My colleague and I have been entrusted with a long-neglected Lachenal 30-button Anglo for servicing. Neither of us having had prior experience of free reed repairs, we arranged a visit to a professional concertina repairer a couple of weeks ago, who kindly gave us both a crash course in repair and tuning techniques.
Mechanically, this concetina is actually in very good condition, given its age (built c. 1880-90?). However, it is in dire need of tuning. Now, in an infamous discussion last month, regarding the (mis)use of equal temperament in Traditional music, it was mentioned that concertinas are often tuned in just intonation. The repairer we visited, when demonstrating tuning, appeared to be happy with a ‘zero’ reading on his chromatic tuner - i.e. bang on equal temperament.
So, I would appreciate it if some concertina players (or knowledgeable non-players) - English, Anglo or otherwise - would give their thoughts on this. Is there a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way? Is it just personal preference? Does it depend on what kind of music is playd on it? Does equal temperament really sound that bad? Are there not problems with certain intervals in just intonation (or it is just a case of putting the bad intervals ‘round the back’, between the 3rd row notes)?