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Cheap Concertina


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#19 Michael Marino

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:05 PM

upon hearing you sad fate with the Chinese (most likely) made box the problems I have had with my used but functioning Lachnel seem minor.

As an aside question (and I believe it has been asked before but can't find the file), of the following which is considered the better purchase for a beginner 30 key Anglo:

Rochelle by Button Box (Chinese made to meet a European QA)

Stagi (Chinese in Italian clothing???QA??)

Hohner D60 (Possible Chinese, Possible German, have heard conflicting information on the D60)

Stephanelli (Chinese in Italian name from a Scottish group that is than QA in Scotland)

There are a few others but I don't know enough about them and don't know if they are Chinese resales.

Stephanelli I have played at a local music shop and sounds tinny/sharp compared to a D60 (used) that was next to it and to my Lachnel (Brass reeds).

So opinions please with some supporting reasons if possible or direction to a link here to go digging.

Also anyone know a good site for German music for the twenty button Anglo-Germand Concertina?

Thanks,
Michael

#20 ragtimer

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 02:34 PM

upon hearing you sad fate with the Chinese (most likely) made box the problems I have had with my used but functioning Lachnel seem minor.

As an aside question (and I believe it has been asked before but can't find the file), of the following which is considered the better purchase for a beginner 30 key Anglo:

Rochelle by Button Box (Chinese made to meet a European QA)

Stagi (Chinese in Italian clothing???QA??)
<other choices deleted>

The consensus seems to be you can't miss on a Rochelle, especially for the price.

To get near that price on a Stagi 30-key, you'd have to buy used.
Keep in mind there are two vintages of Stagis: the older models with the plastic-rubber tubing guides on the buttons, which go bad after a while, and the newer models with proper button guides that play much better.

The Stagis I've seen (including a new-action G/D 30-button Anglo) proudly proclaim "Made in Italy" right udner the stenciled "Stagi" name. Check for this on any you consider.

I'm happy with my Stagi Hayden Duet (newer type action) except that the action springs are pretty stiff, so my fingers get tired after a while. But easy to squeeze and the reeds speak well at low volume (at least now that it's been "played in" for 3 years).

However, by the time you'd find a proper used Stagi Anglo, The Button Box or someone will have received a fresh load of Rochelles.

Stephanelli -- that may have been the brand on a 20-key Anglo I tried in a New York store. It seemed stiff and unresponsive, tho quite functional. ISTR the store wanted more than a 30-key Rochelle goes for, so why bother?

Disclaimer: I've never seen nor touched a Rochelle myself, but would get one in a second if/when I wanted to try Anglo. Probably will try a Jackie EC at some point. --Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 14 September 2007 - 02:46 PM.


#21 Woody

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:02 PM

upon hearing you sad fate with the Chinese (most likely) made box the problems I have had with my used but functioning Lachnel seem minor.

As an aside question (and I believe it has been asked before but can't find the file), of the following which is considered the better purchase for a beginner 30 key Anglo:

Rochelle by Button Box (Chinese made to meet a European QA)

Stagi (Chinese in Italian clothing???QA??)

Hohner D60 (Possible Chinese, Possible German, have heard conflicting information on the D60)

Stephanelli (Chinese in Italian name from a Scottish group that is than QA in Scotland)

There are a few others but I don't know enough about them and don't know if they are Chinese resales.

Stephanelli I have played at a local music shop and sounds tinny/sharp compared to a D60 (used) that was next to it and to my Lachnel (Brass reeds).

So opinions please with some supporting reasons if possible or direction to a link here to go digging.

Also anyone know a good site for German music for the twenty button Anglo-Germand Concertina?

Thanks,
Michael

IMHO for quality & cost there's only one option - the Rochelle. I've not found anything that comes close to similar quality in this price range - see the various past threads for lots of info why it is considered so superior to the competition.

#22 Robert Booth

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:10 PM

So while you're waiting for all these other solutions to become available you still are stuck with "Problem Box"

With my old Stagi, I found that how I attacked the button had a lot to do with whether it was gonna stick or not; finally I adopted the method of striking the Iffy button with a peculiar, sharp motion, making sure to hit it STRAIGHT and coming off of it FAST. Done just so, it seemed to work ...most of the time; often enough to keep me going.

As you practice you should find ways to come at the nasty buttons so that they do your bidding-mostly.

Meanwhile try to see it as the Concertina Soloflex: getting you in shape for a smoother machine. :ph34r:

Robert

#23 m3838

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:37 PM

Is it possible to open the action up and insert some washers underneath the buttons? It will limit their down travel and they will not stick. Another solution can be to find some plastic or rubber flexible tube with inner diameter slightly smaller than the buttons. The cut the tube to small washers and put the washers on the tips of the buttons. It will limit their down travel. Should work for a while and there is no need to open it up.Posted Image

#24 wntrmute

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 10:40 AM

Is it possible to open the action up and insert some washers underneath the buttons? It will limit their down travel and they will not stick. Another solution can be to find some plastic or rubber flexible tube with inner diameter slightly smaller than the buttons. The cut the tube to small washers and put the washers on the tips of the buttons. It will limit their down travel. Should work for a while and there is no need to open it up.Posted Image

The perfect solution has ended up being to get a Rochelle. I just got it and the difference is day and night. I'd also like to testify again to Mr. Tedrow's great customer support.

#25 m3838

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 02:25 PM

I tried to post some picture, but somehow it didn't get through. So If you see double, it's that.
I was thinking of a completely different ergonomics for a concertina, to encompass the roundness of player's palms, and came up with this design:
Posted Image
Screen left - front part of keyboard
Screen Right - back side with thumb hole (or strap)
Any comments?
It can also be bellowless MIDI instrument, self-contained, with ear pieces and jack to connect to outside speakers.
Circular bellows are makeable, but wouldn't it be the ultimate MIDI instrument? Plastic mold for the case, computer keyboard type buttons with pressure sencors. It can even split in the middle and put on table, the way Thummer does.

#26 m3838

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 07:53 PM

And another one. Ribbon style.
Bent plasting incasing with the joint inbetween. The joint is where pressure (or/and direction) sencor may be located.
If possible, no joint inbetween, but instead, the pressure is detected by the bend forces on the ribbon itself.
Can be connected to portable battery powered amplifier on your belt. The buttons are not even necessary, coul be replaced with a map or cell phone type bumps for buttons.
Sleek, huh?
Posted Image

#27 Dirge

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:40 PM

S'pose so, but you're approaching desperately near to the point where you might just as well buy a keyboard with touch sensitive keys, aren't you?

#28 m3838

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:21 PM

S'pose so, but you're approaching desperately near to the point where you might just as well buy a keyboard with touch sensitive keys, aren't you?


When you say "keyboard", you mean specifically Piano keyboard. Piano, with it's benefits (intuitiveness, clarity, range, familiarity, availability etc.) is bulky. Portability is what brought many people to concertina in the first place, otherwise why don't we just play piano keyboard and set sound to "concertina".
MIDI devices suffer from emulation mentality. To me, they are either "silent trainers" or entirely different instruments.
All concertina keyboards feature "compactness married to convinience" ingenuity. And they can play harmony!
So, no, I don't approach Piano Keyboard by any means. I just don't understand why MIDI concertina has bellows, while not "silent trainer", at least not from the price side of it.
But you have to admit, ideas are eye catching, no?

#29 wntrmute

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:04 PM

Well, the ultimate fix to this problem just arrived today -- Céilí 536. Almost a month ahead of when I'd expected it.

An early Christmas for me!

The only problem is that I still don't sound like Noel Hill when I play it.

#30 m3838

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:01 PM

Well, the ultimate fix to this problem just arrived today -- Céilí 536. Almost a month ahead of when I'd expected it.

An early Christmas for me!

The only problem is that I still don't sound like Noel Hill when I play it.


Easy fix. Just set the settings to "Noel Hill".

#31 JimLucas

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 02:05 AM

The only problem is that I still don't sound like Noel Hill when I play it.

Have you tried playing it while listening through earphones to a Noel Hill CD? :D

#32 Pete Dunk

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 06:43 PM

S'pose so, but you're approaching desperately near to the point where you might just as well buy a keyboard with touch sensitive keys, aren't you?

I just don't understand why MIDI concertina has bellows, while not "silent trainer"


Erm, the whole idea about a midi controller is that it emulates a particular instrument, otherwise what's the point? In this instance the bellows provide velocity data in order that the musician has control over expression. Sometimes I wonder if you are simply an obsessive/compulsive convinced that concertinas are simply bandoneons gone wrong. Then again a bandoneon midi controller would be very similar to a concertina midi controller. So, in your strange world how would a bellows controlled wind instrument work without bellows? I think you would end up with a very early synthesizer without the benefit of 'touch sensitive' keys. <_<

#33 m3838

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:07 PM

S'pose so, but you're approaching desperately near to the point where you might just as well buy a keyboard with touch sensitive keys, aren't you?

I just don't understand why MIDI concertina has bellows, while not "silent trainer"


Erm, the whole idea about a midi controller is that it emulates a particular instrument, otherwise what's the point? In this instance the bellows provide velocity data in order that the musician has control over expression. Sometimes I wonder if you are simply an obsessive/compulsive convinced that concertinas are simply bandoneons gone wrong. Then again a bandoneon midi controller would be very similar to a concertina midi controller. So, in your strange world how would a bellows controlled wind instrument work without bellows? I think you would end up with a very early synthesizer without the benefit of 'touch sensitive' keys. <_<


There are 8 sided English Midi Concertina with no bellows, just a joint, where pressure sensitive controller is.
In my strange world people think that emulation has no class. That rocket looking cars are stupid, reedless accordions with bellows, sounding like trumpets are kitch, and that if a midi concertina is simply a silent trainer, it should be inexpencive, no fancy, helper, with or without bellows - doesn't matter, because there is no training outside the real thing. One can learn the dots on Midi instrument, but then have to switch to real one to practice the nuances.
And in my strange world, if reed placement favors rectangle, the outside shape has to resemble rectangle, and if popular demand fancies make-belief 19 century replica, I can't help it. From design point of view there is absolutely no incentive to make electronic device to resemble mechanical contraption of 19 century.
Let's go back in time:
If Sir Wheatstone thought that radial placement of reeds benefits the balance of sound, the instrument he constructed resembled cylinder, fancy or not it deemed by the public.
If Midi Concertina has no reeds, no need for radial placement of innards, why then it resembles Wheatstone's cylinder?

#34 Dirge

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 03:36 AM

.
If Midi Concertina has no reeds, no need for radial placement of innards, why then it resembles Wheatstone's cylinder?


Erm...... how about so that you can call it a concertina? Or is that too obvious?

#35 m3838

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 05:02 AM

.
If Midi Concertina has no reeds, no need for radial placement of innards, why then it resembles Wheatstone's cylinder?


Erm...... how about so that you can call it a concertina? Or is that too obvious?


Actually, Midi instrument with concertina button layout IS a concertina regardless of the looks.
Bandonika and Chemnitzer are not Bandonion and Organetto Abrusezze is not a concertina, though it looks like one.
Wakker Midi is a concertina not because it "looks" like it, but because it has keyboard like one.
Or is it too obvious?

#36 Dirge

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 05:24 AM

OOh the crushing weight of your impeccable logic there has convinced me. They are ALL concertinas. Thank you for explaining.




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