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Buy My First Concertina...

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Hello !


I'm looking for a first concertina for learning... On the internet, i find two instruments not expensive...


The Rochelle :



The Wren :



Anyone have experience with this instruments and a comparison ? I need some help on my choice...


Thanks a lot !



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Nothing on the Wren that I could find in three pages of google search.

You could try it yourself, wren+concertina on Google.

All I came up with was advertisements. Not that it makes it bad, just uncommon.

I looked hard at the Rochelle myself, but I got a deal from a local lady (God Bless Her and Keep Her) on a Marcus.

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Re-sale or trade-in value might be a deciding factor.


You will either give up and want ro sell it, or you will suceed and want to trade up sometime in the future.


I suspect that the resale value of the Rochelle will be higher than the Wren, but if you live in Ireland then you might want to consider what upgrades they would have available.


If you live in the US then a Rochelle directly from the maker or from the Button Box would be the safest course. If you do live in the US then you can rent a Rochelle from the Button Box and I believe (not absolutely sure) that at least part of the rental can be applied towards a purchase.




PS. I just had another look at the Wren site: forget upgrading to a Stagi and their vintage models look quite expensive.

Edited by sjm
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Wren is not a brand name I'm familiar with.


The video on the web page you linked to indicates that they don't make these themselves, but it doesn't say who does.


Googling mostly got me their ads, but with a couple of suspicious exceptions. One is an old classified ad for a "Brand New Stagi Wren Concertina". Does this mean that the "Wren" is just a particular model by Stagi? To check that out, I Googled the combination of "Stagi" and "Wren". Interestingly enough, that returned a page on the Button Box web site for Stagi concertinas, but the word "wren" was nowhere on that page. Could Google's database have a pointer to that page in an older version which did mention "Wren"? No way to know, except maybe by contacting the folks at the Button Box.


Even if the "Wren" is the name of a (former?) model from Stagi, it's still possible that someone else (in Ireland?) is making their own instruments and has selected that name unawares. I suppose the only way to be sure is to contact the shop directly. It does seem surprising that no one here has yet said they've even heard of them before this.


But I did also find this web page, of someone offering repair service on concertinas, which does specifically mention "Wren" as a make, apparently separate from Stagi. Maybe they could also tell us more? I'd be interested to hear more.

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I started on a Rochelle (bought from the Button Box) and pretty quickly realized that I wanted to upgrade. I traded it back to them and bought a Morse Ceili. The Rochelle was OK to get started on, let me decide if I was serious and if I really liked it before I bought a more expensive instrument. I have had no experience with the Wren.

Good luck and have fun!


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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know which concertinas those ladies play, but they are both well known pros.

Usually people of that caliber play instruments that cost $$$$$.

Look up Jefferys, Wheatstone Linota, Dipper, Carrolls, and Suttners concertinas to get some idea of

what the pro often use.


You could also join OAIM get on the forum and ask them directly, the lessons are great too.

Edited by maki
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Rv Mel,


Just to give you some background on the Wren student concertina. I came across this forum and I thought I give my two cents. It is a chinese made concertina that I have made many adjustments to over the past year to give it a much higher standard than a normal beginner concertina around the same price range. But the three main differences are 1. It has Italian reeds 2. a longer air button 3. new padded buttons. But really you have to test it for yourself, and you can tell everyone here what you think! Like we offer everybody, there is a 14 day trial period that should give you the time you need to really figure out if it is the concertina for you. If you it's not to your liking I'll refund you all the money and I will personally pay for the return shipping. Either way good look on the concertina hunt.




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  • 4 years later...

I've played both. These are my general observations.


The Wren has a little bit better sound, especially on the lows, more power. The buttons are a little bit bigger on the Wren (For some reason they are really small on the Rochelle). And the position of the buttons is a lot closer to the handles being that its a lot smaller than the Rochelle. If you're used to a larger 20 button where the keys are higher from the handle you'll probably find the Wren a little awkward to play especially on the G row. Also the frame ends on the Wren is of lower quality. Some kind of wood composite. The Rochelle has a nicer finish.


The Rochelle keys are easier to get around on in my opinion even if they are smaller. I came from a 20 button that was around the same size as the Rochelle so the Wren wouldn't have worked for me. The lows on the Rochelle are disappointing though. Not very powerful. And the action isn't as good as the Wren's. But ultimately I went with the Rochelle. Both have their pros and cons. Its up to you which qualities are more important.

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