two pictures of the layout, both as if it was C/G for better understanding (yours and mine, when transcribing) transpose two semitones down (and one quarter tone up) to see what it really is 🙂. I have used the abc standard, but tweaked it in the descriptions to readable sharps and flats (for the notation generated I had to use abc syntax). It was a bit of a puzzle, but I think I have all the notes in right octaves (some of which are surprising). I have marked common layout green, one note odd yellow and odd button orange in the excel sheet screenshot. I think the inner row was not standardised, so it is all orange :-). Surprising is 5th button LH G row, which is Low D drone instead of Low B/A and 4th button LH acc. row, which is Low A drone instead of Low A/Bb. LH thumb button is Low Bb (in C/G terminology), which I don't see much use for. Because of those and some similar arrangements on RH it is fully chromatic from C, to c'' (I have to admit I couldn't toy with those highest notes much, as our dog started to howl), spanning 4 octaves.


First layout impressions:

*I find the Low A drone handy and usable and probably can adapt to not having Low A on the pull where I am used to in G row)

*The Low D drone seems usable for extending the range of the instrument, even surprisingly handy to play scales/tunes, though I didn't play much yet to confirm. On the other hand I don't see it that usable for drone, as you need your pinky for other important D major notes (F# mainly, D on the push is playable in the C row) or other Low notes in some of the tunes. Hence I will try to move the Low D drone to thumb button

*push Low B in the inner row feels usable

*the very high notes will require practice, even though I am used to play tunes in higher octave up to g' going above that seems tricky (at first?), highest accidentals will be probably even trickier


Story of ebay auction to delivery:

I have decided to bid, but found out delivery is only to US addresses and the seller had the ebay messaging off (at least for buyers outside US(?)). I was out with kids that afternoon, found out how to register delivery box on Planet Express on the phone, did that when I had arrived home. Won the auction. Had it delivered to Oregon Planet Express and started wondering who of friends might be traveling US to Czech republic in these pandemic days. Surprisingly father of my wife's pupil was in US (as she found out when the first grader boasted about that during the morning circle) planning to come back in 4weeks time. Found out where he is staying, package travelled again, this time Oregon to Florida hotel (fortunately the seller packed very carefully). I have to say I am normally very reasonable and need good reasons for everything, but this just felt right all the way through and only time I was nervous, was when filling in the form on Planet Express to have it sent to Florida and even then just because it was new to me, not that I was afraid.

Jeffries 50 button layout.png

Jeffries 50 buttons layout.pdf

Edited by Tazzy
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