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About JackJ

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  1. I emailed CC last week, and got a very quick reply, but was told they were closed until the 12th. So I expect they'll be back at full strength tomorrow, though no doubt catching up on some backlog.
  2. Yes, I'm down near Bloomington. Grey has kindly offered to let me give his backup concertina a whirl, and I'm looking forward to taking him up on that later in the month. It's a 40 button D/A, so pretty dissimilar from what I expect to end up with, but at least I'll learn something about how a well functioning instrument feels. In fact, getting a D/A has significant appeal. I believe Grey started on it simply because it was what was available to him; but he said if he were to start over, he'd still prefer that tuning for Irish traditional music. It would probably make lessons easier for both of us. But from what I see, these are not common, and of course there are many reasons to stick with the standard C/G. If Noel Hill is back near here next summer, I'll plan on attending his workshop.
  3. Thanks for all these very helpful replies! I'm located in southern Indiana, and don't know of any place within an easy drive to sample different models. But being completely new to the instrument, I'd have no ability to make meaningful comparisons anyway. I have sent some emails out to vendors (including Greg Jowaisas) whom I'm hoping might have something refurbished that's near my price comfort zone. Fingers crossed. Probably don't want to go for a 20 button, though. I have no doubt it would be a great learning tool, but I'm eager to learn the tunes I already play on tin whistle, and the lack of a C# would be bothersome. If the Northeast Squeeze-In weren't sold out, I could almost justify trying to make the trip there to absorb as much as possible in a condensed time, and to visit the Button Box. But it's too far if I can't partake in the full experience. Including the one above, I've now had a couple recommendations for the CC Minstrel. A bit more than I want to spend, but maybe I can stretch the budget. Not sure how it differs from the Clover, apart from the thousand (!) bucks. I'll research that more, but any insights appreciated. And the Blackthorn wasn't yet on my radar. I'll be researching that one, too. Thanks again for the help!
  4. I'm about to purchase my first concertina, primarily for Irish traditional music where I currently play whistle and a bit of flute. Having done some research, it looks like a 30 key C/G anglo is what I'm after, and unless I come across something used under $1K that I'm confident won't need any work, I'm leaning toward a Rochelle, just to get started. I know it's not a great instrument, but its shortcomings are offset by the fact that once I've gotten my feet wet and feel ready for an upgrade, I can trade it in on something better and not lose any money. Both The Concertina Connection and The Button Box offer a Rochelle full-price trade-in program. But I'm not sure which of these firms to buy from. With the Concertina Connection, I could incrementally move up from the Rochelle to the Minstrel and eventually (or maybe directly) to the Clover model. With The Button Box, the trade in would be for their Morse Céilí, which is approximately the same price as the CC Clover. Of course I may not take either of these upgrade paths, especially if I find a vintage anglo that I feel good about. But I'm curious how the Clover and Morse Céilí compare, or if there are other factors in considering which vendor to go with for a Rochelle. Any thoughts? I'm very glad to have found this community to help me along my concertina journey! Jack