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Beginner; How Much To Spend?


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Good day all. I know this is the standard question of new players, but I am trying to figure out what to expect to pay for a concertina meant for a beginner.

 

Thing is, I like the music and style you can play on an Anglo, but I don't want to spend a lot on something if I am not certain I am going to get into it once I try it.

 

When I started playing bagpipes, I learned on a practice chanter that cost a bit under $100, and didn't worry about it being the highest quality as long as it made a decent sound and was able to teach me how to play. A year later I was ready for the full bagpipes, and was ready to spend the $2,500 (which is a damned good deal) for the full instrument.

 

I know better than to get the cheap ones on eBay as they probably won't be good enough to show me what it is like to play a concertina, but I am not looking to buy a concertina that I will be playing with groups for the next 15 years.

 

Thank you for reading all that for the normal beginner question, I went down this road before with bagpipes, and just want to be able to get an instrument that can let me know if the concertina is meant for me. Thanks in advance for any tips or advice!

 

-Yote

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Hi Yote

 

It's a general consensus that the Rochelle, from here:

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rochelle%20anglo.htm

 

would be the safest option. They also have a liberal trade in policy when the time comes to upgrade. Or if you decide it's not for you, they hold their value pretty well.

 

You don't indicate what part of the world you live in, so click on the dealers link to find someone close.

 

If you lived in the States, then a rental from here would be an option:

http://www.buttonbox.com/other-services.html

 

 

But, the cheapest and least optimistic, would be to have a kind friend that will lend one for an evening or two. (But I can dream, can't I).

 

Thanks

Leo :)

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Yote,

 

We're all there once, so you needn't worry. You'll get a number of good opinions on this forum, as well as the smells that go along with them blink.gif .

 

I'd vote for a Concertina Connection instrument. Of course, I didn't look to see where you're from so the price may be higher if you have VAT to deal with. But for a beginner instrument, especially if you buy from a dealer who will take it back on an upgrade, it's a good option. My Jack Barition was a really nice EC. No beginner crane duets though ... but that's another story.

 

Make sure to do a search on your question because there are other threads of a similar nature here.

 

Good luck!

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Easy answer. Buy a Rochelle from Button Box, Bob Tedrow, Concertina Connection, etc.(all have banners here). $300 and change. You'll be able to do everything you need to do to determine if it's for you, and if it is you can keep playing the Rochelle quite happily, or order an upgrade from the dealer you purchased it from, and they will take the Rochelle back and give you full credit on your new instrument. And if it's not for you, you can sell it for darn near what you paid. No brainer!

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Didn't get around to making the profile, sorry. I am in California, peninsula area of San Francisco.

 

I will look into the Rochelle, though still may be a bit as I just got married after a few surgeries, and thus funds are a bit thin. But in a month or so I will be looking for such an instrument.

 

As far as rentals go, I would think the cost of rentals to get to the point of decision about playing / not-playing would be at the purchase price.

 

Thank you all for your responses and information! I was worried I would get some growls and "read the guide n00b" or similar, but I am pleasantly surprised :) And I will do a couple searches to see what other info has already been asked that I am looking for.

 

-Yote

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I'm in the Bay Area too. FYI, Smythe Accordions in Oakland is a Rochelle dealer if you want a chance to try one out before you buy it.

 

 

Didn't get around to making the profile, sorry. I am in California, peninsula area of San Francisco.

 

I will look into the Rochelle, though still may be a bit as I just got married after a few surgeries, and thus funds are a bit thin. But in a month or so I will be looking for such an instrument.

 

As far as rentals go, I would think the cost of rentals to get to the point of decision about playing / not-playing would be at the purchase price.

 

Thank you all for your responses and information! I was worried I would get some growls and "read the guide n00b" or similar, but I am pleasantly surprised :) And I will do a couple searches to see what other info has already been asked that I am looking for.

 

-Yote

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Didn't get around to making the profile, sorry. I am in California, peninsula area of San Francisco.

The Rochelle is produced by Wim Wakker, who is located in Washington State. It's close. and there are a few members in San Fransisco, that play in sessions.

I will look into the Rochelle, though still may be a bit as I just got married after a few surgeries, and thus funds are a bit thin. But in a month or so I will be looking for such an instrument.

Yes marriage does have it's health consequences. First thing is that it cuts off your circulation. :lol:

As far as rentals go, I would think the cost of rentals to get to the point of decision about playing / not-playing would be at the purchase price.

Give them a call and ask. Morse is also a manufacturer of concertinas. I can't speak for them, but I understand it's a favorable arrangement.

Thank you all for your responses and information! I was worried I would get some growls and "read the guide n00b" or similar, but I am pleasantly surprised :) And I will do a couple searches to see what other info has already been asked that I am looking for.

I don't think anyone here would do that. Everyone had to start somewhere and are pretty good about giving straight answers, but if you insist, then here is a good thread to read: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=8925 :D :P

 

The next step up in price would be in the $700 range for a Stagi concertina, then the next step up in price would be around the $1800-$2000 range. The market is not as great as guitars and other popular instruments, so there isn't a lot of choice to begin. But do read the Concertina Connection and Button Box website. There's a lot of information in them. I can't forget Bob Tedrow's site in Alabama: http://hmi.homewood.net/

 

Thanks

Leo :)

Edited by Leo
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I'm in the Bay Area too. FYI, Smythe Accordions in Oakland is a Rochelle dealer if you want a chance to try one out before you buy it..

 

I would agree heartily with Daniel - Go to Smythe's. It's a great little place, chock full of accordions and concertinas, including the Rochelle. The owner is full of advice and will allow you to test (fondle desirously) any instrument in the place. He's also got some great old records and other stuff to look through. I spent about three hours there. Can't wait for an excuse to go back....
i

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The next step up in price would be in the $700 range for a Stagi concertina, then the next step up in price would be around the $1800-$2000 range.

Just to add that while the next step up in price is the Stagis, it's not really a step up in quality. After a Rochelle I think most players would be looking to move directly to at least the $1800-$2000 range to achieve a significant jump in instrument quality and performance.

 

Good luck

 

W

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Just a quick word for mid-range vintage instruments, for learning, a tidy Lachenal would not break the bank and would give you the weight and a lot of the handling of a modern "quality" instrument. Chris Algar would easily find you something suitable.

 

Edit - sorry missed your location - Chris is a long way from you. Nonetheless my comment re vintage instruments holds.

 

Simon

Edited by Simon H
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I think that the economic advantage of finding a vintage Lachenal holds true in the UK, but I haven't found anything affordable in the western hemisphere (been searching obsessively for months -- perhaps not long enough?). Lowest prices in North America for a Lachenal in playable condition are higher than the price for a new mid-level ("hybrid") concertina (Morse, Herrington, Edgley, Tedrow, ranging $1500-2500 USD). And you know that a new Tedrow, etc, won't have any problems for years to come.

 

But this is getting off point because you should totally buy a Rochelle -- and stop by that local Bay area accordion store to try it out first!

 

 

Just a quick word for mid-range vintage instruments, for learning, a tidy Lachenal would not break the bank and would give you the weight and a lot of the handling of a modern "quality" instrument. Chris Algar would easily find you something suitable.

 

Edit - sorry missed your location - Chris is a long way from you. Nonetheless my comment re vintage instruments holds.

 

Simon

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Question is then, if I go in and "try out" the Rochelle concertina, how the heck am I supposed to tell anything about it? I have no experience with such things, and I have no friends who play such an instrument. I may look into the rental place, and see what the rates end up, despite it being many states away.

 

-Yote

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Question is then, if I go in and "try out" the Rochelle concertina, how the heck am I supposed to tell anything about it? I have no experience with such things, and I have no friends who play such an instrument. I may look into the rental place, and see what the rates end up, despite it being many states away.

Maybe one of the Bay Area locals would volunteer to meet you there and help you out? (Says the fellow safely too distant -- in Denmark -- to volunteer. ;)) If so, they could send you a Personal Message to work out arrangements.

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$350 for a Rochelle should be a fairly easy bullet to bite, considering the potential for a lifetime of musical pleasure. If it doesn't work out, the potential loss (after trade-in or resale) could be less than what you spent on your last visit to the auto mechanic. B)

 

Yeah, $350 isn't much as far as that goes, but still I am going to wait a month or two before going for it, maybe as a holiday present to myself. Right now money is tight as I took hits with the whole surgery/wedding/honeymoon thing *waves goodbye to over $10K USD* but I will get the money back to a useful area where I can buy fun things from time to time. I'll ahve to hit up that Oakland store around that time.

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Question is then, if I go in and "try out" the Rochelle concertina, how the heck am I supposed to tell anything about it? I have no experience with such things, and I have no friends who play such an instrument. I may look into the rental place, and see what the rates end up, despite it being many states away.

 

-Yote

 

the rochelle's will all be about the same if they are new or gently used. if you rent from the buttonbox, i think they would be renting one of their morse concertinas, which are much higher quality (and much more expensive) than the rochelles. you can also buy a rochelle from them, and trade it up to get one of their morse concertinas. i believe wim wakker and bob tedrow do the same, as well.

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