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Wakker /geuns

Jeff H

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I have had my Wakker/Geuns baritone English for a couple of years now. I still enjoy playing it, although it is not my first instrument. It plays very well, and a nice quality sound. Whenever I bring it out among other musicians, it gets instant notice. The baritone scale adds a nice bottom in sessions that people notice. It seems light for its size, but I haven’t come in contact with another baritone to make a fair comparison. The reeds are not as responsive as those in my other instruments, but they are pretty high quality treble and tenor trebles, so this comparison is very unfair. I can, even with my limited ability, play the Geuns/Wakker with respectable speed, but that was not what I had in mind when I brought it. Any limitation I encountered here has been in my ability and not the instrument’s.


When I first got it, it was very temperamental, but the move from the Netherlands to Tucson is not easy for anything made of wood. (We are currently at 116 consecutive days without measurable rain, and last week the official humidity was in single digits.) The concertina has since calmed down, and requires no more, and perhaps even less, attention than my other concertinas, all vintage.


It is a fine instrument, and certainly should satisfy almost any player. However, the easiest reason I can come up with for recommending a Geuns/Wakker concertina is business end of the deal. Wim is very professional as a seller of instruments. (We all know about his musicianship.) In the first year I owned my concertina, Wim was very helpful and supportive as I worked out the kinks. There is no question in my mind that the, actually few but irritating, problems I had were mostly caused by the dryness of the Sonoran desert. A few buttons would stick repeatedly, a problem I solved by realigning the various holes they used. The design of the Baritone packed the reeds pretty snuggly, and some of the larger ones seemed to pinch shut a bit. Definitely a wood shrinkage problem, simply taking them all out of the pan and putting them back in completely solved the problem.


I blame none of my problems on the quality of the craftsmanship. It was unquestionably high. However, I was able to overcome all them because of Wim’s prompt support. He was incredibly helpful, and even sent me a few extra parts, just in case I needed them to help get past these problems. He really stood behind the product he sold me.


The choices in buying an English Concertina are limited. The Geuns/Wakker English is a quality instrument for a serious player. It is priced fairly It has the advantages of a new instrument that is backed up by its makers. You can order one and receive it without a multiple year wait. If that is what you want, it is pretty much the only game there is. I’d say go for it.



Dan Madden

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