Robin Harrison Posted February 21, 2007 Share Posted February 21, 2007 I’d like to report briefly on the latest concertina to come from the work-shop of Geoff Crabb.(www.concertina.net/rd_crabb.html[/url]) I saw reviewed on C.net an octagonal anglo and asked Geoff if it would be possible for him to build one for me in an F/C tuning. Given that the anglo is such a good instrument for song accompaniment and the keys F and C place many songs in the baritone range, I often wonder it is not more common tuning. What a thrill taking the instrument out of the case (also beautifully made by Geoff).It is lovely to look at and is superbly made. The quality of construction places him alongside Dipper and Dickinson. He continues the family tradition of fine concertinas. It is an octagonal, 30 key anglo, keyed in F and C., 8 fold bellows, metal buttons and hand made stainless steel end plates. The photos I’ve used were taken by the maker. It is a lovely concertina to play and is well balanced across the scales. Low reeds can sound very “mushy” when you play two or more but the bass reeds here seem to stand out more individually. It is very hard to describe the sound (and is of course completely subjective), but it is an intriguing sound. Geoff described it to me as very Crabby!! I now know what he means. I had the opportunity last week of comparing it to a Dipper, a Carroll, a Jeffries and a excellent 32 button Rosewood Lachenal. Given that the reeds are brand new and need much more playing to settle in, not only did it hold it’s own in such proud company, it seems to have a totally distinctive sound. I guess Crabb-like would be the description! I’ve met and heard of players who prize Crabbs above all others and I well understand why. It is made along traditional lines but with some innovations, my favourite being the use of an air release lever (wind key) rather than a button. I’ve never yet owned an anglo where I haven’t had to lengthen the air release button so I don’t have to crank my thumb awkwardly in a sideways manner. The lever allows you to move your thumb in a natural direction. Not only do you not have to “get used to it” but you ask yourself why this is not prevalent. The end boxes are plastic (Cobex ) covered. This is indistinguishable from French polished wood and is more durable and easy to maintain. The reed frames are hand made and to quote Roger Digby ‘s review of a 2004 made Crabb anglo.(http://www.concertina.net/rd_new_crabb.html) • Reeds/notes:- Hand fitted and profiled steel tongues, blocked and screwed onto re-shaped hand cut OHard¹ aluminium frames, traditionally retained in short parallel pan reed chambers. • Reed pans orientated, lever holes in keys and pivot points in uprights positioned to relieve former 'short lever' problems. • Each pan comprised of two opposing grain solid wood sections centre joined to reduce possibility of future warpage. See attached photos. Finally, the 8 fold bellows. I believe that Rosalie Dipper far and away makes the best anglo bellows currently available, being supple yet provide the needed firmness for strong playing. Geoff’s bellows are their equal. They are in themselves works of art. To say I am happy with this anglo is understatement………….it is now part of my daily life. It was also a pleasure to deal with Geoff. His knowledge of concertinas and their construction is profound. I am hoping he will answer any question you may have concerning construction, etc. Robin Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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