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Mystery 'C' Bass


d.elliott
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Attached is a photo of an action style that I have only seen once before, many years ago. The serial number stamped inside is 1984. The reeds are all surface mounted brass, and the reed frames are square at each end. The stampings on the reed frames are FA, SOL, SI, DO, RE(accented) etc. so possibly French made.

 

The instrument is well made in all respects. So team, any ideas of manufacturer and vintage? 

 

C Bass Action.jpg

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Can't help I'm afraid, but I like the sneaky levers curving round behind a button at the top right. I guess the substantial pivot allow this to  be done without skewing anything. I also like the way that the spring coils are contained within the pivot assemble, - as long as they don't rub on the sides I guess.

Edited by Clive Thorne
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Interesting. 

 

It looks like the pins through the levers and the levers themselves are removable so that the base can be screwed down to the action board, plus all of the bases are staggered so that the pins are accessible.

 

How stable are the levers in this arrangement?

 

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I’m assuming it’s an “English” (four straight rows of buttons, central buttons white, peripheral buttons black), wherever it was made. The buttons certainly look like what you’d find on many English-construction instruments, although the rest of the action is unfamiliar.

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17 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Interesting. 

 

It looks like the pins through the levers and the levers themselves are removable so that the base can be screwed down to the action board, plus all of the bases are staggered so that the pins are accessible.

 

How stable are the levers in this arrangement?

 

 

Don, extremely stable, no lateral twisting or migration of the arm along it's 'axle'. Each assembly is screwed into place on the action board. the whole thing is very robust.

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12 hours ago, David Barnert said:

I’m assuming it’s an “English” (four straight rows of buttons, central buttons white, peripheral buttons black), wherever it was made. The buttons certainly look like what you’d find on many English-construction instruments, although the rest of the action is unfamiliar.

 

Yes it is a 'C' Bass, therefore an English system and in this case single action. I last had this instrument on my work bench 24 years ago and it has been played regularly ever since. The concertina is back in for bellows problems and a bit of a tune up. Whilst the concertina is here I am trying to establish, on behalf of the owner as well as for my own education, a bit more about about its antecedents in terms on manufacture and design. 

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On 2/20/2022 at 10:53 AM, d.elliott said:

The serial number stamped inside is 1984. The reeds are all surface mounted brass, and the reed frames are square at each end. The stampings on the reed frames are FA, SOL, SI, DO, RE(accented) etc. so possibly French made.

 

So the reeds are French-made harmonium ones, but they could easily have been imported.

 

Are the ends marked R and L respectively, or something else?

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Stephen,

 

the ends are marked R & L conventionally. I have also appended a picture of the RH side fretwork as requested by Sean. you can see that the centre line of the thumb strap aligns with the D row in the conventional manner. This concertina was designed and built to be what it is, a C bass. No reeds have been moved. It is a fine instrument to play. 

C Bass End Fretting.jpg

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 small size small stretched Octagonal (brass reeded)came thruogh my hands some years  ago with the same action the levers for the high notes were an absolute pain to work on. The makers label said C wheatstone, It now resides in the Netherlands as far as I know. 

Regards.

Mike

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Thanks Mike, the owner believes that this is a Wheatstone too, but we seek conformation. I have look at Chris Flint's essay on concertina actions, there are plenty of options, including several Wheatstone's variants, but nothing like this.  

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