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Author Topic: what should my next box be?  (Read 1282 times)

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Gareth Sprack

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what should my next box be?
« on: July 06, 2019, 11:07:00 PM »

For the last year I have been learning to play my Hohner 114c, bought new 1970, but not really touched until now.
Because I have no musical knowledge, I play songs by ear from Victorian to the 1940's.  Say "All quite along the Potomac tonight" to " Dirty old town", although I don't sing to them.
Bass accompaniment is coming, but my poor old box is starting to fall apart and needs a fettle.
As I am now in a position where I might be able to consider perhaps a moderately priced two row box, say 500 quid max, I was wondering what should I look out for by way of keys, style make, etc?
The box doesn't have to be new, in fact I quite like my now 'seasoned' 114, so I have also wondered about just getting them in different keys.
Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated
Are there any fellow Isle of Wight players on here?

Gareth
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Winston Smith

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 11:50:21 PM »

You could do worse than go for the more sonorous 114G. As well as having a lovely sound with any arrangement of the stops, you can play along with a great many (most?) tunes which the majority play on their 2 row D/G's.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019, 07:29:31 AM »

Hi Gareth,
There is a very active Morris scene on the IoW - a bit of googling should bring up a few - with numerous melodeon players between them. They will be very happy to talk boxes with you. They are out and about this time of year, so look for programmes on their web sites to find them.
Even if they don't fully share your interests, it's a good starting point for more info.
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Helena Handcart

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 09:23:39 AM »

As Malcolm says, plenty of box players and morris on the Island - at least a couple of the box players are members here, playing for Moonshine Border.
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george garside

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 10:54:29 AM »

I totally agree with the last two posts that talking to real live box players in person can be most helpful in making a 'next box' decision and maybe even some long lasting friendships of the real rather than virtual veriety.

The veriety of  advice on here is very broad  and can be bewildering for the newcomer.  This is because there are many very different but similar types of  what we broadly call a melodeon or diatonic box and each has its adherents .  one rows in a veriety of keys, 2 row 4th aprt boxes in DG,CF,GC.BbEb  and 3 row versions in eg GCF etc etc . then there is the semitone brigade with  BC.CC#. C#D,DD# etc  and dare I mention in the really sensible ones who like me play BCC#  >:E ;D

so my advice is talk to as many players of different systems as posssible  , take into account the type of music you want to play  and don't be in any hurry to make your own mind up

george :||: :|glug

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tirpous

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 04:09:12 PM »

I think most people would agree that a used Hohner 2-row (Pokerwork, Erica, Double Ray or older models) would be a good choice.  The type of music and people you play with should help you decide on most suitable keys.
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GPS

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 07:07:51 PM »

You could do worse than go for the more sonorous 114G. As well as having a lovely sound with any arrangement of the stops, you can play along with a great many (most?) tunes which the majority play on their 2 row D/G's.

Sorry, can't agree with that. Yes, they sound gorgeously rich, but they're SO air-hungry (at least mine is), a fault which is exacerbated (again, in my experience) by being fitted, inexplicably, with a bellows two folds shorter than the 114C.  They can be very hard work to play, and you need a very busy left thumb! Mine (the 114G, not the left thumb) sits on a shelf for a year or more at a time, while the 114C gets regular outings, even in a 50s/60s/70s pop covers band I play in........

BTW, the 114G is in top playing condition, fully fettled  and nicely set up - and it still gulps air like a drowning whale.

Graham
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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george garside

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 07:52:00 PM »

I agree very much with both Tirpous and Graham.  The two row hohners ( the older the better)  are  or can be 'lifelong' boxes.   I have several boxes including a couple of costalotties  but if I ever had to come down to one it would be either my BC doulle ray ( Erica lookalike) or my ancient DG pokerwork or both if possible.

I have a very nice one row  G set up by one of the top fettlers on this forum.  It sounds great, uses  bucketfulls of air with all gears engaged  and is physically hard work to play.  I really enjoy playing it  but only occasionaly and never for long.   I keep thinking of selling it but caqn't quite bring myself so to do --- perhaps if somebody came along with a worthwhile offer I may just be persuaded to part with it!!

george
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Andrew Kennedy

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 08:44:27 PM »

Well, of course it has to be a Hohner Club IIb Victoria. These are glorious to play, being very versatile, well-balanced, and with excellent reeds. You can get them cheaply from German eBay (I've managed 50 and 75 euros) and if you need DG speak to Mike Rowbotham (microbot of this parish).
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Gareth Sprack

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 09:26:52 PM »

Some very useful suggestions so far, but I am curious to know as to why a Hohner 114G, might be more air hungry than my 114C?
There again I have only ever owned and played the one box, so that is my baseline norm, perhaps there are revelations yet to come?
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george garside

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 10:35:34 PM »

presumably because its the lowest pitched so bigger more air hungry reeds??

george
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Winston Smith

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2019, 12:11:10 AM »

Yes, the 114 G will use more air than 1 rows in higher keys, but that's just something to get used to. And, they don't need to always be played with all the stops open, either. When playing alongside D/G two rows, I often play with just the two middle voices, or the middle and high, so as not to drown out the others. Horses for courses, and a bit of consideration, that's all.
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GPS

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2019, 05:34:51 AM »

presumably because its the lowest pitched so bigger more air hungry reeds??

george

Chiefly, yes. Also my 114G has only a 14-fold bellows, while my C has a 16-fold, which compounds the issue. I don't know if that's standard; if so it seems an odd decision.

As to playing on just the two middle voices, Winston: yes, that reduces air consumption, but if you're going to do that you'd probably be better off with a D/G 2-voice anyway, wouldn't you?
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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Lester

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 08:02:46 AM »

As to playing on just the two middle voices, Winston: yes, that reduces air consumption, but if you're going to do that you'd probably be better off with a D/G 2-voice anyway, wouldn't you?


I paid for all these reeds, I'm going to use all these reeds  (:)

Winston Smith

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 09:29:44 AM »

If you're intent on getting and playing a 2 row, then of course, that's the way to go. However, Gareth did write; "in fact I quite like my now 'seasoned' 114, so I have also wondered about just getting them in different keys."
Although I've had/have a number of 2 row jobs, I always come back to my 1 rows for my own satisfaction and pleasure. And, surely the instrument has all those reeds and stops so that you can choose which configuration suits you at the time and circumstance?
We have no choice about which key instruments in to play in English sessions etc. but I do believe that choice and variety are, indeed, the spice of life!
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Lester

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 09:34:26 AM »

We have no choice about which key instruments in to play in English sessions etc.


?? I play in D/G/Emin/C/F/Dmin/Bb/Eb/Cm depending on what boxes I have with me.

Thrupenny Bit

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 10:07:04 AM »

and D,G,Em and Bm come built into a DG box, before getting into excessive accidental use.
Q
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Lester

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 10:57:23 AM »

We have no choice about which key instruments in to play in English sessions etc.


?? I play in D/G/Emin/C/F/Dmin/Bb/Eb/Cm depending on what boxes I have with me.


Oh and I forgot Amin, Amaj, Gmin, Fmin

Steve_freereeder

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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 10:59:07 AM »

and D,G,Em and Bm come built into a DG box, before getting into excessive accidental use.
Q
A minor too.
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Re: what should my next box be?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 11:00:49 AM »

?? I play in D/G/Emin/C/F/Dmin/Bb/Eb/Cm depending on what boxes I have with me.
if you are playing in Cm, do you find yourself playing on your own? Just wondering...  >:E
Nice key though.
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