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Everything posted by TapTheForwardAssist

  1. Would you expect to see any notable internal difference between a German-made Scholer, or a "Scholer" that's just a standard China-made cheapie with a German label slapped on it?
  2. Ah, okay, I've never messed with Scholers. But still that would be something distinctively German that would largely confirm the "Weltmeister" and new "Scholer" boxes are not China-made, yes? Or not necessarily? Any good reason I shouldn't email Liberty in a day or so, if nobody drops into this thread who knows them personally?
  3. That's the thing: another commenter noted that at the end of the day, even if Liberty emailed us a photo of the guts, it wouldn't really tell us much about quality. In a certain sense, that's true, but if they open it up and it's the same basic design as cheap Chinese concertinas, then we know what that is and the only question is whether it was done with notably better QC than China usually employs. And it still leaves open the possibility that the instrument itself was all or partially made in China and just badged in Germany. But if Liberty confirms it's wooden levers and that the reeds are on a unified zinc slab, then that's something that so far as I know they don't do in China, and makes it quite likely it's largely/all done in-house in Germany. That doesn't entirely solve the question of quality and performance, but it would be an interesting indicator. I've been holding off as we ponder this out, but can anyone think of a good reason I shouldn't send Liberty a polite and concise email saying the concertina community would like further information, and that communicating it to us might get them a few more sales? If anyone personally knows Liberty staff, or resides in Philly, that'd be easier, but I'm shameless enough to send them an email, which I would carefully review to make sure it sounds less obsessive and crazy so I don't weird them out.
  4. @Daniel Hersh I ran across a thread from 16 (!) years ago on this sub of a Bastari Chemnitzer, with the actual Bastari stamp, that appears to be identical to this model in my OP. Reckon these are all much of a muchness?
  5. I checked Liberty Bellows' YouTube account, and they have some demo clips of the German concertinas, but I don't know how much even y'all that are expert can assess from a brief clip:
  6. Dangit, I was in Philly part of last year, and considered going to Liberty Bellows but refrained because I didn't need anything particular, and it seemed frivolous to go browsing during Covid. Not to natter on and on about it, but $299 20b Anglos, particularly when also sold in D/G, are pretty intriguing if they're even close to the quality of say a Rochelle. They do have a Stagi D/G for $350 which seems reasonable, but I haven't compared one side by side with a Rochelle (I own an Elise I started on before moving to a vintage Maccann). I'm just mucking around trying to find if there are ways to get folks into concertina for under the ~$400ish of a CC box, that aren't a total waste of time and money, and a ~$300ish 20b would suit for some purposes and help capture more of that audience. I feel like "$299" is kind of a good market position for sounding vaguely accessible, and if the "German" boxes are notably better than a $180 Amazon model from China, that's something at least.
  7. Ah, got it. I've struck out my misunderstanding in the above. So we've still got somewhat of a mystery. Would it be helpful if I ask Chris_Concertina if he'd be willing to open his up and take some photos of the guts? He seems to have done some basic work on free-reeds in the past, so it's not outside his skill level if he feels like doing it. Speaking of Liberty Bellows, I'm just going to be bold and politely email them asking if they'd be willing to show us the insides of their "German" 20b models so we can get a grasp of how they're similar to or different from cheap China-made or from old German-made. Quite possible they're tell me to pound sand, but if I mention that two different concertina forums online have people curious about it, maybe they'll be willing to address that in hopes of getting some approval that the product seems legit?
  8. Guess I'm just Yenta the Matchmaker over here; glad I could give things a little nudge!
  9. Okay, Chris_Concertina on Reddit has been a massive help running this issue down. Chris owns the exact same instrument, but his is unbadged, and he's pretty sure it's a Stagi for various reasons of build. So taking that cue, I did some basic searching and am finding an identical instrument being sold new under the name "Castiglione", which iirc is the current name of what was prior Bastari/Stagi? (edit: Apparently I'm wrong) https://www.libertybellows.com/shop/Concertinas/Chemnitzer-Concertinas/p/NEW-Red-Castiglione-Chemnitzer-Concertina-Key-of-C-A-on-5-Push-M-23-16-x53576446.htm So it seems this is a pretty long-standing Stagi model, [EDIT: Okay, it's a "something"] sold under various (or no) names, and for whatever biz reason at some point a "Stradi" badge was slapped onto this model and that's what the seller on eBay has. I messaged the seller about getting them to upload a quick demo video of condition to increase their odds of making a sale (price is a bit higher than market, afaik though). Honestly just doing all this for kicks on a slow week, because I'm interested in squeezeboxes, and partially because I like seeing things done right and it's a mild annoyance when I see someone who could be marketing better with five minutes of effort, so sometimes I reach out to offer tips (and sometimes they even take my advice and business picks up). I'm kinda a weirdo, but I like to think occasionally a helpful weirdo.
  10. Cool, did you end up claiming the one schult was selling?
  11. I also asked on r/Concertina on Reddit, and turns out one of our members owns this exact same model. He said it's pretty decent, nothing amazing. He paid $300 for his and got it in pristine condition and with a hard case, so a better deal than the seller is asking (and we don't have clear info from seller on condition). Here's Reddit's Chris_Concertina playing "Drunken Sailor" on the Stradi 39b Chemnitzer:
  12. Valid, valid. If you think I'm being sketchy though, being a new account here, if you glance at this same username on Reddit you can see that I have a couple years of posts of nerding out about folk music stuff, with nothing resembling profit-driven promotion (just lots of advocacy). If nobody personally knows any Liberty Bellows staff, sure I suppose I can send them an email and politely and clearly lay out our interests and concerns and ask them if they're willing to give us a clearer picture (figurative or literal) as to what's going on with these 20b creatures.
  13. @saguaro_squeezerI have limited knowledge of BSGs, so didn't know that a German one could be had that affordably. Do you have any writeup or article you'd recommend on shopping for starter Chemnitzers, should someone be into such things? I take it a "true German" would have zinc plates and long reeds or whatnot, while one of these Italians would take more cues from accordion construction? Analogous to the situation with "True" vs. "Hybrid" concertinas of the British tradition?
  14. @TheoYou know far more about 'boxes than I ever will, fully recognize. And I do appreciate your patience with my enthusiastic eccentricity here and at Melodeon.net so I'll try to keep myself measured so I don't vex you and wear out my welcome on these platforms. There's clearly a ton of lost-cause projects on eBay that are tore up from the floor up, but in my (far lesser than yours) experience, this particular one looks promising just at the sniff check. It's a little pricier than I'd like to see for a pig in a poke, but on a dozen+ occasions on eBay I've sweet-talked sellers into giving me a phone call and playing a box I wanted over the phone for me so I could assess function and tuning, even whistling the core note into my phone tuner to establish pitch for melodeons. And this critter resembles 1960s-1970s Italian jobs that tend to be solid; looks a lot like my buddy's Italian-made Chemnitzer (or Carlsfelder or whatever, I don't know BGC system nuances) which was a total beast and about 90% decent when he bought it for around $300. If I were someone considering this box, I'd be messaging the seller on eBay and stating I'd be interested in bidding if they'd do a demo over the phone or post a clip on YouTube of running through each button. And optimally knock about $75 off the price, if it overall checks out. Your gut is far more finely tuned than mine, but with my lesser skills this box still jumped out at me as potentially promising for a buyer looking for such a thing and willing to press the seller for some solid evidence. I won't go nuts cluttering your sub with eBay finds, just I was up late and frosty and this one intrigued me, but I'll dial it back slightly in posting so as not to get on anyone's nerves.
  15. Hmmm, the mystery deepens. My initial thought was that they resembled something distinct from the usual bog-standard boxes made in China, visually speaking, but I'm open to more familiar folks weighing in. The real question, again if anyone wants to pony up for one of these, is what the guts would show us. If it's a Chinese product rebadged for Germany, it would be obvious in seconds when one takes the end off. But if opened and it's got zinc unitary plates and all, it's likely as German as bratwurst. If anyone knows the techs at Liberty Bellows, that could be an easy way to resolve this. It's just I'm not sure "hey I'm a stranger from the internet and want you to prove you're not selling a misleading product" is maybe not the optimal approach. I'm getting pretty curious, I will admit.
  16. I've messed with a couple of the "Big Square German" concertinas owned by fellow musicians, and this one on eBay reminds me of a similar Italian-made jobbie my buddy had that was pretty awesome. It's going for $375, looks pretty clean, seller claims it's "tested, works" (fwiw), and from my limited experience this seems like the kind of decent basic quality Italian dealie that's generally decent stuff, especially at that price. So if anyone has been looking for a BSG, and at 39b this seems handier than most (a common size is 52b, but for this one seller neglected to provide measurements), this could potentially be a good way to get into a BSG. Unclear which fingering system it is, though it's almost assuredly bisonoric and I doubt the nuances of exactly which system matter to most of us here. https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-STRADI-BUTTON-CONCERTINA-WITH-CASE/133641593562?hash=item1f1da8e2da%3Ag%3AnMgAAOSwf~9gBdaf&LH_ItemCondition=3000|7000|10 By way of inspiration, here's a YouTube clip of the song that inspired my buddy to pick up an affordable/decent Italian BSG similar to this one: 16 Horsepower (alt-country band), "American Wheeze" with member leading on Chemnitzer:
  17. Note a US-based member here just posted a used Rochelle for $200, 15 hours ago. That's about as good as you can possibly hope for, as on this subforum used Rochelles tend to run $250-350.
  18. I don't know the industry, so don't know the best way to track down the details, but would look forward to seeing someone savvier than I track it down. I will say though (and I see this in many niche product fields), it's kinda vexing that whoever is rebooting a concertina brand and targeting new players, that they're being so slipshod about promoting their launch that we need to engage in investigative research to even figure out if that's what they're doing. How hard would it be for them to have a staffer on a slow day set up a Twitter account and Facebook page to say "Yo, we're Wumpenfratzen GmbH out of Frankfurt, check out our new line of concertinas"? In any case, let me first caveat that if we were in the Before Times and I had a steady salary and fixed residence with my workbench, I would totally drop $299 tomorrow to get one of these puppies, and do a basic YouTube clip and little photo writeup for Reddit (and here) of how it plays and what it looks like inside. But for better or worse I'm a gig worker and freelancer of unclear address at the moment, so not in a position to do so. I'm not saying anyone needs to scrimp and save and suffer to take one for the team, but if anyone here is financially cozy enough to do so, could use a spare Anglo for a beater/loaner (adding a G/D to the kit could be a good justification), and likes taking photo or video and posting threads, it'd be kinda cool if some someone could buy one of these and report back to us.
  19. @Stephen Chambers: really cool image! And we're discussing this in another thread, but it vaguely appears that the Scholer brand (or at least badge) is revived and being made in Germany again, including in G/D. Liberty Bellows has them for $299, and at least one member here believes those would be new stock. UPDATE: Liberty confirms they're New Old Stock and not a recent revival. So they have some affordable Scholer 20bs as of this post, but when they're gone, they're gone.
  20. I'm putting together info on 20b Anglos for a post on Reddit for fans of the current craze for sea shanties (seriously, it's a huge viral thing on TikTok and YouTube this month). I was looking around to see if any retailer had good prices on 20b Stagis, like low enough to maybe make a 20b Stagi worth getting over a 30b Rochelle or Wren, for the purposes of sailor songs (yes I know a true shanty is acapella, but it's a broad genre). I checked the website for Liberty Bellows of Philadelphia, a pretty known and reputable accordion dealer, and they have as low as $350 for a Stagi 20b G/D (arguably a better option for a certain kind of Anglo fan than the Rochelle in terms of being a lower pitch and "hot-rod"-able), and some other interesting Stagi and Castiglione models, including double-reed and several pitches. But what caught my attention is they have some new stock German models under names like Scholer, Weltmeister, and just "German" running as low as $299 and available in C/G, D/A, and G/D. https://www.libertybellows.com/shop/Concertinas/Anglo-Concertinas--20-Buttons.htm I called the shop to inquire, wondering if it's obsolete listings or "maybe we can order it for you" stuff, but the staffer confirmed they physically have those boxes on the shelf, they're new, and they're made in Germany and not China. So would these be boxes made by Klingenthal before they (apparently) went out of business, just old new stock hanging around, or is someone still building? At $299 for German vice $439 for a new Rochelle or $500 for a new Wren, would these Germans be an okay option for someone who's researched the matter and feels a 20b meets their needs over a 30b?
  21. Do I recall right there's some kind of online "museum" of concertina variant photos? Any way to get this info over there for the record?
  22. As noted in my other posts, there's a massive fad this month for sea shanties and other sailor songs. Like #ShantyTok is blowing up on TikTok, and as just one example this mashup of people remotely collaborating on the New Zealand whaling song "Wellerman" got over a million views in six days on YouTube this week (will post at bottom). If you're curious how this came to be, Time Magazine has a good writeup on how shanties became trendy overnight: https://time.com/5929245/sea-shanty-tiktok-2021/ In any case, I'm fixing to write an article about how enthused novices can incorporate traditional instruments into their nautical styling (yes, I recognize a true shanty is acapella, neither here nor there), and I'm going to be recommending that among other instruments, folks consider the Anglo concertina (even just a 20b), or an affordable English if they want to go the Alf Edwards route. I'm not expecting hundreds of new buyers or anything, but I'd very much expect a handful of people will drift over here looking for cheap starters. Weltmeister and others are currently making 20b Anglos selling new for $299 (I confirmed with Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia USA that they have them phyiscally in stock in several keys and at that price), but if anyone has any really cheap old Bastaris or Scholers, or any Chinese clunkers that are at least serviceable, for notably lower than $299, I imagine you might be able to move those to a happy buyer inspired by this trend. No pressure, but if anyone wants to post theirs this week, or mention in this thread what you have available (and what country you're in), it can save some folks asking around if we already know who has spares they're looking to declutter. And if you have a slightly nicer used Anglo, this might be a good time to make a listing on this subforum. Just a little food for thought if anyone is looking to get their spare beater to an aspiring new player.
  23. Okay, I wanted to see if there were any 20b Anglo deals out on the market, since sea shanties and nautical music is one of the rare genres where 20b is sufficient. Turns out Liberty Bellows in Philly has German-made 20b Anglos in C/G and D/G and A/D as low as $299. Might be worth checking out https://www.libertybellows.com/shop/Concertinas/Anglo-Concertinas--20-Buttons.htm I just called Liberty, and they confirmed that those 20b are indeed German-made and not China-made, and they physically have them in stock at those listed prices and those aren't simply a "we could order them for you." Anyone have any grave misgivings about possibly recommending these over a new Rochelle, Wren, or Stagi 30b? I particularly like that they offer D/G so there's an off-shelf lower pitch option even at that price range (D/A is a bit shrill, no?).
  24. I've seen a bunch of Italian ones like these, but concur with SOD that it could be a Chinese copy, depending on age. And concur models much like this were sold under the names Stagi, Bastari, etc. and would toss in Regoletto off the top of my head. Many of which names were probably just badges for identical products possibly from the same factory. Do you need help figuring out if it's working properly? Like are you trying to appraise/sell it, learn it, or what? It's not particularly valuable, even if an older Italian and in perfect working condition. Like if absolutely perfect normally I'd say $100-150 if you provide the buyer proof of condition (like a quick YouTube clip), though with the current fad for sea shanties maybe even $200 if it's in full working condition.
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