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Morse C/g Anglo


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I've had mine for 3-3/4 years and I love it. It's my first (and so far only) Anglo. I have two high-quality English concertinas, and I have been playing English since the 1980s, but these days I mostly play Anglo and I'm having as much fun as ever.

 

In March, I loaned my Morse to a visiting musician from Ireland whose Lachenal developed serious problems just before his big St. Patrick's Day gig. Of course he was grateful simply to find a playable 30-button C/G -- not easy to do in Colorado -- but he was delighted with its action and tone.

 

What else would you like to know?

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And mine - heavily used for 5 years - is on loan to a musician who is considering concertina. She is so gifted I'll be she will pass me in a few months when she gets her own box. I hear she is as happy with it as I am.

 

Ken

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not sure what style or genre you're interested in, but i can attest they are great for ITM dance music. for that style, you want a concertina with super-quick response (not merely quick as compared to a stagi, but super-quick, period), and this model has it. (other hybrids i personally have found very quick and responsive include the edgley and the norman). i have a ceili and an "authentic" concertina that i'm afraid to take out on the amazon river, and i take the morse ceili almost everywhere and practice on it almost constantly. the reeds (or is it the bellows?) are a bit resistive, but the button action is so fast it doesn't matter. one thing---morse ceili reeds are set in with wax like accordion reeds are, which differs from most concertinas, even many hybrids, which have reeds that are screwed in. so, as with an accordion, you want to be extra-careful about sheltering the ceili from heat or cold, because the wax can melt or harden, with nasty results....an older gentleman in clare turned up his nose at what he called its "very accordionlike" tone, but people who aren't culturally pre-conditioned as to what type of concertina reed-type they're "supposed" to like, uniformly love the sound of it....

Edited by ceemonster
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so, as with an accordion, you want to be extra-careful about sheltering the ceili from heat or cold, because the wax can melt or harden, with nasty results....

I wouldn't let that worry you; I used to drag an accordion about with me in a most unsympathetic way, but only once in many years and much abuse did just one reed pair come loose. (It might have been the Christmas Day early morning when, with my balance slightly impaired, I slipped on packed snow and fell flat on my back on the accordion which I had on backwards like a rucksack to carry it...).

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Could people post their experiences of playing the anglo Morse C/G concertina? I've been offered one and need to know if it's a good buy.

 

I have a Morse G/D and love it. Light, very durable (in 2 years, it's never even been opened) and fast. It doesn't sound like a Jeffries, but the sound is excellent.

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so, as with an accordion, you want to be extra-careful about sheltering the ceili from heat or cold

 

I second this. I think you almost have to try to damage one, but if you leave it in the hot sun too long - well, you basically get a bunch of reeds rattling around in your action boxes, and the melting and cooling of the wax sticks the action box to the bellows! Don't get me wrong, they're very well made - just not the kind of thing you should leave in direct sun for many hours on a broiling day in July.

 

Some people have mentioned tone - I think that the Ceili does sound different than a traditionally reeded concertina, but preference is a matter of taste. Personally I think the later-model Ceilis sound better and that they have improved somewhat on reed response speed, but Doug tells me the methods and materials really haven't changed. So it could just be relative use (and abuse) of the specific instruments I have played.

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Could people post their experiences of playing the anglo Morse C/G concertina? I've been offered one and need to know if it's a good buy.

The Ceili is the least accordion like of the Hybrids I've seen, though most are pretty good in the mid range or higher notes, and plays very well. It is one of the first I reccommend to those who can't afford a good traditional instrument. Regarding the waxed reeds, they need no more care than any other woooden instrument should have. No wooden instrument should be left in a place where they can get hot. In the sun, in a car, in the sun from a window. The first time I dealt with this was a violin that came to me completely in pieces having been left in a car trunk for a few hours. Vintage concertinas are put together with glue that can as easily fall apart in the heat. Waxing in accordion reeds has advantages over screwing them down and visa versa. For the price the Ceili is a terriffic buy. I'd only consider another hybrid if I had them side by side and like the sound of the other better as a result of personal taste. I would also prefer the Ceili over most Lachenals for playability, and some of the other traditional instruments for similar reasons. They were never meant to replace the great Wheatstones Jeffries or compete with Dipper or Suttner, but there are a lot of traditional concertinas that don't play as well. Highly reccommended.

Dana Johnson

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Could people post their experiences of playing the anglo Morse C/G concertina? I've been offered one and need to know if it's a good buy.

 

I have limited experience with the Morse as I opted for an Edgley when I decided to get a new concertina (I also have a Marcus that I bought used first). That being said, I have tried several Morse's over the years and my general impressions are that it is very light, that the action is very fast. Indeed I think I generally prefer it over my Edgley's by a small margin, but it seems to require more push to get the reeds to speak than the Edgley. Over all, for ITM, I would say that the Morse, along with the Edgley, is probably far and away the best choice for anyone who wants a good quality instrument for less than $2500 US.

 

--

Bill

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[but it seems to require more push to get the reeds to speak]

 

yes, this is what i meant in my post, speaking about there being something resisitive afoot. i do wish they had a premium-reed upgrade option. my hands get tired, but i still love mine and i too find the ceili tone wonderful. plus, perhaps the reeds they use are more durable and project better for irish dance music....

 

i always smile when hybrids are bestowed the compliment of being at least as fast as lachenals. the fact is that response and speed-wise, the better hybrids will do everything a jeffries or wheatstone will do. perhaps they lag a hair behind dipper response.....but then, what doesn't?

Edited by ceemonster
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[i do wish they had a premium-reed upgrade option. my hands get tired, but i still love mine and i too find the ceili tone wonderful. plus, perhaps the reeds they use are more durable and project better for irish dance music....

 

i always smile when hybrids are bestowed the compliment of being at least as fast as lachenals. the fact is that response and speed-wise, the better hybrids will do everything a jeffries or wheatstone will do. perhaps they lag a hair behind dipper response.....but then, what doesn't?

 

 

Can't have your cake and eat it too? The resistance will subside. My Albion has. Maybe it took three years strong playing. Maybe it broke me in ;) .

 

As to speed; Well, I don't play anglo with enough skill to judge but I've not encountered a quality English Wheatstone that could best it, and with a quiet action as well. Whoever said that bit about as fast as a Lachenal had downed one pint too many :P .

Edited by Mark Evans
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[but it seems to require more push to get the reeds to speak]

 

yes, this is what i meant in my post, speaking about there being something resisitive afoot. i do wish they had a premium-reed upgrade option. my hands get tired, but i still love mine and i too find the ceili tone wonderful. plus, perhaps the reeds they use are more durable and project better for irish dance music....

 

I had a reaction like yours with my new Morse. Some of the upper notes didn't speak or were slow to speak under very low pressure. This was true both for attack and decay. I sent it right back and Bob Snope adjusted the voicing or reed height and that made a big improvement. You might try giving the BB a call and see if something can be done for your box.

 

Bob or Rich could probably shed light on this subject and enlighten us.

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I have tried several Morse's over the years and my general impressions are that it is very light, that the action is very fast. Indeed I think I generally prefer it over my Edgley's by a small margin, but it seems to require more push to get the reeds to speak than the Edgley. Over all, for ITM, I would say that the Morse, along with the Edgley, is probably far and away the best choice for anyone who wants a good quality instrument for less than $2500 US.
I had a reaction like yours with my new Morse. Some of the upper notes didn't speak or were slow to speak under very low pressure. This was true both for attack and decay. I sent it right back and Bob Snope adjusted the voicing or reed height and that made a big improvement.
We've rarely had people dissatisfied with our Morse reed response. We've chosen the reed quality and set that gives the sound and response most people seem to prefer. No reed - even top-notch ones - can provide optimum response to span the various (Irish, Morris, classical, soft song accompaniment, etc.) styles to perfection. Yes, we can tweak our reeds to play some styles better - to a limit. The reeds are what they are. Frank Edgely uses a quality of reed that is able to give slightly better response for ITM than ours can - but that is his niche. Some people can appreciate the difference (many can't even tell) and will buy his boxes to get that extra edge (pun unintentional!).

 

There're many things to consider (reed tone/response, action, aesthetics, weight, keys, etc.) when choosing a box - including the cost of the instrument. Our choice was to create the best boxes we could for a very reasonable price. And we're flattered that our boxes compare well with those costing thousands of dollars more - and at $1,825 US (including fitted hard case) they're considerably less costly than most other hybrid maker's boxes too.

 

All around think ours do quite well (IMHO).

 

-- Rich --

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I have tried several Morse's over the years and my general impressions are that it is very light, that the action is very fast. Indeed I think I generally prefer it over my Edgley's by a small margin, but it seems to require more push to get the reeds to speak than the Edgley. Over all, for ITM, I would say that the Morse, along with the Edgley, is probably far and away the best choice for anyone who wants a good quality instrument for less than $2500 US.
I had a reaction like yours with my new Morse. Some of the upper notes didn't speak or were slow to speak under very low pressure. This was true both for attack and decay. I sent it right back and Bob Snope adjusted the voicing or reed height and that made a big improvement.
We've rarely had people dissatisfied with our Morse reed response. We've chosen the reed quality and set that gives the sound and response most people seem to prefer. No reed - even top-notch ones - can provide optimum response to span the various (Irish, Morris, classical, soft song accompaniment, etc.) styles to perfection. Yes, we can tweak our reeds to play some styles better - to a limit. The reeds are what they are. Frank Edgely uses a quality of reed that is able to give slightly better response for ITM than ours can - but that is his niche. Some people can appreciate the difference (many can't even tell) and will buy his boxes to get that extra edge (pun unintentional!).

 

There're many things to consider (reed tone/response, action, aesthetics, weight, keys, etc.) when choosing a box - including the cost of the instrument. Our choice was to create the best boxes we could for a very reasonable price. And we're flattered that our boxes compare well with those costing thousands of dollars more - and at $1,825 US (including fitted hard case) they're considerably less costly than most other hybrid maker's boxes too.

 

All around think ours do quite well (IMHO).

 

-- Rich --

 

I know this follow up is rather late, but I did want to chime in on what Rich said here. I would honestly say that the hybrids like the Morse and the Edgley are a crucial part of the concertina renissance. Without them, there would be a huge gulf between the stagis and the better vintage style instruments. Lets face it, few can afford what a good Jefferies or Wheatstone costs or can wait the 4+ years for a Suttner or Dipper (though some of the lesser known makers can get you instruments faster).

 

In any case, the hybrids are generally excellent instruments. Not all of them are equally suited to a particular type of music, but they do have their own virtues. The Morse Ceili is clearly the value leader right now, and I would be hard pressed to unambiguously recommend even the Edgleys over the Ceili unless the person clearly put reed response over action (I would give the an Edgley's reed response of 8-9 out of ten and its action about a 7, while with the Morse I would reverse it, the reeds would get a 7 and the action an 8 or 9). Over all I would say its pretty close to a dead heat between those two boxes for ITM.

 

I would point out though that it is ironic that a concertina that is named the Ceili isn't particularly optimized for ITM Rich :).

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i gotta say....i love my ceili, but my itm concertina playing is starting to enter a faster phase, and over 86 or 92 on the metronome, the reed resistance is noticeable and uncomfortable, at least to my personal tendons....the thing about the model name occurred to me also. i do love the button action and i agree with the person who liked the tone personality the best of the hybrids. but it is starting to fight me.

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