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Advice Please On 'entry-Level' 30-Button C/g Anglo

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A couple points, first a correction, both the Marcus and Ceili have steel reeds mounted on aluminum frames. Nobody makes aluminum reeds, though the material the reeds are mounted on can vary from brass to aluminum to zinc ( or as in many of my instruments, phosphor bronze) The vibrating bit is the reed, and the only materials I know of that have been successfully used are brass or steel, experimental reeds excepted. Both Marcus and Ceili are good, but not in the price range of the wren or Rochelle.

If you've been playing a 20 button Lachenal and are having a blast, step up not down. The Ceili or Marcus or other hybrids in that general price range are where to go for a 30 button which is certainly worth having. I agree with Sid Squeezer. A Rochelle will be a real comedown after a decent 20 button Lachenal. The Wren looks like a relabeled Stagi, which play easier than the Rochelle because they are smaller, but have the cheapest of soft aluminum actions that wear out fast, and bellows that start collapsing on you after a couple year's playing. Even though the people re labeling it may "assemble" them, I doubt if there is much improvement. Most of the better hybrids play as well as the average Lachenal, some better. They may be all you'll ever want. Decent vintage instruments are harder to come by these days. Except for occasional gems, most modern concertina makers make better instruments than you'd find on the vintage market. Eventually, if you are really loving the instrument, getting on a waiting list is a good idea. You can do much more with a really good instrument.


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The Wren looks like a relabeled Stagi


I believe that the Wren is Chinese-made. I think that the dealer is saying that it's better than generic Chinese concertinas because it uses Italian-made Cagnoni reeds rather than Chinese-made reeds, which the dealer says are of lower quality. I have seen this statement made about some other entry-level concertinas too. It's my guess that one of the Chinese makers (who I believe only sell wholesale and will put any brand name on the instrument if the order is big enough) is now offering these reeds as an option.


This whole area is a little obscure because these dealers don't tend to say what country these concertinas are made in and never say who made them. I heard from a reliable source several years ago that the generic concertinas (see link above) are made in three different factories, one of which was described to me as "Wu's factory in Tianjin." That's about all I know.


In the end, I agree with what others have said: I would say that the best bet for the original poster is either a "mid-range" hybrid (Marcus, Norman, Morse, Clover, Edgley, etc.) or an English-made Anglo concertina with more buttons such as a Lachenal, Jones or late Wheatstone.

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Depends on the instrument..also a harp player, Irish, Scottish. I've been playing Irish music on the Wren. Until I can afford a nicer one, I have no complaints with it. It's easy to play, in tune, all buttons work. Think I'm pretty well hooked on the concertina!

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