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Advice on old Jeffries

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Thanks Paul.

 

As regards ... Jeffries anglos are hard to play well., one might also say "Wheatstone anglos are hard to play well," or "Carroll concertinas are hard to play well," etc.

 

And I know that Noel would agree with this.

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There's no doubt that a good player wil sound better on a good instrument than on an inferior one.

But do you think that a bad player will sound worse on a better instrument?

 

And just because Noel says it doesn't mean it's right.

 

well, i think i was there for the conversation ross mentiones. as far as i recall, noel doesnt like jeffries concertinas cuz he said that jeffries take a lot more upkeep than wheatstones, and when he always played jeffries he was always fixing them. i believe him in that regard, because i've seen the man rip a hand strap right off (and it was the second time he did it that year), and he is very hard on concertinas.

 

howeve,r to contradict myself, there is a video on youtube of noel saying his jeffries is "not easily played" (

). i dont know what he's referring to in this case.

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An old Jeffries that has been properly restored shouldn't require any more upkeep than a new concertina. I have both an old and a new concertina, and the old Jeffries is just as dependable as the new concertina.

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An old Jeffries that has been properly restored shouldn't require any more upkeep than a new concertina. I have both an old and a new concertina, and the old Jeffries is just as dependable as the new concertina.

 

I don't think puny mortals like us will ever push a concertina as much as Noel would, so it's not really comparable I'd say.

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An old Jeffries that has been properly restored shouldn't require any more upkeep than a new concertina. I have both an old and a new concertina, and the old Jeffries is just as dependable as the new concertina.

 

I don't think puny mortals like us will ever push a concertina as much as Noel would, so it's not really comparable I'd say.

 

yeah, i'd have to agree. david, when was the last time you wripped hand straps in half twice in one year? i guess i forgot to mention when i saw noel wrip a handstrap in half, it was the second time he had done it that year. i think your average players is never going to snap a handstrap in half. the sort of person who breaks handstraps surely would put more pressure on the inside of a concertina.

 

by your logic, noel is NOT breaking handstraps. that is paramount to what you are saying. "jeffries are just as reliable" is equivalent to "noel's handstraps are just as reliable." here's a bit of a news flash... i bet you that no one else using the same handstraps noel does have broken them in half twice in a year. so, if noel found a hand strap that only broke once a year, rather than twice, your logic would thus say, "handstrap x is just as reliable as handstrap y." i will concede (and i believe azalin will as well) that you would be right for most players, but not for players who put a lot of stress on their instruments.

 

here's a little test which may prove my point. measure the the hole for your left thumb screw that you use most often on your carroll. now measure an unused hole on the same strap (or take an average of all the unused ones). how much bigger is the often-used hole compared to the unused holes?

 

now lets compare my concertina, which was made by the same maker, and which i have had only a week and a half. the thumb screw hole i use is 0.17" wide, in comparison to the unused holes which are 0.11" in diameter (the used one is no longer a circle. it is a grotesque oval). that is a 55% increase in width. in a week and a half. so, if you posted the percentage increase of your thumb screw hole, we can see whether or not we put different stress* on their hand straps.

 

*i do not intend to imply stress on hand straps to correlate with musicianship, merely with abuse placed on an instrument. we could compare mary mcnamara to noel hill, who i consider to be equals in muscianship, while one musicians is probably much harder on their concertinas than the other

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Daiv, the above could also mean only that your straps are too tight! Are your fingers numb after playing a while? I like my straps so loose that I can curl my fingers back to my palms.

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And just because Noel says it doesn't mean it's right.

I couldn't have put it better myself David. Also, I think other great players such as Keith Kendrick and John Roberts would disagree with the statement.

 

NH used to play an old wooden-ended, bone-buttoned Bb Jeffries that he said was very difficult. I've had a similar experience, because compared to the C/G with metal buttons, there is less response in the action as there is less weight behind the buttons, and the larger reeds are also less responsive. I can see where Ross is coming from - my 30 key C/G which was done up by Steve Dickinson is a flying machine, with a very light action - it wouldn't suit everyone.

 

To address another point - the Jeffries layout is perfect for Irish music. Especially if you put the two C# keys on the same button.

 

I have another 39 key Charles Jeffries C/G recently restored by Steve as well. It's a beauty, and of historical interest since it still has the 2 music-hall bird call buttons on it. I think a lot of owners ripped those out in the past.

 

I *may* be putting the 39 key up for sale. If you're interested email me.

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