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Pgidley

New Vs. Vintage

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from experience, my vote will always be for speed & responsiveness (in all of these: button action, reeds, & bellows) over "authentic" voice, every time. i love "authentic" concertina reeds, but the accordion-reeded sound has its own loveliness, and the advantages to the development of one's playing---yes, speed, but not just speed---phrasing, ease of ornamentation, expression, etc---of a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a more labored, huffy-wuffy concertina-reeded instrument, would be no contest. of course, not all "hybrids" are optimally fast & responsive, that's the rub......

 

I agree that a good new box with accordion reeds will be better than a middling old box with funky concertina reeds. I doubt you could get an old Anglo for $3,000 that would be better than a modern Kensington, made by Dana Johnson. His concertinas have true concertina reeds, firm and quick action, great design, and beautiful construction. The problem is they are hard to get, with a lengthening wait list.

Have Tedrow, Edgley, et. al., considered making a box with real concertina reeds?

Such an instrument would certainly be attractive to players.

Does anybody sell sets of concertina reeds?

Would the increase in price not justify exploring that possibility?

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Does anybody sell sets of concertina reeds?

 

Jurgen Suttner advertises sets of concertina reeds as well as other parts

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of a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a more labored, huffy-wuffy concertina-reeded instrument, would be no contest. of course, not all "hybrids" are optimally fast & responsive, that's the rub......

 

Ah, but what about a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a fast, easy, responsive concertina-reeded concertina. Not so easy then, is it?

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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Am I not right in recalling Cocus, that you play a Jeffries? So presumably you have a preference for an older instrument? It's a curious thing in a world where most consumer goods drop in value as soon as they leave the store and are mostly worthless with a year or so.

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Guest Peter Laban
Ah, but what about a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a fast, easy, responsive concertina-reeded concertina. Not so easy then, is it?

 

Chris

 

To the contrary, I'd say it would be VERY easy.

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Have Tedrow, Edgley, et. al., considered making a box with real concertina reeds?

I'm sure that we all have *considered* it. It doesn't take much consideration to realize that making real concertina reeds is either incredibly labor intensive to make them one-off by hand or very expensive to make them by machine (tens of thousands of dollars). Providing that one has the time and money (and can deal with the slow to no-payback depending on volume), both scenarios take a lot of skill and knowledge to develop the reed design and to be able to fabricate them well.

 

Does anybody sell sets of concertina reeds?

I think only Suttner does for $1000/set. I don't know about their qualities... Each concertina maker likes their boxes to sound and respond in certain ways which has a lot to do with the reeds. For instance a set of reeds optimized for Irish sparkle and bite may not be a good choice for the sensitivity and sonority required for classical music.

 

Would the increase in price not justify exploring that possibility?

Depends upon the maker and the market. Prices for new concertina-reeded 30-button anglos range from $3000 to about $7000. Can hybrid makers extend themselves to make concertina reeds cost-effectively? Everyone I know who's embarked on making concertina-reeded concertinas hasn't even come close to breaking even. But they don't have to, and they make concertinas for the joy of making them. Those who can't afford to be so magnanimous would have to price their boxes well beyond the market price... or not get into the venture.

 

Getting into making such boxes cost-effectively would require a lot of effort for things to come together *just so*, and would depend upon considerable volume and steady sales.

 

-- Rich --

Edited by Richard Morse

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of a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a more labored, huffy-wuffy concertina-reeded instrument, would be no contest. of course, not all "hybrids" are optimally fast & responsive, that's the rub......

 

Ah, but what about a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a fast, easy, responsive concertina-reeded concertina. Not so easy then, is it?

 

Chris

Um, that choice exists now. What you left out was the wait time that is measured in years instead of months and the price tag that is at least 1 to 4 thousand bucks higher. So now it's a more complicated choice again.

Time and money matter. Always have, always will.

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I'm sure that we all have *considered* it.

And I know for a fact that Rich has given this a lot of thought. So his opinion is worth listening to.

 

Chris

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of a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a more labored, huffy-wuffy concertina-reeded instrument, would be no contest. of course, not all "hybrids" are optimally fast & responsive, that's the rub......

 

Ah, but what about a fast, easy, responsive accordion-reeded concertina versus a fast, easy, responsive concertina-reeded concertina. Not so easy then, is it?

 

Chris

Um, that choice exists now. What you left out was the wait time that is measured in years instead of months and the price tag that is at least 1 to 4 thousand bucks higher. So now it's a more complicated choice again.

Time and money matter. Always have, always will.

But a good vintage intrument restored and ready to go vs a hybrid? No contest I believe.

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But a good vintage intrument restored and ready to go vs a hybrid? No contest I believe.

For the same price?

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Guest Peter Laban
For the same price?

 

Even at double the price it would be no contest. I could easily have bought my son a new hybrid for half the price of the one he is playing now. The thought never even crossed my mind.

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For the same price?

 

Even at double the price it would be no contest. I could easily have bought my son a new hybrid for half the price of the one he is playing now. The thought never even crossed my mind.

 

 

Does your son know how lucky he is to have a father like you? :D

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Guest Peter Laban
Does your son know how lucky he is to have a father like you? :D

 

 

He was twelve when he got his present concertina, while he 'd be practising away we'd sit in the other room with a silly grin on our faces from enjoying the sound and tone of the concertina. Sums it all up doesn't it?

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Even at double the price it would be no contest.

That's fine for you, but there's not a lot of people who can toss down around four large at the drop of a hat. And getting back to the original post of this thread, one of the initial conditions was that the plan was to get a 'hybrid' now, because that amount of money was available, and to save up for a traditionally reeded instrument later.

Sure, when (not if) I win the lottery, I'm getting a Suttner, and a Jeffries, and a pony, and a flying car, and, and, and.

Until then, I'll be more than happy with my Céilí. 'Cause it has those way cool accent thingies. Bet your fancy-shmancy 'tina ain't got those.

Huh.

That'll larn you.

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Guest Peter Laban
That's fine for you, but there's not a lot of people who can toss down around four large at the drop of a hat.

 

As the thread had moved to action over tone and tone in general, I think it's worth making the point that any musician I know would first and foremost weigh tone and when all things (re action) are equal, what's there to think about? Tone was certainly the big decider for me buying any instrument I ever bought. What good is fast action to you if your tone is bland and unsatisfactory?

 

And as for the financial side of it, don't assume it's fine for me but not for others, my family's income is well below average. It's a matter of setting priorities, saving up and not settling for a cheaper compromise.

Edited by Peter Laban

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Am I not right in recalling Cocus, that you play a Jeffries? So presumably you have a preference for an older instrument? It's a curious thing in a world where most consumer goods drop in value as soon as they leave the store and are mostly worthless with a year or so.

 

I do have a Jeffries. And I also have a Kensington which I like very much. And a Linota two-row twenty button. The Kensington is worth less than half of the Jeffries. But I can't say that the Jeffries - as wonderful as it is - is twice as good as the Kensington. Side by side off the shelf at the same price I'd buy the Jeffries. But you couldn't get a restored Jeffries for $3,000. The Kensington offers the most value for the money. But you don't make a decision like this based on dollars alone, do you? Or do you?

 

Some people here are reluctant to spend large sums of money for a good vintage concertina. I'd bet that many of these people are driving cars worth over $8,000 - that in ten years will be worthless. While the value of a vintage concertina will have gone up. My advice in this regard is to spend $2,000 on the car and $8,000 on the concertina. If times get really tight you can always sell the concertina for at least what you paid for it.

 

I don't think the decision to buy a $2,000 concertina, rather than the expensive vintage job, is necessarily a rational economic decision. If you don't have the money, sure, that's one thing. You have no choice but to go for whatever you can afford. But don't be telling me that's its logical to spend $8,000 on a good used car that will decline in value rather than on an expensive instrument that will go up in value.

 

Nothing I own has appreciated in real value more, or given me more pleasure, than my expensive instruments. It's certainly better than money in the bank.

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As the thread had moved to action over tone and tone in general

Sorry, fault of first thread drift may rest with me. I thought concertina reeded concertina and so-called hybrid concertina have different character of tone and people appreciate both. I have to read former thread about reeds again.

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