I'm new to the concertina although my melodeon squeezing goes back many years. Like many before me, I bought a Rochelle before taking a bigger financial plunge. Perhaps because of my melodeon experience, I was a little underwhelmed by the Reed response and volume. The bellows also seem very stiff, especially on the draw, although I know these will loosen up over time.
I seem to be making rapid progress and I'm loving the convenience and portability that the concertina offers over the button box. Having to make my own chords is also making me a better musician. However, I can’t help but wonder if the learning curve would be a little less steep without the added challenges. Given, this is an entry level instrument and certainly very good value for the money. No complaints in that regard. But since the next “step up” involves an expenditure of thousands of dollars more I am wondering if there are any tweaks that can be done either by me or a professional that would make the Rochelle more rewarding and perhaps a little easier to play? Is it worth pouring any money into? Can a Rochelle be customized to the extent that it might even become a keeper? Do the new reeds offered on the Concertina Connection website make a dramatic difference or would regapping and a little tuning be sufficient? Does anyone have any photos or information on customized Rochelles?
Many thanks in advance.