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owlgal

Next Concertina?

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The cheap 20 button Anglo I just bought is already tearing at the bellow joins so I'm thinking of getting myself something better for Christmas. What do you guys think, a 30 button Rochelle from the Concertina Connection or maybe something from Stagi? Any other suggestion for the under £500 range?

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I thought the Rochelle sounded pretty good. It is ugly as sin, and has stiff bellows, but they will refund the full price when you move up.

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Those are your best options for a 30 button in your price range. I would strongly recommend that you play before buying if that's possible. The Rochelle and the Stagi (formerly Bastari) are both reasonable starter concertinas. The new Stagis are pretty expensive for what you get, but it's pretty common to see used ones for sale for around the same price as a Rochelle. I recently had the opportunity to play both a Rochelle and a metal-ended Bastari and I found the Bastari to be more responsive, but the newer Rochelles use higher-quality reeds and may be better than the one that I played.

 

The Rochelle has a better reputation for quality control than the Stagi/Bastari. The older Stagi/Bastaris sometimes have buttons that look bent or have slipped into the concertina. This usually means that they need to have the rubber sleeves on their buttons replaced, but that's not too hard to do: see http://www.concertina.net/gs_stagirepair.html .

 

The cheap 20 button Anglo I just bought is already tearing at the bellow joins so I'm thinking of getting myself something better for Christmas. What do you guys think, a 30 button Rochelle from the Concertina Connection or maybe something from Stagi? Any other suggestion for the under £500 range?

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Basically, you get what you pay for. If you're going to play the concertina seriously, and if you want it to last, you should get the best instrument you can afford. You will not outgrow its playing potential.

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The Wren looks like a badged generic Chinese concertina. I wouldn't buy one without trying it. I had a Rochelle, and was happy with it. I had a couple of niggles, the Mk II seems to have addressed those. Second hand Rochelles turn up and won't break the bank.

It depends, of course, on your budget. It's a big step to an intermediate level box, but it will be a lot nicer.

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Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I can't try any of these out without traveling outside of Sweden but the Rochelle seems to be the best choice. I'll see what Santa has to say about it :-)

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It might be worth your time to contact Greg Jowaisas to see what he has in the way of used instruments. A bit more money perhaps, but it will last you much longer...

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Well, it's settled now. Just ordered a used Rochelle 2nd gen with all the trimmings from the Concertina Connection.

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Well, I received my Rochelle last week and wow! what a difference! The buttons handle more smoothly (and are smaller), the bellow is SO much easier to draw. The only thing I'm missing are the snap-on side-straps that my other concertina has but you can't get everything..

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Well, I received my Rochelle last week and wow! what a difference! The buttons handle more smoothly (and are smaller), the bellow is SO much easier to draw. The only thing I'm missing are the snap-on side-straps that my other concertina has but you can't get everything..

 

You mean straps to hold the bellows closed? Those are really only necessary when you're using the concertina as a volleyball. :D

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The straps just seemed to make it easier to pull the concertina out of a tight case. The Rochelle always stretches bit but maybe that's okay?

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It isn't great to pull on the bellows without a key pressed to allow air in.

I don't know how tight your case is, but you can keep the bellows stretch to a minimum if you turn the case over with one hand and sort of "pour" the concertina into your other hand, instead of pulling the concertina upwards out of the case.

 

Congratulations on your new instrument!

Edited by Tradewinds Ted

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...you can keep the bellows stretch to a minimum if you turn the case over with one hand and sort of "pour" the concertina into your other hand, instead of pulling the concertina upwards out of the case.

 

That's what I do with my Lachenal EC, just (carefully) let it "pour" out of it's hexagonal wooden box...

 

But at home I don't store it in that box or any case at all, just put it on a cabinet's shelf, ready to be picked up easily whenever I like to play a tune or two... :)

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Well, I received my Rochelle last week and wow! what a difference! The buttons handle more smoothly (and are smaller), the bellow is SO much easier to draw. The only thing I'm missing are the snap-on side-straps that my other concertina has but you can't get everything..

Congratulations! Happy squeezing!

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It isn't great to pull on the bellows without a key pressed to allow air in.

I don't know how tight your case is, but you can keep the bellows stretch to a minimum if you turn the case over with one hand and sort of "pour" the concertina into your other hand, instead of pulling the concertina upwards out of the case.

 

Congratulations on your new instrument!

 

Thanks, I'll try that out :-)

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These "Concertina Connection" starter models come in a soft padded carry bag which can be difficult to 'get on and off' , it feels like a tight fitting floppy hat..( no Paper Bag jokes please ;) ).

 

I suggest not using this " padded gig bag" unless you are going somewhere with your Rochelle... just have the instrument sitting somewhere safe... perhaps On the kitchen table so's you can look at it whilst eating your breakfast.... this makes a good musical start to your day :) .

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