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Newbie Here - Would Appreciate Some Advice On Purchasing A 30 Button A


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I accidentally watched a video with a concertina demonstrated in it and fell in love with the sound ;)

I have been reading all over the forum & internet for quite some time now, trying to learn more about concertinas before purchasing one.


I believe that the kind I'd like to start with is the 30 buttons Anglo Concertina...I have a thing for irish / authentic / unusual / folk / medieval / fantasy music and so on...same for for sea shanties and the like...I've heard that this one is more appropriate for this kind of music. (I want to compose a tune along with my banjo and include it in my animation movie that I've been working on for over 2 years :P)

Unusual / exotic / cultural and more vintage types of musical instruments always attracted me and I've so far taught myself to play the Banjo, Kalimba, Jaw Harp, Harmonica, Mountain Dulcimer and couple of others...They each have a unique character...I love it and feel the same towards the concertina :D


Unfortunately my budget is quite limited (up to around 350 euros or so) so I guess that I can't afford some of the amazing boxes I've seen out there...Of course I'd like something authentic and vintage / antique..but unless I get lucky, perhaps this is something for later on?


I've been trying to research which one would be the best beginner's concertina for me that would still produce good & satisfying sounds...I had a look at the Wren, the Scarletti, Carreg Las, Excalibur and some others that I've come across...I'm finding it extremely hard to make a decision...and finding one in my price range isn't a walk in the park either so far :(


I currently live in the Netherlands...If anybody has some tips / recommendations / info for me, or could send me to a place where I could purchase a good one, It'd be highly appreciated :)


Some links I've been looking at:








Thanks ahead for any reply, tip, trick recommendation and tidbit of info!



(P.S - I apologize in advance if this is not the right place to post this :))

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For a brand new beginner's 30 button Anglo, the advice is always go for a Rochelle. I had one and it inspired me to upgrade pretty quickly - which is a good thing because I have since played other cheap boxes that would have inspired me to give up immediately.


However, the Rochelle is a plain and basic instrument. If you want character, you will need to consider one of the good new hybrid makes (I chose a Marcus) or a genuine vintage instrument.


Vintage 30 buttons are expensive because they are popular, especially for Irish Traditional Music. However, you can pick up a 20 button Lachenal or similar for a lot less. I paid £550 for one with restored bellows. This gives you an authentic sound, a sense of the history of the instrument, and quite a lot of playing options. The 20 button is not to be dismissed as "too basic".


My own journey so far: harmonica, melodeon, Rochelle 30 button Anglo, traded the Rochelle for a Marcus 30 button Anglo, sold the melodeon, bought a vintage Jeffries 37 button Anglo (in weird keys: B flat and F), bought a 1980s Dipper 30 button (pride and joy), and most recently bought a Lachenal 20 button dated around 1880.


There is no doubt that the Dipper and Jeffries are streets ahead in terms of quality, but I have a lot of fun on the Lachenal. The constraints imposed by the 20 button layout have made me a better player.


I play in the chordal style: melody mainly on the right hand, chords and bass runs mainly on the left, with a selection of barn dance tunes, English Morris tunes, folk tunes generally, and odds and ends of other tunes that take my fancy.

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I'm in Belgium and I have a hohner AC 3060 for sale that plays

pretty well. I don't know how close you are to the border but I need

to be in Antwerp in the weekend at least once a month.

If you're interested p.m. we can set up a skype call for a first evaluation

and take it from there.


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Heya! Thanks for your replies guys! Much appreciated :D


I now understand why the 30's are so expensive then...I'm not dismissing the 20 button models though, just figured I'd start with the most versatility possible, it also seems like it's kind of hard to find concertinas around here overall :(


You have a very interesting path! :D

How do you like the 20 button Lachenal then? Would you place it superior to something like the Rochelle / Stagi / Hohner AC 3060?


I looked into the Rochelle but even that is very hard to find here...


I wonder about the Hohner AC 3060 that psmooze is offering (thank you by the way!)...I haven't seen too much about Hohner concertinas, but I hear it might be a re-banded Stagi / Bastari model? Is that bad or good? :D


If you guys were in my shoes (and I guess you WERE indeed at some point ;P), what would you have done? what would you have started with?

I'm watching eBay, marktplaats.nl (2nd hand site) and the Buy &Sell section like a hawk for something that might fit or for some tidbits of insight...but aside from psmooze's interesting offer, I didn't really come across anything else other than some unknown brands & a couple of more expansive Stagi's...


Once again, any reply, tip or recommendation will be very much appreciated :)


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Hi Or


Take a look at this guy, he lives not far from me (Utrecht), and we have session every first thursday of the month. He's now playing Marcus concertina if I'm not mistaken, but he played something what looks like Hohner before




And he made it sounds quite nice if you ask me



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Oeh! I came across some of his videos while researching! Indeed fantastic!

The guy's really good! And I liked seeing the improvement compared to the older videos :D


Make's psmooze's offer sound even more interesting ;)


@Blue eyed sailor - Hah! That is quite funny indeed :P And thank you! I hope to sort something out eventually as well ^^



Edited by Orodromeus
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Speaking as someone who started with a Hohner (rebadged Stagi) 30-button anglo - I'd say they're OK as a starter box if you can get one cheaply enough; personally I wouldn't pay full-price for a new one, and if you take to the instrument you'll want to upgrade quickly.


I don't play in the Irish style, and I know that some consider 30 buttons essential for that, but otherwise a 20b Lachenal will be a much better instrument than the Stagis of this world.


If I were doing it all again, I'd probably go for a Lachenal 20-button to check that the anglo suited my brain, and then save up for either a hybrid (Norman, Marcus etc.) or vintage box with 30 buttons.

Edited by StuartEstell
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I looked into the Rochelle but even that is very hard to find here...


This link takes you to the Concertina connection website, the makers of the Rochelle, and shows a list of dealers including one in Netherlands and one in Belgium.


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If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone for good quality rather than cheap price, and a fairly good 20 rather than a very basic 30. There is no substitute for quality in an instrument - by which I mean an instrument that is difficult to put down rather than one you have to remind yourself to pick up.

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