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Mcneela Phoenix

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20 hours ago, Livvy said:

Do you mean that there really isn’t much difference between the quality of the Swan and the Phoenix?


I agree with Pentaprism's thoughts here, and don't have much more to add really!


The lack of proper bushings is a shame. I've seen some (newer??) Swans taken to bits which seem to now have the bushing board, as before minus felt, now screwed down between the action. This seems like a better idea. Probably due to similar complaints.


I eventually upgraded to a vintage instrument, but kept the swan. Partly because I want to experiment and tinker with it, but partly because it's actually not too bad. It's loud and fast, just unrefined and a bit unwieldy. It got me bitten on the bug, though. No way would I have spent over £1000 on something I didn't know for sure I'd love, but I'm a poor musician. I think you can do a lot worse for the money. Plus I'll be able to take it camping without having kittens.


21 hours ago, Livvy said:

My guess is that something nicer than the Phoenix would mean going the vintage route


Maybe, maybe not. You might find a reasonable bargain if you keep your eye on this forum long enough.


2 hours ago, pentaprism said:

It was a decent instrument if you're not sure Anglo concertina is for you


This was what I was getting at, really. It's a dip-your-toes instrument. If you get it out every now and again to have a go, it might fit the bill. It got me to the point of playing well enough to know what I wanted in an instrument.


If it's going to be a serious pursuit, continue doing research as you are, and read some of the brilliant advice, discussions, and arguments in this forum.


All the best! 

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I just checked the price of the Swan - US$ 1,185. I remember paying between US$ 800 and 900 for it.


If I were starting out, I'd rather pay a bit more for a restored 20-key vintage. I would outgrow it some day but would keep it as a travel concertina. A 26-key would be even better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Pentaprism and JimmyG! I think I’m set now that I really want to save up for something nicer than the Swan. I’ve always loved the concertina even though I’ve never owned one, and I know I want to pursue it. I was thinking the same way  as Pentaprism about possibly not being able to progress as fast or play as well on a less-refined instrument.

Thanks for all the input.

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