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Bastari (Stagi) 48 keys English Concertina

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Hi all,


I'd like to start with the concertina. Currently I play the saxophone and harmonica (bluesharp).

So I bought a used 48-key English Concertina for 200 Euro at eBay.

The seller stated that the brand is Bastari and from my investigation this should be correct.

All keys but the highest note on the left side are working on push and pull. The highest note on the left works only one direction.

But I found that the concertina is not very airtight. The belly openes to its full length by its own weight within 15 seconds.

After some investigation I found that the concertina is loosing air at some point between belly and the wooden end of the concertina.

On pic 468 it is shown.


Now my question is, do you think it is worth to keep and trying to repair the concertina by myself or should I sell it and seek for a used Jackie or Jack ?








Edited by Morice3
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Hi Peter,


15 seconds plus a - fixable? - issue should not be that bad I reckon. IMO you should open the end and have a look at the non-sounding reed, including the resp. valve. I don't think it's broken, ruther stuck. I wouldn't replace such an instrument with another low-end model, rather give the English system a try and in case it turns out it it is for you go for a vintage instrument...


Best wishes - ?

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I agree with Wolf and would add that the problem with your Stagi/Bastari bellows is not that uncommon. 


The bellows are not made of leather, but rather some sort of plastic-coated fabric which cracks with age.  You could try gluing some very thin leather over the split or even use some heavy duty construction tape*.  Clean the area first as best you can to help the leather or tape to adhere.    Or take it into an accordion repairer and ask their advice.




*I remember seeing a picture of David's Stagi Hayden with several tape patches on the bellows.





Edited by Don Taylor
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Back in the Pleistocene when some of us were learning on Bastaris, Lark in the Morning put out a video on accordion and concertina repair. It had some scenes that were quite funny, including one on leaky Italian bellows that suggested you could get multiple colors of plastic or vinyl tape at the Hardware store and make yourself a great clowncertina while also fixing the leaks in the bellows.


I once saw one with a band-aid (a plaster) on the bellows. Somehow it sums up the whole learning experience. But seriously, Dr. Bastari actually helped a lot of us get started, more folks than will readily admit it.


Welcome to the madness.




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1 hour ago, Ken_Coles said:

Lark in the Morning put out a video on accordion and concertina repair

You can still buy a copy:



Caveat:  I have never seen it but I do own a copy their Seaman's Concertina and it is definitely one of the worst mastering of a DVD that I have ever come across.  Not John Townley's presentation but the awful way it was copied from tape to DVD, out of sync. and with only one side of the audio!

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Hi all,


first I want to thank all of you for your tips. You convinced me that I should give my clowncertina a chance

So tomorrow I am going to buy some transparent elastic tape (fixomull) and try to fix the hole. Sorry no colored tape ?

As I currently do not need the highest keys I will keep the challenge of opening the concertina and checking the reed for later.

I fear I could damage some sealing. But not for long. I am quite interested what kind of reeds I will find inside, single ones or that kind where several reeds are placed on one plate.


I am not quite good in my first steps on this instrument (alternating between left keys and right keys is really difficult to learn) but in my opinion this concertina has a nice sound.


So thank you for your friendly welcome. I'll keep you informed.





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