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Author Topic: Upgrading from my first box  (Read 1071 times)

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Stuart Hay

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Upgrading from my first box
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:19:17 PM »

Hi folks,

I am in need of some advice on possibly getting myself a new instrument.

I started learning a wee while back after starting out on an Anglo concertina but decided to move onto melodeon as I want to start playing for my morris side and we need something with a bit more oomph (plus my Anglo decided to break on me!).

I got a hold of a cheap Delicia Popular DG which I've loved playing, I can pick it up and suddenly realise that two hours have just disappeared into the ether.. and can now play tunes on the right hand with some speed. My problem is mainly with the basses with are quite wheezy and quiet, requiring some real muscle on the bellows to get any sort of sound from them. Plus it's sound is so wet it's starting to really grate on me and the box is probably too quiet for the outdoors. Which makes me think that now that I know I enjoy playing that it's time to get an instrument that isn't fighting against me so much.

I've had a read through previous threads in the same vein and picked up some good advice. The main problem is I'm up in Scotland (Scottish morris dancers are a rare breed but we do exist!) and melodeon players are very thin on the ground up here, as are any shops where I could go and try anything out. Hence why I turn to the good people of melodeon.net for advice. I'm a student so I'm particularly wary about buying a box that's poor quality that I'll be stuck with as I really only have the money for one. Budget wise I'd be willing to spend around £600. I've had a look all over at second hand boxes but I'm no use at judging their quality, especially over the internet, can anyone help with where to start?

Thanks for reading this rather long post!

Cheers,
Stu

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Theo

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2018, 11:26:40 PM »

You need a good used Hohner Erica or Pokerwork.  And you should have some change from your £600.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Stuart Hay

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2018, 11:44:04 PM »

Thanks for the speedy reply Theo.

I have been looking but a lot of the Ericas and Pokerworks I've been seeing are secondhand but seem to be the more recently manufactured ones, are they of the same quality?
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Theo

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 07:08:52 AM »

The Chinese ones (made since 1990) are ok too.  They had some teething problems, breaking springs was one I recall, but any you see now are likely to have been played enough to have been sorted by now.  German made ones will break a spring occasionally too.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Winston Smith

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 07:50:41 AM »

"I have been looking but a lot of the Ericas and Pokerworks I've been seeing are secondhand but seem to be the more recently manufactured ones, are they of the same quality?"

People like me buy them, hoping for the best, or people who haven't a clue what they're buying. If you're after quality, then ask the fettlers on here what they have, either to overhaul or "ready-to-wear". You'd then be assured that whatever you get would be in great nick, and also it would come with a guarantee and around or within your price limit/range.
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 08:24:00 AM »

There are still plenty of old German Pokerworks and Ericas around - and a fully-fettled one will still come in under your budget.

Incidentally I started out (briefly) with a Delicia Popular Deluxe and then upgraded to a Pokerwork and the difference... unbelievable  :|||: 
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george garside

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2018, 09:13:14 AM »

I concur with everybody that a pokerwork or Erica is the way to go.  I never used anything else for morris even after I had a 'posh box' and 40 years later I still sometimes play that same pokerwork that has had some hammer over the years.

My preference would be for a refurbished german  pokerwork or Erica ( same internal bits Erica more modern looking)  There are several trusted fettlers who specialise in pokerwork/Erica including Theo Gibb,  martin white, Lester,etc. I think there is a list of them somewhere on this forum.  There are also a number of reputable dealers in Scotland who may have something available.

george












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Stuart Hay

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 01:47:33 PM »

Thank you all for the replies, you've been extremely helpful.

I got in touch with Martyn White and as luck would have it he's just received a German made Pokerwork for restoration and improvement, which won't leave me much change from my budget but it seems like a box I can play for many years to come!

That leaves me with what to do with the Delicia.. I'm not sure if it's worth selling as I wouldn't want to be dishonest about its problems.
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jonm

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 02:11:44 PM »

Occasionally, although we don't like to admit it, Morris has to be done in the rain. It's always worth having a wet weather option once you have a good instrument.
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Fred

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 02:16:37 PM »

Perfect, now get that Hohner! :D

And for your Delicia: Just keep your melodeons for as long as possible, there's a reason why there's an officially recognised melodeon addiction (short: MAD) and we should not fight it. Embrace the collection to come and don't let go of your first instrument that started the course - if only for sentimental reasons!

P.s.: If you're in dire need of money, ignore what I just said. ;-)
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2018, 02:30:17 PM »

Thanks for the speedy reply Theo.

I have been looking but a lot of the Ericas and Pokerworks I've been seeing are secondhand but seem to be the more recently manufactured ones, are they of the same quality?

Don't be too impatient. Keep looking until you see what you. Maybe, at that time, ask for a second opinion. Or buy from a good fettler/dealer (this is a good place to start doing that).
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2018, 02:40:07 PM »

That leaves me with what to do with the Delicia.. I'm not sure if it's worth selling as I wouldn't want to be dishonest about its problems.

I sold mine on Ebay (before I really got going on melnet, that was).  I bought it cheaply and sold it cheaply too- in fact it sold for what I paid.  A cheap beginner box, honestly described is not being dishonest - it is what it is and will give someone a start until they too can afford better.  Doesn't sound like the box is too bad from your description of how much you've enjoyed playing it. 

A Pokerwork from Martyn will be a joy, both him and Lester have done work on mine and as a result it is a beaut. 
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Lester

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Stuart Hay

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 08:38:12 PM »

That leaves me with what to do with the Delicia.. I'm not sure if it's worth selling as I wouldn't want to be dishonest about its problems.

I sold mine on Ebay (before I really got going on melnet, that was).  I bought it cheaply and sold it cheaply too- in fact it sold for what I paid.  A cheap beginner box, honestly described is not being dishonest - it is what it is and will give someone a start until they too can afford better.  Doesn't sound like the box is too bad from your description of how much you've enjoyed playing it. 

I may attempt selling on here first then, I've just been playing for a wee while and feel I might have been a bit harsh on it although my thumb is starting to hurt a bit from the pressure I've got to apply on the side of the keyboard to keep it still while doing so!

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22553.msg270129

Thanks Lester, that may have been ideal but alas too late, I've already committed to the box from Martyn - perhaps a case of me being too keen, but I'm more than happy about the quality I'm sure I'll receive (plus he's putting the Anahata layout on for me, which will let me play a few tunes I really enjoy but can't play atm).

Now just to wait impatiently until it is ready then I shall hopefully be able to share some of my efforts on here  :D
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pbsalt

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2018, 09:21:23 PM »

Hi Stuart,
  I'm sure you'll be v happy with the Pokerwork ( try listening to Tony Hall). Which area of Scotland are you in
Paul ( NE Fife )
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Paul
Location NE Fife

Stuart Hay

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2018, 10:28:16 PM »

Hi Stuart,
  I'm sure you'll be v happy with the Pokerwork ( try listening to Tony Hall). Which area of Scotland are you in
Paul ( NE Fife )

Hi Paul, I knew there had to be more of us out there. I'm based in the Western Isles for the moment but Ayrshire is where I usually call home, so opposite side of the country from yourself!
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Fred

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2018, 10:49:36 PM »

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Mcgrooger

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Re: Upgrading from my first box
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2018, 11:32:23 AM »

Sounds as if you'll be getting an ideal box from Martyn. The 'Anahata' layout does make more tunes available and is my favourite but you'll probably be surprised at the difference it makes to your current repertoire and how often the low D isn't where your fingers think it is!
Good luck and happy squeezing.  (:)
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