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I'm sorry, I'm still not certain what your measurements mean. but it does sound like the smaller of the two sizes I suggested, so the Lachenal 20B might well be a bit bigger.

 

Perhaps a picture of the face of the concertina with a ruler across the face of it would help. Come to think of it, maybe I should do the same, so you can see what my 20B Lachenal looks like. But Ithat will have to wait until the weekend. I don't know that I can get a weight measurement, but I'll see what I can do. If your current 30B is a Stagi, then my 20B Lachenal is likely smaller and lighter that that even if though it might be larger than the 10B. That was one of the reasons I bought this, even though the 30B Stagi in a similar price range would have given more flexibility in keys played, due to the accidental row. I don't find too much need for the farthest left buttons, except when playing chords, but I do tend to keep the melody line mostly in my left hand particularly in the G row, so I do use the left pinky for that D/F# button in most melodies, but at least that is the inner row.

 

Meanwhile:

Theo Gibb has a C/G 20B Lachenal for sale:look at this link: http://www.theboxplace.co.uk/purchase/lach20cg/prod_389.html

Mine has the fancier rosewood ends instead, but that is just appearance. I've never dealt with him, but he has a good reputation, and often offers helpful comments here. (including early on in this thread!)

Chris Alger has one listed on ebay if you are quick:http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251340038104?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_103wt_1170

Again, no personal experience, but a good reputation, and often offers helpful comments here on C.net

 

If you are seriously interested, then maybe one of them could weigh and measure the instrument for you.

 

Those German 20B concertinas on the link you sent look a bit larger and heavier than the Lachenal 20B to me, but hard to tell. Interesting to see the buttons aligned with the edge, rather than across the corner, on both these and the 10B you are working on now.

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Thank you, Wolf!

 

Foolishly figured Search covered all the site. About the time you were posting, I was prowling Castiglione online. C-net didn't post your reply until 2 hours later. Found two incidents in my own search. I'd say the write-up here and those two both say they are both a business and an individual which is the best resource we may have locally, but proceed with caution and be sure you're satisfied with what you want to buy before you buy it.

 

Yes, the promised set-up of Canadian list-member, Troy, also gives me concern about their repair department. It's worrisome that Troy needed to resort to the Better Business Bureau for even a partial refund to pay for set-up to be done by someone else.

 

It's rather like buying via Ebay. It doesn't leave me feeling as secure as I might wish. I suppose any business with a large enough clientele and years of operation can expect a few people dissatisfied. I know Elderly Instruments, which I highly regard, sends business their way, but probably because Elderly doesn't have people highly knowledgeable when it comes to concertinas and accordions. Accordions are Castiglione's strength. Concertinas are an after-thought they carry simply because it's a relative of the accordion. When it comes to button boxes/melodeons, they don't even want to be bothered. This lack of priority is important, also the fact that their return policy is only for credit toward another instrument. Their website homepage mentions "We have an exchange policy - Inquire for details." I don't recall if that was what was offered to Troy, but it definitely came up in the other one star reviews at http://www.yelp.com/biz/castiglione-warren and http://www.yellowpages.com/warren-mi/mip/castiglione-accordions-11771037?lid=11771037 . Those reviews and Troy's experience documented here are the only reviews online. In all fairness, I know people tend to write only either complaints or glowing reviews, while locally they've a good reputation.

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Hi Ted,

Saw your email after the Ebay auction ended. It did give me an idea though about Ebay. Rather than just rely on Ebay reputations which may not be about concertinas, if the seller has a C-net reputation that's good they probably are reputable. I'm a rarity as my 1st concertina was bought online being a cheap Chinese concertina. It was enough to show I enjoy the instrument and needed to get a good one. My Stagi would probably be good enough, but that little finger problem has me thinking less may be more in my case. I'm getting my strength back, but I don't expect the little finger to improve and even before this noticed it caused hesitation reaching F sharp, B flat, and all those notes below C. Maybe I just need to be more selective in my material or transpose it.

 

Transposing is something I do a lot for my mountain dulcimer to keep my singing in vocal range which is easy in C.

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post-10010-0-10313600-1379969863_thumb.jpg

OK, here is a photo of my 20 button Lachenal, with the 6 1/4 inch measurement across the flats, for reference to the earlier posts, trying to compare sizes.

 

Meanwhile: Are you having any more success with getting inside that 10B to see if it can be repaired? Good luck with it, or with finding something that works for you!

Edited by Tradewinds Ted
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Hi Ted,

Thanks for the photo. I hated to ask my husband for another as he's currently quite busy. Now I see why we didn't make sense to each other. Mine has the buttons and hand grip at the narrow ends with the pointed parts of the hexagon at the sides. In other words each of us would say the other one's concertina is made sideways!

 

I think my little 10 button is a mini. It's in terrible shape and not worth repair since that gluing was apparently the only way to attach the bellows to some low quality wood. That's a shame as the bellows are both attractive and in better working order than the buttons. It's cheaply made, but it wasn't useless as it shows me what's possible. My 30 button isn't a good match for my hand problem. If I continue with it, either I need to transpose pieces to avoid my damaged pinky or continue paying close attention any time it's used so I can reach sufficiently. In the meantime I want to plan to move to either a 20 or 10 b. I need to consider which will be sufficient for whatever pieces I might play. If the 10 is an Anglo that's 20 tones. If it's fully chromatic that's an octave + 7 which should be adequate. Chords are optional as I really could be satisfied with just the melody. I found chords or even just simple harmony took a lot of concentration. I would have thought a mini too puny looking at photos showing extended bellows dipping like a hose, but even in terrible shape my little beat up 10 b shows this isn't necessarily true.

Edited by LoiS-sez
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Hi

 

Just my biased opinion, if you are struggling with left hand little finger, I suggest thinking about a G/D. Most of playing is transferred to right hand side and minimal need to use left little finger. Playing in C is not difficult but you would need 24 plus buttons.

 

One make of small concertina: The Marcus Traveller http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/concertinas.html

 

Graham

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Graham,

Are you talking about the Marcus Traveller? Unless the pound drops radically opposite the dollar, it's definitely beyond my budget. Not that I might not save towards it if it's the right 1 for me. I'd need to try it to be sure and doubt there's 1 in the U.S. Can't understand how it manages that many keys, but it certainly makes me drool! Don't understand the faint pictures in the corner. Looks like 3 rows of 15 on 1 side and 2 with 10 on the other yet says 21 keys (maybe the 21st is the air button which I didn't count in the rows).

 

G/D might be a bit low for singing with it. I prefer to have an instrument that makes that possible, too, as I sometimes do use it that way.

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Are you talking about the Marcus Traveller? ... Don't understand the faint pictures in the corner. Looks like 3 rows of 15 on 1 side and 2 with 10 on the other yet says 21 keys...

 

I'm pretty sure those faint photos are showing a standard 30-button anglo next to a Traveller, simply for size comparison. (Note that they're both right-hand ends.) The Traveller would have two 5-wide rows on each end, with one extra button (besides the air button) in the right hand, which you can see in the photos. That description says that button is C#/Eb (or C#/D#; same thing). Useful, even though only in one octave (and still missing both Bb and G#).

 

 

 

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Actually the G/D might not be too low for singing. Vocals often sound much clearer against a lower range instrument, instead of competing with an instrument in the same range. Part of why so many singers play guitar instead of mandolin. Guitar music is usuall plyed an octave below where the voice is written. Also, the effective range shifts up if you are avoiding the far left side anyway.

 

That said, if you stay with C/G then you'll be in the same system as you current 30B so the learning can be directly tranferred.

I do think that a 10B might be too limiting if you plan on singing with it, as there will only be one option for what key to play in for most songs. With a 20B you get two choices a 5th apart, so one usually will fit your voice well enough.

 

I like the looks of that 21B Marcus Traveller, and the 1 extra button would make all the difference to me if I had it. But a 20B like mine costs about 1/3 as much, in good working condition. The question would be the size and weight for you, compared to your 30B

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Thanks, Jim, I should have thought of that. Also it's so hard to give up any accidentals. <SIGH!>

 

Ted, you make a good point about the G/D vs. C/G.

 

It all keeps coming back to the point of trying out a 20 B to see if this is worth the switch. Back when I 1st started this I knew 1 condition -- my little finger on the left -- was a continuing problem. The other problem -- my strength after a health problem -- is showing all signs of returning to normal :rolleyes: so I really need to see if transposing might help. There are limitations on my instrument for that, but if it's doable, it would be worthwhile.

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Thanks, Jim, I should have thought of that. Also it's so hard to give up any accidentals. <SIGH!>

 

Ted, you make a good point about the G/D vs. C/G.

 

It all keeps coming back to the point of trying out a 20 B to see if this is worth the switch. Back when I 1st started this I knew 1 condition -- my little finger on the left -- was a continuing problem. The other problem -- my strength after a health problem -- is showing all signs of returning to normal :rolleyes: so I really need to see if transposing might help. There are limitations on my instrument for that, but if it's doable, it would be worthwhile.

Re 20B; you must be sure and try an old English one, a Jones, or Lachenal or somesuch. My impression is that all the German made ones and certainly the modern ones are much bigger so won't be as suitable.

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Back when I 1st started this I knew 1 condition -- my little finger on the left -- was a continuing problem. The other problem -- my strength after a health problem -- is showing all signs of returning to normal....

 

If your situation is now returning to your "normal" -- i.e., adequate strength but a problem little finger, --maybe you could consider moving the hand bar of the left hand on your 30-button "inward" (more toward the thumb), so that you might reach those "outward" buttons with your ring finger? Though you also say that you have small hands, most folks have enough leeway with their index fingers to reach one or even two buttonsworth farther toward their thumbs than a regular 30-button anglo has buttons. Some folks have instruments -- 38- or 45-button anglos and some duets -- where they do that on a regular basis. (One possible "catch" is that it might be necessary to similarly shift the right-hand hand bar to avoid "twisting" the bellows on push and pull. I'm not sure whether that would be a significant issue or not.)

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WOW! Thanks for the suggestion, Jim! (None of the "Smileys" do justice to my excitement.)

 

This really gives me hope.

 

I confess the concertina is not my main instrument and while I was away from it for the duration of my other health battle I just wasn't up to it. My little finger on my left hand can manage the keyboard on my computer, but just is too puny on the concertina, added to a constant feeling of uncertainty with it. That is a condition very unlikely to change. I just went to my instrument to see about the hand bars. I'm sure it can be done. Added to that I'm noticing that if I want to work my ring finger extra, that also might be a way to adapt. I did a check to see if this genetic hand condition has ever been discussed here. It hasn't. Theoretically it can be treated, but the one treatment I tried failed and I'm not eager to try the other more invasive methods.

 

Let's face it, there's a reason 30 b. concertinas exist and, now that pushing the bellows is again doable, I'd love to be able to have that full range. The F# and everything from B down is where I have problems. Six buttons out of 30.

 

I'd take this discussion over to the Ergonomics forum, but have continued to find some really helpful suggestions on this since the Glued Ends discussion started. Thank you to all who have had suggestions :wub: and who knows where this will lead?

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Just a thought.....I know of some very good players who use mainly their index and middle fingers. Straps are left a bit loose and they move their fingers up and down the rows, side to side, to reach notes that are commonly played with their ring and little fingers, rarely using their little fingers at all.

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Doesn't it slow them down a lot? You say they're very good players, but it sounds like the concertina form of Hunt and Peck Typing.

 

Sounds like the ideal technique for playing The Chicken Reel. :D

 

Aha! I knew there was a chicken concertina somewhere, and now I've found it. Turns out it wasn't the Chicken Reel, but the Kyckling Polka. ("kyckling" is Swedish for "chicken").

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Lois, I am roughly 4 to 6 hours away from you, depending on whether you are closer to Monroe or Flint, but I am originally from Genessee County. I just read the entire thread, and had several thoughts. I have found that the bellows on the Stagis tend to be harsher to use than on any of the modern hybrids I have tried. The ten button box you have found looks cute, and I would guess from the looks it would be of german construction. I have tried the Castilogne instruments and they don't play to bad, but they are definitely bigger than your stagi. On the bright side, they are located in (or were in) Warren which makes them relatively close to where you are located. As to the Marcus, there is a fellow here in the Columbus area who is handling the Marcus out of his home. He is part of the local Irish dance community, so it might take me a bit of time to locate him. He also worked at my former local grocery, but as I have moved south 10 miles, it is unlikely I would run into him there. I don't know if any of this is useful, it was just some thoughts.

 

Alan

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