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Cross-posted from "General"


Honora Marmor
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Hello Everyone: I have just joined this forum after reading various posts for the last few months. By way of introduction, I bought a C/G concertina on Canal St. in New Orleans when I was a waitress in the 1970 something--I think it cost $80! Over the years I learned to pay it decently, avoiding the lower keys, which only made strange rattling honks. I took it apart and repaired it several times when what seemed to be merely rubber bands holding the keys to the levers inside began to dry out and break. It had a reedy sweet tone that I liked, and big somewhat leaky bellows.

 

Then friend of mine got a 20 button G/D in good working order, and he let me use it for a while--I loved having the lower range and considered trying to find a Baritone Anglo, but was told that Baritone Anglos are rare, and I would probably have to go to a high end concertina maker and special order one. I decided on a more modest upgrade, and have a G/D 30 button Anglo Stagi now. Because I still consider myself a beginner, and am uneasy with online purchases in excess of a month's rent, a tuned and checked Stagi from the Button Box seemed like a pretty good thing.

 

And it has been a good thing, only--the more I play and learn, the more the 6 fold bellows are proving to be a torment. I don't play in the Irish style--for accompanying singing, I have developed a style favoring lower notes and chords--I can sometimes find an alternative, such as a pressed 'd' chord, in a song that has too many drawn chords to balance the bellows action, but not always, and often the alternative moves the chord higher, which may not be what we need.

 

I was not quick enough when an Edgley G/D was offered for sale here earlier in the month with one more bellows fold, someone else got it. I realize that would have been a better instrument all around, but pertaining to this problem: would that one more fold make much difference? I would really appreciate feedback. There is no one in this area that teaches or knows much about the instrument.

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Evaluating an instrument by bellows fold numbers is complicated. A really efficient instrument might be totally adequate at 6 fold whereas with some 8 might not be enough. It also matters how deep the folds are though in my experience deeper folds mean more air but also bring bellows instability.

 

When people start talking about needing more bellows folds the true problem is usually the reeds. While they aren't bad for the price every Stagi I have seen was hard to play because the reeds were relatively quiet, unresponsive and inefficient.

 

Buy a better instrument and neither bellows or reeds will be an issue. Any of the hybrids will get you over the line.

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