Jump to content

help acquiring an EC

Recommended Posts

Hello all!


First of all, I'm sorry if this isn't the right forum for this question - Mods, feel free to move it if necessary.


I am looking to get a nicer english concertina. I am playing a Concertina Connection "Jackie" right now, but I think I am starting to hit some some of it's limitations when I play some of the more lively jigs and reels. It can get a little sluggish. Anyway, I don't really know much about the instrument histories, conditions, what to look for etc.


I guess something in the intermediate range would be appropriate for me, but definitely something with some room to grow that I won't dislike already in a year. I follow discussions here, but it seems like people get most excited (rightfully so) about the top instruments. Is there anything between the Stagi/etc. and edeophones/aeolas? What are they? I know about the hybrids (Morse and hopefully soon-to-be "Peacock"), but I guess I was wondering if there are nice vintage instruments that play as well in this same price range roughly.


Ideally, I'd like to play a range of instruments for myself, but as concertinas in general not that common and additionally I don't think I'm in a region (North Carolina) with a lot of players, I don't really see how I could achieve this. If there are EC players around me, let me know - I'd like to learn some other things besides just instrument types! I know about the NE SqueezeIn, but don't know if I can make it up there. So I guess I'm willing to get something "sight unseen (tone unheard?)" as long as it plays and responds well and is durable, and play this until (if) I find something I like the sound of better.


So is the best route just to watch ebay, try not to over bid, and then send it off to get fixed up when I get it? Contact someone and have them find one for me? Is there a simpler way?


Thanks for your help with what is probably a nebulous question!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can't weigh in about the ins and outs of ecs specifically, because i'm just starting to research them myself. but about buying a "nicer" concertina on ebay---i'd advise that if it's a question of a vintage concertina, you not purchase anything in a "nicer" range that has not been eyeballed, vetted, and signed off on (figuratively if not literally) by someone in a position to know whether the reeds are indeed reeds by the concertina's maker versus lesser-quality repair replacements, the condition of the reeds, shoes, pans, etc, the action, blah, on, and on. otherwise there can be ugly surprises when you go to "have it fixed up." others knowing the ec market better than i can tell you better, but i get the feeling that really nice vintage ecs in the higher-end range will cost at least double a hybrid such as a morse. but some good-quality lachenals (not the top-of-the-line lachenals, but good quality ones with a very nice concertina-reed sound) might be had for a comparable price to that of a good-quality hybrid such as a morse, though if it would drive you crazy not to have riveted action (as it would me), the price of an action upgrade would be a variable that would factor into your price comparisons....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done several approaches and ended up with five vintage Wheatstones that I'm happy with. My tutor (which will be 160 tomorrow) I got on eBay and had the Button Box restore. My Model 21 I bought from Lark in the Morning when they were selling off a collection of antique instruments. That instrument is in the range between the hybrids and the aeolas; very nice if you can find one. It is my workhorse for playing for dances. I bought two instruments from folks here on concertina.net: a Crane and a very old baritone, which I then sent to Wim Wakker to restore. I also have a tenor-treble aeola that I bought from Button Box.


A vintage instrument bought unrestored might need on the order of $1000 in work (routine, not extensive, restoration). Most of the repairers have waiting lists, so you might need 6 months or so as well. If you find one with promise and can get it for under $1500 that might be a route worth taking. There are three on eBay right now I might be interested in if I actually had need of another instrument and a spare $1000-$2000.


Buying from a reputable dealer gives some guarantee that the instrument is in good playable condition. You pay a fair price for that, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might give Greg Jowaisas a try. I know that he usually has a couple of ECs kicking around ... my Lacenal Tutor was one. He's a member of c.net and you can email heim thought the forum. I think his email address is gjowaisas@insightbb.com.


Button box is great too. I have noticed that their EC stock is smaller than it has been in the past.


Good Luck!

Edited by saguaro_squeezer
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Given that you reside in the US, these individuals all merit your consideration.

All are extremely helpful, reputable, and just plain nice gentlemen in the truest sense of the word.

We are fortunate to now have these four fine resources right here in the US.

In order of proximity to North Carolina, I'm guessing - depending on where you are:

Greg Jowaises - already mentioned (Kentucky, I think)

Bob Tedrow - Homewood Musical Instruments (Alabama)

Doug Creighton - Button Box (Massachusetts)

Wim Wakker - Concertina Connection (Washington State)

As far as coming to the right place for help ... It doesn't get any better than right here.

Best wishes in your pursuit of your ideal instrument.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with Larry about the Wheatstone model 21, a really good instrument with plenty of projection. I'm not generally a Lachenal fan but I have to say that the New Model is a cracking concertina and would fall into the same price band as a 21 and would possibly be a tad cheaper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...