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mwatersworld

Upgrading A Rochelle

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I'm new to the concertina although my melodeon squeezing goes back many years. Like many before me, I bought a Rochelle before taking a bigger financial plunge. Perhaps because of my melodeon experience, I was a little underwhelmed by the Reed response and volume. The bellows also seem very stiff, especially on the draw, although I know these will loosen up over time.

 

I seem to be making rapid progress and I'm loving the convenience and portability that the concertina offers over the button box. Having to make my own chords is also making me a better musician. However, I can’t help but wonder if the learning curve would be a little less steep without the added challenges. Given, this is an entry level instrument and certainly very good value for the money. No complaints in that regard. But since the next “step up” involves an expenditure of thousands of dollars more I am wondering if there are any tweaks that can be done either by me or a professional that would make the Rochelle more rewarding and perhaps a little easier to play? Is it worth pouring any money into? Can a Rochelle be customized to the extent that it might even become a keeper? Do the new reeds offered on the Concertina Connection website make a dramatic difference or would regapping and a little tuning be sufficient? Does anyone have any photos or information on customized Rochelles?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Mark

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Concertina builder and dealer Bob Tedrow started a thread on this in November of last year with a link to a photo essay on this very topic. I never have any luck with the search function on this site and I can't post the link due to sheer incompetence, but if you Google Bob Tedrow Rochelle Concertina it will take you there. That's how I just found it.

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Many thanks. I found the thread and photo essay on Bob's website. I hope no one takes any of my comments to mean that the Rochelle is anything less than a wonderful instrument and great value for the money when compared to other starter concertinas. I was simply wondering what can be done to make it better at modest cost. It would be good to hear from others who may have made modifications to their Rochelle or perhaps even reasons for simply leaving it alone.

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Hello. I can speak to the Rochelle's fraternal twin, the Elise duet. I have had it for a year and a half, and it still seems to be improving as it "breaks in." Loud, in tune, reasonably facile handling (like way better than new Stagi.) IMHO. I am also interested in reed upgrade and bushed buttons, but that seems to be about the extent of upgrades. I, for one, am going to keep working on it, as is, if for no other reason than to protect it's full tradein value for later. It strikes me as a lot of music for four hundred bucks.

 

Have a great time.

 

Regards,

 

David

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