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Posts posted by pentaprism

  1. I'll take "a vintage 20b at Barleycorn" over a Wren any day. With the former, I'd upgrade to a 30b within a year, and keep the 20b as a second concertina. With the latter, I'd be dying to upgrade within 6 month, and I'd not know what to do with the Wren, and meanwhile, I'd be always wondering whether the mistake was mine or was the concertina's.

    • Haha 2
  2. I wholeheartedly agree with @Totani.


    I posted this on the other musical forum:


    "I threatened my wife that if she bought musical instruments or woodworking tools as surprise gifts to me, I’d buy clothing as surprise gifts to her.

    Works great."

    • Like 1
    • Haha 2
  3. Welcome, Arktrav.


    You asked a lot of questions. I may know the answers but I think it's better for you to get a copy of Gary Coover's Easy Anglo 1-2-3.


    While waiting for it (if you don't order the Kindle version), check out this site:


    Anglo Concertina


    Among other articles, it has a tutor for the chromatic concertina.


    For a note chart, go here.


    I'm just curious: why did you order a G/D vs a more common C/G?


  4. I just checked the price of the Swan - US$ 1,185. I remember paying between US$ 800 and 900 for it.


    If I were starting out, I'd rather pay a bit more for a restored 20-key vintage. I would outgrow it some day but would keep it as a travel concertina. A 26-key would be even better.

  5. I started with a Swan, and sold it in 6 months.


    It was a decent instrument if you're not sure Anglo concertina is for you, and it was probably OK for another 6 months for me. But I got impatient because many times I couldn't tell whether the problem was with me or with the instrument. When I found a second-hand Morse Céilí, I jumped on it and have never looked back. In fact, I ordered a new Morse Céilí (different key) when Button Box had them on sale.


    >> there really isn’t much difference between the quality of the Swan and the Phoenix....


    I don't think it is the case. Just look at the Swan - it has no bushings while the Phoenix does. Just the lack of bushings, to me at least, is a source of frustration.



  6. 1 hour ago, billyboy said:

    I was looking at the boxes on ButtonBox - the "Hohner Bravo III 72" in particular. 


    Do a search on The Accordionists Forum. It has some comments re. the Hohner (and many others) line.


    In particular:


    Mid-Level Small Piano Accordions: Best bang for your buck?

    Hohner Bravo 72 Quality?


    There is a member by the name "JIM D.," who is very helpful. I would contact him before buying any accordion.


    Note that the second-hand market of PAs is not the same as that of ACs. Most decent second-hand ACs, in particular those from well-known makers (I'm not just talking about Jeffries, but also Button Box, Concertina Connections, Edgley, ... and the likes), command pretty high prices, in most cases can be up to 80% of new prices.


    PA second-hand market is full of people trying out and then giving up. The prices are much lower than new.


    If I were to buy a PA right now, I'd get a used made-in-Italy one from Liberty Bellows.

  7. 14 hours ago, billyboy said:

    it seems better to get a PA for the different keys instead of looking for a BA that can accommodate many different keys.

    I would also consider CBA.


    I started with PA, then moved to CBA about a year and a half later. If I were to do it again, I'd start with CBA.


    I think CBA is more "logical" (if there is such a thing) and more compact (this one is definite). Take the Roland FR-1X/Xb for an example. The PA version (FR-1X) had only 2 octaves on the right side, hardly sufficient for anything, while the CBA version (FR-1Xb) has 3 octaves on the right side, sufficient for most if not all of my playing.


    Also, try the 1-octave jump on a PA and try the same jump on a CBA to see how easy it is.


    The only problem is that CBAs tend to be more costly, and not as abundant on Craigslist as PAs.

  8. I really like my Fuselli Concertina Gig Bag. Its padding is about 2 cm thick. I used to use a hard case for the concertina when going back and forth between my house and my daughter's apartment, but now I'm using this soft case instead.


    Note that there are different Fuselli bags. Mine is the same as the one sold by Button Box: Concertina Cases.



  9. I'm also a new comer to Anglo concertina. In my experience:


    - I'd outgrow a decent 20-key (e.g. from Barleycorn) in about 12 months. But afterward, I'd still use it as a second instrument.

    - I outgrew a lousy 30-key (I started with one like this) in about 6 months. "outgrew" is a nice word. During that 6 months, I was frustrated because I couldn't tell whether the instrument or I was at fault!


    I'm still learning from Coover's "Civil War Concertina," written for 20-key Anglo concertina.

  10. 9 hours ago, Little John said:

    Seven valleys, six ridges. Conventionally described as six-fold (though as another member has mentioned, that's not entirely logical ...).

    Yes. It's not necessarily logical.  It is 7 folds if you count two half folds at either end 🙂


    But all concertina websites I know would list this concertina as "6-fold" bellows.


    Just like the year 2000 - most people say it is in the 21st century. But it is actually still in the 20th century, unless the very first year was 0000, not 0001.


  11. I myself found Gary Coover's "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style" a bit too challenging for me. I then purchased his "Civil War Concertina," which was written for 20B Anglo. After I made some progress with the latter, the former became a bit easier.


    Both are good books. In fact, all books from Gary are great.

    • Thanks 1
  12. Hello GotPlatelets,


    CBA player here. I hate to admit it, but my CBA playing is closer to "bad" than to "great."  😔


    Among the popular types of concertinas, duet is the most similar to chromatic accordions. But I chose Anglo for two reasons: (1) I want something small so that I can play where a CBA is too clumsy or even impossible, e.g. in a car, and (2) I want something of free reed but challenging to my brain. The Anglo fulfills both requirements.


    About the Button Box, Doug is a wonderful person to deal with. Regarding their instruments, let's say that I bought a second hand R. Morse & Co. Céilí mid 2019 and like it so much that Christmas 2019, I treated myself a new one (of different key).


    Edited to add:


    Re. the kinds of music, I don't think you have to play ITM on Anglo. I play (more like "try to play") anything I like on Anglo. As examples, take a look at Gary Coover's Civil War Concertina and Christmas Concertina.

    • Like 1
  13. Go here and click on “Notecharts” to see different key layouts.


    Gary uses Wheatstone layout in his books. But his “Easy Anglo 123” shows you how to  “translate” the tablature to Jeffries key layout.


    I hope Gary doesn’t mind me posting it here.



    But after a while, you’ll develop your own fingering, and treat the tablature in the books as suggestions, not as hard and fast rules.

  14. The OP specifically mentioned "Anglo concertina."


    >> The Concertina Connection instruments are 'over-size' at 7-1/4" across the flats. When I tried a
    Jackie at the beginning of this year, I found this a very awkward size. 


    This is not necessarily true for Anglo concertinas designed/built by Concertina Connection. The Jackie is not an Anglo concertina.


    The Minstrel and the Clover are Anglo concertinas designed/built by Concertina Connection, both measuring "6 1/4 inch across the flats" according to Concertina Connection's website.


    >> I don't know that there's a big enough difference between the Swan or Minstrel....


    I know the Swan doesn't have any bushings. I think the Minstrel does. That's a huge difference in my opinion. I used to own a Swan, and would have kept it for mobile playing if it had bushings.

  15. I started with a Bastari M CG 30, bought locally for cheap, and then a Swan from McNeela, and then a Morse Céilí from Button Box (and then others with concertina reeds).


    I still have the Bastari because it's too cheap to sell; it's somewhere in my office, currently closed due to the shelter-in-place order. The Swan has found a new home.


    Even I now own some concertinas with concertina reeds, I'm still playing the Céilí, and plan to do so for the  foreseeable future.


    If I were to start all over again, I'd start with at least a good-hybrid such as Morse Céilí or the likes (Edgley, Clover, Marcus, ...).

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