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The Jackie, And Now Jack


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Last night I got my hands on two new, first into the UK, English system baritones to compare with my own serial 55962 Lachenal.

 

I expected to be able to wrinkle my nose discreetly, as I did when I first played an early Morse Barry (sorry Rich). I also expected to be able to bend the pitch of the lower notes by playing harder.

 

I was wrong on both counts!

 

This instrument will sell for about £200, same as the treble. The early Jackie craftsmanship hang ups are gone. The Jack, yes the Baritone version of the Jackie, has the same range and new layout as the treble Jackie, but an octave down.

 

The reeds are responsive, as good as many classic Barries, possibly better than some I have played. I think the accordion reed and the already big carcass used in the existing Jackie both work well in this new instrument.

 

Compared to my Barry, the notes had slightly less edge and attack, less power; however they were sweet and consistent through out the instrument's range. I doubt that most people could tell the difference unless it was pointed out that there was a difference, no matter how marginal the difference is.

 

This instrument will be a boon to many small ensambles, to teaching groups or singers.

 

Singers particularly, the instrument is probably less than 2/3rds the weight of my Lachenal Barry. I suggest that Classic instruments and some new makers had better look to their laurels!

 

The last point is that both instruments were of similar characteristics, and both were more-or-less bang in tune, not like the early Jackies that I vetted, that were way out of tune. So here we now have consistancy as well as performance!

 

 

Dave

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I have a Jack... #5, I think - there's a big "5" written in marker on the inside of it, so I'm assuming. I'm not at all musically inclined but I can say that it sounds great to me and I'm happy I bought it. The notes are consistent, from what little I've been able to play, anyway and I'm pretty impressed with Concertinas as a whole instead of just being in silent awe and wonderment like I was before.

 

I'm happy to see someone else with one here who has more experience... If anything comes up, would you be bothered if I pestered you about it? :D

Although nothing probably will. ;)

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I expected to be able to wrinkle my nose discreetly, as I did when I first played an early Morse Barry (sorry Rich). I also expected to be able to bend the pitch of the lower notes by playing harder.

 

I was wrong on both counts!

Dave

 

Thanks for the review Dave - as the owner of a Jackie, i am sore tempted to order one of these.

 

By the way, the Jackie I bought earlier this year seems excellent to me - its in tune, responsive and even toned. Maybe I'm lucky, but I'd recommend it to any beginner/intermediate player. The only problem being its not 48 buttons.

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Thanks for the compliments :D

I am glad to hear that others also think it turned out OK. Personally I was quite happy with the final result. Especially considering the cost limitations on materials and production. It took me over 6 months to get the Jack the way it is now.

The playability of baritones (and other concertinas) is not all determined by the reeds... there are also other aspects that affect the 'speed' and sound quality. If I am right, the sound and reed reaction time of the Jack should improve over time (100+ playing hours). The amplitude of the reed swing cycle will/should increase, which will result in a richer harmonic spectrum. We see the same happening with Jackies that have been played for a while.

 

The last addition in our 'entry level family' is going to be the Rochelle, a 30 key anglo. I've been working on it for quite a while. It has its own problems, different from the Jackie and Jack that I am trying to solve. I hope to finish the drawings this month. It seems to take about 6 months from the time I finish a model to the moment all the testing is done and the final product is available.

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

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If I am right, the sound and reed reaction time of the Jack should improve over time (100+ playing hours).  The amplitude of the reed swing cycle will/should increase, which will result in a richer harmonic spectrum. We see the same happening with Jackies that have been played for a while.

 

Ooh. That's enticing me to practice more and more.

Which I should be doing anyway. ^_^

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The amplitude of the reed swing cycle will/should increase, which will result in a richer harmonic spectrum. We see the same happening with Jackies that have been played for a while.

 

I can attest that my Jackie is very well-built, has a nice, even tone, and plays reasonably well at all volumes. I'm very happy with it and consider it the best value for the money on the market. I will probably eventually order a Jack when my skills increase, and will have no hesitation in doing business with Mr. Wakker again! It has truly been a pleasure!

 

Greg Knipe

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I did not realise that I was writing a review, just passing on news, hey-ho!

 

Geoff, the bass has to be a Jake!

 

I thought the first Jackies were pretty poor, but I know that they have improved, the Jacks that I handled this week were too good not to write about.

 

Dave

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