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Aldon Sanders

Concertina Connection Busker players

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I'm seriously considering buying a Busker to be my travel/take anywhere instrument because my 64 button Wheatstone TT (with amboyna ends!) is so dear to me and also irreplaceable. It is only played at home & church.

 

I've found I actually like the sound of CC's hybrid instruments. I've  played (and have) the 30 button EC and an Elise.

 

I guess I just need some positive re-enforcement to take the final plunge!

 

I'd like to hear from anyone who's played or owns the Busker model EC from Concertina Connection.

 

Please tell me what you like or don't like about the Busker and if you think it's durable enough to be a go-anywhere instrument.

 

Thank you!

Aldon

 

 

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I got a Busker last year and have been loving it. This the only EC I have played, so I can't make any comparisons. I got it with the Wakker bellows and metal buttons. It may be a different animal than the stock model. As for being durable,  I don't know.  I take good care of it and have not had any problems so far. I enjoy playing my Busker and am glad I got it.

 

Best wishes, 

David 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you David. I used the thank you button on your reply but wanted to say it with words here.

 

I went ahead and put in an order and a $200 downpayment with Concertina Connection for the Busker.  They put me on the list. The lead time is six weeks so I should have it by my birthday in June!

 

I'll post my thoughts on it after I've had some time playing it.

Edited by Aldon Sanders

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Hi David and Alton.  I live in Portland, Oregon and just ordered a Busker from the Button Box and they always keep one in stock, so I didn’t have to wait 6 weeks for it!  It will be here Monday and am changing from an Elise (duet) to an English so wish me luck!  Sandi

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Posted (edited)
On 4/18/2019 at 11:25 PM, Sandi said:

Elise (duet) to an English

 

If you are switching systems because there is not a mid-priced Hayden that is cheaper than a Peacock then Concertina Connection do have a design for a new Hayden concertina (the 'Troubadour') that will be in the same price range as the Minstrel and Busker. 

 

It is ready to go but the demand for Minstrels and Buskers has been so high that they do not have the production capacity for another model right now. 

 

 

Edited by Don Taylor
Explained reason for post.
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Thanks, Don.  I really love the Busker, wonderful tone, etc.  I wish that I had purchased an Anglo though, so that I could attend Noel’s Anglo concertina classes here in the Pacific Northwest.  I guess that’s the only type he will accept.  I did want fully chromatic, so that is the main reason I got the Busker.  Oh, well....maybe next paycheck.

Sandi

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Sandi, if you really wish that you had purchased an Anglo, you might contact William Wakker at Concertina Connection. I bet you would get a good trade-in with your Busker. As much as I would hate to loose an English player in the PDX area, you might find the social scene to be easier to find. We do seem to have more workshops and such for Anglo available in the Pac NW. I am content with my decision to play EC, but do wish there were more local opportunities.

 

Best wishes,

David

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My Busker arrived last Thursday. (my b-day is June 22nd - Happy B-day to me!) I'm really impressed with the quality of this instrument. I was expecting to have to "play-in the bellows", but they came just fine. They stay closed and don't creep apart when set down, and they expand very easily. This is a much different experience from the Elise which was stiff at first but loosened up over time.

 

I love the Delrin buttons. I'd read that they can be slick, but mine aren't. They feel great under my finger tips. As a bonus I don't have to wipe them down after every time I play like I do with my Wheatstone 64 button (metal) Aeola. 

 

I'm also liking the smaller range of the instrument. It feels tiny compared to my Wheatstone! There is just enough range to play almost all fiddle tunes that don't go up to high D - which is in my experience about 98% of them.

 

The intonation is spot on. The tone started out brash but as the reeds break in the tone is becoming more clarinet-like.

 

The low G and G# on the righthand side had a little buzz in them from the difference in climate between Washington & Central California. Mr. Wakker said to give them time to acclimate and if the buzz persists for a couple of weeks to give him a call and he'd walk me through adjusting them.

 

All in all I am very happy with this instrument and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as a great upgrade from a Stagi.

 

I'm looking forward to having it with me on my travels, but need to visit a camera/bag shop to find a better carrying case for it. The basic one that came with it is oversized & lightly padded. I might end up ordering the upgraded bag Concertina Connection offers.

 

Anyone have suggestions for a bag for the Busker?

 

Aldon

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A waterproof and almost bullet-proof Pelican Storm iM2075 case would store your new baby safely.

 

Shop around for a good price.

 

Did you get the standard bellows or the Wakker bellows?

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18 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

A waterproof and almost bullet-proof Pelican Storm iM2075 case would store your new baby safely.

 

Shop around for a good price.

 

Did you get the standard bellows or the Wakker bellows?

 

Thanks for the tip on the Pelican Storm.

 

I got the standard basic Busker with the regular bellows. 

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How much of a difference is there between the beginner models and the mid price? Do they use the same parts? Just assembled not in China?

 

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35 minutes ago, seanc said:

How much of a difference is there between the beginner models and the mid price? Do they use the same parts? Just assembled not in China?

 

They're completely different. The Busker has a traditional Wheatstone-like action, while the Jack/Jackie's action is like a Stagi where the buttons are loose and can slip under their holes.

 

The bellows on the Busker are leather. The Jack/Jackies bellows are made of some type of synthetic material. 

 

The reeds on the Busker are arranged directly on the reed board with screws. The reeds on the Jack/Jackie are on wooden boxes that are waxed into place.

 

The Busker is much smaller than the Jack & Jackies.

 

These are some of the major differences that come to mind at the moment. I'm sure there are others. 

 

Aldon

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1 hour ago, Aldon Sanders said:

while the Jack/Jackie's action is like a Stagi

 

I don’t believe that’s true, see here.

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1 hour ago, Aldon Sanders said:

The Busker has a traditional Wheatstone-like action, while the Jack/Jackie's action is like a Stagi where the buttons are loose and can slip under their holes.

 

28 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

I don’t believe that’s true, see here.

 

You missed the qualifying part of my statement:

 

"...where the buttons are loose and can slip under their holes."

 

I don't see how your link relates to that fact.

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Posted (edited)

I'm referring to the following statement:

 

"Both  Jackie and Jack english concertinas have a traditional riveted action, normally only found in expensive hand made instruments. The action is designed by us and makes the instrument 'feel' much like a high priced vintage instrument."

 

Whatever one thinks of th BB beginner models (Jackie, Rochelle, Elise), I was always of the opinion that this was a significant advantage over a Stagi/Brunner instrument, and I've never heard anyone complain about the action, the maker's statement not being accurate.

 

So albeit I generally agree re these instruments being "totally different" from a vintage or even mid-price hybrid instrument, I find it only fair to exclude the action, to the best of my knowledge.

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
clarification

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, seanc said:

How much of a difference is there between the beginner models and the mid price? Do they use the same parts? Just assembled not in China?

 

The new lower-priced mid-range models like the Minstrel are much closer to the more expensive (still accordion reeded) models like the Clover.  Some cost reductions like having bought-in non-Wakker bellows (still leather) and what looks like stemless buttons, but otherwise very similar.  I think that they use the same reeds and the same reed pan and action.

 

They are not really like the beginner (eg. The Rochelle) models at all.

Edited by Don Taylor

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The buttons on the beginner instruments do wobble and get stuck, though not as horribly consistenlty as the Stagi instruments do. This is from personal first-hand experience, not a description on a website.

 

The fix for buttons on the Jack, Jackie & Elise that slip under their holes and get stuck:  open the action and move the spring of the offending button closer to its mechanism. When the spring slips away from the mechanism it allows the button to move around in its hole and sink down below the hole where it gets stuck.

 

I've had this happen on both a Jackie and Elise. The hardest part of the fix is getting the buttons to line up again so they go through their proper holes while reassembling. Carefully inverting the action (holding it upside down) while not letting any of the buttons fall off their mechanisms lets gravity do the aligning.  Then it's a matter of getting the cover back on without disturbing the buttons' positions. I do this with the action still inverted.

 

Aldon

 

 

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On 6/25/2019 at 6:43 PM, Aldon Sanders said:

I've had this happen on both a Jackie and Elise. The hardest part of the fix is getting the buttons to line up again so they go through their proper holes while reassembling. Carefully inverting the action (holding it upside down) while not letting any of the buttons fall off their mechanisms lets gravity do the aligning.  Then it's a matter of getting the cover back on without disturbing the buttons' positions. I do this with the action still inverted.

This does, in fact, sound very similar to the procedure for reassembling the ends on a Stagi!

Cheers,

John

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