Hello! First off, I don't want to waste anyone's time soliciting information that's already out there, so if you can answer by pointing me to a resource that has the answers I'm looking for, I'd be much obliged.
I'm very interested in learning English concertina. I've been poking around forums and reading as much as I can find about the different types of concertinas and I believe I have enough information to know that I'd like a vintage, treble English concertina for playing English folk music (and Irish, though I understand this is a contentious proposition) as well as dabbling in other genres including Classical. I'm drawn to a vintage instrument because I don't want to spend a great deal of money (read: more than about $700) on a new concertina, and I'd rather have something that I plan to use for a long time rather than start with a beginner instrument. There's also a just a desire to have something with some history and character.
So my questions are:
How do you recommend I go about finding one?
Are there any manufacturers that I should trust implicitly? If so, which are they?
What are the best ones I can find around or under $700?
What are the tried-and-true models I ought to keep my eye out for?
Am I too much of a novice to be looking for a vintage concertina?
Would any of you be willing to look over eBay listings I send you?
Thank you! I look forward to a day when I know what I'm doing and can help out another beginner