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PiranhaFish

Old concertina buying advice

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Hi concertina fanatics,

I've recently purchased a (hopefully) decent 20 button anglo after getting a taste for the concertina from a friend. Waiting for it to arrive at the moment.

Looking at concertinas on the internet, it seems you can get vintage 30 button anglos for around £100-150. The problem is they come with stuck buttons, cracked fretwork, broken bellows, or just extensive wear and tear. How easy would it be to get one fixed?

Is it worth buying one of these to get it restored to a playable condition, or are they only good for spare parts?

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As with most things, it depends.  If it's the Lachenals you're looking at, the quality range when new varied from cheap mass produced beginner instruments to top end boxes with more bespoke reeds and woodwork.  The ones you see on ebay are across this spectrum and it's not always easy to see what the extent of the damage and likely repairs might be. 

 

All of the issues you describe are fixable, but whether it's worth it depends on whether you can tackle the work yourself (and don't cost your time) or have to outsource it and how much extra you'd have to pay for an instrument with all of those issues fixed - up to the point of a fully restored instrument from one of the restorer/dealers.  It might be worthwhile repairing

 

Whereabouts in Scotland are you?  Happy to chat more over a cup of tea if you're nearby

 

Alex West

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1 minute ago, Alex West said:

If it's the Lachenals you're looking at, the quality range when new varied from cheap mass produced beginner instruments to top end boxes with more bespoke reeds and woodwork. 

 

However, even the once "cheap" 20b Lachenals are not necessarily bad - I have a very nice example of the simplest model in my possession (which had of course some servicing over the years I reckon, but the reeds are good, to start with), and I'm loving to play it.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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So I ended up buying a 'cheap' mahogany ended 20b Lachenal. Not in pristine condition, but it has character. Seems mostly in tune, all buttons are working, and I have been able to learn a bit, but there seems to be a pretty serious leak in the bellows. I can feel air on my face if I hold it near enough. I don't have enough air to play for more than a couple of seconds in one direction.

I think I might send it off to someone for repairs (don't have the time to do the work myself).

And Alex, thanks for the offer, but I'm up in the North East.

Edited by PiranhaFish

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