I have been researching concertinas for a few months now and I am getting close to making a purchase. I have read through a number of threads here, perused the webpages of various suppliers and makers, watched a boatload of videos on youtube and purchased several albums featuring Mohsen Amini. I even marked out button positions for each hand on pieces of paper and have been tapping along with the videos I watch of people playing. There are still a few things that I would like to hear people chime in on.
After I graduate this December, I would like to make my very first concertina purchase. I have seen many people suggest buying a lachenal 20 key C/G rather than buying a beginner model. This is tempting to me but I don't want to be spending over 500 USD to start out and living up near the top of the Golden State (Tehama County), I have not been able to find any local shops that have even a cheap concertina to try out. I am also a little concerned that on a 20 button I won't have the notes required for some of the music I would like to learn (Irish tunes, Shanties, Folk tunes). So I am mainly looking at the choice between a Rochelle and a Wren 2.
I have found pages and pages of info about the Rochelle. I have seen videos of people playing them, read about their pros and cons etc. When it comes to the Wren however, I can't seem to find any firsthand info on them other than from McNeela.
So my questions are:
-Have you had firsthand experience with the Wren 2? Was it a positive or negative experience?
-The Wren 2 advertises several features that seem to be specifically in reference to shortcomings of the Rochelle such as its size. Is it worth paying a little more for this?
-Can a 30 button vintage Anglo be had for ~500 USD? If so, would it be preferable to a newly made beginner model?
-Is there any advice that you would give to a beginner to avoid trouble in the future?