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I have visited Lark in the Morning today and yesturday.

Tried two ECs. Out of 4 they had on shelves, (all high end Lachenals) squeazeable were only 2, one with wooden and one with metal ends.

Both have very good warm sound, wooden ended one is a bit rounder and warmer, metal ended one is a bit louder and clearer, esp. on the higher end. Both look fantastic, have metal buttons and very round, moody tone.

Metal ended is at $2100 and wooden ended at $1700.

Both had shut bellows, one or two notes not sounding in one or other direction. The Metal ended is in better condition, but when the bellows are extended - the crack opens and it gulps the air.

Wooden ended is leaking all the way and the bellows corners are very thick, priobably repaired many times with layers of leather. Action is good.

Both are in tune, both are 5 folds.

Are the prices realistic?

There are two more, metal and wooden Lachenals. Looking good, with gold emboss on leather, but leaking like... like the leak itself and wheezing. The prices are still up there , just below the first layer of clouds.

EC is a very interesting design.

But English Conceritna IS heavy! One sure can use it's pinky rests.

Edited by m3838
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To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition. Chris Algar recently sold a Lachenal Edeophone EC on ebay for about £1500, which is a little over $2100 and is probably slightly higher spec than the models you are describing. However, I suppose you need to factor in supply and demand in your particular neck of the woods.

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To add a bit of perspective: Twenty-six years ago, I spent $900 US for a 26 button Lachenal with bone buttons & metal ends from Lark in the Morning. The pads were so bad it wasn't playable. It was on approval and I repaired the pad problem before confirming the sale. It didn't really cost me much to repair the leaking pads compared to a new bellows, but it was still a lot of money in those days. The big difference is that, in those days, concertinas were so rare, I didn't have any choice. Today, there are more dealers, and the internet has made it possible to deal with people anywhere in the world. There are more choices. However, nothing is quite so tempting as to have one in your hands. A new bellows, however will cost a lot and your (potential) new acqisition will disappear from your hands for a while until the new bellows can be fitted to the instrument. So the "must-have-it-now" reason is somewhat dinished.

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Picking up on Chris Algar's sale of a edeophone for £1.5k,

 

Ask why only £1.5k?. I suspect that there was a reason that Chris took the lower-margin ebay route, perhaps the state of the instrument post re-furb????

 

Back to buying blind again

 

Dave

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To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition.
To me that sounds like very high prices for unrestored instruments in poor condition.

Which is what Michael seemed to be describing.

 

I've only once been in a LotM shop, the one in Seattle. They had a couple of vintage Englishes and a couple of vintage anglos. Conditions ranged from "needs work" to "completely unplayable", and none of them showed any sign of recent refurbishing. IMO, the prices seemed appropriate to expertly restored instruments. Whether this is typical -- either there or in their other shops, -- I can't say.

 

I find it interesting that their web site lists the Dipper County Clare model. They say it's a "special order" item, but can they actually supply a new County Clare in less than several years' time, or even within any sort of guaranteed time frame?

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Picking up on Chris Algar's sale of a edeophone for £1.5k,

 

Ask why only £1.5k?. I suspect that there was a reason that Chris took the lower-margin ebay route, perhaps the state of the instrument post re-furb????

In the description on ebay Chris already gave his answer:

"I am only putting this on eBay because I have recently bought another two or three of them and have too many in stock."

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Picking up on Chris Algar's sale of a edeophone for £1.5k,

 

Ask why only £1.5k?. I suspect that there was a reason that Chris took the lower-margin ebay route, perhaps the state of the instrument post re-furb????

In the description on ebay Chris already gave his answer:

"I am only putting this on eBay because I have recently bought another two or three of them and have too many in stock."

 

"and so I'm putting the best one on ebay at a low reserve" ;)

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To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition. Chris Algar recently sold a Lachenal Edeophone EC on ebay for about £1500, which is a little over $2100 and is probably slightly higher spec than the models you are describing. However, I suppose you need to factor in supply and demand in your particular neck of the woods.

£1500 is actually closer to $2800.

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To me that sounds like a realistic price for refurbished instruments in playable condition.
To me that sounds like very high prices for unrestored instruments in poor condition.

I assumed that the phrase "and not the instruments you are describing here" was pretty heavily implied. Still, assumptions are generally a mistake, so my bad.

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...about £1500, which is a little over $2100...
£1500 is actually closer to $2800.

Depends on the day of the quote.

Last December £1500 was worth about $2500, while now it's closer to $2800.

 

I'd have assumed we're talking about current prices (even though the US$ is sinking fast!).

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I find it interesting that their web site lists the Dipper County Clare model. They say it's a "special order" item, but can they actually supply a new County Clare in less than several years' time, or even within any sort of guaranteed time frame?

 

yes, they get a few dippers and suttners in occasionally. they always have a few of these on order, and i actually saw a dipper county clare in the seattle store back in 2001 which they had priced at about $6000 and which sold in about a week. the trick to finding out which new concertinas they're getting is to call the warehouse and to ask for don haight. when i was inquiring a few months ago i was told that they probably won't see any new suttners until at least 2007, but they're supposed to get a dipper in sooner than that (i can't remember when). anyway, if you don't want to wait several years and have a lot of extra money to spend lark in the morning is actually an option. i'm guessing that their next county clare will be even more expensive since the dollar is so weak right now. they basically charge double whatever they pay for anything, so i wont be at all surprised if it's more like $7000 - $8000. maybe i should take bets on how many days it will take to sell. if i were going to bet, i'd say that even at $8000 there's an even chance it will sell before making it to the store. i wonder just how high you would have to price new concertinas to keep them in stock.

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...about £1500, which is a little over $2100...
£1500 is actually closer to $2800.
Depends on the day of the quote.

Last December £1500 was worth about $2500, while now it's closer to $2800.

I'd have assumed we're talking about current prices (even though the US$ is sinking fast!).

Depends on whether your perspective is current prices in dollars (assuming British prices are what determine the market) or the dollar-equivalent price that someone was willing to pay at the time of sale. And I suppose that which you choose might depend whether the buyer was American or British... or maybe something else.

 

My point in quoting the December conversion was simply to illustrate that exchange rates do vary, and that can affect the price in pounds that a non-British buyer is willing to pay.

 

I do find it interesting that as the US stock markets rise and approach record highs, the dollar itself is heading the other direction. But as far as I know, concertinas are not responsible.

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Last October I bought a metal ended, steel reeded Wheatstone EC from Lark in the Morning. It has a label inside indicating that Chris Alger had something to do with the instrument at some point. The valves and pads look like they have been restored, the bellows are tight (no leaks at all-could be a replacement), the instrument is in tune.

 

Since I live in a part of the country where no concertina can be found to try out before buying without making a 1000 mile trip (each way), I found Lark's clerk's willingness to play several instruments over the phone and check tuning with a meter helpful. His advice led me to the instrument I got instead of a slightly cheaper Lachenal. The price was in the ballpark of the instruments m3838 reports trying. The condition seems to have been better. I notice that all of the Wheatstones that Lark had on their vintage instrument page in October have been sold-- though the Lachenals have not.

 

I've bought two other instruments (an octave mandolin and a viola d'amore, both new) through Lark in the Morning and I've always been pleased with the trnsactions.

 

On another note-- my 1851 brass reeded Wheatstone recently returned from Button Box, who did some patching on the bellows and a significant amount of reed work. I'm very happy with their work-- it plays smoothly and quickly and the voicing is even. I see the two instruments as representing the extremes of Wheatstone sound-- one very mellow, sweet, and quiet; the other brash and capable of being quite loud (though I've also learned how to play it very quietly as well).

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