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Author Topic: Why do they do that?  (Read 2915 times)

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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Why do they do that?
« on: April 24, 2018, 10:49:28 AM »

Today I received a lovely little later model Lilliput, in Bb/Eb, in  a lovely shade of red. It is in beautiful condition, with very little wear, apart from..............
Bloody dog clips on the straps, which have marked the lovely red plastic covering !!!!!
Why do they do this?
It is the second melodeon in a row that I have received like this, the previous was an Erika, which thankfully isn't as badly marked.
I don't understand the mentality of people who use metal fittings next to softer materials like plastic or wood.

Rant over

Sir John

« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 11:06:01 AM by John MacKenzie (Cugiok) »
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Henry Piper

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 11:38:04 AM »

I think the reason is that for many people, particularly professional and semi pro musicians, however much we love our instruments, a melodeon is a tool, not a priceless work of art, and as such is almost certain to suffer some minor cosmetic damage over a working life which would be considered acceptable and more or less inevitable, Particularly if such damage is caused by modifications for the players convenience or comfort.
The Lilliputs were never made as high end instruments but for a rugged, possibly outdoor existence, and would probably be expected to put up with some abuse and the resultant dings and wear. Treat it as part of the instruments character and love it for what it is !!!!
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Barlow

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 11:59:24 AM »

I tape over the metal clips. It jars me to think there is any reasonably preventable wear going on.

I feel your pain.

A few tunes will rub the pain away.

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Theo

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 12:32:05 PM »

I don't get too upset by this sort of damage, because it is a sign that people have enjoyed playing the instrument.    I do mind when people deliberately "upgrade" old instruments and as a result loose some of their best features.  This tends to affect concertinas, especially anglos, more than melodeons, but I have occasionally come across old 1930s melodeons where the wonderful original reeds have been thrown out to be replaced by something with much poorer playing quality.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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gettabettabox

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 12:43:59 PM »

Looks unsightly but not too bad.

My gripe is when some previous owner has wanted to adjust the hand strap and put two new holes in...but not in the strap!
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Garry Probert

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 12:53:02 PM »

Hi guys I kinda like the road worn used look, just fitted a new vellum to a friends Vegaphone tenor banjo early twenties.
Don't think it has a square inch without some form of blemish or finish checking, worn nickel plating and the wonderful thumb wear.

The resonator has lots of strange squiggly scratches, i like to think they were made in some speakeasy brushing up against a flappers sequined dress ,more likely dragged along gravel in a drunken stupor but providing its original and not contrived like modern road worn guitars eeeeeeeeeh i feel it adds character       
   
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Steve C.

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 12:57:46 PM »

Probably dumb question, and certainly not trad, but does anyone make melodeon straps with nylon/ABS or similar fittings?  Seems easy to do.  Would be hard to re-furb, but do-able. 
On the Italcinte mass market straps, the fittings (keepers) are sharp as knives!
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 01:16:43 PM »

A few summers back, the late lamented Music Room stall at Sidmouth had it's usual rows upon rows of melodeons to try.
I somehow always wanted to try the one on the higher rows and had heart in mouth trying to pick it up without bringing down those next to it and on lower rows.
The last time they were there the melodeons had no straps on them making picking up off the shelf dead easy.
There was a load of straps hanging in a peg and each one had a plastic/nylon dog clip added to it to enable you to put onto your melodeon for a squeeze.
I thought it was an excellent idea, though I have heard that the plastic versions of dog clips also scratch the finish on the box.

I understand the 'worn and loved' look has appeal, a bit like a well worn pair of jeans, but I do also love and covet the wooden finish on my melodeons!
cheers
Q
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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 01:25:26 PM »

Personally, to avoid such damage on my melodeons, I put bikes inner tubes on the straps. It's a cheap way of doing it (you do get flat tyres now and then) and is not too bad regarding the looks (seeing that bike tubes are most likely black).
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Y.

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 01:42:26 PM »

... though I have heard that the plastic versions of dog clips also scratch the finish on the box.

Yes - the plastic 'dog' clips, such as can be found on camera cases and similar, can damage the wood finish on the melodeon - not so much as by scratching the instrument but by dents made by the hard plastic of the clip pressing into the wood, especially when stored or being transported in its carrying case or gig bag.

I think the easiest preventative is to use buckle protectors, either the commercially available leather/velcro types, or something improvised such as velcro cable ties, athletes' wrist bands, or even old socks, which will do the job.

Whilst I have some sympathy with Theo's point of view that the various cosmetic marks on a box indicate how much it has been enjoyed in the past, it is also easy to minimise any damage to a new instrument, as above.

And while a box in constant professional use is understandably and inevitably more prone to accidental damage than one which never leaves the house, I have also seen instruments which look almost as if they have been used as a football, which personally I find upsetting.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 02:20:27 PM »

So, I've recently added a set of metal clips to my straps, for my black pearl 2, a going out and morrising box: Specifically these fairly chunky looking metal lobster style clips - they happen to fit the dino's straps perfectly, and aren't massive metal clips that will make the straps too long (I had them both on the 2nd tightest setting, now the tightest hole because of the clip length).

I've started using them because bending and folding the straps around themselves to get them into a gig bag while still attached to the box is damaging the straps, causing them to split unduly, and undoing the buckles every time is honestly an exhausting experience because they're very tight. My worry about using anything less substantial, in eg plastic, is one of load: I'm sure they'll support the 3-4 or so kilo melodeon, but if at a busy festival someone eg trips and falls onto me, are they going to rip the box off of my chest and onto the floor?

One could make the argument that a new set of straps isn't going to break the bank and if you have to pick between wear on the box or wear on the straps, the straps are the obvious choice, but, you also wouldn't want to be surprised by them failing. I don't think I'm going to be wearing any large holes in the box's finish with these, but I am planning on wrapping parts of the clips in some kind of something to help prevent them from rubbing against the corners, but ostensibly the point is to provide a smoother pivot when moving the straps around, and making them far easier to take on and off. A metal clip like this leaves nothing on the instrument to rub when in a bag, which is where 90% of the damage to my previous instrument was done, and I can see rough areas and divots forming in the straps where they're being twisted around on my current one when it's put into what honestly is an oversize bag.

Anyway, that's why at least I'm thinking to do it. If I was swapping between 3-4 boxes, there'd be an even stronger pull. Is there a better answer than this for me?
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playandteach

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 04:07:38 PM »

I'm sure Daddy Long Les will be along soon to explain his method for sharing straps between boxes, and finding a way of easing the pressure on his neck etc.
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 05:00:38 PM »

Oh! For goodness sake gang. Surely the box is all about what it sounds like rather than how it looks. I mean ,if you were offered a Stradivarius  Violin and it had some user marks on it would you poo poo it. ? Of course not. A box is to be played and enjoyed.  It will obviously pick up some nasty cosmetic marks.
BUT WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?
  Anyway, you just wait ‘til Malcolm Bebb’s Koch appears from the workshop of Jolly Roger Accordions (Roger T) that’ll shake the lot of you. >:E
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Robin Tims

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 05:21:47 PM »

For fairly permanently fitted and adjusted straps I find the judicious use of heat shrink tubing over buckles etc works well.
Available in various colours and diameters in lengths of about 30 cms only a modicum of gentle heat from a small heat gun or hairdryer is required to fit.

Rob
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 05:30:20 PM by Robin Tims »
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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 06:09:24 PM »

Oh! For goodness sake gang. Surely the box is all about what it sounds like rather than how it looks. I mean ,if you were offered a Stradivarius  Violin and it had some user marks on it would you poo poo it. ? Of course not. A box is to be played and enjoyed.  It will obviously pick up some nasty cosmetic marks.
BUT WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?
  Anyway, you just wait ‘til Malcolm Bebb’s Koch appears from the workshop of Jolly Roger Accordions (Roger T) that’ll shake the lot of you. >:E

Yes - the sound is of prime importance, but so also is the appearance of the instrument. And the way an instrument looks may give you a clue to how it has been treated during its lifetime, and (if you were contemplating buying a used instrument) whether it might need significant repair or restoration either internally or externally.

It's not too hard to look after one's instrument in order to keep damage to a minimum. We should treat them with at least reasonable care and respect. Ask anyone who has made a melodeon on one of Emmanuel Pariselle's courses whether they would be careless with the thing they spent so many hours carefully and lovingly building. I'm a firm believer that we do not really 'own' our instruments, but are custodians of them so they can be passed on to another player when the appropriate time comes. It's especially true as we ourselves get older and have a life expectancy less than our instruments.

Finally - if appearances do not matter, why is it that when a top classical pianist performs a concerto either live or on television, the piano is always in tip-top condition, beautifully maintained, pristine and shiny, rather than having scratches and chips bashed out of it, and cigarette burns and coffee mug rings all over?
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 07:18:38 PM »

I understand your argument, Steve, but, to be honest, top classical pianists performances are only of passing interest to me.
Some damage is more intrusive than others but I think it is not the worst possible thing if there is a bit of history visible on a box.
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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2018, 07:22:45 PM »

Quote
Finally - if appearances do not matter, why is it that when a top classical pianist performs a concerto either live or on television, the piano is always in tip-top condition, beautifully maintained, pristine and shiny, rather than having scratches and chips bashed out of it, and cigarette burns and coffee mug rings all over?

Errr, because it is supplied by the local Steinway, Bosendorfer (or whatever brand) distributor. 
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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2018, 07:36:14 PM »

I can't help thinking of  Rory Gallagher's Stratocaster; pristine? I think not! .....
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Henry Piper

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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2018, 07:50:59 PM »

I can't help thinking of  Rory Gallagher's Stratocaster; pristine? I think not! .....

I recall seeing Rory at a Biggish pub in Croydon, when one of the Pickups actually fell out of its mounting and slid under the strings and was dangling on its wires !!! at the end of the number, Rory simply shoved it back in its hole and wedged it in with what looked like a wadge of well chewed Gum !!!, .......He didn't seem at all bothered by it !!
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Re: Why do they do that?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2018, 09:15:42 PM »

If the OP is really so disappointed with the damage to the box then I volunteer to take it off his hands and give it a home alongside the two red Liliputs that reside in my dining room [:]||||[:]
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