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Why Are You Not Raving About Linotas?

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Many years ago I had a Linota to tune which came from an owner who lived in Devon.Up to that point I had never seen an Anglo made by Wheatstone only English.It was metal ended and the buttons were in excess of forty.Although at that time I owned two Jeffries after it was repaired I can honestly say it was the best concertina that I had ever played,the tone ,speed,everything I liked about it.I thought at the time if a similar one became available I would buy it.Five or so years later one became available in Free reed and after much rushing around selling my unused instruments,I purchased it.I never took it out for fear of having it stolen ,in my mind it was more valuable than my Jeffries ,but market forces are such that my valuation has been proved wrong.I thought it was only me who liked this instrument ,but I was relieved to hear from a new friend on this site that he also loves Linotas.

Have you played one, what do you think?

Mine is featured on my site click on to one of my concertinas and it being played.



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Many North American anglo players have studied with Noel Hill and as far as they are concerned you will be preaching to the choir. I have not been in touch with Noel for many years but rumor has it he still has a Linota (or maybe more than one). I think our host (Paul S.) gave an excellent description of his first encounter with one in his discussion of the Noel Hill School. Good Linotas are far rarer than good Jeffries in my experience; maybe that is why they come up less often in discussions.


Frank Edgely will be delighted to know that these seem to have been built in equal temperament (or close to it), so that the "authentic period temperament" for these may well the one he prefers! He could easily (and I'm sure skillfully) repitch to A 440 equal temperament and retain much of the original sound. Still, I know of players in Ireland today who have Wheatstones retuned TO unequal temperaments.


Does anyone out there have a pre WWII Linota that is still in "old pitch" (most likely A 435-439 or A 452-453)? If so, just play it to a tuner and see if it is more or less equal temperament as is mine. I have only seen one in original pitch. BTW, Frank, this is (one reason) why original pitch is important to me -- it is often an indicator (along with other evidence) that the original reedwork has not been disturbed.


Many thanks for any help with this,



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"..., this is (one reason) why original pitch is important to me -- it is often an indicator (along with other evidence) that the original reedwork has not been disturbed."


I would agree that this would be a good indicator that the reeds have not been messed with.


"...I know of players in Ireland today who have Wheatstones retuned TO unequal temperaments."


Yes, there are several players who have at least some notes (B and F#) tuned a few cents flat so that left hand chords (i.e. G and D) sound better. In fact Colin Dipper played a melodian for me where had tuned it in a similar manner. It sounded great in those specific keys.

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Dear Alan,

In all the years I have been repairing concertinas I have only encountered two 40 key Wheatstone Linota Anglo's. They were both excellent and if it wasn't for the fact that everyone seems to want a Jeffries based model I would prefer to base the instruments I make on these models. However it seems that commercially it is best for me to build my Kookaburra concertinas on the Jeffries pattern. I do have all the specifications of the Wheatstone secreted away though! I own a 30 key Wheatsone Linota myself, however it is a baritone, pitched down an octave. Eveyone that plays it wants one and so in the near future I intend to knock a few out "easier said than accomplished". The bottom C sounds like the town hall organ!

Yours Concerternally,

Richard Evans

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One of the differentiators between the Wheatstone and Jeffries designs is the rake (I am not sure of the best word to use here) of the buttons along the rows. The buttons are raked a lot more on Jeffries than on Wheatstones. On the right hand this doesn't make much difference to me, I can adjust pretty quickly. On the left hand, though (and for some reason much more so since I had that stroke) I find the Wheatstone layout much easier than the Jeffries. Linotas are undoubtedly a class act.



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