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DaveLimerick

Mellow Concertinas - Mid Range

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Hi Folks,

 

I am finally looking to upgrade to a mid-range concertina after a couple of years with the Rochelle.

Based on my budget (circa 2k to 2.5k) the mid-range instruments I have been looking at the Morse Ceili, Clover, Marcus and Claddagh. I have only been able to try a couple of these and cant get my hands on a Morse or Clover to try out. I have listened to as many clips out there on YouTube to get a feel for them. At the moment I was edging towards the Morse.

 

Would anyone be able to advise on what would be a good mid-level concertina which is a little quieter than the others.

For the most part it will be me playing on my own and as its to take quite a few years for me to progress I would like to participate in Sessions without being 'too' loud and annoy others.

 

Is there any other options I should consider ? Is there a mid-level option around the 3k mark that would be worth stretching for ?

 

I should mention that it is a C/G Anglo Concertina for Irish Trad that I am referring to :)

 

Thanks for any suggestions, Dave

Edited by DaveLimerick

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Hi, I don't know that much about anglos but wouldn't bellows control play a big part in volume? In other words, get a good instrument for the long haul and prioritise bellows control in your practising to learn to play quieter, rather than looking for another stepping stone. This has the advantage of improved dynamics (most people are pretty good at 'loud'!)

 

Or you can install fabric baffles in the ends until you're confident enough to remove them.

 

Cheers, Bill

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Mahogany or rosweood Lachenals can be mellow, and Jones often have a very sweet gentle tone, and either would be within your budget.

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There are 150-200 Morse Ceilis in Ireland at this point, I'd guess; Michael O'Raghallaigh is the Irish distributor. If you're able to get in touch with him, he might be able to put you in contact with someone near you who has one you could try.

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It is easy to understand the appeal of a wooden ended Morse box Dave. However the comment above about bellows control is certainly a good one.

 

I think also that it might be worth your while adding Wolverton Concertinas to your list of maybe's. I remain extremely pleased with mine.

 

Yes, I know that at the moment Jake is offering only metal-ended versions but mine does have fabric baffles and they do moderate any brashness as you will hear if you look at the YouTube vid clip where Jake compares two of his newly made boxes (where the C/G one is actually mine). He even comments that the G/D one without baffles is louder than my C/G. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6_EcyEyNM4)

 

Good luck in your search anyway.

 

Rob

Edited by Robin Tims

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I'm a big fan of Morse Anglos - I have several - but I wouldn't describe them as "mellow." My CG is a very loud and strident instrument - which is why I bought it, since I use it primarily for Morris dance playing.

 

I agree with Theo - a mahogany or rosewood Lachenal can be a good choice, and possibly within your price range. I have a friend with a Jones 30 button, and it is definitely a lot quieter than either of my CGs.

 

But if you go for a Lachenal, you sacrifice some playability compared to the Morse boxes, which are fast and easy to play. And Morse concertinas are exceptionally durable. If you go for a vintage instrument, it's best to buy from a reputable dealer - Barleycorn or Theo come to mind, or Greg Jowaisas in the US.

 

Edited by Jim Besser

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Many of the new hybrids (Morse, Marcus, etc.) C/G anglos were designed in response to demand in the market for instruments to play Irish dance tunes. As such, buyers tended to favor a strong voice (i.e., loud) to be heard in sessions - could be the opposite of what you are after. The old instruments indeed have a nice voice (mine does) but commonly have slower response (but not all, of course, before everyone jumps on me). You are in an area where a lot of instruments may be found, so trying as many as you can will tell you what suits you personally. That takes time and effort, but consider folks on other continents, where it takes even longer to sample everything! Have fun whatever you do.

 

Ken

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There's a Lachenal rosewood ended for sale in your area of Limerick

http://www.adverts.ie/other-keyboards-piano/lachenal-concertina/12312329

I have no connection with the seller but it's in your price range and as it's local to you you could try it out and see how it plays.

 

I’m pretty sure this is the video mentioned in the comments. I think this is your instrument. Grab it.

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In other words, get a good instrument for the long haul and prioritise bellows control in your practising to learn to play quieter, rather than looking for another stepping stone. This has the advantage of improved dynamics (most people are pretty good at 'loud'!)

I like this way of thinking about it. A well made and set up instrument can be played quietly to great effect, with more volume and stridency in reserve for situations where you might want or need it. A Morse (or something similar) would certainly fit the bill. It really is more about the player than the instrument.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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I responded earlier that hybrids are generally more difficult to play quietly, but decided I should have actually tested that theory before shooting my mouth off.

 

I did, comparing my Morse CG hybrid to my very nice Lachenal-Dipper CG (Excellent Lachenal reeds, Dipper mechanism, Jowaisas bellows, etc.)

 

To my great surprise, I found it just as easy - maybe easier - to play the Morse at very low volume. Not exactly a scientific test, but perhaps additional data for your search.

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There's a Lachenal rosewood ended for sale in your area of Limerick

http://www.adverts.ie/other-keyboards-piano/lachenal-concertina/12312329

I have no connection with the seller but it's in your price range and as it's local to you you could try it out and see how it plays.

 

I’m pretty sure this is the video mentioned in the comments. I think this is your instrument. Grab it.

 

 

I think that one might have already been sold based on the comments - but I agree that a Lachenal or possibly a Jones might be a good bet for Dave who started this thread. It's true that some of these are not as responsive as the new hybrids, but some Lachenals are much quicker than others. If at all possible, play a concertina before you make an offer on it.

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Wow, Thanks so much for all the interesting replies. Really appreciated everyone's input and suggestions. I was away all weekend so apologies for late reply.

 

I think the bellows control is something I need to consider. Its a really good point. As a learner I tend to play too strong(and loud), possibly as I am trying to force the notes out of the Rochelle which is a little stiff for when trying to play faster.

 

I will check out the Wolverton as I had not heard of them. Also the Rosewood Lachenal as mentioned above looks and sounds great.

I had seen the ad for it (without the video) but had decided to discard all Lachenals as I feared they would be a risk. Seeing the associated clip now though it does play and sound very nice.

 

I will try and contact the seller and see if it is still available. Fingers crossed :)

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