Jump to content

Buying First Concertina...help!


Recommended Posts

I'm just getting started in playing the concertina and I play other instruments so I think I'll be OK with the learning aspect, however, there are no dealers in my area, so I'm going to have to purchase one via E-Bay. I've noticed several trends on the bidding and several distributors that post concertinas daily such as Bestler and Laurel....so my question is...Should I purchase one of these less expensive new models, or should I try to pick up an older or used one that doesn't need repair? Please give me some tips on this pursuit and remember that I have a quite limited budget on my first instrument as I'm not sure how involved I'll become. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

 

Marty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

If your budget is small (say, under US 200), you will do better mail ordering from a known, reputable dealer than off ebay, since you likely will be buying a new, imported imitation. But that's just my approach; perhaps others will give you a different strategy; I haven't bought one this way recently.

 

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking as another newbie, I am going to go the inexpensive route first, and buy a chinese-made "Jackie" from the Concertina Connection. They are quoting 230 US dollars for an English, which is what I want, and you can trade it in for one of their own Geuns-Wakker concertinas, or even a rebuilt vintage instrument.

 

I don't think you're going to receive much encouraging advice about buying used instruments on Ebay. I get the feeling that Ebay is seen as a private hunting preserve for "experts" and cognoscenti, and tyros really shouldn't be there. Just my opinion, folks.

 

Bob G. Evans

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick repiles...the ones I'm looking at right now are also Chinese copies I guess...Bestler and Laurel...they look the same actually so I'm assuming they are close to identical..the Jackie looks exactly like these except for color....In the auctions, these are going for between $45 and $65 right now. What I need to know is...am I going to do any better anywhere else or is this a good place to start? I'm not going to spend $250 to $300 for a begiiner model...especially when they all seem to be essentially the same as I can get for much less. Cooments????Opinions?? Throw me a line here folks... :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just getting started in playing the concertina and I play other instruments so I think I'll be OK with the learning aspect, however, there are no dealers in my area, so I'm going to have to purchase one via E-Bay.

Most eBay sellers aren't in your area either. While you may get an item for less on eBay, you won't be getting the advice/help, return possibility or warranty/repairs service of an established and reputable shop.

 

Also the type quality of instrument is quite important. If you get one that is a bear to play and sounds terrible, or is so limited (in keys, range, etc.) you probably won't pursue concertinas. I suggest deciding what type (anglo, English, duet) and range/keys you want and getting the best quality box you can afford. If you think that you'll abandon the project or move up to a better box within a few months (almost a sure bet as you already play other instruments), consider renting your first concertina instead - a much lower and safer investment that buying a low-end one outright.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bestler and Laurel...they look the same actually so I'm assuming they are close to identical..the Jackie looks exactly like these except for color....

The Bestler and Laurel are anglo concertinas and the Jackie is an English concertina. These are completely different types of concertinas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are at least two -- maybe more -- anglo concertinas for sale on the site of http://www.accordionconnection.com.

 

Click on the 'Used Accordion' links. They're grouped in with the accordions, since he's not primarily a concertina dealer.

 

There's a 20-button Stagi, I think, and it's listed at ....$398., was that?

There's also a Bastari, for less $$, looks like more buttons.

 

I play English (Morse Albion) but I did buy my Hohner accordion from The Accordion Connection.

 

Also... re auctions -- don't forget there's also Yahoo auctions, maybe they'd have one, but, I'd feel better about buying from a musical instrument dealer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took the advice of a few people here and did some more research into what I want from a concertina and it seems as though the english concertina is far less limiting than the anglo, so I think I'm going to go that way. I'd love to get the Jackie but I don't think I can spend the $250 for it at this time. Any help out there or any suggestions? I've checked my area and there is absolutely nobody selling instruments locally.

 

Marty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took the advice of a few people here and did some more research into what I want from a concertina and it seems as though the english concertina is far less limiting than the anglo, so I think I'm going to go that way.

It's a real shame that you can't find any instruments locally to have a go on - I'd say the most important thing is to try them out before you decide on a system.

 

When I researched fingering systems I was sure that I wanted to play English, and set out to the Birmingham Accordion Centre expecting to come away with an English box. But when I got my hands on an English and Anglo side by side I found that the Anglo suited my hands far, far better, even though the English made more sense to me "conceptually". :D

 

Of course there's nothing to stop you learning more than one system eventually :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd love to get the Jackie but I don't think I can spend the $250 for it at this time. Any help out there or any suggestions? I've checked my area and there is absolutely nobody selling instruments locally.

 

Marty

Well, you might get lucky at a garage sale or antique shop, if the seller has no knowledge of concertinas. But I'd say you're chances of finding a playable instrument in your price range -- under $200? -- are slim indeed.

 

Until the Concertina Connection started offering its "Jackie," I wouldn't have thought you could buy a playable instrument for $250. It's only because Concertina Connection is a reputable maker and dealer that people here can suggest that route. As far as I know, nobody on this board has seen or played one.

 

I would stay away from the JL Dyer auctions on eBay, as the text of their ads implies they don't know anything about concertinas. One thing for sure is that in the very low price range, you really need a capable dealer/repair shop to check things over ... otherwise, your chances of getting a lemon are high.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was fortunate to get a well maintained 20 button rosewood, green bellow, steel reed, C/G Lachenal from a seller through e-bay. It is a great starter instrument and I will keep it in my collection. I noticed what may be a good Lachenal starter instrument on e-bay now, item: "2560861076" (3 days left to go). It may be worth a "look see" (I have NO connection with the seller) and would be, I believe, a better instrument to start on than one of those Italian-Chinese "flowery-red" things. The "caveat" with the previously mentioned Lachenal is that it is in G/D; I am not sure if it can be re-tuned to some other pitch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did buy one of those red Laural anglos off ebay a year ago. Had a lot of fun with it and learned some tunes. Only paid $49 for it. I just last week got a Bastari 30 button anglo from ebay. Only paid $202 for it and I really enjoy it. It is much better than my first concertina, which, by the way, I have loaned to a friend who now wants to learn. The $49 box did have some problems, but believe it or not I actually used it with a band I am in and we play in public. Folks who probably didn't know much about concertinas commented on how nice it sounded! LOL. Concertina is not my main instrument in that band. I am sure this Bastari is a beginner instrument when compared to the nice handmade ones out there, and I am sure there is some total junk on ebay. In my very humble opinion the best concertina is the one in your hands, not the one you can just look at on the internet. I think that just like cheapo guitars introduced a lot of folks to guitar who later moved up to high dollar, high quality instruments, in the same way cheapo concertinas will allow more folks like me to take a chance on the instrument and we will later move on up to quality instruments. After all, it is the best and most fun instrument in the world! (Where have I heard that?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alfred said:

I noticed what may be a good Lachenal starter instrument on e-bay now, item: "2560861076"

 

That won't work for two reasons: 1) It's already over $250, which Marty said was too much to pay. And 2) it's an anglo, while Marty seems to have decided on an English.

 

The "caveat" with the previously mentioned Lachenal is that it is in G/D; I am not sure if it can be re-tuned to some other pitch.

 

Why would anyone want to do that? G/D's are currently considered highly desirable, and I believe the ratio of demand to supply -- especially for 20-button instruments -- is much higher for G/D's than for C/G's. That's even without considering the massive amount of alteration (removal of metal) that would have to be made to each reed to raise its pitch by a third of the original frequency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After reading my previous post I wanted to make one thing clear: I do appreciate fine musical instruments. That $49 instrument was little more than a toy and could not be played up to speed on the fast tunes. A couple of the notes, fortunately not often used ones, were rather sour.

I have owned and played professional level guitars and mandolins and 3 of the fellows in our band own instruments that cost several thousand dollars each. Good instruments are a good investment and hold their value and provide years of enjoyment. My point was that most newbies will not take a two thousand dollar gamble that they will like an instrument and continue to play it. Starter instruments do have their proper place. Cheap instruments are also great for taking on a camping trip or other adventure where weather may be a problem. And also great for letting a child have a go at it or loaning to a friend. I have found it worthwhile to have a cheap stringed instrument along with my good one, and if I ever find myself with a good concertina I will probably hang on to one econo-box also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rex,

 

Last Christmas Eve, I played 2 solos at a church where I was thankfully not known. The point here is that although I've played music for years, I do not play out at all. Well, except a couple times in a pickup band (no no not that, people come and go in the band, that kind of pickup). Anyway, I was very new to the concertina, but felt the most comfort with it. Soooo, I played the concertina.

 

A little girl was fascinated by it and stood on her dad's lap and watched me play. Okay, I was hooked. This was a lot of fun.

 

After the service, I encouraged the little girl to try out the concertina. Of course, I was hovering making sure she was pressing buttons when she moved the bellows. I was willing to do this because it was a Stagi 20 button concertina. When I can afford a more expensive concertina, I will love it; but I will keep this one to let people get a feel for the instrument.

 

I would not have had the guts to use a $49 instrument, and now that I'm into playing, I've heard the horror stories about Stagis. But I was willing to try out the instrument because I could afford it. And I was lucky, it has a good tone and sounds pretty good.

 

Helen <_< B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Helen,

What a wonderful story. I carry a cheap mandolin along on gigs where I know there will be children present because from past experience they seem to be attracted to the "little guitar". When they come up with their parents afterwards to ask about the mandolin I just hand them my "backup" instrument and their eyes light up. I always have ten extra minutes to show a kid a few notes or a chord. It is good to spark an interest in music in a youngster. Once I had three siblings interested and their Dad had to make sure they shared. I have already started to notice this same fascination displayed by children toward the concertina. I think it is the size, it doesn't intimidate them. This never happened when I used to play guitar. With the concertina, however, the little ones tend to want to push with all their might and must be coached to go easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


Make a Donation


×
×
  • Create New...