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Susanne

Is Anyone Familiar With "the Clare" Concertina?

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Hi everyone!

 

I'm (still - got stuck along the way) learning to play Irish music on the concertina and I currently play an AP James anglo concertina. It's good enough, much better than my starter concertina, but it's very slow to respond, especially on the lower notes, and I'm planning to maybe upgrade to something that is more responsive. I'm going to Ireland in August and I'm thinking of trying to find a place where I can play some different concertinas to see what I can get for what prices. I was browsing around here for makers and found this: http://www.theirishconcertinacompany.com/products/the-clare/It's apparently made in Dublin which would be very convenient (easy to fly to from Sweden).

 

Does anyone have experiences of their concertinas and what are your opinions?

Do you have other suggestions for concertinas that are available and preferably built in Ireland? (UK is ok too unless Brexit messes things up)

 

My requirements would be:

 

- Nice mellow sound but still loud enough to use in a session

- smooth bellows and an instrument that allows to play fast without having the instrument working against me

- standard size concertina

- 30 button C/G anglo.

- used concertinas are fine of course if it's in good shape.

 

 

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I tried a Clare briefly and it was OK, but I wonder if it would be any better than what you already have, as it's of the same ilk. (an accordion reeded hybrid). Just a thought, but are you sure the slow reeds on your AP James are set up properly? Perhaps an adjustment would improve the response?

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Oh, I actually thought it was one made with concertina reeds?! At least that's what I understood from the concertina maker list on this site, and from their website. Or maybe I didn't read properly. Thanks for the info, however!

It's possible that my AP James box could be improved. I'll have it looked at when possible, should have done that during the past weekend if I had been smart (was at the Scandinavian squeeze-in).

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No, they are made with quality Italian accordion reeds. IMHO, if you want a new, traditional concertina-reeded instrument for Irish music you should consider a Kensington, made by Dana Johnstone in Maryland. He doesn't have a long waiting list, his instruments don't cost much more than a top quality accordion-reeded box, and he is lovely to deal with. When you can find one used, they are an excellent value. I wouldn't describe them as mellow, however. They have quite a bright sound.

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A brighter sound could be fine too, as long as I can test play the box and hear it "for real". Some boxes with brighter sound can be very nice too, but some has very "harsh" sound which I think is a pain to the ears. As long as it sounds like something close to the sound of my AP James I'll be happy.

Thanks for the recommendation about Kensington, I'll check them out a bit more (just briefly visited the website). I'd prefer to buy from Europe but maybe not if that means a crazy price. Being able to test play one is rather important though.

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