Tuesday, December 05, 2006

tour review 11/27

Thanks for including me in the tour. The concertina spent Thanksgiving
with me, saw one of, if not the wettest Portland Novembers on record as
well as being privy to a snow flurry. I was going to have some friends
over but the weather turned and they didn't make it, so all you have is
a photo of me playing to the cat (what a discerning animal).

Do you have the address for the next tour destination yet?

Here are some of my thoughts on the tour concertina.

The bellows are just great, they are very easy to play and supple whilst
giving good support. If they remain like this when fully broken in and
for many years after, then they will truly have proved themselves.
Button force is set very light and consistent across all buttons. Air
button is also only requires a very light touch (just how I like it). If
anything, it could do with a hair stronger spring, not too much though.
This is a feather light instrument, good for someone with wrist problems
or someone who likes playing whilst standing.
The craftsmanship is great. I really like the Jeffries style fret work
and the satin finish. The bellows papers add a really classy touch to
the instrument.

The pads make a lot of noise when closing. It is fine for slow airs
where you can control the closure of the pad but when playing fast and
releasing the buttons quickly the pad noise starts to dominate. Although
to some extent I think it is heard more by the player than the audience.

(note from Bob, I do not use wool in my pads. I have found that failure of the wool by shifting or insect damage to be one of the most common problems in older concertinas. Wool pads are indeed quiet. I hope that my pads will last indefinately)

Neutral observations:
The button spacing feels a little closer than other concertinas I have
played (Jeffries, Crabb and Suttner). This proves no problem once you
have adjusted and may be a benefit. It would certainly be a plus for
people with smaller hands. Distance of the G row from the palm rest is
just right.

Personal preferences (may not be the same for everyone):
I would prefer stiffer leather for the hand strap, although it takes
longer for the strap to mould to the hand shape I think it gives better
support in the long run.
I would like a slightly shorter hand rest, approx. 7/8" with the wood
being wider where it contacts the palm.



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