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Mcneela Phoenix


Tiposx
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I am looking at anglo hybrid concertinas. Has anyone actually played or owned one of the Phoenix c/g. It is advertised as an intermediate level concertina. It sounds good in their promotional video  and appears to play fast- although it is being played by a champion.The price is very competitive, but there isn't much info around except via Mcneela.

I understand that the model is similar to its predecessor the Mcneela Swallow.

Thanks 

Tiposx

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I asked myself the same question about the Phoenix, it does sound pretty good !

But like you said, she is a very good player and can make the Wren sound pretty good too...

My story: I bought the Wren and decide to send it back for a refund. 

They have a good refund policy so you can always order the Phoenix and send it back if you don't like it !

 

Good luck and in that case, please tell us what you think about the Phoenix ? 

I decided to go for a vintage 20b, cheaper and usually very good if well restored (better buy from a known seller/shop). But now looking for a 26b.

For a 30b, I understand your choice concerning the Phoenix.

 

Nicolas

 

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Hi Papawemba

Thank you for that info. Like you I noticed that Caitlin Nic Gabhann made even the beginner instrument sound super.

Good point re buying on trial,  I  will have a think about that for a few days on holiday. Meanwhile I am looking for reviews and other people's experiences of the hybrid models. There seems to be a theme that one has to spend £2k to get a good instrument, but I just don't want to spend that much. My house is full of lovely musical instruments and yet the most expensive one is a "beginner" grade english concertina!

Tiposx

 

 

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Hello Tiposx, you can find my initial impression of the Wren 2 here https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/19805-buying-advice-under-50000/&tab=comments#comment-185246

 

I was really going for the Phoenix lately but as I couldn't find any more information/reviews, I gave up.

And find out that for the price of a 3 rows (in general), I could buy two vintage 20b lol or a 20b and 26b...    

The third row is very expensive !!

 

Best ! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

I bought one of these through their webpage and promptly returned it. It does have a nice tone, the buttons do have quick action and it looked nice, but it is not an instrument that punches above its weight cost-wise. The bellows action is stiff, the air button feels like sucking through a tiny straw and there is a fair bit of empty air before a note is produced with the other buttons. Result, you really have to work and use a lot of force to play at speed with the Phoenix. It is a chore to play quickly. Also pay attention to the details of the button layout, I was expecting to find a F natural on button 30 but not so. Price wise it is about halfway between a Concertina Connection Rochelle and a Button Box Morse, and that’s exactly what you get. It is a lot better than the Rochelle and well short of the Morse. Great for a beginner or an early intermediate player but set your expectations accordingly.

Edited by Jeremy
Specified it was an online purchase
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  • 11 months later...

I've got a Phoenix due to arrive on April 27. Initially I had paid for a 2nd hand Curlew and the order went through. But the next day I got an email saying they had sold the Curlew to another buyer. It was a really good price (it may have been underpriced in error), so I was upset. But they promised to send me a Phoenix for the same price. It's hard to find much info from players on the McNeela instruments, so I will post something after it arrives and I've had a chance to put it through its paces. It's been a very long time since I've had an instrument, so I'll be breaking in the instrument along with my muscle memory.

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Kate, is that Curlew the one that's still listed for sale under the 2nd hand instruments? It has a review which implies it's been sold but still listed on website. Oh dear... anyway I hope the Phoenix works out for you!

On 4/21/2020 at 9:54 AM, Kate O'Leary said:

I've got a Phoenix due to arrive on April 27. Initially I had paid for a 2nd hand Curlew and the order went through. But the next day I got an email saying they had sold the Curlew to another buyer. 

 

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2 hours ago, Breve said:

Kate, is that Curlew the one that's still listed for sale under the 2nd hand instruments? It has a review which implies it's been sold but still listed on website. Oh dear... anyway I hope the Phoenix works out for you!

 

Yes, it's the same one. It's been confusing because I'm still not clear as to which one is the better instrument. The Curlew is no longer available *anywhere*. It's listed on McNeela's site at $2150 right now. Somewhere I read that the Phoenix is the next iteration of (or perhaps the next step up from) the Swan. Maybe I'll email them to get it straight. The Phoenix is due to arrive on Monday!

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Kate, 

How do you like your Phoenix concertina? Any comments on the sound/tone and response? I am torn between the Phoenix and the Swan, mainly because my initial impression of the Swan is that it was a bit shrill sounding and I would think the more expensive Phoenix would be a better quality instrument. It’s expensive for me though . . . I might just have to go with the Swan if the quality isn’t that much lower than that of the Phoenix. That’s why I’m very interested in an update on your Phoenix purchase. 
Thanks for posting!

 

Olivia 

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/4/2021 at 2:17 PM, Livvy said:

I am torn between the Phoenix and the Swan

 

 

[Opinion]

Do you play the concertina? If not, and this is your first venture, get the swan. There are of course some other options out there which people may comment on..

 

You'll soon realise if it's an instrument you want to pursue. If it is, in a couple of years you'll want to upgrade to something really nice. Nicer than a phoenix. 

 

Save yourself $1000 (at least??)

 

Jimmy

Edited by JimmyG
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  • 1 month later...

Hi Jimmy,

 

I don’t play concertina yet so your advice is very helpful, thanks! Do you mean that there really isn’t much difference between the quality of the Swan and the Phoenix? Saving money is tempting, but my plan was to just go with the Phoenix and hopefully not have to upgrade from that, since it would just be a hobby for me. But at the same time I want something that will last me and not break or have issues right after I get it. My guess is that something nicer than the Phoenix would mean going the vintage route, which I had made up my mind not to do, since I don’t foresee ever having that kind of money to spend on a hobby. Since I don’t really have the need for a very professional instrument, is it advisable to just go with the Phoenix and keep it? I know I could just be thinking this way since I don’t have much experience with concertinas, so any advice or other thoughts is greatly appreciated.

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I started with a Swan, and sold it in 6 months.

 

It was a decent instrument if you're not sure Anglo concertina is for you, and it was probably OK for another 6 months for me. But I got impatient because many times I couldn't tell whether the problem was with me or with the instrument. When I found a second-hand Morse Céilí, I jumped on it and have never looked back. In fact, I ordered a new Morse Céilí (different key) when Button Box had them on sale.

 

>> there really isn’t much difference between the quality of the Swan and the Phoenix....

 

I don't think it is the case. Just look at the Swan - it has no bushings while the Phoenix does. Just the lack of bushings, to me at least, is a source of frustration.

 

 

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