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Help with a Wheatstone Model 22


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I got the rare opportunity to buy a Wheatstone Model 22 English Concertina here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thing is, I need some help since the concertina is not in good condition and there are not many people who can fix concertinas around here.

Issues are the following:

-It is not in A 440

-Thumb straps are broken.

-A couple keys don't sound when push or pull



Bellows are fine and look original to me. It has 7 fold bellows which is really interesting.

Also, the original leather case is there.

How much is worth in this condition? I would really appreciate your comments. I have added some pics below. Thank you so much!  🙌

 

 

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I bought my 1929 mod 22 from a dealer. He had gone over it and it was near 100%/  functional. I paid between $2500-3k for it. Hard to be exact as there was a trade involved. About 2 yrs ago.

 

without knowing all that is wrong with it. As it is very likely that an instrument in that condition will likely have more isssues than you found on first pass. When a competent tech starts working on it, I would expect you be looking at at 500- 1k in repairs to get it playable.  And then substantially more to get it to where it is capable of being.

 

You also don’t know if this was a non competent tech’s fixer upper/ project. That tried and failed a bunch of diy, that may need to be undone and then fixed.

 

I am NOT a tech or an expert. 


 

they are fantastic instruments. And when up to speed (in my limited experience) are as good or better than any other EC out there.

Edited by seanc
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Well worth  getting  restored  properly.  I  have  had  several  Model  22's  and  played a few others.  Having  it  fixed  is  one  thing,  as  seanc  says,  but  then  to  have  it  fine  adjusted  by  a good player  is  quite  another  . They  are  like  race horses  and  need  carefull  handling.

 

My  current  model  22  is  a very  early  one , probably 1898,   good  dynamic  range and  it  sings!

 

 

 

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Thank you so much for all of your replies!

 

17 hours ago, Theo said:

You also have two very small screws missing from the left side finger rest.

Yes! I forgot to mention that. thanks

 

16 hours ago, David Barnert said:

You might want to obtain a copy of of The Concertina Maintenance Manual by David Elliot, who is a member here of concertina.net. Google it. It’s available from many places.

 

 

It is my attention to get a copy as soon as possible! thank you!

 

16 hours ago, seanc said:

You also don’t know if this was a non competent tech’s fixer upper/ project. That tried and failed a bunch of diy, that may need to be undone and then fixed.

 

This is one of my biggest concerns.  I guess I will take the shot anyway since it is such a beautiful instrument. Thank you so much for your comments!

 

40 minutes ago, Geoff Wooff said:

Well worth  getting  restored  properly.  I  have  had  several  Model  22's  and  played a few others.  Having  it  fixed  is  one  thing,  as  seanc  says,  but  then  to  have  it  fine  adjusted  by  a good player  is  quite  another  . 

 

Thank you! I'll go ahead then and try to ge it restored the best I can. Did you ever saw another one with 7 fold bellows?

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34 minutes ago, Gaspar said:

 

 

Thank you! I'll go ahead then and try to ge it restored the best I can. Did you ever saw another one with 7 fold bellows?

Seven  folds  is  an  option  these day  when  ordering  a new  bellows  but  old  'original'  bellows  were  usually  either  five  or  six  folds  , depending  on the period  of  manufacture.  Probably  6  folds   was  normal when  yours  was made.  I  would  say  your  7  fold  bellows is  either a special  order  or  a later  replacement.

 

Can  you  estimate  how  far  away  from  A440  the  tuning  is ?  I  could imagine  it  being  a little  high, maybe  A442  like  a lot  of  Bandoneons,  or    the  higher  pitch  of  A452,  common in England  before  World War 2.

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3 hours ago, Geoff Wooff said:

Can  you  estimate  how  far  away  from  A440  the  tuning  is ?  I  could imagine  it  being  a little  high, maybe  A442  like  a lot  of  Bandoneons,  or    the  higher  pitch  of  A452,  common in England  before  World War 2.

Luckily I have a short video and I was able to measure the pitch of some notes with a digital tuner. It's in A452 just like you said. Is it a bad thing? I'm guessing it will be more trouble to change it to 440 maybe?

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44 minutes ago, Gaspar said:

Is it a bad thing?

 

It's fine if you’ll only be playing by yourself. If you want to play with anybody else they will probably be tuned to A440. Even a violinist, who conceivably could tune up to 452 probably won’t want to.

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"It's in A452 just like you said. Is it a bad thing? I'm guessing it will be more trouble to change it to 440 maybe?"

 

It depends what you want to do with it.  I imagine most of the concertinas from that period have been retuned (as has my 1915 Model 21). If you want to play solo, or to accompany your own singing, no problem leaving it where it is. If you want to play with others, some instruments can be tuned to accommodate your old high-pitch tuning. If you want to play with those whose instruments can't be tuned to accommodate you, you have a problem.

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As a fiddle player I'd be much more inclined to tune my D down to your sharp C and play G,A and D fingerings to your F,G and C.  Throw in a tunable electronic keyboard and you've got  nice little dance combo.

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As a fiddle player I'd be much more inclined to tune my D down to your sharp C and play G,A and D fingerings to your F,G and C.  Throw in a tunable electronic keyboard and you've got  nice little dance combo.

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Tuning at 452 has one very big advantage. It means that the reeds have not been messed with.  Before you tackle tuning yourself it would be a good idea to develop your skills on some less precious instruments first.

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On 4/22/2022 at 4:54 PM, Geoff Wooff said:

Can  you  estimate  how  far  away  from  A440  the  tuning  is ?  I  could imagine  it  being  a little  high, maybe  A442  like  a lot  of  Bandoneons,  or    the  higher  pitch  of  A452,  common in England  before  World War 2.

Since you're in Argentina and a lot bandoneons are tuned at A442, you might want to consider whether you fancy playing tango with a tango players - in which tuning to A442 might be worth considering.  Just a thought.

Edited by SteveS
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10 hours ago, seanc said:

I have known a bunch of players that tune to 442 in an a 440 ensemble.

 

If my rough calculation is about right, that would but them approximately eight cents sharp. I have read that most people won't notice until the difference is about 20 cents (though I think others have suggested 10 cents).

 

The observation

 

10 hours ago, seanc said:

the effect is not out of tune.

 

is consistent with my own experience. My Cranes are tuned fifth comma mean tone; so some notes differ from equal temperament by as much as 17 cents, but no-one has ever said they sound out of tune.

 

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From a practical point of view. Depending on the instrumentation. How out of tune would 452 sound? My initial feeling would be it would be way off. 
 

but, then. I think of fretted instruments, that are really only “in tune” at the point of tuning (open string) and then “mostly” in tune at the octave. Fixed frets and various string diameters mean varying degrees of out of tune. And top it off with standard tuners can be substantially off from exact 440.

 

wind instrument tunings also vary depending on how much air is being being pushed.

fretless instruments, would pretty much would unconsciously adjust by ear.

 

I throw this out there. As, on paper, it should be way off. But, in a practical application. It might work. And with the cost of a complete, professional retune. It would be worth trying it to hear what it sounds like before having that work done.

 

 

 

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I have this dilemma with my C core duet.  The easiest and least harmful ( for the reeds ) tuning would seem to be up to C#.  Because it is chromatic it just means different fingerings, not all that difficult on a Jeff duet.  I don't know if this would be true for EC but it is an option.

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