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Chinese Concertina


jggunn
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do you think it's possible to order the set of reedplates with reeds sounding in one direction? Possible tuning is octave or tremolo. So the instrument will sound only on the pull, with automatic valve opening on the push?

I was thinking of ordering a Jackie and a set of spare bellows, Dremmeling the reed rivets off and replacing the reeds myself, but would rather order professional work and only construct the air valve

 

 

 

We have a couple of Jackies that did not pass our quality control. They should be fine for a project like this. Just send me an email.

You can turn it into a tremolo instrument by moving the ‘push’ reed to the other side of the frame. Octave tuning won’t work, because there are no reedframes with octave reeds available.

I would drill/cut a (few) large hole(s) in the action board with a leather valve instead of a bellows valve. The bellows folds are too narrow for valves. Besides, you won’t be able to close them all the way anymore with valves on them.

 

Wim

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do you think it's possible to order the set of reedplates with reeds sounding in one direction? Possible tuning is octave or tremolo. So the instrument will sound only on the pull, with automatic valve opening on the push?

I was thinking of ordering a Jackie and a set of spare bellows, Dremmeling the reed rivets off and replacing the reeds myself, but would rather order professional work and only construct the air valve

 

 

 

We have a couple of Jackies that did not pass our quality control. They should be fine for a project like this. Just send me an email.

You can turn it into a tremolo instrument by moving the ‘push’ reed to the other side of the frame. Octave tuning won’t work, because there are no reedframes with octave reeds available.

I would drill/cut a (few) large hole(s) in the action board with a leather valve instead of a bellows valve. The bellows folds are too narrow for valves. Besides, you won’t be able to close them all the way anymore with valves on them.

 

Wim

 

Mm, thanks.

I wasn't thinking about bellows valves. Instead I was thinking about a long and narrow Bandoneon style valve, reinforced with weak spring, so with no pressure the valve will close shut. Or on the easier side, I can use the leather flap, reinforced with thin metal spring (like on the big accordion reeds). But can I add some led weights to the tips of second reed, to tune it octave low?

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  • 1 month later...

Dear Wim

 

I can completely refute this untrue allegation. I have been buying concertinas and accordions from my partners in Tianjin for a very long time, and more than one Chinese producer has this product on general sale to all comers. We are buying 20 anglo, 30 anglo, 30 english and 48 english currently. I am not very familiar with the Jackie Concertina, I did once see one in the Music Room shop, but have never had my hands on one. If, as it seems from your post here, it is not the same as the Scarlatti one then hopefully we can co-exist in a friendly way. I will try to get hold of a Jackie and see how we might differentiate our product from yours more visibly in the future. I am always interested in improving the quality of the instruments we buy. We have also been talking at Hobgoblin about the possbility of a new product to be assembled in England using some Chinese components. Still some way off though!

 

We are back in production with concertinas again in England after a 20 year gap. 30 key Sherwood anglos which are a development of and improvement from from the original Saxon concertina of which we made 100 in the early 80's. We also continue to sell Stagi Italian instruments and keep John Connor's intruments in stock. Hopefully we are all trying to support the concertina playing world by making the instruments as widely available as possible.

 

I am confident that our customer service is up to scratch thank you, but do continue to work on that every day.

 

Pete McClelland (co-founder of Hobgoblin)

 

Regarding the Hobgoblin concertina Theo referred to, it is NOT a Jackie, and is not produced by ‘our’ factory. The Jackie/Jack/Rochelle are developed by me, and are produced under contract by ‘our’ manufacturer in China exclusively for us.

Based on the information I have so far, I think that Hobgoblin actually sent a Jackie to (another) producer in China to have it copied…I guess they are not able to develop their own instrument. They actually are selling a Chinese clone of a Chinese instrument….

At this moment there is an instrument on its way to us for a more detailed inspection, but from the information I have so far, the instrument probably will develop a few problems after being played for while…that’s why we have certain parts made in Germany instead of the Chinese counterparts… no, I won’t tell Hobgoblin which parts. I hope they have a good customers service.

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Pete McClelland (co-founder of Hobgoblin)

Keeping well out of the controversy, of which I know nothing, can I just welcome you to the forum and say I am pleased to see you here and hope you keep posting. The contribution of Hobgoblin to the concertina world over many years cannot be denied!

 

Cheers,

 

Chris

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Pete McClelland (co-founder of Hobgoblin)

Keeping well out of the controversy, of which I know nothing, can I just welcome you to the forum and say I am pleased to see you here and hope you keep posting. The contribution of Hobgoblin to the concertina world over many years cannot be denied!

I second that. Two of my instruments came from Hobgoblin (was three until just a couple of hours ago, but one has now left for a new home); two excellent Wheatstones.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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I now this is off thread a little but it is pertinent to me at the moment. I have a Gremlin 48 key English. It is never mentioned in these kind of threads ( either positively ot negatively). Is it likely to be a chinese instrument ?

I have wondered about it before but more so when ( after 6 months of learning) I investigated a wheezing F# and decided to open it up. Bad mistake ! I ended up having to take it to a clock repairers to get a screw separated from the metal "bed" which it came out with. I also discovered what to my untutored eye appeared to be hotch potch of glue around the reeds and the pans.

I do wish I hadn't looked because i had previously thought that apart from a couple of slightly buzzy notes it wasn't too bad an instrument. The tone isn't bad, especially when played my bathroom ( ???? !).

 

Can anyone shed any light/ comment on the origins of my 'tina ?

 

Cheers

 

Trilby

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Slightly different angle; I'm threatening to buy a jackie for my Godson who showed some interest in my duet. I wanted a modern 'expendable' instrument (sorry Wim!) rather than one that his parents would perceive as valuable and worry about. I was given an accordian when I was a kid and the fun it gave me is impossible to tell, but only because I took it everywhere without fussing about it. If I had been too precious about it I would have missed out enormously, possibly never even learnt to play it.

 

For a youngster you probably don't need fine french polished delicate fretwork and 'stradivarius' action; you need something you can hack out a tune on and that you aren't scared to take partying

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Slightly different angle; I'm threatening to buy a jackie for my Godson who showed some interest in my duet. I wanted a modern 'expendable' instrument (sorry Wim!) rather than one that his parents would perceive as valuable and worry about. I was given an accordian when I was a kid and the fun it gave me is impossible to tell, but only because I took it everywhere without fussing about it. If I had been too precious about it I would have missed out enormously, possibly never even learnt to play it.

 

For a youngster you probably don't need fine french polished delicate fretwork and 'stradivarius' action; you need something you can hack out a tune on and that you aren't scared to take partying

 

A Jackie is fine. But another aspect of "expendable" instrument is the danger of developing some tendone problems, nerve pinching etc. They are tough to play, need extra effort and often impossible to play correctly.

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" The opinion of many people was that a child, that is interested in Concertina, should be given better instrument from the start. Not a Suttner, but a Morse or middle range Lachenal. Jackie may be good for schools, that have low funds, but a parent should be able to come up with the best option for the child."

 

 

I agree with the sentiment that a young beginner needs a solid instrument, but I do think that for a lot of situations the Rochelle/Jackie are ideal. Here are a few reasons I would suggest to start small:

 

1. Stardard Ergonomics, mechanically consistent, predictability, and maintainability are crucial to beginning musicians. This is especially true for beginners without ready access to a mentor/teacher and young growing bodies. Sound, tone and aestetics are secondary (important, subjective but secondary) in the beginning.

 

2. Players choice, a person walks into a room with a dozen instruments, plays them all, picks one. Second person walks into the same room, picks a different one. Point here is that for most "real world" situations, there is finite financial resources available, don't blow it all in one shot on what YOU think sounds good. With a $2000 budget, I'd buy a Jackie and then let the student know the other $1700 is available for them when THEY are ready, to pick an instrument THEY choose.

 

3. Don't pressure the kid with an overly expensive instrument they feel obligated to love, even if they don't. What if they decide they'd rather play anglo or try the fiddle? Depending on the kids age and responsibility level, this is why renting is so ideal.

 

So definately don't buy junk, or a fragile antique. Fund the journey, let them upgrade as they go, don't make a long term commitment on their behalf to a particular instrument.

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All above are good points, except for the sound and aestetics. I don't think they are secondary.

A few examples:

1. Parents decide to teach a child piano. They hire a teacher and buy cheap piano. They tune it, fix it up and the child goes on with lessons. A few years later 90% still bang on their first junky piano, because pianos are expencive, large, bulky and replacing it takes time and effort - buy well from the beginning.

2. A child listens to a CD and decide to learn violin. Parents give her beginner's instrument. A child begins to play and go on with lessons. But why doesn't it sound like on CD? It's squeaky, imprecize, heavy and makes all her friends cringe and lough at her.

3. Make your own...

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I don't think the sound of a Jackie would be a handicap for a child learning. The only drawback I see to a Jackie as a starter instrument is that the distance between the thumbstrap and the pinky rest is a bit on the long side which could be a problem for small hands. However,I think the pinky rest could be moved a little without too much difficulty.

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I don't think the sound of a Jackie would be a handicap for a child learning. The only drawback I see to a Jackie as a starter instrument is that the distance between the thumbstrap and the pinky rest is a bit on the long side which could be a problem for small hands. However,I think the pinky rest could be moved a little without too much difficulty.

 

Who needs pinkey rest?

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All above are good points, except for the sound and aestetics. I don't think they are secondary.

A few examples:

1. Parents decide to teach a child piano. They hire a teacher and buy cheap piano. They tune it, fix it up and the child goes on with lessons. A few years later 90% still bang on their first junky piano, because pianos are expencive, large, bulky and replacing it takes time and effort - buy well from the beginning.

2. A child listens to a CD and decide to learn violin. Parents give her beginner's instrument. A child begins to play and go on with lessons. But why doesn't it sound like on CD? It's squeaky, imprecise, heavy and makes all her friends cringe and laugh at her.

3. Make your own...

 

It is important that kids get playable instruements, but I don't think they need too much more than that.

A kid (or anyone, for that matter) beginning to learn on a string or wind instrument (one requires precise embouchure work or bowing know-how) is going to sound terrible, regardless of what quality instrument they have. Beginners on that those kinds of instruments simply don't have to capacity to make a good sound right off the bat, because they need - at the very least - about a year of training to

 

a. Get the muscles in shape, in the case of an embouchure, or

b. Figure out how to use a bow in such a way that it doesn't sound like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Give a complete novice a Stradivarius and it will sound every bit as terrible as the cheapest

Chinese Yamaha knock-off, because the technique simply isn't there.

 

You need to have a certain amount of skill to appreciate a fine instrument, and while this is way more pronounced for a wind or string instrument (where making the physical sound is more hands-on), I think it extends to keyboard-like instruements as well. When I started on piano in 4th grade, I didn't have the ear to know our cheesy upright from a Steinway - I needed a few years of playing and listening to really understand what made a superior instrument. If a beginner starts on a "beginner quality" instrument and quits because they don't sound great from the beginning, my money says that they would have quit even if they had the best instrument. Successfully learning an instrument (or indeed any craft) is about patience, and I understood - even as a 4th grader - that music was not something I was immedately going to be good at. Some people can understand this, and are willing to put up with the hours of practice and maddening frustration of mastering an instrument, and some can't. Those that can't don't become musicians. Children start on beginner instruments because it doesn't make sense to make major purchases for kids when two thirds of them only end up quitting anyway because music isn't their thing (no matter how good an instrument you get them). A kid that gets turned off to music because he's playing on a Jackie instead of a Wheatsone doesn't get any sympathy from me, and in my opinion, doesn't have what it takes to be a successful musician. If they progress quickly, you might well need to upgrade - but I think it makes far more practical sense to start on good beginner instruments.

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All above are good points, except for the sound and aestetics. I don't think they are secondary.

A few examples:

1. Parents decide to teach a child piano. They hire a teacher and buy cheap piano. They tune it, fix it up and the child goes on with lessons. A few years later 90% still bang on their first junky piano, because pianos are expencive, large, bulky and replacing it takes time and effort - buy well from the beginning.

2. A child listens to a CD and decide to learn violin. Parents give her beginner's instrument. A child begins to play and go on with lessons. But why doesn't it sound like on CD? It's squeaky, imprecize, heavy and makes all her friends cringe and lough at her.

3. Make your own...

 

Vastly more important than any of these issues is that a child (or a learner of any age) feels inspired by the people they are learning from, or have heard and that they have fun and begin to enjoy the social aspects of music making.

 

I speak from experience, we had a Bechstein baby grand in my childhood home, I had lessons from an unsympathetic teacher and gave up after a year or so. 30 years later I felt confident enough to have another go at an instrument, and after a few years learning I'm now delighted to play regulalrly in a band. Having a good teacher is vastly more important than having a top quality instrument. I know lots of children and adults who are enjoying learning on Jackie concertinas. Those who make significant progress then move on to something else.

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I know lots of children and adults who are enjoying learning on Jackie concertinas.

 

The latest journal of the ICA reports on an initiative to put the Jackie into schools in the North East - heck, it Alastair Anderson supports this (as he does) then it must be an adequate instrument. The Jackie does what it says on the box. Its in tune, the action is fine, the bellows are good and it will let you play Bobby Shafto to as good a standard as any teacher could require.

 

Tom

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