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Upgrading Concertina

lachenal mayfair wheatstone

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#1 oxfordanglo

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:09 AM

Morning all,

 

I've just started chatting with Barleycorn concertinas as well as furiously googling around to try and figure out how best to trade up. I need to; I'm playing a scarlatti and experiencing the problems that come with it not to mention the feeling that I'm not really experiencing a genuine concertina sound; though nit has been good to get me started with the fingering.  In an ideal world i think i'd go for a Morse or a Kensington, but both are presently out of my price range (or rather will be vetoed by my better, more financially sensible over half!) So..... I'm thinking about a trade off by going for a more budget but more authentic model- Barleycorn have a 20 key Lachenal in the 500-£1000 range, as well as a Wheatstone MayFair for about £800. Can anyone give any advice re these instruments. How will they compare to the Scarlatti (a stupid question)- BUT being vintage instruments will they have leaky bellows/poor responsiveness? However, if they give a sweeter more authentic tone than the Scarlatti that might be worth it (which has a nasal tone and breathy bellows anyway!). It'd also be nice not to be playing on plastic keys. The MayFair looks like it is metal ended, will this give it a more raspy note? Unfortunately Barleycorn in Shropshire so I can't go there andplay these instruments though they sounds very accommodating in letting you purchase on spce and  return wtihin 7 days if not hitting the right note!

 

advice welcomed

 

adam

 

ps. i know that on the spectrum of cost for a musical instrument we aren't really talking big money and , in time, I hope to take the next step up!



#2 celtictiger

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:04 AM

Barleycorn Concertinas will not sell you anything that is leaky.They depend on having a good reputation.Chris who runs it is very good at supplying one that best suits your individual needs.He does go round folk festivals,ask him when he's next near Oxford.He's in Staffordshire by the way.



#3 AndrewCollins

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:09 AM

Chris has been at Witney ( Concertinas at Witney ) for the last two years - so may well be again this year. It'll be in September though - which is a while to wait 



#4 iradcliffe

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 08:44 AM

Chris will also be at the Swaledale Squeeze in May with a selection of concertinas.  You will also be able to pick the brains of loads of other players too.

I moved up from a new Jackie to a hundred year old+ Lachenal and my playing improved quickly, well worth the additional ~£900. 



#5 Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 09:00 AM

just a snippet of input here, I have no idea about mayfair but £500-£1000 sounds way way to much to pay for a 20 key lachenal, unless the value has rocketed without me knowing? I got one for about £300 5 years ago



#6 Theo

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:09 AM

I sold a very nice one last month for £350.   It was the Lachenal model with simple fretwork and a lovely player, the more ornate ones usually fetch more, but don't necessarily play better.



#7 TedK

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:53 AM

Just my opinion, but if you have a working Scarlatti, I don't know if it's worth spending the time and money upgrading to either of the 2 instruments you have mentioned. They might be a bit better but are still near the beginners end of the market and I'm not sure the improvement would be that dramatic. 

 

Obviously I don't know your circumstances, but if you were able to save up a bit more and keep an eye on what comes up on the "buy and sell board" you should be able to get a decent quality hybrid or 30 button Lachenal for not that much more than high end of the prices you've quoted and then you would then have a really decent instrument that could keep you going for many years to come. 



#8 oxfordanglo

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 11:43 AM

just a snippet of input here, I have no idea about mayfair but £500-£1000 sounds way way to much to pay for a 20 key lachenal, unless the value has rocketed without me knowing? I got one for about £300 5 years ago

thanks JAke, and what did you think of the mayfair?



#9 oxfordanglo

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:36 PM

I sold a very nice one last month for £350.   It was the Lachenal model with simple fretwork and a lovely player, the more ornate ones usually fetch more, but don't necessarily play better.

Thanks Theo- Anyway of registering my interest for such an instrument? Perhaps I need to post on the selling section; but looking for something in the 500 bracket; i'm yet to settle on a style of playing, having just started delving into William Kimber I'm being pulled towards English traditional but originally very much taken with traditional irish cross row stuff. I guess, to cover both angles i'd need to look at a 30key minimum in reality, which I understand pushes the price up?



#10 RP3

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 06:36 PM

Adam, I agree with the others who are suggesting that the 20 button models you mentioned are not worth the "upgrade". With either of these instruments, you will be looking to upgrade again shortly if you stick with the Anglo. If you hope to truly play across the rows, you will at sometime in the near future be wanting a 30 button Anglo to explore the keys of D and A (assuming that you are interested in the C/G concertina).

I could recommend that you wait until you can save up enough money, but if your better half is opposed then even that idea may not fly. But at the very least you need to try and find a 26 button Anglo which can give you the extra notes for the keys of D & A. In short, a 20 button Anglo as you described might give you a better experience but I am afraid that your satisfaction will be short-lived. Finding a decent Lachenal of maybe a Jones with 30 buttons could meet your needs without breaking the bank but will be beyond your target range. I wouldn't suggest a Mayfair Anglo but if can you play one and are satisfied, far be it for me to deter you.

Good luck,

Ross Schlabach

#11 oxfordanglo

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:00 AM

Adam, I agree with the others who are suggesting that the 20 button models you mentioned are not worth the "upgrade". With either of these instruments, you will be looking to upgrade again shortly if you stick with the Anglo. If you hope to truly play across the rows, you will at sometime in the near future be wanting a 30 button Anglo to explore the keys of D and A (assuming that you are interested in the C/G concertina).

I could recommend that you wait until you can save up enough money, but if your better half is opposed then even that idea may not fly. But at the very least you need to try and find a 26 button Anglo which can give you the extra notes for the keys of D & A. In short, a 20 button Anglo as you described might give you a better experience but I am afraid that your satisfaction will be short-lived. Finding a decent Lachenal of maybe a Jones with 30 buttons could meet your needs without breaking the bank but will be beyond your target range. I wouldn't suggest a Mayfair Anglo but if can you play one and are satisfied, far be it for me to deter you.

Good luck,

Ross Schlabach

 

Thanks Ross, this i helpful. I think you are right and I do need to be looking at a 30key as this will give me far more mileage and let me explore both Irish and traditional English styles fully. I am tempted by Barleycorn's Mayfair, but people don't seem very keen on these instruments, why is that? Could you expand.....



#12 oxfordanglo

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:06 AM

OK so this puts me off....

 

"Wheatstones' final production, developed by their manager Harry Minting upon the resumption of concertina making at the firm after the second world war was the 'May Fair' concertina, a budget range of English and Anglo concertinas aimed at the growing market for concertinas in the British folk dance fraternity. It was a most inferior production, and used imported piano accordeon reeds, thin aluminium end plates and plastic buttons. Having none of the quality of Wheatstone's pre-war output, it was not a success (30)." ref http://www.d-and-d.c...na-history.html

 

it's frustrating. I guess there is no getting away from the cost...



#13 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 12:04 PM

You might want to consider an old 30 button Bastari. They regularly turn up on ebay for less than $200. You can hear me playing mine here

 

The new ones are made by Stagi and some models come in under your budget. 

 

They all have possible issues and fixes for same, but when working properly they can play quite well. You might be lucky and get a good one.



#14 oxfordanglo

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 03:46 AM

Thanks Jody, love the tune!

#15 Mikefule

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:01 AM

20 button Lachenal, great fun, but more limited than a 30.  It encourages a simple and robust style of play good for dance, but it limits your repertoire a bit.   Barleycorn had half a dozen in stock when I bought one from him for £500 last year.  I chose the one I thought was most worth £500, so unless there has been a big change somewhere, £500 to £1,000 seems high.

 

Have you looked at Marcus?



#16 oxfordanglo

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:44 AM

Thanks, I was thinking the same; though limited it will be nice to play an instrument with some history and hopefully that sound....I'm listening to William limber as suggested by Gary coover and he certainly picked out a good tune only ever playing 20keys! It will keep me keen until I can justify going up to a 30 key plus wheatstone !

#17 Mikefule

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 09:09 AM

I enjoy playing my 20 button Lachenal and I am very glad I bought it.  Within its limitations, it is a lovely box full of character and charm.



#18 d.elliott

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:21 AM

I cannot help feel that a 20K will quickly become too limiting. 30k basic models may be too expensive, a 26k is a good compromise, as stated above. I do know where a 26K going, a Jones. Pm me if you want details

Dave





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