I've seen the Thomann discussed briefly here in the past, with a few folks mentioning they were okay for the price, and have read similar about the Stagi plastic on a few folk music forums. Has anyone here spent much time mucking around with either of these? Are they the same box, rebadged, or is Thomann having a different Italian shop build theirs? I'll admit I was also drawn by the mention that the ABS bodies seem capable of really taking a beating, which might make them a nice knock-around to take camping.
- Has anyone taken a crack at one of these? For something of such low, low price is it at least something decently playable for a beginner?
- If someone has a rock-solid budget of under $200, would these be a better or worse option than the Hohner D40 (made in China) box?
- Are there any recommended quick-fixes for these boxes? Any easy home-brew way to make them play a little smoother? Tricks from fettling the old Scholer boxes that might apply?
- Any recommendations for where to find these in the US? The only US seller I've found thus far (selling them as "Brünner by Stagi") is jimlaabsmusic.com, but at $179 that's right up there with the D40, and more expensive than Thomann sells the similar box for in Europe.
Thanks for any suggestions on these potential beater cheapies.