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Concertina Dilemma what should I do


StephenTx
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Greetings from Texas.   I have a question(s). I have  5 concertinas a vintage tutor Horiman,bone buttons,  a 1852 Wheatstone Serial 4950,steel buttons,   Aeola Extended 40-50'unable to locate Serial (really did not need this but got it from a woman here on CNET for $500 in good condition, A vintage Wheatstone Baritone Serial 5180 and a Wheatstone 35518,   I bought all of these (except the Aeola) before  I knew  

much and did not play very well.   I am now progressing. While I Love the sound and responsiveness of the #4950,  I find the metal buttons more difficult and hard on my fingers..  My goal is to get down to two a treble and keep the baritone.

 

I love playing the 35518, and the horiman tutor and the baritone as they have bone or plastic buttons,   the 35518 has 6 bellows is also light and easier on my old thumbs.itseems to be a 1 E.  So what I’m looking for is some thing with bone type buttons not metal rounded  six or seven Bellows a Great sound and chords and very responsive Wheatstone Treble

 

My ideal instrument would be light  (tutor, 4950 meets that criteria)  6-7 bellows , Wheatstone same size as the 4950 or 35518 but with a quick responsiveness and great tone and chords.   tenor treble.  I use for singing really a tenor but sometimes a lazy baritone.

 

What would you all recommend?  how much of a difference is there in tonality and responsiveness  etc between the 1E Wheatstone and the 2 and 3 E?    Is it just a matter of finish or?    As I said earlier I really love the sound and responsiveness of the 495O Wheatstone all but the long metal buttons are hard on the fingers. Perhaps I just need to develop calluses :-).  I would love to start a discussion I toyed between extending the Bellows on the 35518 or selling the others and getting a more responsive instrument. 

 

I thought you might also be interested in seeing this note that Greg Jowaisas Wrote when he tuned etc. the  4950. 

 

“...especially like the way her chords sound.  Very mellow and pretty for a steel reed instrument.

I think I mentioned that my take on her history is that she was originally an earlier Wheatstone during the period that they normally shortened the lengths on only

5 chambers.  Whether transformed by a previous owner, or professional repair person or with a trip back to the factory, Pauline has had all of her reed pan chamber lengths shortened.

To my ear she has the tone the mellow, resonant tone of those early Wheatstones but with the advantage of quicker response from the shorter chambers.” Greg

 

Really would appreciate a discussion and your expertises. Thank you Stephen

I am also going to try to attach some pictures.

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I think a good (Wheatstone) Model 6 might fit your needs - I have a rather "special" one (with very special brass reeds), but above all it is fabulously light, comfortable and (even with brass reeds) responsive. I'm playing it lots and am very glad to have it - would positively recommend considering one of these (just as a Model 22 or 24 for different purposes).

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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35 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

I think a good Model 6 might fit your needs - I have a rather "special" one (with very special brass reeds), but above all it is fabulously light, comfortable and (even with brass reeds) responsive.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

they use to have "domed" metal buttons, which I'm very much preferring over anything else...

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A couple of thoughts:

 

1. how do you define a 'tutor' instrument? 

 

2. there are variances between two instruments of the same model, in tone, responsiveness, and feel comparisons between models can only be general and need to be built up over a number of examples 

 

3. I think that comparisons should be more about features and their broad brush characteristics, then it's up to each individual machine on it's merits. Often the Wheatstone cat. numbers defined the 'grade' of instrument rather than it's playing qualities. Like a car's go-faster stripes and leather seats.

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20 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

I think a good (Wheatstone) Model 6 might fit your needs - I have a rather "special" one (with very special brass reeds), but above all it is fabulously light, comfortable and (even with brass reeds) responsive. I'm playing it lots and am very glad to have it - would positively recommend considering one of these (just as a Model 22 or 24 for different purposes).

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

Are the model numbers English concertinas?  I jus have never heard of a model 6 or Model 22 24 what are they .   When I look up English Constantine Lewis model six I don’t find anything

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Stephen, all are hexagonal Wheastone English treble concertinas, top-of-the-line apart from the Aeola branch, Model 6 is wooden-ended, Model 22 is metal-ended, and Model 24 is the extended-treble version (56 keys) of the 22.

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
typo
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8 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

Stephen, all are hexagonal Wheastone English treble concertinas, top-of-the-line apart from the Aeola branch, Model 6 is wooden-ended, Model 22 is metal-ended, and Model 24 is the extended-treble version (56 keys) of the 20.

Model 22 and 24 have raised metal ends and were Wheatstones best 6 sided model,  Model 21 is also metal ended but with flat ends and usually (but not always) not quite as loud or fast as the 22/24.

 

Just to reiterate - concertinas are individual in their playing quality and sound.  you can't make a reliable choice just based on model number.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/10/2020 at 10:03 AM, David Barnert said:

Have you considered the Morse Albion from the Button Box? The Morse instruments are very light and have Delrin buttons. They’re hybrids but sound great. They’ve even got a few used ones for sale for a few hundred $ less.

David i’ve been meaning to ask you do you have a Albion?   By the way I’ve taken your advice and have studied music theory a lot of it is coming into focus appreciate the push. Merry Christmas

Stephentx 

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On 12/10/2020 at 10:11 AM, Tiposx said:

David Barnert beat me to it. I have Wheatstones, Lachenals and a Morse Baritone. I would be very happy to own a Morse Albion if I could get one at a decent price.

So I take it you don’t think the button box prices are decently priced?

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Well perhaps it’s just the way I speak. I got a really good deal on the Morse Geordie Baritone from a dealer in the UK, which meant that it was in my price range.

I would buy a Morse Albion treble if I could get a similar good deal on one. I don’t “need” one but I really like the Morse quality and sound.

Regards

Tiposx

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8 hours ago, StephenTx said:

David i’ve been meaning to ask you do you have a Albion?

 

No. I play the Hayden system and no other concertinas. Many other instruments (cello, banjo, guitar, recorders, etc.) but my only concertinas are two 46-key Haydens, a Bastari and a Wheatstone. But all the Morse/Button Box concertinas are well-spoken of (Rich Morse was a friend of mine). That’s me, by the way, in the 2nd video on their Beaumont (Hayden) page.

 

8 hours ago, StephenTx said:

By the way I’ve taken your advice and have studied music theory a lot of it is coming into focus appreciate the push. Merry Christmas

 

Good to hear. Merry Christmas, yourself.

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On 12/10/2020 at 8:28 AM, StephenTx said:

My ideal instrument would be light...

 

I should add: One thing that brought the Albion to mind when reading your wish list is that the Morse instruments are unusually (and surprisingly) light-weight. But even if there weren’t that correspondence between what you want and what it offers, it is a well-made, respectable English concertina, and being a) a Hybrid (accordion reeds) and b) only 37 buttons it is less expensive than an instrument with 48 pairs of real concertina reeds is likely to be, with little trade-off.

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