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A couple of questions about quality of Jones concertinas.


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The concertina I asked for help identifying is clearly a Jones. I have a couple of questions I hope someone can answer. 

 

1) Was it common or indeed did it ever happen at all that a Jones 20 key would have bushed buttons?

2) How good were Jones reeds?  I know this might be hard to answer without a reference point but perhaps the answer to this question might suffice; how does a Jones 20 key concertina compare to an equivalent Lachenal?  Would they be as loud or as fast, or more so? 

 

There are reasons for these questions In a few weeks I am giving a short exposition on the subject of a 19th century Australian concertina maker. Deciding what is his work and what is someone else's is tricky..!

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Hi Chris

 

Good questions - this is my personal view based on the ones I have worked on over the years (several of which I have kept)

 

1) Was it common or indeed did it ever happen at all that a Jones 20 key would have bushed buttons?

 

Some of them did - the 20/30 key ones I have seen were later (or instruments with higher serial numbers in the 20,000 + range)

 

2) How good were Jones reeds?  I know this might be hard to answer without a reference point but perhaps the answer to this question might suffice; how does a Jones 20 key concertina compare to an equivalent Lachenal?  Would they be as loud or as fast, or more so? 

 

Every bit as good as Lachenal - just as fast / loud (especially at the upper end of their range). The broad steel reeds (like on yours in the other post) are different though to the steel reeds (not broad steel) on the later Jones instruments I have worked on.

 

My primary concertina is a high serial number 30 key rosewood model (with original bushed keys) that on paper is the same as the 30 key rosewood Lachenal. I haven't played any Lachenal that would make me want to change from the Jones. This particular Jones also gave both a Crabb and Jeffries I have had the pleasure of working on recently a good run for their money!

 

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Chris Ghent said:

1) Was it common or indeed did it ever happen at all that a Jones 20 key would have bushed buttons?

It is not 20 button but my 26+2 button early Jones (S/N 1213) have bushed buttons. But this could be a later modification.

 

Most of Jones concertinas in the concertinamueum have un-bushed buttons except for C-349.

https://concertinamuseum.com/CM00349.htm

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I have only played one or two Jones concertinas (briefly) and thought they were comparable to Lachenals.  Chris Algar recently writes, "We’re typically not huge fans of Jones instruments due to their often-crude manufacturing".

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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I have to agree with Chris Algar's comment. I believe that they compare well with, say, a mahogany ended Lachenal, but the fretting on a rosewood Lachenal is, to me, certainly more aesthetically pleasing. I've had a few Jones instruments through my workshop, but can't remember whether the ends were solid timber or veneered. From memory, the ends were a little thicker than Lachenals, perhaps somewhat negating the need for bushing felt, though I do recall adding end bushes to one Jones anglo upon the owner's request.

 

Edited by malcolm clapp
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All good points!

 

Worth also bearing in mind that Jones made a range of models of concertina - I have seen more variations of Jones anglos than in the range of Lachenal anglo models... you've also got the impact of how it has been looked after in its long life and how well it has been set up at present...

 

Like Malcolm mentioned in the other thread though, would love to know more about this particular ones history!

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Thanks for the evaluations everyone. Can I ask a more nuanced question? Has anyone ever seen a Jones concertina that was truly fast and loud. Not talking as good as a Lachenal now, talking much better. 

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Chris, I will be at your lecture in a few weeks, and will bring my 30 button C/G parallel reeded Jones, solid wooden ends. It is loud, heavy, 17 cm across the flats, has bushed 7mm bone buttons and riveted action. It does not sound as sweet as a Lachenal, which I have put down to the parallel reeds, rather than Lachenal's tapered reeds: but I think there is room for debate here. I would not say it is much better than a Lachenal. I will also be at Numeralla.

 

 

All the best

 

 

David Hornett.

 

 

David

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Picking up on previous answers.  The Jones concertinas I’ve seen and worked on seem to vary much more in quality of construction than similar level of Lachenals. They often have a softer, warmer sound than Lachenals, which is different, not better or worse, but would suit different players.

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