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Morse Albion baritone vs Morse Geordie baritone


Jim2010
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I have been reading as many concertina.net comments as I could find about these two instruments. Most comments are favorable and, with a couple of one exceptions, the only distinctions between the two seem to be physical dimensions (Geordie is 8oz heavier and 3/4 inch bigger than the Albion) and the number of notes (Geordie had 8 additional higher sounding notes). One person thought that the smaller sized of the Albion limited its capacity for playing the lowest sounding notes. Another said that their Geordie was a little slower to speak than their treble Albion. I think that was reference to playing in sessions, which would not be of particular interest to be at this point. I simply am considering a lower-voiced instrument. Are there other significant distinctions between these instruments that would lead you to prefer one over the other.  

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I can’t compare the two, but I have a MG baritone. It is slower on the low notes than it is on the higher notes. I think that is just physics though.

There is no difference in speed note-for-note between it and my MA treble except that the standard baritone bellows are a little bit stiff and that the treble has slightly weaker springs and is a good bit lighter. I can play either standing up though.

On the baritone I can keep up with my friends playing itm in their different octave, but technique needs to be good. Tippy tappy rather than pushing/ holding the button to its maximum, that is good technique for itm anyway, and the tone seems better.

Tiposx

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It  was  I  who  suggested  the  smaller of  these two  Morse  Baritones  did  not  have  enough lung  capacity.  I  had  the oportunity  of a test  run  at  a music  shop  in the  UK  but  they  only  had  the  one, the Albion  I  assume.  

 

Perhaps  if  playing  single  note  melodies  it  might  be  ok  but  for  any  chord work  I'd  be    looking for  more  bellows folds....  

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4 hours ago, Tiposx said:

It is slower on the low notes than it is on the higher notes. I think that is just physics though.

Thank you, Tiposx.

I just received a "private" message from a member saying that starting around 2014 a change was made to the construction of the Geordie that enabled the lower reeds to speak more quickly. Is your instrument from before or after 2014?

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35 minutes ago, Geoff Wooff said:

It  was  I  who  suggested  the  smaller of  these two  Morse  Baritones  did  not  have  enough lung  capacity.  I  had  the oportunity  of a test  run  at  a music  shop  in the  UK  but  they  only  had  the  one, the Albion  I  assume.  

 

Perhaps  if  playing  single  note  melodies  it  might  be  ok  but  for  any  chord work  I'd  be    looking for  more  bellows folds....  

Thank you, Geoff. I will be keeping that in mind.

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My Geordie Baritone is a young one - I bought it new in Feb 2021. My only mild criticism is the slightly stiff bellows. I will eventually get around to making a more flexible set of 7 folds, which I understand was an option. It doesn’t “need” them, but it would be nice.

I should mention though that one of my gifted concertina playing friends can make it work really well - chords, sustained bass notes etc and he thinks the standard bellows are fine.

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On 11/8/2021 at 8:46 AM, Tiposx said:

My Geordie Baritone is a young one - I bought it new in Feb 2021. My only mild criticism is the slightly stiff bellows. I will eventually get around to making a more flexible set of 7 folds, which I understand was an option. It doesn’t “need” them, but it would be nice.

I should mention though that one of my gifted concertina playing friends can make it work really well - chords, sustained bass notes etc and he thinks the standard bellows are fine.

Thank you for that information.

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I will have an opportunity to play both the 37-note Albion and 45-note Geordie Baritones this weekend. If any baritone players (any maker) are reading this discussion, would you give me your opinion on the relative importance of the 8 additional high notes on the Geordie. If the instruments both sound good to me, I likely will prefer the smaller, lighter one. But I wouldn't want to sacrifice too much musical potential by "losing" the eight additional notes. The highest note on the Albion is d'' and the highest note on the Geordie is a''. The lowest notes are the same. Thank you for any opinions.

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All the music I play (itm) falls within the range of the Albion, and of course the Geordie an octave lower.
I can’t say for sure if the bigger size of my Baritone helps the lower notes, but it seems logical. The bigger size is really not an issue to me, it feels just right and sounds right somehow.
It will be very interesting to hear about your comparison and your conclusions Jim.

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9 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

... relative importance of the 8 additional high notes on the Geordie. If the instruments both sound good to me, I likely will prefer the smaller, lighter one.

 

The extra eight notes would give you the flexibility to play most tunes in both the low range and the high range. You would sometimes miss the top B and C that you would have on a 48 button baritone, but there's a lot you'd still be able to play.

 

However, if the main aim is to be able to play in the low range that probably doesn't matter; in which case, like you, I would favour the smaller, lighter instrument.

 

[I play, only occasionally, a 48 button Wheatstone baritone. My new Crane duet has exactly the same range G2 - C6.]

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I’ve got a Geordie and would really miss the extra upper notes if I didn't have them - they give the option to switch from playing low accompaniment to taking a turn on the main melody, and also open up some splendid multi -octave chords that the Albion range don’t allow. 

 

If you’re aspiring to get into any form of band setting the extra notes will really give you a lot of extra scope.

 

 

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There's no air button on the Morse Albion Treble concertina.  The Geordie baritone DOES have one.  That doesn't make a difference to everyone, and the Albion is of course a little lighter in weight which can be nice.  So, with the Albion, to close the bellows again if you end a tune with them open, you'd have to play a sound/make noise. 

 

I really like them both, though I favor the Geordie since I seem to have a little damage to my Albion -- needs a repair. 

 

But  -- in addition to these two Morse concertinas -- I also like to play a Bastari because I like those hollow buttons!  The hollow buttons are easier on sore fingers -- the impact from the solid buttons on the others is greater.  Most people wouldn't care but I have problems.  Still, though, I see why the solid buttons are better in other ways.

Edited by bellowbelle
clarity
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1 hour ago, bellowbelle said:

There's no air button on the Morse Albion Treble concertina.  The Geordie baritone DOES have one.  That doesn't make a difference to everyone, and the Albion is of course a little lighter in weight which can be nice.  So, with the Albion, to close the bellows again if you end a tune with them open, you'd have to play a sound/make noise. 

 

I really like them both, though I favor the Geordie since I seem to have a little damage to my Albion -- needs a repair. 

 

Thank you bellowbelle.

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12 minutes ago, Jim2010 said:

Mollie, here is a comment by ceemonster that may be be of interest

Wayman, who also comments in that thread and was one of the designers and early makers of the Beaumont,  told me that the staff of the Button Box once ran a blind listening test comparing instruments with the two different reed types and they found that the listeners could not tell the difference between them. 

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