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Sean M

Concertina Connection: Rochelle

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Hey everyone,

 

I currently have a Merano AD-222 20 Button Concertina. It was the cheapest thing I could find so I got it to see if I would have interest in learning to play it. Well it worked well enough and I became interested and now I am ready to upgrade to a better concertina. I am interested in the 30-key Rochelle model from the Concertina Connection website. I like the idea of they're upgrade program and I've seen a few videos of people playing this instrument on youtube. The closest retailer to me is about 5 hours drive so I probably will order off the website instead of driving there. Before I do this I wanted to know what other people who have played this instrument think about it. As a side note I am mostly interested in Irish Trad. I have heard that the Jeffries layout is better for this and I know that the Rochelle is layed out in standard Wheatstone but I've also heard that both are very capable of playing ITM and after reading several debates on which layout is better I've decided that at this point in my concertina career I don't really care. So if anyone has played the Rochelle model from Concertina Connection before, please tell me what you think of it. Thanks!

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I would suggest you set your sights higher than the Rochelle, which is only slightly better than what you've already got. You would soon find yourself wanting something better (if it doesn't fall apart first). You will notice a profound increase in playability and satisfaction if you move up to the hybrids (Morse, Edgley, etc.). Yes, they're more expensive, but they hold their value better than the mass-produced ones you've been playing with.

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Rochelle would be a great instrument for finding out whether you want to stick with it, but now that you know you do, get an instrument you'll want to stick with! And speaking of Concertina Connection's upgrade program, the Clover just came out...

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I've had a Rochelle for about 2 years now; started (like you have) with a cheap 20 button and took the step up once I decided I really wanted to learn to play but wasn't ready to commit a lot of money to a higher quality instrument. I've been very happy with it and am now stepping up to a Tedrow.

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I would suggest you set your sights higher than the Rochelle, which is only slightly better than what you've already got. You would soon find yourself wanting something better (if it doesn't fall apart first).

I don't agree at all. I think that the Rochelle/Jackie/Elise line is much better made than a generic Chinese box like a Merano. I have never heard of an instrument from the Rochelle etc. line "falling apart".

 

Yes, a Morse, Edgley etc. is significantly better than a Rochelle. It also costs five times as much.

Edited by Daniel Hersh

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I love my Rochelle.

I could almost give up my guitar for her. She plays very nicely thank you and the awkward sounds she sometimes issues are entirely the fault of her squeezer.

Rochelle doesn't sing as sweetly as the higher-priced instruments (at least in my ear), but since I only play out on my back porch and never perform in public, she's able to carry the tune to my satisfaction. I'd only feel compelled to upgrade if I were going to perform publicly. And even then, really only just because I love to acquire new instruments.

 

We have NO irish music in this corner of the state. None. No sessions. Nothing. So nobody here'd know the difference anyway.

 

I'd buy a Tedrow - but for the mortgage and wife and all....

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Hi, I started out on a Rochelle two years ago and NO problems with the instrument. The Rochelle was a much better box than I was a player. I just recently upgraded to a Morse.

Mike

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Hi Sean,

I'm a beginner on concertina and I too have a Rochelle. I've been playing it happily for more than 6 months, and I've had no problems with it. Like you, I'm interested in playing ITM, and I've been having a lot of fun learning tunes. John Williams's DVD was a huge help in getting me started.

 

Someday I might upgrade to a Morse, but for now the Rochelle is a perfect fit for me.

 

Cheers!

Liz

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Hi Sean,

I'm a beginner on concertina and I too have a Rochelle. I've been playing it happily for more than 6 months, and I've had no problems with it. Like you, I'm interested in playing ITM, and I've been having a lot of fun learning tunes. John Williams's DVD was a huge help in getting me started.

 

Someday I might upgrade to a Morse, but for now the Rochelle is a perfect fit for me.

 

Cheers!

Liz

 

Thanks! I'll have to check out that John William's DVD after I order my Rochelle

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I currently have a Merano AD-222 20 Button Concertina. It was the cheapest thing I could find so I got it to see if I would have interest in learning to play it. Well it worked well enough and I became interested and now I am ready to upgrade to a better concertina. ... So if anyone has played the Rochelle model from Concertina Connection before, please tell me what you think of it. Thanks!

 

Sean,

I'd join those who urge you to upgrade to as good a concertina as you can afford. You don't need a beginner's concertina any more. Your Merano has served this purpose.

Now that you've found out that you can handle the Anglo push-pull principle, thre's no reason why you shouldn't commit yourself to a concertina that will take you as far as you want to go.

 

I've played a Rochelle, and to my mind, it really is a beginner's instrument. It may be well made, and it may stay in tune, and it will take you further than a cheap 20-b. But when you progress a bit, and want a sound with some presence, and want to play a bit faster, I'm afraid the Rochelle will limit you. It's heavy, and the air-valve is too small, and the appearance is certainly not classy. You'd have to upgrade again some time. Do it properly now!

 

Cheers,

John

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Sean,

I'd join those who urge you to upgrade to as good a concertina as you can afford. You don't need a beginner's concertina any more. Your Merano has served this purpose.

agree

 

 

I've played a Rochelle, and to my mind, it really is a beginner's instrument. It may be well made, and it may stay in tune, and it will take you further than a cheap 20-b. But when you progress a bit, and want a sound with some presence, and want to play a bit faster, I'm afraid the Rochelle will limit you. It's heavy, and the air-valve is too small, and the appearance is certainly not classy. You'd have to upgrade again some time. Do it properly now!

 

The only serious point here is the air valve. If it as small as on the Jackie, don't buy Rochelle, wasted money. I haven't played Rochelle, but the air valve on Anglo is of outmost importance.

With all the rest I disagree. Speed is not the issue. Classy look is unnecessary luxury. Heavy it is not. And you don't need to upgrade anywhere soon. It's about 5 years that I'm stuck with my Jackie. Aside from some slight buzzing on some reeds - no problems and it is in tune. Sound is OK too. Certainly better than primitive honk of Jeffries. (to each it's own , see?)

 

 

 

 

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Sean,

 

Befuddled yet? This debate has come up in the past with nearly the same pro and con opinions and plenty of them. In my novice opinion, the Rochelle will be a good instrument to practice on until you can afford a better one. I started with several cheap 20 button boxes and it was the Rochelle that showed me how much more can be done with a few more buttons. The button layout and size are also more in line with the higher priced instruments, which will make the transition easier. And with the trade in deal, how can you lose? One point though, there are several dealers and makers of nice instruments out there who offer the trade in. The problem is, you can only trade it in to the dealer you bought it from, so, you should look around at the different makes and decide which one you would want to upgrade to before ordering it. I’m sure they’re all fine instruments, but, if cost is an issue, it can vary widely. On the other hand, The Rochelle goes for around $340 new and they usually sell here for about $275 so it’s not much of a loss.

 

As far as the air button issue, The Rochelle is a little tight on air passage, but if you stay on top of the issue while playing, it’s not so much a problem. After all, you’re not supposed to stop and gulp air anyway.

 

I hope this helps and doesn’t hinder. Good luck in your quest.wink.gif

 

 

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As far as the air button issue, The Rochelle is a little tight on air passage, but if you stay on top of the issue while playing, it's not so much a problem. After all, you're not supposed to stop and gulp air anyway.

 

 

Who sez you're "not supposed" to gulp air? mad.gif

 

True, if you keep your bellows consumption under control by bleeding a little air now and then as you play, you seldom need a large gulp. But in my experience of English style with full chords, there are perhaps 10 per cent of my tunes that leave me high and dry with a closed bellows at some point, no matter how I try to extend the draw movements leading up to that point. And then I need air quickly and quietly - without having to stop!

 

Probably not an issue for purely melodic players.

 

Cheers,

John

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I appologise to any and all air gulpers out there. I've just always felt gulping was for scotch. tongue.gif

Perhaps an English layout would be more suitable for English style. rolleyes.gif

Besides, what's wrong with a little melody every now and then?sad.gif

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I hate to double post, but it just occured to me, how hard would it be to make the Rochelle with a larger air valve? unsure.gif Maybe Wim will entertain the idea. Also, how hard would it be to just drill a bigger hole in an existing one and glue on a larger pad? I think I'll experiment with mine and let you all know how badly I screw it up.sad.gif

Just in case, anybody got an extra right side action board for a Rochelle?

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I hate to double post, but it just occured to me, how hard would it be to make the Rochelle with a larger air valve? unsure.gif Maybe Wim will entertain the idea. Also, how hard would it be to just drill a bigger hole in an existing one and glue on a larger pad? I think I'll experiment with mine and let you all know how badly I screw it up.sad.gif

Just in case, anybody got an extra right side action board for a Rochelle?

 

I looked inside of my Jackie and there is literally no space for larger round hole and it's valve to be found. May be for a triangular opening?

Just proves my point that if Jackie/Rochelle were of square shape, it would have been much easier to fit necessary features. Once again, function has become a victim of fashion.

Go square! Down with the Cylinder!

Long live larger Air Valve!

- not finished, but you'll get the point.

Edited by m3838

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