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yes, yet another 'which anglo to start off with' post

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...but alot of the same questions from before seem a bit dated.


used to play guitar, bass , and drums although have lost all interest in playing anything the last 10years. now would like to start playing irish tunes on an anglo and not right sure what to get. i am aware that on guitar i progressed to a certain stage and then hit a wall that i never bothered to get over and then lost intereset. so i am slightly aware this might hapoen again.


wren 2, £369 includes hardcase


rochelle, £415 includes padded bag


new swan, £688 includes 'padded box'


seems like the rochelle is bigger and heavier which is a bit off putting. so maybe the question is, is the price difference worth it for the new swan over the wren 2? what do i get for that extra money, as its almost double the price.


many thanks



Edited by shutupthepunx
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I know nothing about either of the two McNeela concertinas, but I suspect that you need to look at the two listings and compare what the Wren 2 does not have compared to the Swan.


For example the Swan has a "rivet action" and " leather bellows".  Two items that I would consider essential.


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Re the Rochelle, it is a bit bulky, but it's something you notice more when switching between it and a more expensive hybrid. If you're just playing the Rochelle, you get used to it's own particular weight distribution fairly quickly. Actually, they main thing that annoys me about the Rochelle is that the hand straps are ridiculously loose, but that's easy enough to fix.

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  • 2 months later...

I have a Swan and am quite pleased with it. I can't speak for the Rochelle or Wren, but I had a cheap ~300 € concertina before that and the difference is huge. The Swan has very good response for the price and the sound levels of all reeds are very balanced over the whole range. My only problem is that the buttons are very thing and sometimes harder to hit, but I think you get used to this.

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I have not seen these in person, but does anyone have any experience with the new Blackthorn concertina?  It seems like a good starter instrument at   999 pounds. The others are really only good for you to experiment with and see, "does my brain work this way"  If you are already considering a 700 pound expenditure--  You will grow out of the others in a matter of months.  Are there any rentals near you?  Anyone you know you could borrow something from for a few weeks?   If you think you may bail rental would be the best option.


You will likely take a 200 pound hit on resale of anything if you abandon ship.


Check and see what options for trade-in trade ups are offered as well.   That may make a difference. 


As for  a hard case, you don't really need one at this stage unless you are  a kid or a terrible klutz. The kind of bag you can get for $20 will be fine until you find yourself trekking off to sessions.

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7 hours ago, Terence said:

As it was something important for me, what about considering a vintage one with "real" concertina reeds and not a hybrid ?

Some at barleycorn concertinas are sold for this kind of price.


26-button, I presume? There are 3 26-button Anglos there at the moment - one is C/G, two are G/D. The 26-button is a good

compromise if you don't want a 20-button vintage, and can't afford a 30-button vintage. All three are at the top(pish) end of

the OP's price range.


I currently have a CC (English) onloan - I presume the Anglos are similar in size and quality of construction? Not very impressed.

It is heavy, it is large. However, it is not as stiff as I had been warned to expect.


Looking at the spec' in the OP, I wonder if the New Swan is the best option? It is 'standard'(ish) size and has leather bellows...

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